When I made this Instant Pot Pork Chop One-Pot Meal the first time, we had just gone from a few lovely, warm fall days perfect for walks down tree-lined paths in the crunchy leaves to fall with a vengeance here in the Twin Cities. Windy, cold & blustery.
And while this One (Instant) Pot Wonder is good any time of the year, that’s when you’re going to want a meal that warms you up from the inside out. I’m talking comfort, here. Midwestern comfort from the Instant Pot with this easy Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal.
About Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal:
This classic comfort meal of tender thick-cut pork chops with all the fixin’s, mashed potatoes & the most luscious gravy along with gorgeous, tender carrots is all done with little fuss or bother in the Instant Pot. And best of all, there’s little cleanup, too.
Everybody that knows me, knows I love my Instant Pot for all kinds of things, but a meal like this is just one of the primary reasons why! It takes away some of that dread as dinner hour approaches and you wonder how you’re going to pull it off when time or energy is short after a long day whatever it is you’ve been doing (in my case, taking care of my folks.)
And speaking of my folks, my favorite octogenarians as I call them, they love love loved this meal! That’s saying a lot because although my Dad will eat almost anything, you can def tell if he’s not happy, and my Stepmom, who was a fantastic cook is a picky eater, and at their age they both have some issues with eating. Well, the compliments rolled in, all through dinner. There was hardly a scrap left and I felt momentarily transformed. Yep, I felt like the goddess of the dinner table. So I’m thinking maybe the same will happen for you!
Here’s my pup, Chance, before the weather turned bitter, discovering leaves for the first time!! Now if that isn’t a happy, cheesy grin, I don’t know what is. He’s about five months now and still growing like a weed.
Making Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal:
I grew up in Iowa, a state with one of the largest number of pork producers, and I’ve noticed sometimes prepackaged pork is labeled “thick cut” even when it really isn’t. For us, thick-cut is about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick, and when the bone is on, it’s kind of like the pork version of a ribeye steak. Fun fact, my home county ranks #21 in the nation of pork producers. Now there’s something to brag on for my next dinner party!
Be sure to use good thick-cut, bone-in chop for the Instant Pot Pork Chop, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch thick for best results. The timing and sizes for the pork chops, potatoes, and carrots called for all work together so everything is perfectly cooked (although the carrots will always be very soft (see below) when the time is up. I initially set this recipe for longer but with comments on Pinterest and retesting lowered the time to 12 minutes. I love your feedback and pay attention!
Let’s talk about boneless chops. While a bone-in chop of a given thickness will always be about the same size, just because of where they are cut from, and the bone helps to keep them somewhat protected in the cooking process (and adds flavor) and helps to keep them moist, with “boneless chops” that can change. You can pick up boneless chops of almost any size and thickness and there doesn’t seem to be any consistency in the labeling.
Usually, the great chops are going elsewhere and at at the grocery store, you are going to find the smaller rather than premium chops, and they’ll run about 4 1/2″ x 2 3/4 to 3 inches, typically 1/2 to 3/4″ thick and be cut from the smaller end of the loin towards the tail rather than the larger shoulder end. They are especially prone to dryness, especially when overcooked. And they are much smaller than the thick, bone-in chops called for in this recipe.
Change one thing, including the type of meat called for in a fast cooking Instant Pot recipe and it can change everything. I can only advise you to buy the thickest boneless chops you can for this recipe (or better yet, cut your own, see below under saving money), brine them if at all possible, don’t trim the fat, don’t brown them too long and be very aware of the timing. Cook for too long the chops will be dry (thank goodness for gravy!) and don’t cook long enough, the potatoes won’t be done.
I don’t want to discourage you because a lot of people have raved about this recipe when made with boneless chops, but do drop the time. Tammy said she had great results at 10 minutes, Sarah, below in the comments (and my sister) said theirs was dry at nine minutes. Until I’m able to do more testing, maybe you’ll want to start a bit lower and possibly use potatoes that are a bit smaller or large potatoes, halved. to make sure they are cooked all the way through when the chops are done.
Whether Bone-In or Boneless, for the juiciest pork chops, if time allows, brine; even a 20 or 30-minute brine will make a difference, but longer is always better. I love using my Favorite Pork Chop Brine.
The Potatoes & Carrots:
For best results, follow the sizes recommended in the recipe closely so everything is done at just the right time. Just a note: the carrots and potatoes will always be very soft in this recipe – that’s no problem for the potatoes coz they’re mashed, but choose the largest carrots you can find and know they’ll be very tender; even in the pics you can see some of the smaller carrots actually just about fall apart. Heck, they’d probably fall apart with a harsh look!
A solution would be to put your carrots in a little packet of aluminum foil but then you’d miss out on all that incredible flavor they soak up. As is, I think the carrots almost steal the show! To me, that’s just kind of a trade-off with one-pot meals like this whether they’re done in the oven (although it’s easier to add in the potatoes and carrots later), the slow cooker or the Instant Pot.
Saving Money on Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal:
Usually, since this is a frugal site, and I’m a frugal person, I don’t usually go for the big, thick bone-in chops. In the fall, though, in the Midwest, we can often pick them up on sale, so watch for them. It’s really a seasonal thing as far as the best pricing.
