Posted by: Deana | April 16, 2008

Fried Pork Chops

Growing up, when we had pork chops, Mom fried them – always. I didn’t know that most people eat apple sauce with pork chops until recently. Fortunately Z enjoys his chops fried too, although I’m not sure if he ever had them fried before we got married. Another peculiarity about how we eat pork chops is that we always ate them with rice and gravy – yes, we put the gravy on rice. I’ve heard that’s not very common either, but it’s what we did when we had fried pork chops or fried chicken growing up. So now, that’s what Z and I do and he loves putting gravy on his rice.

Last week we made fried pork chops with rice and gravy kind of spur of the moment because we had pork chops in the freezer and I’ve been slacking off on our meal planning (thank you, Z, for planning these last two weeks!). So we had to do some improvising:

  • Pork chops, as many as you want
  • 1 lg egg, 2 if you’re making a lot
  • ground up saltine crackers – enough for the amount of pork chops your cooking. (we used to crush and grind them with a rolling pin on the wooden cutting board growing up (which was always kind of fun), but not anymore – thank you Cuisinart!)
  • Oil – I don’t know how much I put in, a little more than enough to cover the bottom of the pan. I keep an eye on it and add more as I cook if I need to

Put the egg(s) in a bowl with a bit of a flat bottom and whisk it a bit. Put the ground saltines in a similar kind of bowl. (We did not have any saltines on hand, but I did have some Rold Gold Classic Style Pretzel Sticks – the best kind of pretzel; we always had a bad in our house growing up! – I figured, crunchy – check, salty – check and I threw them into the Cuisinart.) Put your oil in the frying pan and get it hot! Mom gave me an electric frying pan, so I set it for about 350, I think. (This recipe was picked up through experience, I should have written this down as I went.)

Rinse the pork chops, coat them with egg, coat them with the saltine, or pretzel, crumbs, put them in the frying pan with the hot oil. While the first side cooks, I put the lid on, keeping the heat in to cook the pork chops. I check them every 3-5 minutes and when they start to look a dark golden brown; they’ll be darker if you use pretzels. Remove the lid and turn the chops, add more oil if needed, and let the second side cook. Don’t put the lid back on, the steam makes the crispy side that’s up soggy. When the second side is a dark golden brown they’re done; I usually cut into one of them to make sure. Remove the chops. I put them in a warmed oven, uncovered, while I make the gravy.

Turn the heat down on the frying pan, scrape the bits of saltine, or pretzel, off the bottom of the pan and leave them in the left over oil. Sift some flour into a bowl and whisk in small amounts of water until a paste forms. This time when I made the gravy, I lost track of what I was doing and started adding the paste to the oil – it of course formed lumps all over the pan. I suggest adding milk first, then the paste.  🙂 I was able to salvage the gravy with a decent amount of milk and frantic whisking- yay, and Z said it was some of the best gravy I’ve made. Add milk and paste alternately, whisking constantly to the oil. I keep adding until I have enough gravy and the oil doesn’t separate.

Then serve the pork chops with the gravy, rice, and veggie of your choice! The pretzels made wonderfully tasty fried pork chops, and I would be happy to use them again for this recipe if I have them on hand.


  1. I just want to say that one of the more impressive ingredient substitutions I’ve witnessed was when you used ground-up pretzels in this when we were out of Saltines. And we were really out of Saltines (as opposed to panko, when I substituted Italian bread crumbs).

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