Something I Ate: Sous Vide Pork Chops

sous_vide_pre_300We’ve come a long way since the boil-in-a-bag lunches of chicken à la king I enjoyed as a kid back in the Seventies.

But for this collector of kitchen gadgets, I feel like I’ve come full circle with a Sous Vide Supreme (and vacuum sealer for the bags) sitting on my kitchen counter.

Note the location. While my four waffle irons, three woks, and much more are stored away safely in the pantry, this monster of a machine must sit out, taking up valuable real estate in my favorite room in the house.

That said, I’ve been delighted to have an opportunity to demo a unit, and to learn more about the style of cooking (based on precise cooking temperatures) that’s the rage in restaurants–and now in some homes–of late.

sous_vide_post_300I started with the simplest of recipes, a basic chicken breast preparation, and was pleased with the moistness of the meat, though I definitely appreciated the quick searing at the end of the cooking process. A few other meat preparations yielded similar results, including the pictured pork chops, though I can see how some people might initially question the texture of the finished product.

There are many pros to sous vide cooking, such as a fail-proof formula when following recipes (cooking times are forgiving, so it’s hard to dry out meats), fairly quick clean-up, the need to do advanced planning as called for by cooking times.

One of the cons: the need to do advanced planning as called for by cooking times. 72-hour ribs? How many of us can even think past the next 24 hours? (I haven’t gotten to a rib recipe, but I hear they’re amazing.)

For those with counter space or other storage options, The Sous Vide Supreme is a tool that might improve or enhance food preparation. (And while I’ve only discussed meat, you can sous vide fruits, vegetables, and more.) While I appreciate the machine’s capabilities, I don’t have the space, and I also enjoy the challenges of time, technique, and more that make cooking in the kitchen so intriguing and educational. There is one thing, though, for which sous vide technique reigns supreme. More on that next time….

First published on TheSunbreak.com on August 27, 2010.

One Response to “Something I Ate: Sous Vide Pork Chops”

  1. September 5, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Hi Jay,

    Great post. We’ve been recently looking into this cooking method. I’m reeeeally hoping it’s worth the extra steps. Your device looks like it means business! Just yesterday came across this smaller unit:

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/polyscience-professional-sous-vide-thermal-circulator/?pkey=x%7C4%7C1%7C%7C4%7Csou%7C%7C0&cm_src=SCH

    It hasn’t been customer rated, but the concept seems sound and a heck of a lot less counter space.

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