Making delicious pork & sauerkraut is so easy in your pressure cooker. It's basically a dump and cook recipe that requires hardly any prep. It's great as a meal or as a side dish. If you haven't made pork and sauerkraut together before, you are in for a treat! There is nothing like the tangy sauerkraut paired with the tender and succulent pork. It's amazing!
Pork & sauerkraut is a popular German tradition to serve as a New Year's Day meal and is often found as a traditional dish for a Thanksgiving feast, especially in Maryland and Pennsylvania.
If you love dump-and-cook pressure cooker recipes, you will love these great recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Pork & sauerkraut can be made from several different cuts, like bone-in pork chops, boneless pork loin or a pork tenderloin. However, for the most flavorful pork and sauerkraut, you want to use a fattier cut that does well with long cooking times like a pork shoulder or pork butt.
Pork & Sauerkraut is often served with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, but can be paired with so many things! I like to use the leftovers for making a pork version of a reuben sandwich. It can even be used on hot dogs!
Yes, it freezes just fine. What I like to do is allow it to chill in the refrigerator overnight. Then package it in freezer containers WITH the juice. The juice helps keeps the pork and sauerkraut from getting ice crystals which leads to texture and flavor issues.
Ingredients & Substitutions
I used a boneless pork shoulder in this recipe and the results were amazing. The pork is extremely tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Other cuts of pork can be used and some good options are bone-in pork chops or a pork loin roast with a fat cap. You can even use a pork tenderloin and, as long as it submerged under the sauerkraut, it will be perfectly fine under high pressure.
The timing will change based on what cut of pork you use.
If you want to use a bone-in Pork Shoulder, I would PC for 120 minutes with a 30 minute natural release.
For bone-in pork chops that are 1"-2" in thickness, I would PC for 15 minutes with a full natural release if your goal is to have fall off the bone pork.
A pork loin is a leaner cut than a shoulder and does not fall apart as easily, but is still perfectly fine to use. For a 3-pound pork loin that you want to slice, 15 minutes of PC time with a full natural release will be fine. If you want the pork to shred, then I would PC for 40-60 minutes with a full natural release.
For a pork tenderloin, I would pressure cook for 5 minutes with a full natural release if you want the tenderloin to be sliced. If you want it to shred, pressure cook 20 minutes with a full natural release.
You can even skip the pork roast all together and use bacon or sausage to flavor the sauerkraut dish.
For uncooked sausage, you can either leave them whole or cut them up. I do suggest browning the sausage in oil first. Then PC for 10 minutes with a 10 minute natural release. Manually release any remaining pressure. Serve & Enjoy.
For cooked/smoked sausage, you can leave them whole or cut them up. No need to brown them, but you certainly can if you want. Since they are fully cooked, you only need to PC long enough to get the flavors to blend. My suggestion is to PC for 5 minutes with a 10 minute natural release. Manually release the remaining pressure before opening the lid. Serve & Enjoy!
If you want to use bacon, then I would throw in ½ pound raw for flavoring and crisp up the remaining ½ pound and add at the end, just before serving for crunch. PC for 10 minutes on high and natural release for 10 minutes. Then manually release the remaining pressure.
I prefer to use a jar of sauerkraut or in-the-bag over canned, but this is a personal preference. Canned sauerkraut, in my opinion, is much softer than jarred or bagged and after a long pressure cook time it breaks down even more and the texture can be a bit mushy.
You can also make your own sauerkraut, if you have the time. It takes about 4 weeks for the fermentation process to occur, but seems pretty easy to do. I have always wanted to make my own, but never think about it in time. Here is a sauerkraut recipe I found on the Pioneer Woman's website: How to Make Sauerkraut
Liquids & Seasonings
I used chicken broth as the liquid, but you could use chicken stock, water, apple juice, or even beer.
There is brown sugar in the recipe that is used to offset the tang of the sauerkraut and provide balance; however, you can omit it or use a brown sugar substitute if you are following a keto or low carb diet.
The worcestershire sauce adds a nice depth of flavor, but you can omit it if you prefer.
I used malt vinegar in the recipe to add an extra tang and pop of flavor, but it is an optional ingredient. You can skip it or replace it with another type of vinegar if you prefer. I would use apple cider vinegar if you don't have malt vinegar.
The caraway seeds definitely add a distinct flavor, so if you are not a fan simply leave them out. I would add in 1-2 bay leaves instead or even in addition if you'd like.
The apples in this recipe also provide a sweetness and balance that I absolutely love. You can use any type of apples you like, Granny Smith apples or Fuji are two kinds I use the most when I make pressure cooker pork and sauerkraut. You can also leave them out and the dish will still be delicious.
Salt and black pepper can be used or omitted based on your preference.
Can I make this recipe without a Pressure Cooker?
