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Do you put baking powder on pork chops?

Quick Answer

Yes, using baking powder when preparing pork chops can help them develop a crispy, browned exterior and tender, juicy interior. Baking powder is a leavening agent that contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and an acid, like cream of tartar. When mixed with moisture, baking powder creates air bubbles that cause baked goods to rise. This air pockets help promote browning and caramelization on the surface of pork chops when pan-fried or baked. The baking powder also helps the meat retain moisture during cooking.

To use baking powder on pork chops, mix together 1 teaspoon baking powder per 1 pound of pork chops along with salt, pepper, and any other seasoning. Coat the chops evenly with the baking powder mixture before pan-frying, baking, or grilling. The baking powder will work to brown and crisp the exterior while keeping the inside juicy.

What is Baking Powder?

Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent used in baked goods like cakes, muffins, biscuits, and other flour-based foods. It produces carbon dioxide gas bubbles when it reacts with liquid and heat, causing batters and doughs to rise.

The main ingredients in baking powder are:

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) – this provides the main rising action through the production of carbon dioxide bubbles.
  • Acid – such as cream of tartar (potassium bitartrate) or monocalcium phosphate. This reacts with the baking soda to produce the CO2.
  • Cornstarch – this absorbs moisture and prevents premature reactions between the baking soda and acid.

Double acting baking powder also contains two acids. The first acid reacts with the baking soda as soon as liquid is added to produce some rising action. The second acid is activated by heat, so it causes more rising during baking.

The main difference between baking powder and baking soda is that baking powder already contains the acidic component needed to produce CO2 bubbles and cause rising. With baking soda, you need to add an additional acidic ingredient like lemon juice or buttermilk.

Why Use Baking Powder on Pork Chops?

Using a small amount of baking powder when preparing pork chops, whether pan-fried, baked, or grilled, can provide several benefits:

  • Promotes browning and caramelization – The carbon dioxide released from the baking powder causes the surface of the pork chops to dry out. This creates better contact between the meat and the hot pan or grill, enhancing browning and the development of nice caramelized flavor.
  • Keeps moisture in – While drying the surface, the baking powder also helps keep the interior of the pork chops juicy and tender. As it creates air pockets, it prevents the meat from drying out too much during cooking.
  • Tenderizes the meat – The bubbles created by the baking powder slightly stretch and tenderize the protein fibers in the pork.
  • Enhances flavor – The light aeration provided by the baking powder allows more flavor from seasoning, marinades, or dry rubs to infuse the pork.
  • Improves texture – The air pockets give the cooked pork chops a softer, yet still firm and dense texture.

So in summary, baking powder acts as a surface drying and tenderizing agent that promotes caramelization and browning on the exterior while retaining moisture and enhancing texture inside the chops. Just a teaspoon per pound of meat is enough to make a noticeable improvement.

How to Use Baking Powder on Pork Chops

Here is a simple process for using baking powder when cooking pork chops:

  1. Pat pork chops dry – Make sure excess moisture is removed from the chops before seasoning. Pat them thoroughly with paper towels.
  2. Mix seasoning – In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of baking powder per pound of pork chops along with salt, pepper, herbs, spices, or any other dry seasoning blends. Adjust baking powder amount accordingly for larger or smaller batches.
  3. Coat pork chops – Sprinkle the baking powder seasoning mix evenly over both sides of the chops. Gently press so it adheres to the meat.
  4. Let sit briefly – Let the coated chops rest for 5-10 minutes before cooking. This allows time for the baking powder to begin reacting.
  5. Cook as desired – Pan fry, bake, or grill the seasoned pork chops using your preferred method until cooked through.

The amount of baking powder can be adjusted based on personal taste and the thickness of the chops. For thinner chops, 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder per pound may be sufficient. Up to 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound can be used for very thick pork chops to maximize browning and tenderness.


For pan-frying, heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering hot, add the baking powder coated pork chops. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side until well browned and the internal temperature reaches 145°F. The baking powder will help accelerate browning and form a nice crispy crust.


