Can You Sous Vide Bone-In Meat?

These days, it seems like every professional chef, amateur home cook, and Instagram foodie is obsessed with sous vide. The unique technique involves slowly cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags in a water bath. There are also plenty of benefits to opting for sous vide over other methods of preparation. Not only is the food more tender and moist — because you're sealing in all of the juices rather than losing them to a pan or grill — but it also produces consistent results. You control the exact temperature and the exact cook time, which reduces the chances of overcooking or undercooking your meal.

You can sous vide almost any type of food, from eggs to veggies to meat. But when it comes to the latter, it can be tricky to know what will and won't work with this cooking method. For instance, can you sous vide bone-in meat, like pork chops or ribeye steak? Turns out you absolutely can — but there's a bigger risk involved.

The bones may puncture the sous vide bags

Cooking bone-in meat — from lamb chops to roasts to steaks — sous vide is very popular and comes highly recommended by many bloggers and culinary experts. "Bone-in chops are my absolute favorite thing to sous vide," one fan writes in an Anova Culinary forum, noting that it gives her "moist, tender chops" that even a cast iron pan can't replicate. However, preparing meat with bones in the sous vide cooker comes with one major risk: Puncturing the bag that your food is in.

Sharp bones can poke holes in the vacuum-sealed bag, causing water to leak inside during the cooking process. That can ruin the flavor of your final product and mess with the cooking time. Fortunately, there's an easy way to prevent this. Try wrapping your meat in parchment paper before placing it in the bag for an added layer of protection.