Yes, absolutely. The reason I like using my electric pressure cooker (the Ninja Foodi) is because it's a much faster method of cooking. However, you can make it in a slow cooker (or crock pot) or even in a dutch oven and I'll give my suggestions for cooking times below.
Slow Cooker Pork & Sauerkraut
Salt & pepper the pork 2-24 hours in advance. Allow the pork to sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes.
Heat a skillet on the stove (if your crockpot can't sear) and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the pork on all sides and remove from pan.
Put the chicken stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and malt vinegar into the slow cooker or crock pot. Place the pork in the liquid and add the sliced onions and apples. Pour the sauerkraut on top and close the lid.
Slow Cook on high for 8-10 hours or until the pork is tender and falling apart.
Dutch Oven Pork & Sauerkraut
Heat the dutch oven on the stove using high heat and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, sear the pork on all sides until brown.
Deglaze the pot with chicken stock or broth and make sure to scrape off the browned bits to add flavor into the dish.
Add the sliced onions and peeled and sliced apples. Add the remaining ingredients and put the lid on the dutch oven.
Place in the oven at 350℉/175℃ for 6-8 hours or until the pork is pull apart tender and the fat has been rendered.
How to make Pork & Sauerkraut in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot
I used the 6.5 qt Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper to make this recipe, but any electric pressure cooker will work just fine. You will want to have at least a 6 qt pressure cooker for the amount of ingredients in this recipe, or cut the ingredients back if using something smaller.
The first thing you want to do is season your pork. If you are using a pork shoulder/butt or pork loin, then I recommend seasoning up to 24 hours in advance if time permits and keep the pork in the refrigerator until about 1 hour before cooking. If you are using a smaller cut, like a tenderloin or pork chops you want to season at least 1 hour before cooking for the best flavor.
Now, if you are anything like me, you didn't plan for that and that is perfectly fine! Just season your pork now and leave it at room temperature while you prep the ingredients.
You can slice your onions and measure out the other ingredients, but don't peel and slice your apples until just before using or they will brown. You can toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning, but I find it just as efficient to prep the apples while the pork is searing.
When you are ready to make your pressure cooker pork & sauerkraut, make sure the inner pot is inside the pressure cooker.
Turn the sear/sauté on high, allow the pot to heat for about 5 minutes. Add the oil and let it heat up. Sear the pork on all sides until brown. This takes about 3-5 minutes per side.
While the pork is browning, peel and slice the apples and add to the inner pot.
When the pork is brown on all sides, deglaze the pot with chicken broth or stock. Make sure to scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon or another utensil that is safe for non-stick pots (if using) to remove the brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
Not only does this bring more delicious flavor into the dish, it also helps prevent the water notice or burn notice.
Add in the sliced onions, sauerkraut, and the remaining ingredients. If you are using a sauerkraut that has a lot of liquid, you may want to strain some of it off. The apples and pork give off a lot of liquid, so you don't need to add a lot of juice from the sauerkraut. It doesn't hurt to include all the liquid, you will just end up with a ton of juices at the end of pressure cooking. The amount of liquid from the jarred sauerkraut used was less than ½ cup.
Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Select high pressure and set the time for 90 minutes.
When the time is up, allow the pot to naturally release the pressure for 30 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure.
If you want this to be a set-it-and-forget-it meal, then let the pot do a full natural release and turn to keep warm. You won't overcook the pork if you are using a pork shoulder/butt, so it can stay on keep warm for hours until you are ready to serve it.
If you are serving as a full meal, remove the sauerkraut, leaving behind most of the liquid and place it in your serving dish. Remove the chunks of pork and keep them intact as much as you can, place them beside the sauerkraut. Serve & Enjoy
If you want to serve as a side dish, then I like to break up the pork and have it mixed with the sauerkraut and then transfer to a serving dish.
Pressure Cooker Pork & Sauerkraut Recipe
- Pressure Cooker
- 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound apples any kind you like
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 large red onions
- 48 ounces sauerkraut
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ¼-½ teaspoon caraway seeds optional
- Season the pork with salt and pepper 1-24 hours in advance (see post for details) and remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking for best searing.
- Slice the onions into 1" slices and measure out the remaining ingredients. If your sauerkraut is very liquidy, drain off all but about ½ cup of the liquid
- Turn the Ninja Foodi or electric pressure cooker on high sear/sauté and allow to heat up for about 5 minutes. Add the oil and heat another 3-5 minutes. Sear the seasoned pork shoulder on each side for 3-5 minutes (each side) or until brown.
- While the pork is searing, peel and cut the apples into large slices and add them to the pot. It really makes no difference how you cut them due to the long pressure cook time.
- Deglaze the pot with chicken broth and make sure to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add the onions, sauerkraut, and the remaining ingredients. Stir the added ingredients into the sauerkraut. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 90 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 30 minutes and manually release the remaining pressure.
- Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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