Pork chops: Instant Pot versus oven

Experienced Instant Pot users often praise how well it cooks pork, but newer users are less complimentary, calling the result “tough and dry.” Finding pork chops on sale, we decided to run a side by side comparison. We cooked two chops in the oven, and one large extra one in the Instant Pot  using this recipe.

To add to the excitement, these were bargain pork chops, a “Manager’s Special” at $1.99 a pound. So each package of 2 chops was only about $3.

For the oven baked chops, we salted and peppered them, browned them briefly in a pan, and baked them for 20 minutes at 400° F. Figure that with the browning, this took about 25 minutes total.

For the Instant Pot recipe, we added a Tb of oil to the pot and browned the large chop using the Saute setting. Then we made up this sauce mixture from the recipe:

  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tb Dijon mustard
  • ½ Tb maple syrup (we admit we used Log Cabin)
  • 1 Tb minced ginger
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves (we ground a couple in a mortar and pestle)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

We mixed all this together and poured it over the chop. Then we set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes on Manual, and then opened it using Quick Release.

The result? Despite the fact that this was cheap pork, the Instant Pot chop was tender and flavorful, and the gravy was delicious!

And the oven chop was frankly overcooked, with a central temperature of about 177° F, when 141° F would have been enough. It was tough! But even if it hadn’t been over cooked, it couldn’t have matched the chop in the pot. This recipe is a real keeper!

This recipe has a strong, spicy smell, and you will need to wash the rubber sealing ring in your dishwasher, and wash the lid carefully afterwards.


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