Baked Pork Loin Chops

Fennel Coffee Brined Baked Pork Loin Chops #recipe @MJsKitchen


I guess you can tell by the picture that I’m not a vegetarian. 🙂  The other day I noticed that the Meat section of my Recipe Index was very short, so I decided it was time to post my Brined Pork Loin Chops recipe.  We love this recipe!  These pork loin chops are so easy to make and the flavor – well, you’ll just have to make them for yourself, and believe me, you won’t regret it!

I’ve always found pork to be the most difficult meat to cook perfectly. It’s so easy to overcook. I think many of us were raised eating rubbery pork chops that had been cooked to death, so they had to be smothered in gravy to be palatable.  It has taken me a while, but I’ve finally learned how to cook the perfect, juicy pork chop. It’s easy when you use a meat thermometer. Imagine that!

This pork loin chop recipe requires a 4 to 8 hours brine before baking, but putting the brine together only takes a few minutes (just be sure to save a cup of your morning coffee).   Brine the pork loin chops in the morning and when you get ready to start supper, it only takes 25 minutes for them to go from the oven to the table.


Baked Pork Loin Chops Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 4 hours to 8 hours
Cook and rest time: 25 minutes


4 thick pork loin chops

2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup white wine or apple juice
1 cup brewed coffee (I use the leftover coffee from breakfast)


You’ll need a covered dish or ziplock bag large enough to hold all four chops with at least 2 cups of liquid.

  1. Add all of the ingredients for the brine to a bowl or your marinating dish. Stir to dissolve the salt.
  2. Transfer the brine to your marinating dish or ziplock. Add the pork chops and turn to coat.
  3. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours. Halfway through the marinating time, turn the chops.
  4. When ready to cook, line the drip pan of a broiler pan with aluminum foil if desired. (Makes it easier to clean.)
  5. Remove the chops from the brine and place on the top rack of the boiler pan. Discard the brine.
  6. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with pepper.
  7. Position an oven rack about 8 inches below the broiler. Turn on the broiler.
  8. Move the pork chops to the oven and broil about 2 minutes per side or until browned.
  9. Move the pork chops to the middle of the oven and set the oven to bake @ 350° F (175° C) .
  10. Cook the pork chops to an internal temperature of 145° F. (Use your oven’s meat thermometer if you have one.) This takes 10 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.
  11. Remove the chops from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.



Kitchen Notes

This article came out in May 2011:  USDA Revises Recommended Cooking Temperature for All Whole Cuts of Meat, Including Pork, to 145 °F (63° C).  This was quite a change for pork and a very welcomed change.  Many of the baked pork recipes that I’ve seen recommend cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160° F  (70° C) and that’s the temperature I’ve used in the past even when I knew it would yield dry, tough pork chops.  At 145° F followed by a 5 minute rest, these chops come out perfect – juicy and irresistibly good!

The pork chops – You can use any type of pork chops that you like.  If they are thinner, the bake time will be shorter but if you use a meat thermometer, you’ll know when they are done.

Wine or apple juice – It doesn’t matter.  If I have some flat white wine in the fridge, I’ll use it; otherwise, I use sparkling apple cider which is something I always have.

Bake or Grill – It doesn’t matter. In the winter we bake, in the summer we grill.

Suggested sides – Any type of salad works for us – vegetable salad, fruit salad or fruit and veggie salad.  It’s all good!


This Brined Pork Loin Chop recipe has been shared with the following blog hops.  Be sure to click on the links to see more delicious recipes.

Weekend Potluck, Freaky Friday, Mix It UP Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Bake with Bizzy, Mangia Monday, Full Plate Thursday, Made From Scratch Monday, Mom’s Test Meal Monday, Gluten-Free Fridays


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56 Responses to “Baked Pork Loin Chops”

  1. Carole from Carole's Chatter October 13, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    Good tip about the temperature! Cheers

    • mj October 13, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

      Thanks Carole!

  2. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) October 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! Thanks for helping get our party kicked off this week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 I hope that you’ll join us this week! Cindy from

  3. Mary Hudak-Colllins September 7, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    That chop looks good enough to eat off of my computer screen. I really shouldn’t go visiting when I’m hungry LOL. Thanks for sharing in our linky this week and have a great weekend!!

    • mj September 7, 2012 at 10:21 am #

      Thanks Mary! I know what you mean – surfing food blog is like going to the grocery store – don’t do it hungry! 🙂

  4. Sherry July 29, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Getting ready to brine the pork loin chops. Oops! No fennel seeds. What would you throw in instead?

    • mj July 29, 2012 at 10:35 am #

      Sherry – You could substitute anise seeds, or 3 Tbsp. Sambuca or if you don’t have either of those, 1 tsp. dried tarragon. Please let me know what your substitution was and how it turned out. Enjoy!

