How to Cook Black-Eyed Peas and Ham Hocks in a Slow Cooker

by Irena Eaves

Black-eyed peas served over rice is a traditional Southern dish called Hoppin' John that is often served on New Year's Day. The peas symbolize coins and are meant to offer prosperity for the coming year. Black-eyed peas are commonly cooked with pork, especially ham hocks, to flavor the cooking liquid. Whip up a batch of black-eyed peas and ham hocks easily with the help of a slow cooker. Serve the peas on a bed of rice with a side of greens for a complete meal.

Sort through the peas, discarding any debris or peas that are broken or blemished. Rinse the the peas through a colander under cold, running water.

Combine 1 part peas with 3 parts water in the slow cooker. For example, 2 cups of dried peas to 6 cups of water.

Add the ham hocks to the slow cooker. For every 2 cups of black-eyed peas, you'll need 1 ham hock that weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. Use fewer or more ham hocks, depending on your personal preference.

Season the peas with flavorful aromatics. Toss in a quartered onion, smashed cloves of garlic or roughly chopped vegetables, such as carrots or celery. Include dried herbs, such as bay leaves and thyme, or for a spicy kick, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or a chopped jalapeno.

Cover the pot and cook until the peas are tender, about three to four hours on high or seven to eight hours on low.

Remove the ham hocks from the slow cooker. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones, skin and excess fat. Shred the meat and return it to the peas. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Items you will need

  • Dried black-eyed peas
  • Colander
  • Ham hock
  • Aromatics, optional
  • Salt and pepper

About the Author

Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, and Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images