Take at look those ruby cuts of bérico pork that just arrived at your doorstep. Imagine those perfect lines of intramuscular fat melting slowly and effortless into every crevice of the meat. There are no dry areas, no undercooked parts. Just extravagantly tender bites from start to finish. That’s what happens when you sous vide Ibérico pork.
As one of our most loyal customers, George, said, “The sous vide is the great equalizer.” Whether you’re a solid cook, need a little extra help in the kitchen, or are a Michelin-star chef, suddenly everyone has the chance to cook a killer steak with a sous vide. What changes the game? Stellar product like Ibérico pork, and a few tips on best practices for sous vide pork.
The Gist of Sous Vide
Sous vide (pronounced “sue veed”) is a device and process that slow-cooks food at a very low temperatures in a water bath. A sous vide machine is basically an immersion circulator. It heats the water and maintains the exact same temperature throughout the entire cooking process. The meat (or veg) is placed in special vacuum-sealed plastic bags (food-saver or cryovac) to keep water out, and all sorts of ingredients and seasonings can be added to boost flavor.
Why Sous Vide
Sous vide sounds all sorts of fancy, but it’s actually a foolproof preparation. When you sous vide, you’re cooking meat low and slow, but without any of the changes in temperature you experience with an oven, stove, grill. In other words, it’s incredibly forgiving.
When you’re grilling, for example, your meat hits the ideal temperature for just seconds. Meaning once you’ve hit that temp, you need the knowledge and experience to know it's time to take it off the grill. This comes with time and initially involves a lot of meat thermometer jabbing.
A sous vide, on the other hand, offers complete control and huge windows of time in which your meat sits calmly at the perfect temperature. With sous vide, you can cook a steak for 1 hour or 4 hours, without overdoing it. Wary of overcooking or undercooking pork? This is a great option.
Sous vide is also a total set-it-and-forget-it style of cooking. You don’t have to monitor it like you would a grill or a braise, which is especially ideal for getting dinner on the table after work or hosting a big crew.
Ultimately, sous vide gets you perfectly cooked meat every single time, regardless of the cut. And with such spectacular cuts like Ibérico, you want to treat it right.
How to Sous Vide Ibérico Pork
Choose Your Flavor
Salt and pepper are all you actually need to season Ibérico. But spices, alliums, herbs, and any other flavors never hurt. Try throwing an a little garlic butter, or even some ginger and soy into the bag, along with your cut of choice.
Your Freezer is Your Friend
Forget to thaw? Glory be to the sous vide. You can pull Ibérico cuts straight from the freezer, unwrap, seal them in the sous bags, and drop them right into that water bath. Just make sure to add an hour to the cook time so the meat can fully thaw.
Wrap the Bones
Working with bone-in cuts like ribs? We highly recommend wrapping any exposed bone areas in paper towels. Bones can puncture through the tight vacuum-sealed bags if not protected, ruining your whole delicious set up.
Seal & Set
We highly recommend sealing those sous bags with the food-saver or cryovac to remove all the air. Once sealed, prepare your water bath and immersion circulator and set the Ibérico into the water bath. If properly sealed, the meat will sink.
Let it Cook
Set your sous vide for the desired temperature and time and let it run. Sit back, relax, and take care of the rest of the meal.
Temps & Timing
We’re offering up a few pointers on our favorite temperatures and cook times for each cut. Keep in mind these are suggestions and starting points, with ranges you can adapt based on your schedule and eventually, your preference.
Abanico & Pluma: 131-140ºF for 2 hours
Secreto: 131ºF for 2 hours
Loin Roast: 130ºF for 1-4 hours
Presa: 134ºF for 2 hours
Flank Steak: 135ºF for 2-4 hours
Coppa: 140ºF for 3 hours
4 Rib Rack: 140ºF for 4 hours
St. Louis Ribs: 140ºF for 18 hours
Cooking a few different cuts at once? We’ve found these temps are pretty spot on for most cuts of Ibérico. The great thing is, even if you go over an extra 30 minutes or even hours, you won’t notice any exorbitant changes in the texture. Sous vide is forgiving! So play around and find out what works for you.
These temps anywhere from 1-4 hours will do the trick:
Rare: set to 130ºF
Medium-Rare: set to 130-140ºF
Medium: set to 140º
Medium-Well: set to 150ºF
*Note: We did not include information for well-done pork, as we do not recommend this for Ibérico.
Remove, Dry, and Finish
Remove the pork from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Now it’s time to finish with a jolt of high heat. Technically, searing Ibérico after you use the sous vide method isn’t required—your meat is fully cooked and ready to eat. But throwing it on the grill, or searing it in a hot pan is what gets those crispy edges, and caramelized flavors we all love. Hello, beloved Maillard reaction!
So go ahead and throw your perfectly cooked pork over direct heat on a grill, or a screaming hot pan on the stove, and cook for 1 minute on each side. Or, if you’re feeling wild, you can even blast it with a kitchen torch.
Some Sous Vide Pork Recipes
Need a few sous vide recipes? Check out the Asian-Inspired Sous Vide Ribs using our St. Louis cut and an onion mushroom glaze. Or fire up the grill with Pluma Ibérica and some grilled corn and garlicky potatoes.