Iowa Hot Pork Chops


Do your taste buds a favor and make these pork chops.

But venture forth with caution: they are spicy!


Not so spicy that you’ll burn your mouth and feel a fire raging in your stomach, but it’s definitely got a certain, shall we say, kick to it… it’s a slow burn, but it’s one that I would submit my taste buds to night after night after night after… okay, you probably get it. It’s so darn delicious! PLUS it’s breaded and fried, which is two of the three requirements of a traditional Iowan dish: Pork, Fat, and a Dipping Sauce (in this case the sauce just goes right on top the chop- but dip it in the extra by all means!)


I hate spicy foods where all you get is spice and no flavor. I mean, “Carolina Reaper Ghost Sauce” definitely sounds intriguing and I’m most likely always going to try it whenever I come across it, but more often than not I feel that we get way in over our heads with peppers. We end up with an exploding ball of capsaicin in our stomach but our poor taste buds had no fun at the party… there’s virtually no flavor when you have too many spices competing against each other and to me, that’s not a great culinary experience.


Thankfully, these fried pork chops are a gorgeous combination of “pretty spicy!” and “super yummy!”


The color of this “Iowa Hot Sauce” alone, just tells you the sauce is bursting with flavor. There is quite a bit of cayenne powder in the sauce, so don’t be alarmed by the amount in the recipe- it gives the sauce it’s gorgeous red-hue and is what gives you that delectable slow burn. The cayenne is offset by the amount of fat in the sauce, which helps to tone down the spiciness a bit while maintaining the deliciousness that is bacon fat, brown sugar, and pickle juice…. yeah, if you’re looking for a “healthy” recipe, this probably isn’t it! Whoops!


Here’s a quick photo of what our pork chop looked like approximately 2.5 seconds after we finished taking photos of it…. we were supposed to bring them to my parents house for dinner but we couldn’t help ourselves…we totally polished one off before we went over! Also whoops!



What you will need for the dredge (breading):

  • Pork Chops (we bought butterflied)
  • Flour
  • Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cayenne Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Mustard
  • Onion Powder
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot Sauce of your choice

What you will need for the Iowa Hot Sauce

  • Canola oil
  • Bacon Fat
  • Cayenne Powder
  • Brown Sugar
  • Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pickle Juice


Iowa Hot Pork Chops

Flavorful and spicy, these cayenne-spiced, breaded pork chops are the upgrade you need to your week-night dinner!
Course Main Course
Servings 4 Chops


Dredge (Breading)

  • 4 Butterflied Pork Chops
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Buttermilk Enough to dip your chops
  • Hot Sauce of your choice A few dashes to add to the buttermilk

Iowa Hot Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup Bacon Fat
  • 1/2 cup Cayenne Powder
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Pickle Juice


Dredge (Breading)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • To create your dredge for the pork chops, place your flour, black pepper, salt, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, mustard, and onion powder in a large bowl and whisk together to combine. In a separate large bowl add enough buttermilk to coat your pork chops and add in a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (we just used a cayenne based one to reinforce the cayenne in the Iowa Hot Sauce)
  • Tenderize your butterfly chops using a meat tenderizer (you can use regular pork chops, but make sure they aren't too thick) If you don't have a tenderizer, a fork will work just fine.
  • To bread your chops, dip first into the flour mixture making sure to completely coat the entire piece of pork, then dip into the buttermilk completely soaking it. Dip the chop back into the flour mixture, once again making sure to completely coat it, then set aside. Repeat for each chop.
  • In a large deep-set skillet or frying pan, heat about a 1/2 inch of canola oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit using a candy/fry thermometer as your gauge. Once heated, place one pork chop at a time (or two if you have small enough chops, just make sure not to overcrowd the pan, or your oil's temp will significantly decrease) and fry for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown delicious. Transfer to a drying rack or to a plate covered in paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  • Once all your chops are fried, place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. A meat thermometer will be handy here.

Iowa Hot Sauce

  • Melt your bacon fat if not already melted.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, add all your ingredients and heat until combined. Once your pork chops are finished, be sure to stir then pour the sauce over each chop, serve with some cornbread and DON'T forget the pickles... enjoy!


  • This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so you'll have quite a bit left over. Save in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Keyword Heat, Hot, Pork Chops, Spicy


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