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Sous Vide Pork Chops


ElsieD
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I'm brand new to sous vide cooking. I am using a PolyScience Immersion Circulator in a stock pot. Right now I have 4 bone in rib end pork chops in there which are 1.5 inches thick and individually vacuum sealed and seasoned with salt and pepper. The temperature is set at 135F. I plan on cooking them for 12 hours. I only have one thin little cookbook (I'm waiting on two others to arrive which will help a lot) and it is not very helpful. Can someone tell me if I am using the correct temperature setting and also if 12 hours is the correct amount of time? Thank you.

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Baldwin has these numbers:

Loin Ch medium rare 130 2.5 - 3.5 H

medium 140 1.5 - 2.5

Rib Ch. medium rare 130 6 - 8 H

medium 140 6 - 8 H

Sirloin Ch. medium rare 130 8 - 12 H

medium 140 8 - 12 H

good luck and let us know

pics help!

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So all you need to do is bring them to temperature: for 1.5" thick you probably want to set your water temp to 1° higher than your target temp following the recommendations of the Modernist Cuisine team. Then, assuming it is starting at 40°F, so needs to increase 95°F, it will take 1.5 hours.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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another SV tip:

get a notebook and keep track of where you got the meat, the cut you are SVing the seasonings and the time and temp

it ends up being very useful for finding your own zone. and yes, meat at different stores sometimes turns out very very differently.

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Chris, how does that square with the times that rotuts posted? Sorry if I sound like an idiot but this is all so very, very, new to me.

Setting the water bath slightly above your target core temp (MC recommends 1°C/2°F I believe) gets you to temp much faster, since the process is asymptotic, with virtually no noticeable defects for most items.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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So let's see if I understand this correctly. Rotuts says a rib chop takes from 6 to 8 hours. Chris, are you saying that if I up the temperature to 136 or 137 my chops are done in an hour and a half? That is a huge difference. Right now they have been gurgling away for 4 and a half hours.

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no what I think he means is setting 1 degree higher gets you to the target temp in all the meat faster. SV then does its work at that temp for various amounts of time based on the connective tissue, etc to get to tender meat.

Beef shoulder takes as long as 72 hrs at 130 to become Prime Rib

Prime Rib takes a lot less time as its already tender.

the set temp give you the 'doneness' ie rare, MR, M MedWell, Well the time gets the tenderness and takes into account the toughness of the meat.

'too long' at the target temp giver you 'meally' meat

thatsx why its wise to keep a log for future ref.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Why thank you, Rotuts, the light bulb just came on. So in the example given, I would start it at, say, one degree higher until it got up to temp, in say, 1.5 hours and then cook it for a further period of time (maybe 5.5 hours in this case) at 135? It will then have cooked for 7 hours. I would then (in my case) sear two of the chops for dinner and cool the other two in an ice bath for future searing and serving. Am I now understanding this correctly? Is the 5.5 hours called the pasteurization stage? Thanks again, to the both of you. And, I will create a log. Excellent idea.

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We're not discussing Pasteurization here (yet): that's simply a separate temperature table that you need to look up, telling you how long to hold to achieve the desired reduction in bacteria. We're only discussing texture at this point, not food safety.

In my opinion, pork chops do not require any additional time beyond that required to come up to temperature: I don't care for the texture if held too long. When I make them I bring to temp and sear/serve immediately. YMMV, of course.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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those two chops you dont plan to eat now will be pasturized. cool them very very quickly in an ice bath

(Lots of Ice) then keep them in the coldest part of your refirg.

those you only need to 'reheat' to the 135 which does not take long at all.

get a digital temp

Im a fan of the thermapen as many people are. there are fine ones cheaper

but with your set up ..... The Red Thermapen works Best:

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/thermapen/

:wink:

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So we haven't eaten anything yet but I also cooked some carrots and a fennel bulb, which I quartered, added some dill and butter too and sous vided it at 183 for an hour. This is fun. I was careful to cool the chops very quickly using an ice bath with lots of ice. I do have a thermopan (the red one) and recorded a temperature of 34F in the ice bath. When we go to eat I'll reheat the chops at 135 then sear quickly and sort of glaze the veggies in a frying pan. This I can do while I cook up the mushroom risotto cakes we are having with it. Thanks for all your help it gave me a measure of confidence.