Boneless chops, if you are using, go on sale more often, and can vary in size and thickness. Usually, the thicker chops may be harder to find, especially on sale, and they are sometimes pricier if they are even available. I never buy packaged boneless chops of any size or thickness. Even on sale, they’re not the best bargain. I do have a solution, though. I watch for pork loin to go on sale, usually in the fall after the hogs have gone to market or around Christmas & Easter. Those holidays generate demand for ham; the rest of the cuts are plentiful and often priced to sell.
Great sales can pop up other times, too. In our area, a great sale is 89 to 99 cents a pound (a good sale is $1.29 to $1.99 a pound.) Sale priced loin is a fabulous value, almost all meat, with very little waste. Since they run 18 to 20 pounds, that’s a lot of meals for under twenty bucks! Once home, sharpen your knife and slice them into chops of various thicknesses, package them in sizes to suit your family, label, and freeze. Any odd trimmings can be used for stir-fries, maybe a Mexican or Southwestern soup or stew.
The other opportunity for savings when you cut your own chops is that you’ll always have the right amount of pork chops for dinner, whereas if you buy them packaged from the grocery store case, you’ll have to buy the number of chops in the package. We, for instance, had a family of three, so often we’d have to buy two packages of two and had an extra chop.
You’ll usually find the best prices for carrots, potatoes, and onions in the larger sized bags, and all store well. Of the three, you’ll most likely see potatoes on sale, so stock up when they’re cheap and eat more of them! I like to make Twice Baked Potatoes For the Freezer when I see a great price in the fall. Aldi has great prices on potatoes & onions, but check the bag carefully and make sure they’re all sound. It’s true, one bad apple (or onion or potato) can spoil the whole bunch, baby. For the younger among you, that’s a reference to the hit single from the Osmonds..
- When storing carrots, make sure they don’t sit in condensation at the bottom of the produce drawer; if yours is like mine and has ridges running across the bottom of the drawer, place the carrots so they are at right angles to the ridges and make sure to turn the package over, now and then.
- Store potatoes and onions apart from each other. Protect potatoes from daylight in a cool area. Transferring them to a brown paper grocery bag will help prevent condensation and keep out any light.
Instant Pot Pork Chop One Pot Meal
A down-home comfort one pot meal of pork chops, mashed potatoes & gravy & carrots.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Pork Main Dish
- Cuisine: American
Seasoning Rub for pork chops (see note):
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you’re not a fan of heat, cut back on the cayenne.)
The rest of the team:
- 4 bone-in thick cut pork chops, about 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ thick
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup stock, either beef or chicken
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 to 5 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled if desired
- 4 to 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 or 4-inch chunks
- 4 tablespoons butter, for the mashed potatoes
- 3–4 tablespoons cream or milk, or as much as needed for desired consistency, for the mashed potatoes
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup cream; whipping cream works well but heavy is fine, too
- Salt and pepper to taste
Set the Instant Pot to Saute, High, and add two tablespoons oil. Mix together the rub ingredients and season the pork chops liberally on both sides; reserve remaining rub to add to pot, later.
When the Instant Pot is hot, add pork chops to the bottom (depending on the size of the Instant Pot and shape of the pork chops, this might have to be done in two batches) and brown on both sides. Use additional oil if needed.
Remove the pork chops and set on a plate and add the stock to the Instant Pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add onion and potatoes to the Instant Pot. Add rack (that comes with the Instant Pot) on top of the potatoes and lay the carrots across the rack. Set pork chops directly on top of carrots. Add any juices that might have accumulated on the plate the pork chops were sitting on as well as any of the remaining seasoning rub.
Add ring to Instant Pot lid, seal and set Instant Pot to Pressure, High for 12 minutes. When time is up, allow the pot go to the Keep Warm function, let it sit for 5 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
Remove the pork chops and carrots to a platter, tent to keep warm and let them rest as you prepare the potatoes & gravy.
Make the Mashed Potatoes:
- Remove potatoes from the Instant Pot (a slotted spoon works well as they’re very soft) and put them in a bowl, leaving the liquid behind in the Instant Pot.
- Roughly mash potatoes with 4 tablespoons of butter and the 3 to 4 tablespoons of milk, to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Make a slurry by placing the two tablespoons flour in a small bowl or cup. Add the 1/2 cup cream, slowly, stirring constantly with a fork until mixture is smooth.
- Set the Instant Pot back to Saute, High. When the liquid in the Instant Pot boils (will happen almost immediately) add the slurry, stirring with a whisk until the mixture thickens. (Again, will happen almost immediately)
- Remove the whole instant pot liner from the Instant Pot right away so the gravy doesn’t continue to cook, and pour gravy into a bowl for serving. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
Serve as desired, on a platter or plated.
Seasoning: If you’d rather not make your own seasoning rub, try one of your favorite spice blends – about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons should do it.
Total time reflects the time needed for Instant Pot to come up to pressure and to release.
There were several questions about the “juices” from the pork chops and the “slurry” in this recipe. The recipe has been updated to reflect those answers.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef Stock, Brine, Carrots, Chicken Stock, Instant Pot, mashed potatoes, Pork, pork chops, Pork Loin, Potatoes
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