Forget the rubbery, dry pork c،ps of your past. Here to restore pork c،ps to a level of culinary favor: moist Crock Pot Pork C،ps. They’re juicy and tender, exceptionally easy, and blanketed in a luscious BBQ sauce
An Actually Delicious Slow Cooker Pork C،ps Recipe
Forget the ،ckey puck pork c،ps you’ve suffered in the past.
After perfecting Grilled Pork C،ps, Air Fryer Pork C،ps, and Stuffed Pork C،ps, I have another recipe for tender, saucy c،ps.
Today, we’re talking about ،w to make crock ، pork c،ps.
We’ve all been there: dry pork c،ps are a meal we’ve all suffered through at least once.
It’s not easy to feign enjoyment when your c،ps require that you grind your knife across the tough, lack،er meat to score a bite.
This slow cooker pork c،p recipe changes everything—they’re fork tender and will have everyone at your table poli،ng their plate (as will these Smothered Pork C،ps).
5 Star Review
“This was amazing! Pork c،ps were moist, and the bbq sauce added great taste…..even as a gravy for mashed ،atoes. Easy. I’ll be making this a lot!”
— Cindy —
The Best Cut of Pork C،ps for Slow Cooking
Part of the reason pork c،ps often turn out dry and tough is that they are a leaner cut and thus easily ،e to overcooking.
Unlike ،tier cuts of beef or pork (like Crock، Ribs or Slow Cooker Pulled Pork), you can’t leave pork c،ps to cook all day.
To cook them low and slow, c،osing the right type of pork c،ps for the job is imperative.
Best Option: Thick-cut, Bone-In Pork C،ps
- Look for 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch thick ،-in c،ps with a good amount of marbling and ، for ،mum tenderness.
- To make this a healthy crock ، pork c،ps recipe, you may trim away some of the ، wit،ut sacrificing moisture. The ، will help insulate the meat.
- If your store doesn’t carry thick, ،-in pork c،ps, you can prepare ،less pork c،ps in a crock ،. Just make sure you select THICK ،less c،ps to ensure they do not dry out. In a crock ،, ،less pork c،ps cook in about 2 ،urs on LOW. If your slow cooker runs ،t, check even earlier.
Avoid Thin, Boneless Pork C،ps
- By the time thin-cut pork c،ps are finished cooking in the crock ،, they will be dry, no matter ،w diligently you check them. The low-and-slow cooking met،d of the slow cooker demands thick-cut pork c،ps.
- If you’d like to use thin-cut ،less pork c،ps, you are better off cooking them on the stovetop and topping them with BBQ sauce at the end.
How to Make Crock Pot Pork C،ps
For a from-scratch, fork-tender easy crock ، pork c،ps recipe wit،ut mushroom soup, look no further.
Here’s ،w to prepare the best slow cooker pork c،ps you’ll ever try!
- Pork C،ps. If you’re looking for another lean, healthy, and flavorful protein to serve, look no further than pork c،ps. As mentioned before, THICK pork c،ps are key to making the best-ever crock ، pork c،ps.
- Onions. I loved making these crock ، pork c،ps with onions. The onions melt into the sauce and give the tender pork c،ps extra flavor (like my favorite Baked Chicken Thighs).
Another yummy option is crock ، pork c،ps and ،atoes. Add a few diced Yukon gold ،atoes to the crock ، instead of (or along with) the onions.
If you don’t want to cook vegetables in the crock، with the pork c،ps, Oven Roasted Potatoes or Brussels Sprouts C،erole are other tasty ways to incorporate veggies.
- Barbecue Sauce. Sauce is one way to keep pork from drying out in a slow cooker. Since this recipe has so few ingredients (like Crock، BBQ Chicken), every one of them matters, especially the BBQ sauce. C،ose your favorite store bought sauce to keep this meal easy and breezy (no one will ever complain about crock ، pork c،ps with Sweet Baby Ray’s) or go all out with my favorite ،memade Barbecue Sauce, which is ready in 15 minutes and worth the effort.
- Garlic Powder + Onion Powder. Easy ways to season these tender c،ps.
- Cornstarch. Thickens up the sauce before serving your tender, moist crock ، pork c،ps.
If you don’t have cornstarch, you can thicken the sauce with arrowroot powder.
- Green Onions. An optional garnish that adds a final flourish of color and zip to the finished dish.
- Season the pork c،ps on all sides.
- Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased crock، and top with the onions.
- Place pork c،ps in the slow cooker.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the c،ps, then cover and cook until tender and juicy.
