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What Would You Like to Sous Vide?
How to Sous Vide Pork Shoulder
Pork shoulder is one of the tougher cuts of the pig. It needs long cooking times to break it down but it is usually worth the wait.
Chop Like Pork Shoulder
For chop-like pork shoulder, it needs to be cooked for several days since pork shoulder is such a tough cut of meat. Sous vide can greatly change how it normally tastes because you can cook it below the temperature that starts causing lots of moisture loss for a long enough time that it still becomes tender. This results in very tender and moist meat.
I suggest 140°F (60°C) for 1 to 2 days but you can go higher or lower depending on your preference. But I generally stick to 140ºF so all of the pink is gone.
Traditional Pulled Pork Shoulder
For pulled pork, or other braise-like preparations, you have several options for times and temperatures.
The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat becomes and the more it breaks down. At higher temperatures you don't have to cook it as long because the meat breaks down faster. Most pork shoulders are cooked for 18 or more hours, but if the temperature is above 170°F (76.7°C) or so then you can get away with shorter times.
Smoked pulled pork is traditionally done at around 190°F to 200°F (87.8°C to 93.3°C). With sous vide you can easily cook at lower temperatures but I recommend over 156°F (68.8°C) for results mimicing traditional pulled pork otherwise the fat doesn't break down much. The higher the temperature, the more fat will be rendered but the dryer the meat will be.
My favorite combination is probably 156°F (68.8°C) for around 18 to 24 hours, it's shreddable but not over-tender. Some other popular combinations are 165°F (73.9°C) for 18 to 24 hours or 176°F (80°C) for 12 hours.
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Sous Vide Shoulder Times and Temperatures
135°F for 1 to 2 Days (57.2ºC)
140°F for 1 to 2 Days (60.0ºC)
145°F for 1 to 2 Days (62.8ºC)
Firm but Shreddable: 156°F for 18 to 24 Hours (68.9ºC)
More Fall Apart: 165°F for 18 to 24 Hours (73.9ºC)
Really Fall Apart: 176°F for 12 to 18 Hours (80.0ºC)
Do you have experience cooking shoulder? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
My wife is a huge fan of tacos, so I try to make them for her when I can. I love shredded pork so it's often my go-to meat to use in them. You can cook the pork however you like, but I love a good sous vide pork shoulder, it has more bite to it than a pressure cooked version would...though if you want to smoke it traditionally, go right ahead!
My wife loves a rich and spicy tortilla soup so I've been working on a go-to recipe I can make for her. There's lots of ingredients, so it can look intimidating, but it is actually really easy to put together. The magic begins by sous viding a pork shoulder or pork butt to shred in the soup! The smell of the soup cooking on the stove will also fill your house with anticipation for dinner! This recipe makes a ton of soup, but it is real easy to freeze the leftovers for easy meals in a week or two.
Pulled pork is usually made using the pork butt, sometimes called the pork shoulder or Boston Butt. Using sous vide to make pulled pork takes longer than with traditional methods but you don't have to manage a fire or look in on the meat. This recipe uses a chili pepper sauce to give the dish some kick and depth of flavor.
Just because summer is coming to an end doesn't mean we can't still enjoy a few last, good summer meals! This sous vide pulled pork recipe is easy to make and you can finish it off on the grill for lots of additional flavor.
Pulled pork is a classic summer BBQ dish that I really love. In this sous vide pulled pork recipe I use it on sandwiches for a simple but flavorful dinner meal. I serve it on English Muffins after the suggestion of Michael Ruhlman and it works great to constrain the portion size...and leave more room for sides!
Sous Vide Shoulder Comments
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