To bake, arrange the seasoned chops on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake in a 425°F oven for 12-15 minutes per side until the internal temperature is 145°F. The baking powder will promote caramelization on the underside of the chops as they bake.


For grilling, apply the baking powder seasoning to the pork chops and let sit for 10 minutes prior to grilling. Grill over direct medium heat for about 4-5 minutes per side until nicely charred and cooked through, with an internal temperature of 145°F. The baking powder aids browning and prevents sticking.

Baking Powder Pork Chop Recipes

Here are a few tasty recipes showcasing the use of baking powder to make delicious pork chops:

Crispy Baked Parmesan Pork Chops

  • 1 1⁄2 lbs (about 4) bone-in pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

1. Combine baking powder, salt and pepper. Season pork chops all over with the mixture.

2. Press Parmesan cheese evenly onto chops to coat. Drizzle with olive oil.

3. Bake at 425°F for 18-22 minutes until pork reaches 145°F internally.

Rosemary Garlic Grilled Pork Chops

  • 4 bone-in pork chops, 1-inch thick
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp pepper

1. In a bowl, combine baking powder, oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.

2. Brush mixture all over pork chops. Let marinate 15 minutes.

3. Grill chops over medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Baked BBQ Pork Chops

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1⁄2 tsp chili powder

1. Mix baking powder, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and chili powder to make a marinade.

2. Marinate pork chops for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

3. Bake chops at 400°F for 12 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Tips for Perfect Pork Chops with Baking Powder

– Pat chops very dry before seasoning – excess moisture will hinder baking powder and browning.

– Use bone-in chops for more flavor and juiciness.

– Avoid very lean or thin chops – the baking powder works best with thicker, juicier chops.

– Sprinkle baking powder mix evenly over the entire surface of the chops.

– Let the coated chops sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking.

– Do not press down on chops as they cook – this can squeeze out moisture.

– Allow chops to rest for 5 minutes after cooking – this allows juices to redistribute.

– Take chops off heat before they reach final temperature – internal temp will rise 5-10 degrees during resting.

– For better browning on gas grills, add a smoker box or wood chips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my pork chops come out dry?

Chops can come out dry if they are overcooked, cooked at too high of heat, pressed down during cooking, or not allowed to rest properly after cooking. Use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking and aim for an internal temp of just 145°F. Cook over medium or medium high heat instead of high. Don’t press down on chops as they cook. And let them rest at least 5 minutes so juices can redistribute through the meat.

What is brining and does it work with baking powder?

Brining involves soaking chops in a saltwater solution before cooking. This helps retain moisture and can make the chops more tender. Baking powder and brining can work great together – apply the baking powder mixture after brining and before cooking.

Can I use baking powder when breading pork chops?

Yes, baking powder can be added as part of a breadcrumb coating mix for fried pork chops. It helps the coating brown faster and gives a lighter, crisper texture. Mix about 1 teaspoon baking powder per 1 cup of breadcrumbs or flour coating.

Do pork chops freeze well?

Raw pork chops freeze well for 3-4 months if vacuum sealed or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and foil. For best results, season chops with just salt and pepper before freezing. Apply other seasoning like baking powder right before cooking defrosted chops.


Using just a teaspoon of baking powder per pound of pork chops makes a big difference in producing tender, juicy pork with enhanced browning and crisping. The baking powder helps remove excess moisture from the surface while retaining it inside the chops. As it creates air pockets, it also tenderizes the meat and improves texture.

Sprinkle baking powder evenly over chops along with other seasoning before pan-frying, baking or grilling. Allow to sit briefly before cooking so the baking powder can begin reacting. Cook using lower heat settings to avoid overcooking. The baking powder assists with caramelization and browning without drying out the juicy interior of the chops. With this simple technique, you can enjoy restaurant-quality pork chops at home with a crispy exterior and plenty of flavorful juices inside.