Watch the video version of this guideline on our YouTube channel

Welcome to another edition of Three Steps to:, where we team up with local chefs to provide you with three steps to making something great at home. It's not a recipe, it's a guideline.

This guideline comes to you from Chef Ricky Odbert at Six Test Kitchen. Formerly serving one of the most unique Central Coast dining experiences out of a converted garage in Arroyo Grande, Six Test will open the doors to its Tin City/Paso Robles location in the coming weeks. Follow them on Instagram for details.

Did you get a new Anova or Joule on Black Friday? Well, you're in luck. Pork tenderloin is an affordable cut of meat that's perfectly suited for sous vide cooking. Here are 3 steps to perfect sous-vide pork tenderloin:

Step 1: 5% Brine Overnight

First, you should brine your tenderloin overnight in a 5% solution. To get a 5% solution, simply add 50g of salt to each liter of water needed to cover the tenderloin completely in a container.

I generally use 4 liters of water and 200g of salt. Place your tenderloin and brine in a container, seal it with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

Step 2: Sous-vide at 138ºF for 2 Hours

After brining, remove your tenderloin from solution and pat dry. At this point, you can optionally hit your tenderloin with additional spices or aromatics. Black pepper is a fool-proof option (making tacos? add some cumin and cayenne).

Vacuum seal your tenderloin and place it in your sous-vide water bath. Cook for 2 hours at 138ºF.

Step 3: Sear

Remove from the water bath and sealed bag. Carefully pat the tenderloin dry to remove as much moisture from the surface as possible (water has a very specific heat, so less moisture = better sear).

Now, sear the tenderloin for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. We recommend searing using one of the following (in this order):

  • Charcoal chimney
  • Pre-heated cast iron skillet with a small amount of oil (very hot)
  • Torch and Searzall

There you have it. You now have a delicious piece of pork tenderloin that can feed 4+ people.

How to Serve

The great this about cooking the tenderloin this way is there's no limit to how you can serve it and no bounds as to how fancy or casual you can get. Here's a few ideas:

  • Thinly sliced and used for tacos
  • Slice 1/4" thick and use in ramen
  • Slice into medallions–serving 3 per guest–and top with a classic mushroom sauce
  • For an elegant dish, slice approx 2-3" thick, place cut side up, and top with a modern sauce such as a pepper salsa.
This is what 100g of salt looks like