Do you have strong feelings about pork chops? For the longest time, I viewed them with skepticism bordering on contempt, a sentiment I blame on the rubbery, dry pork chops of my youth. Here to restore pork chops to a level of culinary favor: moist Crock Pot Pork Chops.
Forget the hockey puck pork chops you’ve suffered in the past.
Today, we’re talking about how to make crock pot pork chops.
We’ve all been there: dry pork chops are a meal we’ve all suffered through at least once.
It’s not easy to feign enjoyment when your chops require that you grind your knife across the tough, lackluster meat to score a bite.
This slow cooker pork chop recipe changes everything—they’re fork tender and will have everyone at your table polishing their plate (as will these Smothered Pork Chops).
5 Star Review
“This was amazing! Pork chops were moist, and the bbq sauce added great taste…..even as a gravy for mashed potatoes. Easy. I’ll be making this a lot!”— Cindy —
The BEST Pork Chops for Slow Cookers
Part of the reason pork chops often turn out dry and tough is that they are a leaner cut and thus easily prone to overcooking.
Unlike fattier cuts of beef or pork (as used for Crockpot Ribs), you can’t leave pork chops to cook all day.
To cook them low and slow, choosing the right type of pork chops for the job is imperative.
Avoid Thin, Boneless Pork Chops
- I made this mistake the first time I cooked this recipe. I grabbed thin-cut boneless chops thinking I could just cook them for less time and they’d be fine, right? WRONG.
- By the time thin-cut pork chops are finished cooking in the crock pot, they will be dry, no matter how diligently you check them. The low-and-slow cooking method of the slow cooker demands thick-cut pork chops.
- If you’d like to use thin-cut boneless pork chops, you are better off cooking them on the stovetop and topping them with BBQ sauce at the end.
Best Option: Thick-cut, Bone-In Pork Chops
- Low-and-slow cooking works best with marbled cuts of meat, like bone-in pork chops.
- Look for chops 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch thick chops with a good amount of marbling and fat for maximum tenderness.
- To make this a healthy crock pot pork chops recipe, you may trim away some of the fat without sacrificing moisture. The bone will help insulate the meat and keep the slow cooker BBQ pork chops moist.
Back-up Option: Thick-Cut Boneless Pork Chops
- If your store doesn’t carry thick, bone-in pork chops, you can prepare boneless pork chops in a slow cooker. Just make sure you select THICK boneless chops to ensure they do not dry out.
- Be aware that thick-cut boneless chops still cook quickly—mine were done when I hit the 2-hour mark on LOW. If your slow cooker runs hot, check even earlier.
How to Make Crock Pot Pork Chops
For an easy crock pot pork chops recipe (without cream of mushroom soup) that’s fork-tender, look no further.
Here’s everything I know to prepare the best slow cooker pork chops you’ll ever try!
More Crock Pot Favorites
If you love the convenience of the slow cooker as much as we do, don’t miss my list of the Best Crock Pot Recipes, which includes more slow cooker pork recipes.
- Pork Chops. If you’re looking for another lean, healthy, and flavorful protein to serve, look no further than pork chops. As mentioned before, THICK pork chops are key to making the best-ever crock pot pork chops.
- Onions. I loved making these crock pot pork chops with onions. The onions melt into the sauce and give the tender pork chops extra flavor (like my favorite Baked Chicken Thighs).
- Barbecue Sauce. Since this recipe has so few ingredients (like Crockpot BBQ Chicken), every one of them matters, especially the BBQ sauce. Choose your favorite store bought sauce to keep this meal easy and breezy (no one will ever complain about crock pot pork chop Sweet Baby Ray’s style) or go all out with my my favorite Homemade Barbecue Sauce, which is ready in 15 minutes and worth the effort.
- Garlic Powder + Onion Powder. Easy ways to season these tender chops.
- Cornstarch. Thickens up the sauce before serving your tender, moist crock pot pork chops.
- Green Onions. An optional garnish that adds a final flourish of color and zip to the finished dish.
- Season the pork chops on all sides.
- Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased crockpot and top with the onions.
- Add the pork chops.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the chops, then cover and cook until tender and juicy.
Pork Chop Cooking Times
Your cooking time will vary based on your specific slow cooker, the thickness and fat content of your pork chops, and whether you are using bone-in or boneless chops.
- Bone-In Pork Chops: Cook on LOW for 5 or 6 hours.
- Boneless Pork Chops: Cook on LOW LOW for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.
For your first batch, I recommend doing it on a day when you are home and can check on the chops more frequently.
