The primary benefit of cooking pork chops in a Crock-Pot or slow cooker is convenience. Most slow-cooker preparations are one-pot meals — dishes that contain a protein, a vegetable and starch – in which all the components cook simultaneously over a period of several hours. Just as simple, and equally convenient, is the method used to bake pork chops. Since pork chops are relatively lean, and quickly toughen when exposed to dry heat, the incorporation of a brine – which tenderizes while imparting flavor – and a small amount of cooking liquid helps to break down the connective tissue that makes lean meat chewy and prevents drying.
Things You'll Need
Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season them to taste. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to a saute pan and place over high heat.
Sear the pork chops on both sides until golden brown, approximately 2-1/2 minutes total, and set aside. Add 2 cups of mirepoix – a standard combination of aromatic ingredients that consists of 50 percent diced onions, 25 percent diced carrots and 25 percent diced celery. Cook the mirepoix until caramelized, approximately four minutes.
Transfer the mirepoix to the Crock-Pot and arrange it in an even layer. Add 2 cups of cooking liquid and aromatic spices to the Crock-Pot. Cooking liquids ideal for cooking pork include chicken stock, water and apple cider. Aromatic spices that complement the bold flavor of pork include berries, such as black peppercorns and allspice, and whole sprigs of fresh herbs, such as thyme and rosemary. Place the pork chops on the vegetables, cover and turn the heat on low.
Cook the pork chops over low heat until fork tender, approximately six hours. They should have a minimum internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit when finished.
Mix together a standard meat brine in a food-storage container and submerge the pork chops in it. Brines must contain 1 tbsp. of salt for every cup of water to prompt the cells to swell with moisture – the beneficial effect of brining pork. Place the pork in the refrigerator for four hours.
Rinse the brine from the pork chops and pat dry. Coat the pork chops with olive oil and season to taste.
Bake the pork at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until they reach a minimum internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
References and ResourcesRecipe Tips: Slow Cooker Quick and Easy Pork Chops Recipe
Recipe Tips: Pork -- Chops