For baked pork chops, organize 4 center-cut pork chops, each about 1 inch thick, and add salt, pepper and olive oil. Sear the pork chops in an oven-safe skillet, then transfer them to an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until meat's internal temperature registers 140 to 145 degrees.
For additional tenderness, consider brining the pork before cooking. Boil 1 cup of water with 3 tablespoons of salt, 3 crushed garlic cloves, a bay leaf and a few peppercorns. Allow the meat to sit refrigerated in the brine for up to four hours. When preheating the oven, allow the skillet to warm up inside as well, then remove it with oven mitts. Add salt and pepper to the chops, and place them in the heated skillet, searing over medium-high heat. Be sure to wear the mitts the entire time.
For the best sear, pat the meat dry before cooking and seasoning it generously. Once the bottom side of the chops is seared golden brown, flip them over with tongs, and place the skillet in the oven. Baking time is approximately six to 10 minutes, but this varies depending on the oven and the chops' thickness. Test the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, rechecking every minute after the initial six minutes elapse. Rest the chops beneath loosely tented aluminum foil for at least five minutes after cooking to reabsorb natural juices.