Sous vide pork chops are juicy and tender – they will be perfectly cooked every time. Sous vide allows you to cook pork consistently and exactly with amazingly delicious results. These pork chops are topped off with a mustard cream sauce for an easy dinner.
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Cooking pork chops sous vide is a delicious way to make sure they are tender and juicy and never over cooked. After sous vide cooking the pork chops are seared on the stove for a crispy brown exterior and added flavor.
Sous vide is a great way to cook many types of meat. Sous vide chicken breast and sous vide beef tenderloin are delicious dinners. And pork chops are another meat that benefits from this cooking method.
Why Sous Vide Pork Chops?
Sous vide cooking makes it virtually impossible to over cook pork chops. And pork chops are very easy to overcook if you are grilling them, roasting them or pan frying them.
Over cooked pork is not appetizing at all – I’d say it is even worse than over cooked beef or chicken. The texture of over cooked pork is hard and dry, making it hard to even chew.
Sous vide cooking is also a very easy method of preparation. It seems complicated at first, because it is so different from traditional cooking methods. But once you do it a few times you realize it is not difficult and most of the time required is hands off time.
How Does Sous Vide Work?
In sous vide cooking the dish is cooked in a water bath that is held at a precise temperature by an sous vide immersion cooker. The food is cooked to exactly the desired temperature.
In this recipe the sous vide is set at 145 F, so the pork will cook to exactly 145 F. This precise temperature control means you can count on consistent pork chops every time. There is no guesswork and no complicated timing.
The lower heat used for sous vide means that the meat retains its moisture after cooking.
Another advantage of sous vide cooking is the time required to cook the dish is flexible. The pork chops in the water bath will be cooked in about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
But you can keep them in the water bath for up to 4 hours without loosing any flavor. So if you are having guests and they are late arriving – no problem. Just leave the pork in a little longer and push dinner back.
After 4 hours the pork will still be edible, but the texture will start to degrade and get mushy. Still an almost 3 hours time window for when dinner is finished gives you lots of options.
Best Sous Vide Temperature for Pork Chops
The temperature rules for cooking sous vide are a little different than the standard guidelines from the USDA. This is because safe cooking temperature is a function of both time and temperature.
In sous vide cooking the temperature can be controlled precisely for long periods of time so it can be safe to cook pork at temperature as low as 130 F, which is rare pork.
Here is a breakdown of the cooking temperature for pork chops:
- 130 F – Rare
- 140 F – Medium Rare
- 145 F – Medium
- 150 F – Medium Well
- 160 F – Well Done
But even though it is safe to eat rare sous vide pork chops most people don’t like them. People are used to eating beef with a pink center, but pink pork makes people nervous.
Additionally the texture of pork which is cooked to 130 -140 F is different. It is much more juicy and wet and is not what most people expect from pork.
So I cook my pork to 145 F because it is a good compromise temperature. The pork is juicy and tender but still has a firm texture. The meat might have a tiny bit of pink color, but it looks like you’d expect pork to look.
Why Sear the Pork Chops?
Searing the pork chops in a hot pan after sous vide cooking improves both the taste and looks of the pork chops. Searing activates the Maillard reaction, in which the high heat caramelized the surface of the meat and adds flavor.
Searing also makes the meat look more appetizing and is worth the few extra minutes it adds to making the dish. You can sear the pork chops in a hot pan or on a grill. The few minutes of additional cooking time to get a brown and crusty surface will not cook the interior of the pork chops.
Boneless or Bone In Pork Chops?
Either boneless or bone in pork chops work well with this recipe. I used bone in pork chops in the pictures. The most important thing is to get nice thick pork chops. I like to sous vide pork chops that are about 1 -1 1/4 inches thick.
Mustard Pan Sauce
Since I sear the pork chops in a hot skillet I like to use the skillet to make a quick pan sauce to serve with the pork. In this recipe I make a mustard pan sauce. You can easily make a sauce in the five minutes that the pork needs to rest before serving.
Step by Step Sous Vide Pork Chops
1. Set up the Immersion Cooker
Set up your water bath with your immersion cooker. It can take a while for the cooker to heat the water up to your desired temperature, so the sooner you start it the better. Set the sous vide cooker to 145 F (or your desired temperature) and let it heat up.
