This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with FoodSaver®.
Over the last several years, sous-vide cooking has made its way into home kitchens everywhere and at-home chefs are loving this gourmet cooking method. Sous-vide, meaning “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. To break it down, you simply vacuum-seal your food in your FoodSaver® Sous-Vide Vacuum Seal Bags using a FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System (I have the FM2000 unit), set your sous-vide cooker (I have one from Anova) to your desired temperature, drop the bags in the pot of water and set your timer. It’s such a simple cooking process and the food tastes so good.
Sous-Vide Pork Chops
Today I want to share a super simple sous vide pork chops recipe with you from start to finish. A crucial step for my pork chops recipe is the brining process, so be sure you don’t skip over that part.
First, we should take into consideration how you would like your meat cooked. I personally prefer my pork chops to be medium-rare (because I feel like any more done and they resemble a hockey puck) and usually get them bone-in, and the thickest I can find (usually about 3/4″ – 1″ thick). I found this handy sous-vide pork chops temperature chart on SeriousEats, in case you need a little cheat sheet like I do. Bear in mind that we will be finishing our sous-vide pork chops in a cast iron pan to get a good crust, so adjust your timing. For this recipe I set my Anova sous-vide cooker to 140 degrees F and cooked my chops for one hour, finishing them in a pan for about one minute per side.
Brining is such a crucial step to get our pork chops to have great flavor throughout, and you’re more than welcome to add or take away any ingredients to your brine, depending on your taste. Brining is often used to help retain the moisture in your meat, which isn’t necessary when sous-vide cooking, but I personally love the flavor this brine gives the meat.
- 3 cups of cold water (keeping one cup set aside, separate from the other 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
- 3 bay leaves
- In a small saucepan, heat one cup of your water on high until boiling. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in your salt, peppercorns, garlic and bay leaves until the salt is dissolved and the garlic is fragrant.
- Whisk in your remaining 2 cups of cold water, bringing your brine to a cooler temperature.
- Place your pork chops in a shallow dish and cover with your brine.
- Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
Vacuum-Sealing Your Pork Chops
After your meat has brined for 1-4 hours, place the meat into your FoodSaver® Sous-Vide Vacuum Seal Bag(s). With the FoodSaver® sous-vide vacuum seal bags, your food will be airtight, which is very important when cooking them in water. The process of removing all of the air from the bags ensures that your meat won’t float during the cooking process, meaning it will cook evenly.
TheFoodSaver® Sous-Vide vacuum seal bags have multiple durable layers that help resist punctures (important when freezing your vacuum-sealed food), helps lock in freshness and flavor, and work best with a vacuum sealer like the FoodSaver® FM2000 Vacuum Sealing System. This unit is compact and easy to store, which is something I always take into consideration when purchasing kitchen tools. The bags are safe in the microwave, freezer and fridge, and come in a roll or in the 1 quart and 1 gallon sizes.
Shopping Tip: You can shop for the FoodSaver® Sous-Vide Vacuum Seal Bags at your local Target or online at target.com.
Tip: I love to add in some extra chunks of garlic and peppercorn from my brine, to add some extra flavor during the cooking process, so I toss those into the vacuum seal bags just before getting all the air out.
Let’s Sous-Vide Cook Those Pork Chops!
To begin this process, you’ll want to fill a large pot with cold water, connect your sous-vide cooker to the pot (follow your cooker’s instructions for how to clamp onto the pot), and place your vacuum sealed bag of meat into the pot. You don’t want the water to spill out of the pot, so you may have to remove some of the water if needed.
Since I like my pork chops to be cooked to medium-rare, I set my sous-vide cooker to 140 degrees F and cook my meat for one hour.
Finish Your Pork Chops in a Cast Iron Pan
Once you’ve reached your 1 hour cooking mark, carefully remove your FoodSaver® bags of meat from the pot of hot water, and cut open (being carefully not to burn yourself on the steam coming out of the bag).
- Pat your cooked pork chops dry with a paper towel, and season with a little bit of salt and ground black pepper on both sides.
- Heat a large cast iron pan on medium-high heat until hot (turn on your vent because these pork chops will likely get a little smokey).
- Add a few teaspoons of olive oil to your pan.
- Add your seasoned pork chops to your hot cast iron pan and cook until golden brown on each side (about 1 minute per side).
The idea here is not to finish cooking your pork chops, but to just give them that “pan finished” crust and flavor, while maintaining that juicy, tender texture inside.
The Pan Sauce
I make a pan sauce anytime I cook meat in a pan, and this recipe is no different. My current favorite is a homemade honey mustard sauce made with old fashioned grainy mustard, honey, and the drippings from the pan.
- Turn off the heat on your pan (it will still be very hot during this process).
- Add a heaping couple of tablespoons of old fashioned mustard to the pain.
- Add two heaping tablespoons of honey to the pan, whisking or using a spatula to mix.
- Carefully mix the mustard and honey together, scraping any of the fond (stuck-on food bits) as you mix. We want those yummy food chunks and juices in this sauce.
- Once the sauce thickens to your desired consistency (about 1-2 minutes), carefully use a spatula to remove it from the pan and place in bowls for dipping.
This recipe is super easy and is a family favorite over here. The moisture that the sous-vide cooking process leaves in the meat is so delish, and the ease of use with the FoodSaver® Sous-Vide Vacuum Seal Bags and FM2000 cooker makes this recipe worth repeating. Happy cooking!