How to Cook Pork Chops in a Sous Vide Water Bath—With or Without the Bones – Find out the foolproof steps and expert advice you need to sous vide and caramelize pork chops until they are perfectly tender and irresistibly delicious.
The Ultimate Pork Chops Recipe for the Sous Vide Cooking Method
We fell in love long ago with the sous vide method of cooking. Sous vide means “under vacuum” in French, and involves vacuum sealing ingredients in plastic zip bags and cooking in a hot water bath. The technique produces ultra-moist and tender meats. So although it does take a bit more patience, versus other methods, I promise it is so very worth it for a wonderfully reliable result.
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Utilizing our approach to prepare brined Sous Vide Pork Chops with a caramelized crust is a fantastic way to get the most out of your sous vide system. The pork chops, which can have or do not have bones, are first cooked to perfection in a water bath to the perfect temperature. They are then quickly seared in a skillet to make a nice crust. Serve with your favorite side dishes for a meal that will last a lifetime.
Here, you’ll find a delicious and easy brine recipe, some suggestions for delectable seasonings (like our Fall Cinnamon Rub and Simple Herb Rub), and some straightforward instructions for using the sous vide machine like a pro.
Do you season the pork chops in the bag ahead of time before you sous vide them?
Yes, bringing the pork chops in advance and then seasoning them before placing them in the bags is the most efficient way to prepare the pork chops.
A helpful hint is that you can season the pork chops in any way you wish, but you should keep in mind that brining the pork chops the day before cooking them makes a HUGE impact in both the flavour and the texture of the pork chops, regardless of the method of cooking you choose. It penetrates the pork chops with salt, which helps to keep them more juicy and tasty even after cooking.
The Necessary Items for Cooking in a Sous Vide System
A traditional sous vide cooking apparatus, large zip bags, clamps, and a large pot or container that can withstand low heat are required for this method of cooking. The majority of sous vide cooking equipment have vacuum seal bags as well as clamps that are used to secure the bags to the side of the container.
DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE USE OF SOME KIND OF SPECIAL BAG?
You can use any large bag with a zip top instead. The type of bag that enables you to use a vacuum to remove the air from the interior does make it simpler to work with. If, on the other hand, you are using traditional Ziploc bags, you need only lower them gradually into the water while keeping the zipper open. It is important that all of the air rises to the top. The next step is to carefully re-zip the bag after all of the air has been removed from it.
DO YOU NEED TO USE CLAMPS AT ALL TIMES?
If you want to use vacuum seal bags, you absolutely need to have clamps, as water will seep in if the vacuum valve or flap on the bag is lowered to a level where it is below the water. When utilising standard Ziploc bags, clamps are not required to be used.
DO PORK CHOPS HAVE TO BE WRAPPED SEPARATELY IN INDIVIDUAL BAGS OR CAN THEY BE PLACED IN THE SAME BAG SOUS VIDE?
As long as the pork chops do not touch one another and are instead laid out in a single layer, you are free to pack as many as you wish into a single bag.
Ingredients You Need
We use four large pork chops with the bones still in them for this recipe. If you like your chops boneless, you are more than welcome to utilise those.
WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE THICKNESS FOR MY PORK CHOPS?
They should have a thickness of at least an inch but no more than an inch and a half. The thickness of 1 1/4 inches is considered to be ideal.
- INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE BRINE:
- Hot water
- Kosher salt or regular sea salt
- Apple cider (or juice)
- OPTIONAL RUBS:
- Fall Ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground chipotle powder, and garlic powder are the ingredients in cinnamon rub.
- Crushed sage, dried thyme, thyme leaves, garlic powder, and ground black pepper make up this easy herb rub (or use fresh herbs)
Simple Brine for Pork Chops
Put the salt and the hot water from the tap into a big zip-top bag. To get the salt to dissolve, give the bag a good shake. After that, put the pork chops and apple cider into the pan. In the event that there is a leak, make sure the bag is sealed and place it inside a bowl. Put the bowl in the fridge for at least two hours, but overnight is optimal for the brining process.
DO YOU HAVE TO BRINE THE PORK CHOPS?
Although brining pork chops is not required, doing so can significantly improve both the flavour and the texture of the finished product. You will notice that the optional spice rubs do not contain any salt in them.
If you brine the pork chops, you won’t need to add any additional salt to the dish after cooking them. If you opt not to brine the pork chops, increase the amount of salt in the dry rub to between one and two tablespoons.
How to Properly Sous Vide Pork Chops
When you are ready to cook the pork chops using the sous vide method, position a big pot or other deep container on the countertop. Attach the immersion circulator to the interior of the pot using the clamps. Fill the sous vide with water until the minimum line on the device is reached.
WHAT SHOULD THE IDEAL TEMPERATURE BE FOR PORK CHOPS DONE SOUS VIDE?
In order to achieve the ideal medium-rare pink chops, warm the sous vide to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. (Set at 145°F for medium.)
While the water is being heated, take the pork chops out of the brine and dry them off with a paper towel. When seasoning the pork chops, use one of the rubs that we have recommended. After thoroughly combining the rub’s ingredients in a small bowl, sprinkle it on both sides of each pork chop.
Keep in mind that you won’t need to add any salt to the pork chops if you brined them first. In the event that you decided not to brine the pork chops, you should add one to two teaspoons of salt to the spice rub.
