Fork-tender and juicy, these Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Vegetables are one of the best no-fuss meals! Cooked right in your crock pot, these easy chops are perfectly smothered in a delicious mushroom and onion gravy.
Well, here we are. August has arrived, and I’m ready for fall!
Of course, it’s still sub-100˚ outside and humid as all get out, but that’s pretty typical of me.
As a Florida native but Buffalonian at heart, I have always been at odds with the place I call home. While my friends frolic on the beach, I’d much rather be in a sweater staring at mountain views.
Thankfully, hot-blooded Abe hates heat and won’t keep the house anywhere above 69˚ in the summer. Meaning dinners like these crock pot pork chops never feel unseasonable!
Unfortunately, Abe doesn’t love pork chops. He LOVES pork…but more in the roast/pernil/carnitas kinda way.
Just like with beef and chicken, he prefers the fattier, more flavorful dark meat over the “white meat.”
So why make pork chops in the slow cooker?
Pork chops suffer from what I call “chicken breast-itis”.
People love them, but often don’t know how to cook them properly without turning them into tough, chewy, dry hockey pucks.
Cooking them in the slow cooker – the right way – keeps them from drying out (since they’re brined and cooked in gravy), meaning they’re always perfect!
And because I can get away with making Abe happy with those fattier chops instead of a roast, and for even less money.
Plus, pork chops are comfort food, which is exactly what you want during slow cooker recipes season! Nana made them rarely, but when she did, they were always smothered in onion gravy and paired with roasted root veggies – and often over mashed potatoes – which is definitely an option if you prefer them over slow cooked potatoes!
- Thick-cut pork chops – see my FAQ below for the best cut!
- Water & salt – we’ll be brining these pork chops
- Black pepper
- Olive oil – or whichever cooking oil you prefer
- Dry white white – or cooking sherry or additional broth
- Garlic – fresh or pre-minced
- Chicken broth – or beef broth, or even homemade broth made using pork bullion
- Mushroom gravy mix – usually sold in packets at the grocery store, on the canned vegetable aisle
- Italian seasoning
- Worcestershire sauce
- Ground sage
- Baby potatoes
- Baby portobello mushrooms – aka cremini mushrooms; these are optional, but they really amp up the gravy
- Yellow onion
- Cornstarch – to thicken the gravy
What are the best cuts of pork chops for the slow cooker?
Those tough Blade or Sirloin pork chops are the best cuts for crock pot cooking.
Most pork chops found at the grocery store are cut from the loin, a more tender area. They are much leaner than the blade and sirloin chops that come from the shoulder and hip region.
The low-and-slow nature of slow cooking is perfect for breaking down those tough connective tissues, making them just as tender as the pricier loin chops
Also, choose a bone-in cut of pork chop. The bones release a TON of flavor, and also help the meat retain a lot of tenderness. Besides, when everything is cooked, the meat practically falls off of it – so no need for a knife!
Can you make this recipe using boneless pork chops?
Yep! Although I highly recommend bone-in, this recipe can definitely be made with boneless loin pork chops.
BUT ONLY if you’re planning to brine them beforehand.
How to tenderize pork chops
Using a brine is, in my opinion, the very best way to guarantee juicy, tender pork chops is to brine them!
Brines work by breaking down muscle tissue in the meat, which then helps the meat draw in moisture.
A basic brine solution is 1/4 cup of salt + 4 cups of warm water (that amount will cover 4 good sized pork chops).
Stir it up until the salt dissolves, then allow it to cool before pouring it over your meat in a shallow dish or bowl. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours. Keep in mind that the longer they sit in the brine, the saltier they will be, so adjust your seasonings accordingly.
How to make Slow Cooker Pork Chops
This easy recipe only takes a few steps of prep before it’s hands-off!
- After removing the pork chops from the brine, dry them well with paper towels and season them with pepper. Throw them in a hot, oiled pan and sear them on both sides for 2-3 minutes, just until they’re nice and golden brown.
- Remove the chops from the pan, deglaze it with some white wine (or broth or cooking sherry), and sauté a bit of garlic for 30-60 seconds. This is the base for your gravy.
- Stir in broth, a packet of mushroom gravy mix, a splash of Worcestershire sauce, and some Italian seasoning and sage. Season it with salt and pepper, then pull it off the heat.
- Next, layer the bottom of your slow cooker crock with the root veggies – onions, baby potatoes, and carrots. Add about 1/4 pound of halved baby bella mushrooms if you’d like, then place pork chops on top. Scatter some more mushrooms, then top everything with the warm gravy.
- Seal up the cooker and set it for about 4 hours on LOW HEAT. Thicken the gravy with a cornstarch slurry at the end of the cooking time if you’d like.
- Not all slow cookers are created equal. Your ideal cooking time may vary, anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Check to make sure the internal temperature of the pork chops is 145˚ F.
- No matter how long it takes, don’t be tempted to cook the chops on HIGH. You always want to cook pork chops on low, otherwise you risk cooking them too quickly which will make them tough and chewy, guaranteed. You want them fork-tender, almost falling apart.
- Many slow cooker pork chop recipes call for canned condensed soup mix. This is not one of them. I like to use packets of gravy mix + broth for the base of my sauces and gravies, and prefer not to mess with canned soups.
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Slow Cooker Pork Chops & Vegetables
- 6 cups warm water
- ⅓ cup kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 6 bone-in pork chops thick cut
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup dry white white or cooking sherry, or additional broth
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1 package mushroom gravy mix
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes halved
- 2 large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound baby portobella mushrooms halved
- 1 yellow onion thickly sliced
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- In a large mixing bowl, stir water and salt together until salt dissolves. Allow to cool to room temperature, then place pork chops in brine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Remove chops from brine and rinse them under cool running water, then dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Sear pork chops on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, then add wine (or liquid of choice) and deglaze pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Add garlic and brown for 30-45 seconds until fragrant. Stir in broth, gravy mix, remaining oil, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, sage, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat.
- Layer potatoes, carrots, onions, and half the mushrooms on the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer pork chops on vegetables and scatter remaining mushrooms on top of chops. Pour the gravy mixture over everything.
- Seal the lid and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Transfer pork chops and vegetables to a serving platter.
- To thicken the gravy: In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water and whisk well, then add to the crock. Cook on high for 5-10 minutes with the lid off until gravy has thickened to your liking.