Consider these instructions a starting point and not concrete law.
- Let the pork rest.
- Add a slurry of cornstarch and water to the slow cooker with the remaining sauce. Whisk, cover, and set to HIGH. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
To thicken the sauce faster, pour the bbq mixture into a medium saucepan or large skillet and thicken it on the stovetop.
- Whisk in the slurry, then cook on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often until the sauce thickens.
- Serve the chops topped with the thickened sauce and a sprinkle of green onion. ENJOY!
When are Pork Chops Fully Cooked?
- The USDA says that pork chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Because the temperature of meat rises as it rest, I recommend removing pork chops from the slow cooker when they reach 140 degrees F; cover them with foil, and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- The carryover cooking finishes the job, and you will have much juicier results (I use this same tip with my Stuffed Pork Tenderloin and Crockpot Pork Roast).
- An instant-read thermometer is a serious help when cooking any kind of meat or seafood. It’s the best way to know when your food is ready and safe to serve.
- To Store. Crockpot pork chops may be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Very, very gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze pork chops in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serve leftover crock pot pork chops on buns for a tasty barbecue pork sandwich or over a bed of greens for a BBQ pork salad.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Programmable Slow Cooker. My all-time favorite slow cooker with a programmable timer.
- Chef’s Knife. For slicing onions evenly and thinly.
- Cutting Board. This extra-large cutting board is perfect for all your kitchen prep needs.
I’m excited that thanks to these crock pot pork chops, we have one more recipe we can put back on our “YES” list!
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Do not put frozen meat of any kind in a slow cooker. Since crock pots cook low and slow, frozen meat will take longer to cook than meat that is fully thawed. This fact is less about timing than it is about food safety. Frozen meat in a slow cooker may linger at an unsafe food temperature for too long during cooking allowing harmful bacteria to possibly grow. Always thaw your meat completely before adding it to a slow cooker.
I’ve never tried making this pork chop recipe in the oven, so it would be a complete experiment. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes! (If you’re looking for a great oven pork recipe, try this Baked Pork Tenderloin.)
No. I do not recommend cooking pork chops on HIGH in a slow cooker. For tender, juicy chops, cooking on LOW is truly the best method.
No matter what, pork chops made in the slow cooker, while still fork tender, will be a little chewy. It’s because unlike Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, which is made with a fattier cut of meat (usually pork shoulder), pork chops are lean.
My honest advice: adjust your expectations. As long as you don’t overcook them, these crock pot BBQ pork chops are deliciously tender, easy to cut, and a great option for an easy, filling meal.
Crock Pot Pork Chops
- 2 pounds THICK-CUT (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops or bone-in pork chops* about 4 pork chops (do not use thin-cut boneless chops—just don't)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups barbecue sauce (try my recipe for homemade bbq sauce)
- 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water to make a slurry
- Chopped green onion optional for serving
- In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle on both sides of the pork chops.
- Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce over the bottom, then scatter the onions over the sauce.
- Add the pork chops, overlapping somewhat as needed.
- Spoon the remaining sauce over the chops so that each has a nice amount on top. Cover and cook on LOW (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours for boneless chops and 5 to 6 hours on LOW for bone-in chops).**
- Remove the pork to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm while you thicken the sauce.
- Add the slurry to the slow cooker with the remaining sauce.*** Whisk to combine, cover the slow cooker, and set to high. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending upon your slow cooker.
- Serve the pork chops hot, topped with the thickened sauce and a sprinkle of green onion.
- *INGREDIENT NOTE: Please, please DO NOT use ultra-lean, thin-cut boneless pork chops in this recipe. Even if you check early, the meat will still be dry by the time it reaches a safe internal temperature. Learn from my mistakes and buy thick-cut!
- **COOKING TIP: Your cooking time will vary based on your specific slow cooker, the thickness and fat content of your pork chops, and whether you are using bone-in or boneless chops. For your first batch, I recommend doing it on a day when you are home and can check on the chops more frequently. My thick (1 1/2-inch) boneless chops cooked in just under 2 hours. When in doubt, check the meat early to ensure it stays nice and tender.
- ***THICKEN SAUCE ON STOVETOP: Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan. Whisk in the slurry, and then cook on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often until the sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. (If your slow cooker insert is stovetop safe, you can remove it from the slow cooker and place it directly on the burner. Do not do this unless you are POSITIVE your insert is stovetop safe or it may crack).
- TO STORE: Refrigerate pork chops in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Very, very gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze pork chops in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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