Put the pork chops in big bags that can be vacuum sealed or in regular zip-top bags. You are free to layer as many pork chops in the bag as it will accommodate in a single layer. Avoid overlapping them in any way. In general, I use two bags for four large pork chops with the bone in.
Find below the full (printable) recipe for sous vide pork chops as well as the video for making them. Enjoy!
As soon as the water reaches a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, lower the zip bags into the water. When utilising vacuum seal bags, make sure the corner of the bag with the vacuum valve is kept above the waterline. Make sure the bag is attached to the side of the container by using a clamp. Make sure the pork chops are completely covered in water, but keep the flap-covered corner above the surface of the liquid. (You may also use a machine that vacuum seals things.)
If you are using traditional zip-top bags, you should slowly lower them into the water to force all of the air out of the bag as it is submerged. After the air has been pushed all the way up to the zipper, carefully zip the bags closed to prevent any water from getting inside. After that, you can clamp them to the side, but contrary to vacuum bags, they do not need to be secured in any way.
Either pork chops cooked in a sous vide machine with the bone in or pork chops cooked without the bone are delicious when served with slightly sweet and earthy side dishes.
Apples seasoned with cinnamon and clove go wonderfully with pork chops. They are also delicious when served with greens that have been steamed or sautéed, such as broccolini, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts. Or, if you want to stick with the French theme, you might serve it with haricots verts and baby potatoes.
Delicious starches, such as mashed sweet potatoes, roasted butternut squash, and fluffy stuffing, are wonderful ways to add some additional heartiness to the meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT Temperature Should Pork Chops Be Served at When Cooked in a Sous Vide Method?
Adjust the temperature on the thermometer to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for excellent medium-rare pink chops, or 145 degrees Fahrenheit for chops cooked to a medium temperature.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OVERCOOK PORK CHOPS IN A SOUS VIDE INSTRUMENT?
The answer, according to the experts, is no. It is impossible for the pork chops to reach a higher temperature than that given because the water will always be at the same temperature. In this respect, it is analogous to low and slow cooking. When compared to utilising a slow cooker, cooking with a sous vide allows for more time, which eliminates the risk of overcooking the food, but the process is also significantly more accurate. However, if you do leave the pork chops in the water for a significant period of time, much longer than is suggested, the pork chop’s texture may alter. This is true even if the pork chop’s temperature has not risen above medium-rare or medium.
DO YOU HAVE TO SEAR THE PORK CHOPS AFTER SOUS VIDE COOKING?
In a strict sense, no. After withdrawing pork chops from the sous vide cooking method, you may choose to pan-sear or grill them in order to achieve the desired external texture and appearance. You will need to cook the food at a higher temperature in order to get grill marks or even just a little bit of a crispy texture on the outside. If the appearance of the pork chops or whether or not they have a crust on the outside does not matter to you, you are free to consume them as soon as they are withdrawn from the water in which they were cooked.
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS PORK DISHES? ALSO MAKE SURE TO EXPERIMENT WITH THESE RECIPES:
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Perfect Sous Vide Pork Chops
Foolproof steps with expert tips to sous vide and caramelize bone in or boneless pork chops to tender, mouthwatering perfection. Plus our easy brine recipe and favorite seasoning rubs!
- For the brine: Place the salt and hot tap water in a large zip bag. Shake the bag around to dissolve the salt. Then add the apple cider and pork chops. Zip the bag closed and place in a bowl in case of leakage. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and brine for at least two hours, but overnight is better.
- When you are ready to sous vide the pork chops, place a large pot (or deep container) on the countertop. Clamp the sous vide to the inside of the pot. Fill with water to the minimum line marked on the sous vide. Set the sous vide to preheat to 140°F for perfect medium-rare pink chops. (Set at 145°F for medium.)
- While the water is heating, remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry. Use one of our recommended rubs to season the pork chops. Mix the rub in a small bowl then sprinkle over both sides of each pork chop. If you brined the pork chops, you will not need to add salt. If you chose not to brine the pork chops at 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt to the spice rub.
- Place the pork chops in large vacuum seal bags or classic zip bags. You can place as many pork chops as will fit in the bag in a single layer. Do not overlap them. Usually I use two bags for 4 large bone-in pork chops.
- If using vacuum seal bags, use the suction device to suck all the air out of the bags. If using Ziploc bags you will need to seal them as you lower them into the water.
- Once the water has reached 140°F lower this zip bags into the water. If using vacuum seal bags, keep the vacuum valve corner of the bag above the waterline. Use a clamp to secure the bag to the side of the container. Make sure the pork chops are completely submerged but the corner with the flap is above the water. If using classic zip bags, slowly lower them into the water so that all the air is pushed up and out of the bag. Once the air is completely up to the zipper, carefully zipped them closed so water does not get in the bag. You can then clamp them to the side, but they do not have to be secured like vacuum bags.
- For pork chops that are closer to 1 inch thick, cook for one hour if boneless, or 1 hour 15 minutes if bone-in. For pork chops that are closer to 1 ½ inches, cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes for boneless, 1 hour and 30 minutes for bone in.
- To form a crust: Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the pork chops from the zip bags. Once the skillet is hot, steer the pork chops for 1 to 2 minutes per side to create a caramelized crust. Serve warm.