This Sous Vide Pork Belly post is sponsored by FoodSaver®; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you’ve never tried Sous Vide Pork Belly then you’re in for a real treat! Sous Vide Pork Belly is tender and packs an incredible flavor punch.
Sous Vide Pork Belly
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When you’re cooking with something that is as tough (yet so flavorful!) as pork belly: Sous Vide is the way to go!
A perfectly cooked pork belly can’t be beat and is amazing in Bahn mi sandwiches or Cole slaw sliders, in corn chowder or a thick stew, and chunked to top salads… Mmmmm!!! There are so many delicious ways to eat it.
Sous Vide Pork
The meat needs to be broken down for a good pork belly recipe. Usually with a long baking or braising method in your oven or slow cooker. The end results are always tasty, but can be dry or have chewy fat.
However, by cooking the pork belly sous-vide in a vacuum sealed bag at the perfect temperature; the end results are tender, flavorful, not at all stringy or “chewy” and is overall amazing beautifully cooked pork belly that is soft as butter.
How to cook Sous-Vide
Sous-vide: the name alone makes you feel fancy!
Sous- vide cooking is when you seal food in a vacuum sealed bag, and then cook that food in water that is temperature controlled. The sous-vide technique produces results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. (ie: this pork belly is divine and couldn’t reach this level of perfection with any other cooking method!!! You should also definitely give Sous Vide Steak a try. So good!)
For just about any protein you cook sous-vide, the steps are the same:
- Attach your sous-vide tool to a pot of water and set the temperature.
- Put your protein/ meat in a vacuum sealed bag and add it to the water (I often clip the bag to the side of the pot with a chip clip to keep it in place and make sure it stays submerged).
- Cook for however long your recipe is calling for.
- Grill, sear or finish the meat at a quick but super high temperature to add a crispy perfect exterior while keeping the interior at the exact doneness you wanted.
These are the steps we will follow today for our Sous Vide Pork belly as well.
Vacuum Sealed Bags for Sous Vide cooking
When I first got my sous-vide tool I had seen that you could use vacuum sealed bags but really thought those were more for keeping foods fresh longer than for sous-vide cooking.
Then I got my first FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System. I could not believe the difference that vacuum sealing the foods made. Especially when it comes to flavor! Mind blown. Never going back.
The process is simple:
- Place the FoodSaver Bags in the Sealing System then pull a length of the roll out. Add an extra couple inches to the length you need for sealing purposes.
- Use the neat little cutting tool.
- Press the “seal” button on the FoodSaver® appliance and then slide one side of the cut sheet into the machine. The bag has been sealed on that side when the red light turns off.
- Next, fill your “bag” with the seasoned protein.
- This time you do not press seal, but instead press either dry or moist, then slide the unsealed section into the machine and it will automatically vacuum out all air then seal the package.
Best Sous Vide foods
The Sous Vide cooking technique is a pillar of sophisticated culinary prowess and FoodSaver® Bags are the ultimate sidekick to Sous Vide success.
They make the Sous Vide technique more accessible and simple, streamline cooking with their versatility, and lock in flavor for a better dish.
How to cook Pork Belly:
A couple quick notes before you cook your pork belly:
- Size doesn’t matter: only fully submerging it does. I typically purchase a 5lb pork belly, then I cut it in half. It can be sealed in two (or more) separate packages once you’ve seasoned all the meat. I cook one right away and save the other for later.
- This season pork belly freezes very well if vacuumed sealed. I usually freeze for up to 6 weeks.
- This recipe calls for quite a bit of salt. Think of it like a brine or marinade, the salt is what is going to flavor the meat but also break it down for an even better cooking process.
- The cooking time is the same whether you are cooking this from fresh or frozen.
Recipe for Sous-Vide Pork Belly:
- 1 slab of Pork Belly (usually 2-5 pounds)
- Your Favorite Sweet BBQ Sauce
- 1/3 cup Salt
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1.5 TBS Paprika
- 1.5 TBS Garlic Salt
- 1-2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Lightly brush Pork Belly with BBQ Sauce.
- Mix seasonings together, then generously coat the pork belly (note: depending on the size of your pork belly, you may not use all of the seasoning... just be sure to season it generously).
- Place Pork Belly in a Vacuum Sealable bag and Vacuum seal it.
- Now you can freeze if preferred (Note: Whether cooking from fresh or frozen the cooking time will be the same).
- In a large pot filled with water, set your Sous Vide tool to 68C degrees.
- When it comes to temperature, Place vacuum sealed bag of Pork Belly into the water bath.
- Cook at 68F degrees for 18 hours. Adding more hot water to the bath as needed to keep belly fully submerged)
- Turn sous vide temperature up to 78C degrees and continue cooking for an additional 4 hours.
- Heat oven broiler to high heat (usually 500F degrees).
- Remove pork belly from bag and transfer to an oven safe dish, fatty side up, adding some of the juices to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Sear under broiler for 7-10 minutes of until the top is a crispy dark golden brown.