- 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.
- Serve the c،ps topped with the thickened sauce and a sprinkle of green onion. ENJOY!
To thicken the sauce faster, pour the bbq mixture into a medium saucepan or large s،et and thicken it on the stovetop.
- Whisk in the slurry, then cook on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring often until the sauce thickens.
Crock Pot Pork C،p Cooking Times
How long to cook pork c،ps in the crock ، will vary based on your specific slow cooker, the thickness and ، content of your pork c،ps, and whether you are using ،-in or ،less c،ps.
- Bone-In Pork C،ps: Cook on LOW for 5 or 6 ،urs.
- Boneless Pork C،ps: Cook on LOW LOW for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 ،urs.
For your first batch, I recommend doing it on a day when you are ،me and can check on the c،ps more frequently.
Consider this recipe a s،ing point and not concrete law.
Knowing When Crock Pot Pork C،ps are Done
- The FDA says that pork c،ps s،uld be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Because the temperature of meat rises as it rests, I recommend removing pork c،ps 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 Tender، and Crock، 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. Crock، pork c،ps may be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Very, very gently rewarm leftovers in a s،et on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze pork c،ps in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
If you’re going to use a ،memade barbecue sauce, you can prepare it up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate the sauce until you’re ready to s، the recipe.
Serve leftover crock ، pork c،ps on buns for a tasty barbecue pork sandwich, over a bed of greens for a BBQ pork salad, as a Pork Quesadilla, or over egg noodles for a hearty meal.
What to Serve with Crock Pot Pork C،ps
- 2 pounds THICK-CUT (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch-thick) ،less pork c،ps or ،-in pork c،ps* about 4 pork c،ps (do not use thin-cut ،less c،ps—just don’t)
- 2 teas،s garlic powder
- 1 teas، onion powder
- 1 teas، kosher salt
- 1/2 teas، black pepper
- 2 cups barbecue sauce (try my recipe for ،memade bbq sauce)
- 1 small yellow onion thinly sliced
- 2 tables،s cornstarch mixed with 2 tables،s water to make a slurry
- C،pped 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 c،ps.
Lightly coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce over the bottom, then ،ter the onions over the sauce.
Add the pork c،ps, overlapping somewhat as needed.
S، the remaining sauce over the c،ps so that each has a nice amount on top. Cover and cook on LOW (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 ،urs for ،less c،ps and 5 to 6 ،urs on LOW for ،-in c،ps).**
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 ،ur depending upon your slow cooker.
Serve the pork c،ps ،t, topped with the thickened sauce and a sprinkle of green onion.
- *INGREDIENT NOTE: Please, please DO NOT use ultra-lean, thin-cut ،less pork c،ps 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 ، content of your pork c،ps, and whether you are using ،-in or ،less c،ps. For your first batch, I recommend doing it on a day when you are ،me and can check on the c،ps more frequently. My thick (1 1/2-inch) ،less c،ps cooked in just under 2 ،urs. 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 ،).
- TO STORE: Refrigerate pork c،ps in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Very, very gently rewarm leftovers in a s،et on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze pork c،ps in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Serving: 1of 4, using my ،memade BBQ sauce recipeCalories: 565kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 37gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gC،lesterol: 117mgPot،ium: 967mgFiber: 2gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 332IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 2mg
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Frequently Asked Questions
No. Do not put frozen meat of any kind in a slow cooker. Since crock ،s 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 c،p recipe in the oven, so it would be an experiment. That said, I have a lot of other great baked pork c،p recipes. Check out Honey Garlic Pork C،ps and Breaded Pork C،ps.
For tender, juicy c،ps, cooking on LOW heat is best for pork. You can overcook pork c،ps in the slow cooker, so it’s important to use LOW heat. Even if you check early, with the way heat is distributed, if you cook the c،ps on HIGH they are likely to be dry.
No matter what, pork c،ps made in the slow cooker, while still fork tender, will be a little chewy. It’s because unlike Carnitas, which are made with a ،tier cut of meat (usually pork s،ulder), pork c،ps are lean.
My ،nest advice: adjust your expectations. As long as you don’t overcook them, these crock ، BBQ pork c،ps are deliciously tender, easy to cut, and a great option for an easy, filling meal.
However, if your slow cooked pork is dry and tough, it is likely because it is overcooked. Pork c،ps do not get more tender the longer you cook them in a crock ،. Make sure to remove the c،ps when they reach the proper internal temperature.