Breaking the Ice: How to Cook Frozen Pork Chops

September 27, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton
Edited by John Smits 

I would advise against cooking any meat that’s frozen. The food will cook unevenly, likely resulting in some burned areas and some areas that are undercooked. But if you’re determined to cook frozen chops, you can prepare them on the stove, in the oven, or on the grill. 

Pork chops are a weeknight staple at my place. They grill beautifully and are ready in no time. I’ll cover my favorite methods for defrosting frozen chops so you can make chops that truly shine.

In this post, I will show you how to cook frozen pork chops and all the tips, tricks, and ingredients that you need to know about. Let’s begin!

How to Cook Frozen Pork Chops

Can You Cook Frozen Pork Chops?

Yes, cooking frozen pork chops – without thawing them first – is possible. But I would advise you to thaw frozen meat before cooking

There’s an old saying, “Just because you can microwave a steak doesn’t mean you should.” The same goes for cooking frozen chops.

How to Thaw Frozen Pork Chops?

If you know that you have to prepare a meal ahead of time, take the chops out of the freezer and place them in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 12 hours.

Looking for a faster way? Try the cold water method:

While still in its plastic packaging, place the chops in a bowl of cold water. I use my sink with the stopper in it. Add ice cubes every thirty minutes. This method can take anywhere from an hour to two hours.

If you are in a hurry, you can defrost meat in the microwave. However, I would warn you against this. The problem with this method of defrosting is that it can cook the exterior meat while leaving the inside rock solid.

While it is possible to cook meat without giving it time to thaw, I would always suggest defrosting it first. Defrosting meat makes it easier to cook, and there are fewer issues to worry about, such as a burned exterior or an undercooked interior.

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Is It OK to Cook Frozen Pork Chops?

The good news is that it is safe for you to cook frozen chops as long as the internal temperature reads 145°F. Again, you are likely to have some burned areas to reach this internal temp. This is because the meat will need to cook for longer.

There are a few things for you to be mindful of. First and foremost, it is important to know how to cook frozen pork chops – you can’t use any method.

For instance, it isn’t safe to use a slow cooker or crockpot when cooking frozen meat. This is because the USDA warns to keep foods at a temperature higher or lower than the danger zone. This is a range of temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.

Seasoned and Sliced Pork Chops on the Chopping Board

Between this range, bacteria are able to grow and thrive. If foods are left at these temperatures for too long, you are at increased risk of foodborne illnesses. In a slow cooker, your pork chops are cooked at a low temperature for a longer time. This isn’t a good idea with frozen pork. Some areas (the outside) will thaw quickly and sit at danger zone temperatures for too long.

The other thing that you will need to do is to achieve the proper internal temperature, which is 145°F. At this temperature, the pork chops have reached the proper level of doneness and are safe to consume.

Always use a food thermometer to check that meat is cooked all the way through.

Cook Time for Frozen Pork Chops

The cooking time will depend on the temperature at which you cook the chops. I have to warn you that there is one major downside (besides lousy pork chops) to cooking frozen chops. Frozen meat can take up to 50 percent longer to cook than thawed meat. 

The pork chops have to defrost before they can begin to cook. Frozen meat is 0°F vs. refrigerated meat, which is around 37°F. So, prepare for the process to be longer.

How Long to Cook Frozen Pork Chops on Stovetop?

It can take around 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat (350°F), perhaps a little longer, depending on the size of the pork chops. I’ve got a recipe later on in this post for stovetop chops!

How Long Do You Cook Pork Chops in the Oven from Frozen?

Bake the pork chops at around 350°F – at this temperature, the pork chops will be done in about 20 minutes.

As mentioned before, always check the internal temperature before deciding whether or not to take it out of the oven. Chops are done at 145°F.

How Long Do You Cook Frozen Pork Chops at 400°F?

At this oven temperature, you should be able to have the pork chops on the dinner table within 15 minutes.

I would caution against cooking the pork chops at such a high temperature, though, as there is a greater risk of uneven cooking.

Your Guide to Cooking Frozen Pork Chops

Here are instructions for cooking frozen pork chops:

Raw Pork Chops with Rosemary Leaves

How to Prepare Frozen Pork Chops in the Oven?

Here is a great recipe to follow when baking pork chops:

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush the frozen pork chops with mustard, milk, or beaten egg. Apply your favorite seasoning. Then, thoroughly coat with seasoned bread crumbs.

Step 2

Drizzle a little olive oil into a baking dish and place the pork chops in a single layer, not touching. You can drizzle a little bit more oil on top if you wish.

Step 3

Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 145°F.

How to Grill Frozen Pork Chops?

Here is how you can prepare them on the grill:

Step 1

Fire up the grill. For a gas grill, set the burners to medium. If you’re using a charcoal grill, set up two sides – indirect and direct heat. For a pellet grill, set the dial to 350°F.

Step 2

Season the pork with desired dried herbs or your favorite rub. Press the seasoning into the frozen surface as best as you can. The seasoning may not stick to the frozen meat – you may need to re-season each pork chop later on when they have had some time to defrost. 

Step 3

Place the chops on the grill.

Cook each side for up to 10 minutes.

Check the internal temperature before taking the chops off the grate. Again, you’re cooking the chops to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F.

How to Cook Frozen Pork Chops on the Stove?

Finally, here is how to cook your dish on the stovetop:

Step 1

Put oil or butter in a pan and place it over medium heat.

While this is heating up, season the chops. You can add anything you like. Kosher salt and pepper are classic.

Step 2

Place each chop side by side, making sure that they aren’t touching. Cook one side for about five minutes and then flip to the other side. Cook for five minutes more until the outside is nice and brown.

Then turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for up to 15 minutes more.

Check the internal temperature (145°F) and then take off the heat.

Juiciest Grilled Pork Chops


Well, there you have it – a guide to cooking pork chops without having to defrost them first. Again, I’d recommend defrosting chops (or any meat) before cooking. They’ll taste better. They’ll cook more evenly. If you use the cold water method, it’ll only take an hour or two. Use the microwave if you’re really in a hurry.

I hope you’ve learned everything you needed to in this post. Happy cooking!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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