First Sous Vide was overcooked

I am new to sous vide and just tried my first cook with the Anova wifi. I wanted to start with something easy and tried some 1" bone in pork chops.

My problem was overcooked pork chops. They tasted good but were tougher than they should be. I am sure I left them too long. The time set from the anova was one hour and they were in the water at temp 140 for two hours.

I thought sous vide would not overcook with extra holding but maybe not.

Also lastly the meat closer to the bone was pink in color. Not white pink but just pink. Is that normal ?

Thanks in advance,
Rex

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It’s perfectly fine to eat medium rare pork these days, so there is no panic about the pink. But pink around the bone is not unusual at all. The bone is probably going to be pulling heat out of the meat closest to it. This will happen more with larger bones, but there is still some density in a rib bone. So there are still some brighter myoglobin cells in the areas close to the bone. Nothing to worry about, it’s perfectly safe.

Now, as far as the ‘toughness’ goes. What type of pork chop were they? Single, dense muscle and little fat cap?

Pork can be a little tricky. Modern pork is bred to be lean with very little intramuscular fat. They are bred, not for flavour but for rapid development. Added to this is the fact that the pork is harvested very young, before the pig starts to develop its fat. This can make some commercially bred pork dense and inclined to be dry. Heritage breed pork is much better if you can find it.

While, I would say that 2 hours should be more than enough for a 1" thick pork chop at my preferred medium rare 103F/54.4C, Douglas Baldwin actually suggests 12 hours for pork chops to allow time for some of those fine, dense fibres to break down particularly if you would rather a more traditional finish to your pork at 141F/61C which will give you a finish with minimal blush.

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Pork

Thanks Ember for the reply

I am not sure about the exact type of pork chop and will look a little closer next time.

I did realize that i forgot to pat dry the chops before pan searing so it took a few minutes to sear including flipping and not really getting the browning that i wanted. I can’t believe i forgot that step.

I will try again and might try one of the techniques from your link.

Thanks
Rex

Ahhh… not drying before sear would contribute to overcooked.

Pork chops are really one thing that no one seems to agree on when it comes to time and method.

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Yeah, pork chops can be a bit tricky. I’m still chasing for that perfect, sweet spot when it comes to chops. Quality matters, thickness maters, the kind of chop matters. Keep experimenting with it. Also, just as @Ember mentioned, patting dry before searing is important!

Brining your pork will also assist with both flavor and texture. I usually equilibrium brine pork and poultry products about a day before cooking them. The difference between brined and not brined are noticeable.

I have to say, I have a bit of a problem with brining. Yes, it will get salt and moisture into the meat, but the moisture is just water. So it’s actually diluting the natural flavour of the meat.

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I’m a guy who shops for $-off tags so I don’t have a regular butcher. A better plan if I had a bigger meat budget would be to only have a single meat source. Hopefully that way the quality variation would be minimized.

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Thanks again for all the replies.

I am looking forward to trying something again this weekend

Rex

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Your instincts are actually opposite here, cooking longer sous vide will not produce a tougher meat, rather a more tender one. I cook pork chops for a generous 3 hours and find they are quite tender. As previously mentioned sear should be very short. Try a VERY hot pan or direct flame after pat drying meat. If the sear takes longer than 10-15 seconds on any one area, you’re cooking the inside, leading to toughness.