Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions

A pork shoulder chop on a teal plate with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, with an apple and thyme in the background
Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions. Tough pork shoulder turns melt-in-your-mouth tender under pressure, with a sauce of apples and onions.

Pork and apples are a classic example of “what grows together goes together.” To me, they’re the taste of Fall. Here is my version; of course, I’m pressure cooking with my Instant Pot, replacing hours of simmering pork with 20 minutes under pressure.

This recipe borders on a stew – pork shoulder chops come out of the pressure cooker fall-apart tender, and the apples and onions dissolve into a tasty sauce. I serve this recipe with mashed potatoes to soak up the sauce. I also serve it with sauerkraut because the only thing better than pork and apples is pork, apples, and sauerkraut. (My kids may disagree, but I stand by my statement.)

The only trick to this recipe is taking the time to brown the pork. The pork shoulder chops from my local stores huge; I can only brown them one at a time, and I have to squish them a bit on the edges to get them to lay flat in the pot. That’s OK; the browned pork bits add important flavors to the recipe. Also, I only brown the chops on one side, as a tradeoff between flavor and time.

The final trick is layering the pork chops and the apples. They mingle while they’re cooking, and the pork picks up the flavor of the apples, thyme, and sugar.

Looking for a warming taste of fall? Try these pork chops with apples.

Recipe: Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions

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A pork shoulder chop on a teal plate with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut, with an apple and thyme in the background

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings of pork 1x


Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions. Tough pork shoulder turns melt-in-your-mouth tender under pressure, with a sauce of apples and onions.


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder chops, cut ½- to ¾-inch thick (I got 4 chops)
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup beer (preferably a brown ale, or substitute apple cider)
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth (preferably homemade, or use store-bought low sodium chicken broth)


  1. Brown the pork shoulder chops in batches: Set an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker to Saute mode adjusted to high (medium-high heat in a stovetop PC.) Add the teaspoon of oil and heat until shimmering. While the oil is heating, sprinkle the pork chops evenly with 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt. Once the oil is heated, brown the pork chops on one side in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes each. (My pork chops were large enough that I had to do them one at a time). Move the browned chops into a rimmed platter, and repeat until all the chops are browned on one side. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the remaining fat in the pot.
  2. Sauté the onions, simmer the beer: Add the onions to the pot, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt, and sauté, occasionally stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon. Sauté until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in the beer, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1 minute to boil off some of the alcohol. While the beer is simmering, scrape the bottom of the pot one last time with a
  3. Layer the apples and pork into the pot: While the onions are sautéing, toss the sliced apples with the thyme, brown sugar, and pepper until evenly coated. Once the onions are done, layer the pork chops and onions in the pot. (I had 4 large chops, so I put in a chop, scattered ¼ of the apples over it, and repeated until all the chops and apples were in the pot.) Pour in the chicken broth or water.
  4. Pressure cook for 20 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC, or for 16 minutes in a stovetop PC. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) Let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 more minutes. (If you get impatient you can quick release the remaining pressure after 15 minutes of natural release.)
  5. Transfer to a platter, defat the sauce, serve: Unlock the pressure cooker lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Gently scoop out the pork chops and apples – they will be fall apart tender – and transfer to a serving platter. Pour the sauce into a fat separator and let it settle, then pour a little of the defatted sauce over the platter of pork. Serve, passing the rest of the defatted sauce at the table. Enjoy!


Don’t have granny smith apples? Any tart apple that is recommended for baking will do.

Want to skip the brown the pork step? If you’re in a hurry, sure, you can do it. But it adds a lot of flavor to the recipe, and renders some of the fat in the pork. I highly recommend taking the time to do that step.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Flat edged wooden spoon

Slotted Spoon

Fat separator

  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions, Pressure Cooker Pork Shoulder Chops with Apples and Onions

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Pork Loin Roast
Pressure Cooker Smashed Garlic Red Skin Potatoes
Pressure Cooker Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Delicious. I wasn’t sure 20 min would be enough but decided to stick to the instructions, mostly. Added a little rosemary, crushed. Extra pepper, deglazed after sautéing onions with a whole bottle of hard cider, and added 1.5 c bone broth because that was what I had on hand. Simply amazing. Might double the apples and onions for feeding a crowd, plenty of meat. 20 min had the pork falling off the bones. Loved it with our home fermented sauerkraut, the crunch and sour really do set off the dish.

  2. Wow! You posted this recipe just in time for me. I get my meats from Moink and my shipment included Pork Steaks, which I believe are the same thing. I have them in the refrigerator thawing. I’m going to make this for dinner tomorrow as I have all of the ingriedents. It looks and sounds so yummy!

  3. Razzy 7 says

    While I love mashed potatoes I’m wondering if I could top the pork chop, apple, onion mixture with small potatoes and use the same cooking time.

    • You could – but this is a long time to be cooking the potatoes; they’re going to be overdone. If you’re fine with slightly mushy potatoes, that will work.

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