Friday, March 19, 2010


Thursday we decided to cook pork chops with the sous vide contraption. For a refresher course on our first attempt click here. Marty was not going to be home that afternoon and I had to do some of the prep. The directions told us to brine the chops, which Marty did and then he left. I had to hook up the machine and preheat the water later that afternoon. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well I don't do machinery. So I was worried. Below are pictures of the steps and a little bit of explanation. Remember click on the picture to make them bigger.

The inside of our frig with the pork chops in the brine. Yes, that is Two Buck Chuck in the back.
As you can see, I did get it hooked up and no fire or breakers thrown. Cords in, cords out, cords in the water. Below I have pictures of the directions.

This is the first page of directions on setting up the machine and how to use it. The directions continue on for several pages. I was worried about setting temperatures and time. Press set twice, punch up or down the to set the temperature, press set again. Oh, and it has to be done within a certain time frame. Got it right the first time.

This is the back of the machine showing where the crock pot cord, sensor and the electrical cord to the wall plug in. This was simpler than I thought it would be. Each cord had a different size or different prong thingy. So you can't plug into the wrong place.

This is where the trouble began. Another page said to refer to this chart for time and temperature to cook. Since it was pork we wanted it to be at least medium. One recipe said 12 hours, another 4 hours, another 1 hour, and this chart is just dumb. We used the first line across. Remember we cook by height. The low temperature, meaning rare is much longer than the other temperatures. This told me to cook the meat 21 minutes. For the rare, it was over an hour. Confused? I was too.

Marty came home and vacuumed sealed the chops. Then we tried to decide how long to cook them. We decided about an hour, since we had cooked the steaks 48 minutes. Pork takes longer. And we could always finish them in a skillet if not done.

The Blow Torch King is browning the chops.

Here he is turning them over to brown the other side. Look at the one he has in the tongs. You can see how grey the meat is. Sort of like the color when you cook in a microwave.

And the finished product with peas and mushrooms, and buttered potatoes with garlic chives.
We were not happy with the chops. They were tender and tasted good, but they were over done. If I had cooked them this done in a skillet they wouldn't have been as tender. So that was one good thing. The machine did not hold the water within 3 degrees as advertised. At one point the water was 5 degrees too hot.
All the web sites say chicken cooked sous vide is incredible. Next week we will try chicken. Stay tuned.

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