2. Prepare the Pork Chops
Season the pork chops with the desired herbs and spices. I seasoned my pork chops with salt and pepper and then topped them off with fresh thyme and rosemary. The flavor from the herbs will infuse the meat as it cooks.
3. Bag the Pork Chops
Seal the pork chops in a bag for cooking. If you have a vacuum sealer use it to package the pork chops. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer put them in a zipper seal bag and remove as much air from it as you can.
4. Cook the Pork
Once the water bath has reached the desired temperature add the pork chops. If you are using a vacuum sealed bag just drop it in.
If you are using a zipper seal bag open the top slightly, and gently lower the pork chops into the water. The water pressure should push up any remaining air out of the top of the bag. Once the air is gone reseal the bag.
With either method the pork chops need to be completely submerged in the water bath. Air bubbles inside the bags can cause them to float to the top. If the bag floats up weight it down with something like a spoon or a mason jar filled with water.
The pork needs to cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. It can cook for up to 3 1/2 – 4 hours with no loss of flavor.
5. Sear the Pork
About 15 minutes before you want to serve the pork chops put a cast iron skillet on medium high heat on the stove. Let it heat for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil to the skillet.
Take the pork chops out of the sous vide and open the bags. Pat them dry with paper towels and remove any herbs on the surface. For optimal browning you want a hot pan and dry pork chops.
Add the chops to the skillet and sear for 1-2 minutes. A nice golden brown crust should develop on the bottom. Flip the pork chops and repeat on the other side.
Remove the pork chops to a serving platter and let them rest while you make a sauce.
6. Make a Mustard Cream Sauce
Turn the heat on the skillet down to medium. Add chicken broth and mustard to the hot pan. Let the liquid reduce by about half, to 1/4 cup. Add the heavy cream and then take the skillet off the heat. Stir it until it is mixed in. Then spoon the sauce over the pork chops.
Can I use Frozen Pork Chops?
Frozen pork chops work fine for sous vide cooking. You would need to increase the cooking time to 2 hours minimum if your pork chops are frozen.
One of the big advantages of sous vide is that you can use frozen meat right from the freezer, without thawing. I like to season and prepare a bunch of pork chops all at once and then freeze them until I want to serve them.
What to Serve With Pork Chops
You can serve these pork chops with any of your family’s favorite side dishes, like garlic mashed potatoes or baked sweet potatoes. These sous vide pork chops will be perfectly cooked every time. They have a nice firm texture and taste delicious. With sous vide cooking dry overcooked pork is a thing of the past.
- 2 bone-in pork chops
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh rosemary
- fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Mustard Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- Set the sous vide cooker in the container. Set the temperature to 145 F and wait for the water to reach temperature.
- Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to your taste. Then add fresh thyme and rosemary on top of the pork chop to add flavor as they cook.
- Seal the pork chops in a vacuum bag. If you don't have a vacuum sealer put them in a zipper top plastic bag and close it almost all the way, removing as much air as you can.
- Once the water bath has reach temperature add the pork. If the pork is vacuum sealed just drop the bag in. If you are using a zipper top bag slowly lower it into the water, keeping the top out of the water. As the bag is lowered the water pressure should force any remaining air out. Seal the bag.
- Make sure the pork chops are completely submerged in the water bath. If they float to the top use a wooden spoon or mason jar filled with water to weight them down.
- Cook the pork for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can leave it in the water for up to 3 1/2 to 4 hours with no loss of flavor.
- About 15 minutes before you want to eat heat a cast iron skilled on medium high heat on the stove. After 5 minutes take the pork chops out of the sous vide water.
- Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Add the olive oil to the skillet and sear each pork chops for 1-2 minutes per side. You want a nice golden brown crust to develop.
- Remove the pork chops and let them rest for 5 minutes. While they rest make the mustard cream sauce.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Then in the same skillet add the chicken broth and mustard. Stir and let the liquid reduce by about half, which should take 1-2 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and add in the heavy cream. Stir until mixed. Serve over the pork chops.
You can use boneless pork chops instead of bone in. Thick pork chops are best.
If the pork chops are frozen increase the cooking time to 2 hours minimum.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 513Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 875mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 42g
Nutrition facts are estimates.