  5. Annie Lux June 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    love this, have used the basic idea several times. I have really not had a lot of problems with dry chops but thought I’d try the recipe. Brilliant! I will ALWAYS brine my chops with coffee from now on!

    • mj June 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

      Annie, I’m so glad that you liked the coffee brine! It’s the only way to go with pork. Thanks so much for leaving a comment and letting me know how you enjoyed this recipe!

  6. Lisa May 1, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Wow, this looks so juicy and delicious! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday 🙂

  7. love cooking April 27, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    This is easy yet very special. I have never come across any recipe that uses coffee to marinate meat. I think I will like it. 🙂 My problem always is the baking time. It hard to determine the meat is done since I don’t have meat thermometer. I always judge it by cutting out small pieces of it. 🙂

  8. mj April 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    Anne and Neetu – I have no idea if this brine works on poultry or other proteins. I’ve only used it on pork. Now you have me curious. With lamb I would probably change the white wine to red wine and the fennel to rosemary. With poultry, I probably just leave out the coffee, but then who knows – the coffee might work with poultry! Great questions! If you try this brine with other proteins, please let me know! Thanks for your comments!

  9. balvinder ( Neetu) April 26, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I am not a vegetarian either but do not eat pork. I like your brine recipe and wonder if it works for lamb or chicken. I have tried cocoa powder but not coffee in my meat marination.

  10. Anne@FromMySweetHeart April 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    MJ…these look fabulous. I’m from the era where my mother intentionally overcooked pork! LOL. But I’ve never worked with a brine before….though you make it seem easy. I’m so intrigued by the wonderful mix of flavors in the brine….fennel and wine and coffee! I MUST try this! Have you used this brine with other proteins like poultry? And congrats on your award….so well deserved…..I always LOVE visiting your blog!

  11. Jay April 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    looks awesome…cant wait to try your recipe
    Tasty Appetite

  12. Tina (PinayInTexas) April 26, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Oh MJ, I can’t take my eyes off your baked pork loin chop! It looks so perfect and really, really scrumptious!
    Congratulations on The Liebster Award, dear!

  13. Jen at The Three Little Piglets April 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    That’s funny because I was just noticing that my dessert section completely eclipses everything else on my blog!

  14. Food Jaunts April 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Great marinade – wine and coffee! Your pork chops look so thick and absolutely delicious. Congratulations on the Liebster Award 🙂

  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook April 25, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi MJ! I get tired by my own pork chop recipes and I don’t encounter too many pork chop recipes (in my blog hopping circle), so this comes in really handy! Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the award! 🙂

  16. France @ Beyond The Peel April 25, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    The fennel seeds and apple juice would add great flavor. I’ll have to try this. Thanks!

  17. Cucina49 April 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I can’t give up meat, either–I tried for three years! These chops look delicious. Nice use of the fennel seeds!

  18. Brynn April 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    This is what Im cooking for the brother for dinner. Lucky guy. Let you know how it goes. 🙂

    • mj April 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Hey Girl! Let me know how y’all like it! Hugs to you both!

  19. Laura @ Family Spice April 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    What a great brine recipe. The family loves pork and we really love the tender pork loin chops. I’ve tried coffee on beef but not pork – at least not yet!

  20. myfudo April 24, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    My family enjoys pork chops. This is like a weekly staple in our household. I’d love another interesting pork chop recipe to add in my list of favorite recipes. Love that this is baked. Thanks for the post!

  21. Sanjeeta kk April 24, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    Checking out the wonderful bloggers you nominated for Liebster Award…Hugs.

  22. Reiko April 23, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Such an Interesting recipe! Coffee? I love pork and I should definitely try this!

  23. Suzi April 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Hi MJ. This is a very interesting recipe. I wonder if I could put tofu or seitan in this brine. It would probably taste wonderful. I will have to try it out. Congrats on you award. Hope you are having a lovely day.

    • mj April 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      I have no idea what seitan is! 🙂 Need to go look it up. I don’t know how this brine would work with seitan or tofu, but if you try it, let me know – please! Have a great week Suzi!

  24. kitchenriffs April 23, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    It’s amazing how useful a meat thermometer is! I couldn’t live without my instant read one. And I agree – it takes all the worry out of cooking pork properly. The coffee in the brine is interesting. Sounds like it might be kind of a red-eyed gravy effect. Definitely worth trying. Thanks for this.

    • mj April 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      Yes it is a red-eyed gravy effect – but better! I love my new oven because it has a programmed meat thermometer. It’s great! Have a great week!

