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Sous vide is a method of slow-cooking food in a temperature-controlled water bath. Restaurants have machines to monitor the temperature, but can home cooks easily duplicate this technique?

Pork chops are very difficult to cook because they dry out so easily. The meat is so lean that I had stopped buying pork chops. But I was tempted to try a pork chop sous vide. Slow-cooking is an ideal method for keeping pork tender and moist.

I filled a large stock pot with hot tap water (and added a little boiling water to keep the temperature hot). I placed the seasoned pork chop in a plastic storage bag and submerged the bag in water and then squeezed out the air and sealed the bag. I used a probe thermometer to monitor the water temperature; the water bath should be kept at the temperature that the meat is cooked — for pork, 140 degrees. I left the pork chop in the water for an hour.

Occasionally, I added a little more boiling water to maintain the 140-degree water temperature. Low-and-slow cooking is very forgiving; since the meat’s temperature changes so slowly, the cooking time is flexible. After an hour, I checked the internal temperature of the pork chop and it registered 140 degrees. Then I used a kitchen torch to brown and caramelize the surface of the meat. (No one wants to eat an anemic-looking steak, plus browned food is more flavorful than food that is not caramelized.)

During this hour of “cooking” time, my husband was dubious about our dinner and strongly suggested a delivered pizza. But after I served the juicy pork chop (with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed Swiss chard with roasted red pepper jam), he suggested that we repeat this dinner — soon!

Want to learn more about modern techniques of cooking? Join us for Modernist Cuisine cooking class on Monday, June 11 at 6 pm.


One Comment for “Kitchen Sink Sous Vide”  

  1. Eric

    Nice! I put steaks in ziplock bags in a hot tub for an a couple of hours before giving them a quick super-hot grilling on the Big Green Egg.