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Unless you have reason to believe your chops are going to be especially tough, 12 hours seems like overkill. By my calculations with my SousVide Dash app, you can get to temperature in 1:45:

totemp.png

As far as pasteurization goes, it should already be accomplished at the surface by then:

surface.png

If you want to pasteurize to the core, you need a little more time, just under two hours:

core.png

See the app itself for more details on exactly what pathogens it is modeling and what the reductions are in these times.

If you want to go longer for tenderization purposes you can, but I tend to find it unnecessary. But it's a matter of taste, so you may want to try some different times and see what you like. Even better, fire up you circulator eight hours before you want to eat, then drop one chop in every two hours (making sure to mark the bags). Pull them all at the same time, sear and taste test them side by side to see what you personally prefer. Now you'll have the perfect time for you every subsequent time.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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We have had the pork chops and they were very tender. Mine had a few bloody spots in them and I found that a bit off-putting. When we have the other two chops I think I will bring them to 140 and see if that takes care of it. I don't want to overlook them, but I don't like bloody spots in my pork, either. The carrots were perfect, the fennel needed to be cooked to a higher temperature as they were too firm. Overall, I'm very happy with the items I have done so far. I am very appreciative of the help I received. I do plan on reading the SV thread, as soon as I have the time. No doubt I will learn many things from it.

One last question - (just thought of it) the two remaining pork chops are currently in the fridge in their vacuum pack. Given that they spent 7 hours in a water bath at 135, how long can I keep them in the fridge? Or should I freeze them?

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Hello Elsie,

Let me see if I can unpack some of the comments made in this thread for you.

  • When cooking, some thing happen quickly and other things happen slowly. In traditional cooking, few recipes take advantage of these slow processes. Sous vide cooking makes controlling these slow processes practical.
  • The slow processes, like the enzymatic break down of collagen, mostly increase tenderness. If what you want to cook is tender, such as fish, then you want to limit the slow processes by not keeping the food in the water bath for too long. So if you are cooking tender pork chops, then you'll probably just want to bring them up to temperature and then hold them at that temperature until they're pasteurized.
  • If your pork chops aren't very tender — as I find most of today's lean pork — then using these slow processes to increase tenderness is useful. Cooking for a long time at 130°F has the added benefit of making the color of the meat paler. This is why my cooking times are much longer for some cuts of pork chops than those recommended by Chris.

Obviously, I recommend reading my free web guide and my new review article (which discusses fast and slow processes in more detail).

My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK

My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

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I have cooked quite a few pork chops from my local Italian butcher and always do them the same - pretty much as Doug recommends (I have a his book and is my "Go To" for quick temp/time guidance, thanks Doug!).

I almost always get my chops at the 1.5 inch thick portions (rib chops), and cook them 4-5 hours @ 130. Take them out and toss 'em on the charcol grill set to "BLAZING" and get that quick sear, or use my Iwatani blow torch. Results are always good for me and for the people that try them - "These pork chops are so moist, how does that work??"..... ;-)

With that being said, you may still end up sometimes with the little spots of blood, but I think everyone hear will let you know that 4-6 hours @ 130 is plenty to kill any possible nasties. Remembering of course that the whole "pork trichnosis" thing is not what it used to be. Experiment and find your favorite.

Once again, I'm a bit of a lazy a**, so when I cook pork chops like this, I'll cook 6 or 8 at a time and freeze them. That way when I want a great chop, I'll get the sous vide up to temp, pull out the frozen chops and in about 30 mins @130 I'm ready to sear them for a EZ meal that is PERFECT. For me, that is one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL things - perfect food without even really trying. Call me a cheater if you will....but my guests and I are QUITE HAPPY and can live with that! LOL!

Here is a quick video on YouTube of the porkchops that I'm talking about.

Cheers and have a blast!

Todd in Chicago

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