What Temperature To Cook Pork Sous Vide? The Key Facts

Are you tired of overcooked, dry pork chops? Look no further than sous vide cooking.

With precise temperature control, you can achieve perfectly cooked pork chops every time. But what temperature should you set your sous vide to?

In this article, we’ll explore the ideal time and temperature combinations for cooking pork chops sous vide. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to juicy, tender pork chops.

What Temperature To Cook Pork Sous Vide?

When it comes to cooking pork sous vide, the temperature is the most important factor in achieving the perfect texture and doneness. The ideal temperature range for pork chops is between 135°F (57°C) and 140°F (60°C) for two hours.

For those who prefer their pork with a touch of pink and very juicy, set your precision cooker closer to 135°F (57°C). If you like your pork cooked medium with a firmer texture, set it closer to 140°F (60°C).

It’s important to note that the final temperature of the meat will not be the same as the temperature set on the sous vide cooker. After the sous vide cooking process, you will need to sear the pork chops in a hot skillet, which will raise the internal temperature slightly.

Why Sous Vide Cooking Is Ideal For Pork

Sous vide cooking is an ideal method for cooking pork because it allows for precise temperature control and even cooking from edge to edge. With traditional cooking methods, it can be challenging to cook pork chops evenly without overcooking or undercooking certain parts. However, with sous vide cooking, the immersion circulator creates a consistent temperature environment that ensures every part of the pork chop is cooked to the same level of doneness.

Additionally, sous vide cooking helps to retain the moisture and flavor of the pork chops. The low, slow cooking process allows the meat to cook in its juices, resulting in a tender and juicy cut of meat. This is especially important for pork, which has a tendency to dry out quickly if overcooked.

Another advantage of sous vide cooking for pork is pasteurization. At 130°F (54°C) and higher, harmful bacteria are destroyed on the surface of the pork chop. As the meat continues to cook in the water bath, it becomes safer to eat with every passing moment. This makes sous vide cooking a great option for those who prefer their pork cooked rare or medium-rare.

The Importance Of Temperature Control In Sous Vide Cooking

Temperature control is crucial in sous vide cooking because it allows for precise and consistent cooking results. Unlike traditional cooking methods, where the temperature can fluctuate and be difficult to control, sous vide cooking ensures that the food is cooked at a precise temperature throughout the cooking process.

This is achieved through the use of a PID controller, which maintains the water bath at a constant temperature. The PID controller uses proportional, integrative, and derivative assessments to estimate temperature changes and adjust the heating element accordingly. This results in a much more precise temperature control than conventional ovens can provide.

In sous vide cooking, the food is cooked in vacuum-sealed pouches immersed in water. The water conducts heat significantly better than air, ensuring that the temperature is consistent throughout the water bath. This means that there is little danger of overcooking or uneven cooking, as the external temperature is the same as the desired cooking temperature.

Temperature control also plays a crucial role in tenderizing meat. As food gets hot, the muscle, collagen, and protein undergo transformations that cause it to become more tender. The higher the temperature, the faster this tenderization happens. However, using higher temperatures can also cause meat to dry out and become less flavorful.

With sous vide cooking, temperatures are kept below 140°F (60°C), which allows for slow and gentle tenderization without drying out the meat. This means that even tough cuts of meat can be cooked to perfection with sous vide cooking.

Recommended Temperature And Time For Pork Chops Sous Vide

For pork chops that are around 1 1/2-inches thick, the recommended time and temperature for sous vide cooking are as follows:

– Rare: 130°F / 54°C, 1 to 4 hours – Tender, juicy, and a little slippery.

– Medium-Rare: 140°F / 60°C, 1 to 4 hours – Tender, juicy, and meaty.

– Medium-Well: 150°F / 66°C, 1 to 4 hours – Quite firm and just starting to dry out.

– Well Done: 160°F / 71°C, 1 to 4 hours – Firm, a little dry and tough, but still moist.

It’s important to note that bone-in pork chops require a longer minimum cook time than boneless ones. For boneless pork chops, the minimum cook time is 1 hour and 30 minutes, but it’s recommended to cook them for 2 hours for better texture. For bone-in pork chops, the minimum cook time is 2 hours.

When cooking sous vide pork chops, it’s essential to start with a dry chop and season it with herbs and pepper before vacuum sealing it. Cook the sealed meat in the sous vide at the recommended temperature for at least the minimum cook time. After removing the meat from the water bath, pat it dry and sear it on both sides in a screaming hot skillet.

To avoid overcooking the pork chops, it’s crucial not to sear them for too long or set the temperature too high. Following these instructions will ensure perfectly cooked and juicy pork chops every time.

Tips For Seasoning And Searing Sous Vide Pork Chops

Seasoning and searing your sous vide pork chops can take them from good to amazing. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect flavor and texture:

1. Pat the pork chops dry before seasoning: Excess moisture can prevent the seasoning from sticking to the meat and can also affect the searing process. So, make sure to pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel before seasoning them.

2. Use a generous amount of seasoning: Pork chops can handle a lot of seasoning, so don’t be afraid to use a generous amount. You can use your favorite seasoning blend or create your own using herbs, spices, and salt.

3. Add some oil or butter: Adding a little oil or butter to the skillet when searing the pork chops can help them brown evenly and create a delicious crust.

4. Don’t overcrowd the skillet: Searing too many pork chops at once can lower the temperature of the skillet and prevent them from browning properly. So, it’s best to sear them in batches if needed.

5. Let them rest: Once you’ve seared your pork chops, let them rest for a few minutes before slicing into them. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful chop.

By following these tips, you can elevate your sous vide pork chops to restaurant-quality status.

Other Cuts Of Pork To Cook Sous Vide

While pork chops are the most commonly cooked cut of pork sous vide, there are other cuts that can also benefit from this cooking method. Tougher cuts such as pork shoulder, shank, butt, and ribs can be cooked at a lower temperature for an extended period of time, usually 1 to 2 days. This results in a chop-like texture similar to traditional pork chops.

When cooking tougher cuts of pork sous vide, it’s important to ensure that the meat is cooked to a safe temperature. The recommended temperature for sous vide pork is about 130°F (54.4°C), but most people prefer their pork cooked higher than 135°F (57.2°C). As long as the meat is cooked long enough to pasteurize it, 135°F (57.2°C) is just as safe as 165°F (73.8°C).

Other cuts of pork that can be cooked sous vide include bone-in center-cut pork rib chops, blade-end pork chops, shoulder chops, and pork loin chops. Each cut has its own unique flavor and texture profile, with some being more tender than others. Pork belly and pork shoulder are also popular cuts for sous vide cooking, as they become incredibly tender and flavorful when cooked this way.

When cooking multiple cuts of pork sous vide at once, it’s important to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly. For smaller cuts of Ibérico, a range of temperatures anywhere from 130°F (54.4°C) to 150°F (65.6°C) for 1-4 hours will do the trick. It’s important to note that even if you go over the cooking time by an extra 30 minutes or even hours, you won’t notice any exorbitant changes in the texture. Sous vide is forgiving!