Sous Vide: Pan Seared Pork Chops

For the home cook, timing is frequently an obstacle. This recipe shows how sous vide can help you to avoid last minute scurrying.


Pork loin chops, two each, approximately  1 lb/450 g.
Flour for dusting, approximately 0.5 cup/65 g.
Mayonnaise, 0.5 oz/15 g.
Salt, 2 teaspoons.
Ground black pepper, as needed.
Dried parsley, 2 Tablespoons
Vegetable oil, 1 oz/25 ml.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Wooden spoon.
Wire whisk.
Infrared or probe thermometer.

Note: Pork chop bones can be sharp enough to pierce vacuum processed pouches–Ziploc freezer bags can help prevent this.


Degree of difficulty: 1.5


Stage the pork chop(s) into Ziploc freezer bags. Remove the air using the water displacement method.

Sous vide processing temperature settings can be adjusted to accommodate specific time requirements. People who plan to spend the day in the kitchen usually prefer shorter processing intervals. People who work outside the home favor intervals that allow them to start the process in the morning. They can then return in the evening and finish preparing their meal in less than one hour. To accomplish this, sous vide gives us two choices for processing pork chops.

Sous vide process the pork chops at
140 F/60 C for 4 hours


Sous vide process the pork chops at
132 F/56 C for 9 hours. 

After processing is complete, reduce the bath temperature to 127F/57C. The pork chops can be kept at this temperature for up to six hours without any detectable change in quality. This gives you the freedom to assemble the rest of your meal, knowing that once everything else is ready you are only a few minutes away from finishing your entrée.

When you are ready to assemble your meal, remove the bag from the bath. Submerge in cold tap water for five minutes. Remove chops from bag and pat very dry with a paper towel. Lay the chops out on parchment or butcher paper. Sift flour over the pork chops on both sides and shake off the excess.

Use a pastry brush to paint one side of the pork chops with a very thin coating of mayonnaise–just enough to make the flour disappear. This does two things. Mayonnaise is an emulsion composed almost entirely of oil. Even though it is sticky enough to cause the seasonings to cling to the surface, it also melts away when exposed to heat. Sprinkle the chops with salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Pat the chops lightly with dry hands, turn over, and repeat the process on the other side.

Heat a 12″/30 cm skillet to 250 F/121 C. Add the 1 oz/25 ml vegetable oil and carefully lay the chops in the pan. Do not crowd the pan–make sure there is at least 2″/6 cm between them. Sear until brown on one side for 1-2 minutes. Use tongs to grab the bone and gently turn them over. Finish browning on the other side.

Norm King





Sous vide uses time and temperature to achieve the tenderization that pork chops and many other cuts require. By adjusting the processing temperature, sous vide's flexibility can be used to make time an ally instead of an adversary.

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