What’s the easiest way to make pork chops so tender you won’t need a knife? In the slow cooker! These pork chops are smothered in homemade caramelized onion and apple cider gravy and slow-cooked in the crock pot until the meat falls off the bone.
Sure, you can cook pork chops quickly on the stove or in the oven, but for fork-tender pork chops we love cooking them low and slow. The slow cooker is also the best way to cook pork chops if you’re feeding a crowd, since you don’t have to mess with trying to cram a bunch of pork chops into one pan.
We know — you’re watching this video thinking, “Hold on, I thought this was a slow cooker recipe — what’s that pan doing in there?” Allow us to explain. Crock pots are unbeatable when it comes to maximum tenderness with minimal effort, but the one thing that your slow cooker can’t do is give you a nice sear. Which why you should quickly brown the pork chops and onions in a pan before you throw them in the crock pot — and we mean quickly. Seriously, the prep for this recipe takes 15 minutes at most.
At the grocery store, look for bone-in pork chops for this recipe; boneless pork chops often end up tough and chewy in the crock pot, since the bone helps to prevent the meat from overcooking and drying out. The best part of this recipe just might be the mouthwatering pan sauce that you make right in the slow cooker. The pork chops simmer with the caramelized onions, apple cider, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until they’re incredibly juicy and seasoned with amazing flavor.
We’re all about the way that slow cooker recipes give you the freedom to take care of the prep on your own time — then all you have to do at the end of the day is sit down to a perfectly cooked meal. (It’s kinda like someone cooked dinner for you.) Shred up any leftover slow cooker pork chops for tasty sandwiches, soups, tacos, or salads.
Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- 4 bone-in pork chops (¾ – 1-inch thick, around ½ pound each)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Brown sugar, to taste (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 large onion, sliced (about 2½ – 3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary (or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary)
- 1 cup chicken broth or stock
- ¼ cup apple cider (no added sugar)
- 3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons water
- Season the pork chops with salt, black pepper, and brown sugar (if using) to taste. Either cook immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight. (Seasoning the night before will give your pork chops a deeper flavor, but isn’t necessary.)
- Heat 1½ tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides until they’re golden brown, approximately 3 – 5 minutes per side. Add the seared chops to the slow cooker. (It’s OK to overlap the pork chops slightly, but don’t stack them on top of each other).
- Add the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter to the sauté pan, followed by the sliced onions. Cook the onions until they begin to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the herbs and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, apple cider, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to deglaze the pan. Stir everything to combine, and make sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the cooking liquid and onions over the pork chops.
- Cook for 4 – 5 hours on low or for 2 – 3 hours on high.
- Remove the cooked pork chops from the slow cooker and set them aside on a plate. Whisk the cornstarch and water mixture into the cooking liquid. Return the pork chops to the slow cooker and cook on high until the sauce is thickened and the pork chops are fork-tender, about 30 – 60 minutes. (If the sauce doesn’t thicken enough, use additional cornstarch slurry, but keep in mind that the sauce will thicken more as it cools.) Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, veggies, or your favorite sides.