The BEST Crock Pot Pork Chops – GypsyPlate
Finally, pork chops that are super tender and juicy. Yes, you read that right, pork chops! The one who can be so stubborn, getting dry if you’re not giving him your full attention. Not this time. And we’re going to show you two easy methods: low and slow in your clay pot or fast in your instant pot. This has the sweet and spicy atmosphere of the island with every bite. It’s topped with a sauce that’s created with some unsuspecting culprits you’d never think of putting together. This is a comfort meal that will add to your rotation for its simplicity and stress-free cooking.
How many of you feel like saying “Alexa, make me a delicious meal tonight”? It could be you… A mother like me, tired of running after her young son… A single bachelor working 14 hours a day… or a retired person who has finished with the kitchen. Well, guys, Alexa still isn’t able to cook for us. But you probably already have something in your kitchen that can do great things for you, your own clay pot or instant pot. We all deserve easy nights like this. Give it just 10 minutes of your precious time, then do anything else you feel like doing today.
This recipe is called Islander Pork, and it comes from a Crock Pot cookbook my mother-in-law received about 30 years ago. It remains a family favorite. But sometimes I get so caught up in other things, that by the time I get started, it’s too late for the slow cooker. That’s why I’ve also adapted it for the instant pot!
What kind of pork chops
Most often pork chops tend to dry out, as they are quite lean. But there are ways to make them tender and juicy, if you buy the right kind. I always say choose your pork chops wisely. The most delicious and tender results come from thicker, bone-in chops with good marbling throughout the meat. Look for shoulder or blade chops with more fat. If you put a little lean meat, I’m afraid in the end it will not give you tender fork chops. You can use thick boneless chops in a pinch.
So a mantra for cooking pork chops in a clay pot or instant pot: the more marbled and fatty the pork = more tender pork in the mouth.
This is all you need tonight
- Pork chops – Remember, thick chops with bone are best. We use the same recipe on Boston roasts or paleta, ideal for some shredded pork tacos or burritos.
- Ketchup – Yes, tomato ketchup adds great flavor to the sauce.
- Orange juice – A little citrus flavor.
- Honey – There’s your sweetness.
- Soy sauce – How can we miss some umami flavor here?
- Lemon juice – Lots of flavor profile in this.
- Spices – Paprika and whole cloves.
- Kitchen bouquet – Optional, but enhances the flavor.
- Salt – To taste.
Slow cooking method
First, some tips:
- Cook them slowly and low, which helps the fat melt in the meat, creating a juicy and tender texture. Do not overcook them, they can dry out.
- All slow cookers cook differently, so the first time you try this recipe, keep an eye on your meat towards the end and then adapt to that cooking time from now on. Use the cooking time here as a general guide.
- You can add an extra layer of flavor by first sealing each side of the chops in a pan. I usually skip this step as I like it simple and don’t want extra dishes. Believe me, it’s great either way!
Make a sauce by combining all the ingredients except the pork. Lightly cover the clay pot with oil. Place the pork chops on the bottom. Pour the sauce all over the chops.
Cover and cook for 5-6 hours over low heat. We recommend low heat for this one, but in a hurry you can cook over high heat for 2-3 hours. Again, they can dry out, so keep an eye on them.
Very soon you will be greeted with some amazing scents in your home.
Didn’t I tell you it’s easy? However, those chops are flavor bombs covered in different sweet, sour, spicy, and umami flavors.
This method is just as simple. Mix the sauce, this time adding 1/4 cup of additional water. Lightly grease the instant pot, add the pork chops and top with sauce. Set the manual time in HIGH to 10 minutes and press go. It will take about 30 minutes in total, since the instant pot should be pressurized for about 10 minutes, then after cooking you need to let it depressurize naturally for 10 minutes.
Optionally, you can first seal each side of the pork chop in sautéed mode for 2-3 minutes per side. This adds a little extra flavor, but I usually keep it simple and skip this step. It’s still great!
What to serve these island pork chops with?
- Keep the theme simple by simply serving along with some brown rice and some vegetables like green beans or asparagus. Other vegetables I can see doing well are caramelized baby carrots, sautéed mushrooms or peas.
- You can serve them over a large bowl of your favorite mashed potatoes, such as our mashed potatoes with goat cheese or mashed sweet potato.
- They go great on a bed of egg noodles.
- If you’re making the recipe with some other cut of pork like butt or popsicle, shred the meat and take it into tacos, burritos and burrito bowls. It is also ideal for shredded pork sliders or sandwiches.
Can I exchange some things? (Variations)
Of course you can. The idea is simply to cook an easy meal with whatever you find that day. You can experiment with some garlic powder or onion powder. Add some other dried herbs like parsley, thyme, oregano and basil, or even rosemary… all or one at a time.
You can even try some other meat together and keep the same island sauce. Try bone in chicken feet or thighs. Some short ribs cooked in the same sauce would also be amazing.
How to store leftovers
This is a great meal preparation option, as these chops refrigerate well. Simply store them in an airtight container for up to three days and reheat them in a pan on the stove or microwave when they are ready to eat. If you reheat on the stove, you may want to add some water to the sauce if it has thickened. You can also freeze them. Again, store in an airtight container. We like to use frozen island pork within two months to get the best quality. Just stick them in the fridge to thaw the day before eating, then heat them again for another great meal.
I’m glad you found this super simple pork chop recipe that you’re sure to love. Get that clay pot (or instant pot) cooking for you! You deserve a break my friend! Have a great relaxing evening…
Clay pot pork chops, also known as island pork, on my gypsy plate… enjoy!
Try some of our other easy but tasty foods! Grillades & GritsCreamy Lemon ChickenBake Italian SausageWelsh RarebitTomato Soup with Grilled CheeseShrimp & SemolinaGreek White Bean SoupZuppa Tuscany