Sous-vide Pork Shoulder Reprise

I made another pork shoulder roast sous-vide tonight. I started by using a rub of Bone Sucking Sauce Rib Rub and some garlic oil then vacuum sealing the pieces of the roast overnight. Then this morning I put them in the bath at about 160F for about 9 hours. I was a little nervous when they came out as the very ends of the smaller pieces were somewhat dry.

The good news is that most of the pork was very succulent and tasted excellent. So overall it was a big success and the meat was quite popular. Once again I regreted not having a commercial vacuum sealer though, as with the FoodSaver level of vacuum the juice seeps back out of the meat and extends the bag pouch. From all I have read if you have a serious commercial unit the vacuum is strong enough that the juices tend to stay in the meat more.

I did learn one important lesson on the way. My test for how much water I needed and how important a cover was was at 165F. At that temperature there wasn’t much evaporation. But I decided to make pulled pork from some of the pork and cranked my thermal bath up to 200F. At that temp (much like we all learned in high school about partial pressures!) the water evaporates much faster and my bath almost went dry. Lesson learned, hopefully.–David


March 13, 2006. Recipes, Technique.


  1. sousvide replied:

    After serving the bulk of the pork shoulder as “BBQ Pork” I left a portion of it in the thermal bath & turned it up to 200F for another 4 hours.

    The meat came out nearly perfect for “pulled pork” except that (as with some other sous-vide treatments) it was not nearly as brown–it still had some of its natural pink color even though of course it was more than thoroughly cooked.

    It was quite moist for a pulled pork, and the juices were wonderful. It will make some great sandwiches!

    And all this from a cut of meat that Safeway sells for about $1.50/lb.–David

  2. Sous Vide Solutions replied:

    I am writing to inform you of a new consultancy service “Sous Vide Solutions” to accommodate the growing use of this cooking technique.
I have been using this method of cookery for many years professionally in fine-dining restaurants, and contribute regularly at demonstrations and trade-shows.
I have been working with the leading UK waterbath manufacturers [Clifton] and alongside Mulivac vacuum packers.

    During the past 12 months I have seen much growth through the industry and a definite trend of larger-scale properties (often without highly skilled chefs) changing their cooking styles towards the sous vide method. That said the need for proper training and safe system set-up is vitally needed.

    Sous Vide Solutions provide expert, practical set-up advice and the implementation within your premises for a tailored service – including the seamless inclusion of systems, processes and technology. Full support of HACCP is all part of a safe and efficient service that Sous Vide Solutions offer.

    Olly Rouse
Principle Consultant

  3. Natalie Sztern replied:

    After one does the sous vide is it necessary to add color to the protein ie. ribs where does the browning come from?

    • sousvide replied:

      Natalie–I always brown meat in a skillet (you can also use a torch) before or after the thermal bath (personally I prefer after), to add color + the Maillard reaction to get that distinctive smell & flavor. It isn’t necessary (or even advisable) with fish, but it is a great 1-2 punch with steaks, short ribs, etc. For traditional ribs I tend to use my smoker so I’ve never tried them sous-vide (my thermal bath probably isn’t big enough anyway), but short ribs come out great–especially if you get the ones with the bone in them to start with.

  4. fares replied:


  5. wyorich replied:

    I just did some thick pork chops. Lightly rubbed with some Mild WHAM (a Memphis BBQ rub) and topped with a half slice of smoked bacon. I did 134 degrees for a little over 13 hours. Note–the Baldwin paper says you safely cook pork at 130. I browned quickly in a very hot pan and served. Texture and tenderness both excellent. My wife was predictably a little off-put by the pink color, at first, but after tasting thought they were great. Next time, I’ll season a little heavier and brown a little longer to get a better crust. Getting ready to try some “perfect eggs.” Natalie, I think you can get the color before or after the bath, but after gives a nice crust as well.

    • sousvide replied:

      I think the color of the meat (particularly for pork) is one of the trickiest issues with sous-vide. No matter what you tell people about food safety they are a little nervous about eating pink pork. The flip side is that it can be really juicy compared to drying it out the way so many traditional pork recipes call for.

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