  25. Sissi April 23, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    The pork chop looks delicious and tender. Brining sounds like an excellent idea.
    I eat quite a lot of pork, but have never made pork chops, can you believe it?
    Congratulations for the award!

  26. peachkins April 23, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this award. Will grab this on my next food recipe post……

    • mj April 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

      You are most welcome Peachkins! You know I enjoy you and your blog!

  27. easyfoodsmith April 23, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    The brining with coffee sounds very interesting. The combination of coffee with herbs has made me so intrigued with the kind flavours they must have imparted to the chops. Very creative post.

  28. Katherine Martinelli April 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Mmm this looks great! Brining is such a great technique. Congrats on the award! Well deserved 🙂

  29. Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts April 22, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    I really love that you’ve used coffee when brining! I’ll only have one teeny problem with the recipe as I definitely won’t have leftover coffee from breakfast! haha I will have to make a fresh batch. 🙂

  30. Giulietta | Alterkitchen April 22, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    I don’t love pork meat so much, but I’d love to taste this 🙂

  31. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen April 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    MJ…thank you so much! I’m so honored that you would think of me. You know I love ya 🙂

    • mj April 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

      You are most welcome Valerie! HUGS!

  32. mj April 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    The coffee in the brine does give the pork a very unique flavor. It was a purely creative moment the first time I used it. It was several years ago trying to come up with some liquid for a brine other than water. I saw the coffee pot and sure enough it had some coffee. So why not – it’s better to use it than throw it out. It turned out great! Please give it a try. You’ll love it!

  33. Charles April 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Hehe, I had to chuckle… I’ve always quite enjoyed the dry, squeaky, over-cooked pork-chops. They always seem very comforting to me 😀

    I love the sound of the brine – sounds excellent and I can’t imagine what the coffee must do to the final flavour… will have to give it a try!

    I read somewhere that you can eat pork less “done” than is often recommended with no risk, and that the temperatures proposed by USDA and so forth are based on outdated research, however perhaps that just applies to certain cuts like tenderloin? I’m no expert though of course.

    • mj April 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Yes Charles – those smothered pork chops were comfort food, but I attributed to the gravy. I love gravy! 🙂 The article I linked to does show the USDS lowering the recommended temperature of pork from 160 F to 145 F. At 145 F, the center of the pork chop is slightly pink which at one point in time would have been unacceptable, but I’ve eaten it several times now and I’m here to tell about it. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  34. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles April 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    What a delightful sounding brine – I particularly like the fennel and am very intrigued by the coffee… how unusual and captivating. I agree, pork can be tricky to cook – I have lots of memories of overcooked pork from my youth – haha! Sounds like you’ve got this one down though. Congrats on your award MJ and to all the recipients!

  35. Jane April 21, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Ahhh thank you so much, you are so sweet! I absolutely love pork, it is my favorite meat (I think!). I always season with lemon pepper .. but the coffee brine sounds so good! Thanks for putting a smile on my face today … have a great weekend!

  36. Angie@Angie's Recipes April 21, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I am totally tempted with the coffee brine…the pork loin looks really succulent and tender.

  37. Soni April 21, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Awesome!I’m not a vegetarian either and quite enjoy my meat, but have never made them this way!I love the idea of coffee in the brine!Very interesting flavors coming together and sure looks delicious 🙂

  38. Ramona April 21, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    Congratulations on award MJ!! Well deserved! My husband will be moving into your house now that he’s seen this amazing pork chop… wow..that is some big chop. I love that you brined the meat first…I usually marinate in spices… but never brine. I need to seriously do that because your pork chop looks plump and juicy! Wow… and the coffee in the brine… very interesting indeed! Have a great weekend! ~ Ramona:)

    • mj April 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      Thanks Ramona! Having used both a marinade and a brine, I prefer brines with pork any day. Coffee does make a wonderful ingredient in brines! Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  39. Baker Street April 21, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    Coffee in brine is such a fabulous idea MJ! I’m sure it really bumped up the flavor and made the meat so juicy and succulent.

  40. Reem | Simply Reem April 21, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Wow this sure looks like an interesting recipe…
    I can bet this brine must have done wonders with incredibles flavors of coffee, wine and other spices…

  41. vianney April 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Coffee in the brine. I have never tried brining with coffee, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense. I must try this soon, pork chops and I sometimes don’t get along, LOL!!

  42. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious April 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Thank you so much! I’m so honored to be awarded!

    And this pork chop looks so juicy. I love making my own brine.

    • mj April 21, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      MaryAnne and Chung-Ah – you are most welcome! Love your blogs and thank you for supporting mine! Have a great weekend my friends.

  43. MaryAnne April 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Aw, thank you! Very kind! I feel quite honoured, actually, as I love your writing, your photos, your food ideas. I’ll put it on my mantle…


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