How to Sous Vide Lamb Chops: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sous vide is a cooking method that utilizes precise temperature control to deliver consistent, restaurant-quality results. Cooking lamb chops sous vide helps to ensure the meat comes out tender, juicy, and perfectly done edge to edge. The process involves vacuum sealing seasoned lamb chops then cooking them in a water bath at a specific temperature. 

Sous vide allows you to achieve the ideal doneness for lamb chops, whether you prefer them rare, medium-rare, or medium. It also locks in moisture and intensifies the flavor of the meat. When paired with a quick sear at the end, sous vide lamb chops become beautifully browned on the outside, while remaining tender and juicy on the inside.

Below is a step-by-step guide to making delicious sous vide lamb chops at home. With a few simple ingredients, tools, and steps, you can enjoy gourmet lamb entrees with little effort.

1. Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

To start, you’ll need the following:

  • Lamb chops – Look for thick, bone-in rib or loin chops around 1-inch thick. You can use lamb loin chops or lamb rib chops.
  • Seasonings – Salt, pepper, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, garlic, and spices like cumin or coriander work well. 
  • Olive oil – Use good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Vacuum sealer and bags – This is used to seal the seasoned lamb chops before sous vide cooking.
  • Water bath circulator – This sous vide immersion circulator attaches to a pot or container to heat and circulate water. 
  • Tongs and spatula – For handling the lamb chops.
  • Cast iron skillet or grill – For searing the chops after sous vide cooking.

2. Preheat Your Sous Vide Machine

Preheat your water bath circulator to the desired temperature (see section below for temperature guidance). Attach it to a large pot or container filled with enough water to cover the sealed lamb chop bags. 

Let the water come up to temp before adding the lamb. For food safety, the water should reach 130°F for medium rare doneness.

3. Season the Lamb Chops

Pat the lamb chops dry with paper towels. Generously season both sides of the chops with salt, pepper, and your choice of herbs, spices, garlic, etc. 

Rub the seasonings into the meat. You can also drizzle a bit of olive oil over the chops. The oil helps the seasoning stick.

4. Vacuum Seal the Lamb Chops

Place the seasoned lamb chops in vacuum sealer bags in single layers. Try to remove as much air as possible before sealing the bags. This helps the chops cook evenly.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use zipper bags. Submerge the bags except for the zipper part in the water bath to push out excess air before zipping shut.

5. Cook the Lamb Chops in the Sous Vide Bath

Gently lower the vacuum sealed lamb chop bags into the preheated water bath. Make sure the bags are fully submerged. 

Cook for the time recommended based on thickness and desired doneness (see section below for guidleines). During cooking, you may need to remove excess air from the bags.

6. Finish the Lamb Chops on a Hot Grill or Pan

Once sous vide cooking is complete, remove the lamb chops from the bags and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. 

Heat up a grill, grill pan, or cast iron skillet over high heat. Quickly sear the chops for 1-2 minutes on each side until nicely browned. 

This finishes the sous vide chops with a beautiful crust. Be sure not to overcook them during searing.

7. Serve and Enjoy Your Sous Vide Lamb Chops

Allow the seared lamb chops to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Slice or portion the chops and serve while hot.

Delicious sides to pair with sous vide lamb chops include roasted new potatoes, garlicky green beans, or a fresh salad. Enjoy your perfectly cooked lamb!

Why Choose Sous Vide for Cooking Lamb Chops?

There are several advantages to using the sous vide technique for lamb chops:

Precise temperature control allows you to achieve the exact doneness you want, preventing over or undercooking. Sous vide eliminates the risk of overcooking the meat.

Consistent results each and every time. The precision of sous vide leads to reliably tender, moist lamb chops.

Intensifies flavor by concentrating the natural flavor of the lamb in a sealed bag submerged in a warm water bath.

Retains moisture so the lamb chops are incredibly tender and succulent when done.

Added convenience – once sealed, you can just let the water bath do the work with minimal monitoring needed.

What are the Benefits of Cooking Lamb Chops Using Sous Vide?

Cooking lamb chops with the sous vide method offers several benefits:

  • Achieve your preferred doneness from rare to medium with ease.
  • Lamb chops are incredibly tender and moist when cooked sous vide.
  • The flavor and juiciness is intensified.
  • You can infuselamb chops with herbs, spices, or marinades for added flavor.
  • Convenience – prepare chops ahead of time then just sear before serving.
  • Consistency in properly cooked lamb chops every time.
  • Foolproof results that are nearly impossible to overcook. 
  • Nutrients are retained instead of being lost through high heat cooking methods.

What Temperature Should You Set for Sous Vide Lamb Chops?

Here are the recommended water bath temperatures for different doneness levels:

  • For rare lamb chops, cook at 130°F (54°C).
  • For medium-rare lamb chops, use a temperature of 135°F (57°C). This is the most common temp for juicy, tender chops.
  • For medium lamb chops, set the water bath to 140°F (60°C).
  • For lamb chops past medium, you can go up to 145°F (63°C).

Keep in mind that the chops will continue to cook a bit during searing. So you can take them out of the sous vide bath when they are 5 degrees below your target temp.

How Long Should You Cook Lamb Chops in a Sous Vide Machine?

The cooking time depends on the thickness of the lamb chops. Here are general guidelines:

  • For chops that are 1 inch thick, cook for 1 to 2 hours.
  • For 1.5 inch thick lamb chops, cook for 2 to 3 hours. 
  • Chops that are 2 inches thick can take 3 to 4 hours.
  • Go for the longer end of the time range for chops cooked beyond medium-rare.

You can cook the chops for several hours longer with no detriment as long as the temperature is stable. Sous vide lamb chops are very forgiving!

Can You Overcook Lamb Chops in a Sous Vide Machine?

It is very difficult to overcook lamb chops when using sous vide cooking. Thanks to the precise temperature control of the water circulator, the chops cannot exceed the set temperature.

As long as you stay within reasonable time and temp guidelines, the lamb chops will turn out perfectly cooked edge to edge without drying out.

You won’t end up with tough, overdone meat like you might using high heat cooking methods. The lamb chops stay tender no matter how long they cook.

What Other Ingredients Can You Add to Enhance Flavor When Cooking Lamb Chops with Sous Vide?

There are many possibilities for infusing more flavor into lamb chops with sous vide:

  • Fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint
  • Spices such as garlic, shallots, paprika, cumin, coriander 
  • Citrus zest or juice
  • Soy sauce, fish sauce, or Worcestershire sauce
  • Vinegars or wines
  • Honey, maple syrup, mustard 
  • Chile peppers or harissa paste for heat

Simply seal the seasoned chops with your flavor additions in the sous vide bags before cooking. The seasonings will infuse the meat as it cooks.

Can You Use Frozen Lamb Chops for Sous Vide Cooking?

Yes, you can sous vide cook frozen lamb chops without thawing them first. Add 1-2 hours to the cook time if starting from frozen.

Make sure the chops are vacuum sealed properly so no water gets into the bags as they cook. Use a lower initial water bath temp around 115°F to allow the meat to safely thaw before ramping up to higher cooking temps.

Sous vide allows you to go straight from the freezer to cooked with minimal prep needed. The chops turn out just as moist and tender.

What are Some Side Dishes that Pair Well with Sous Vide Lamb Chops?

Here are some delicious side dishes that complement sous vide lamb chops wonderfully:

  • Roasted potatoes – Crispy roasted potatoes are a classic pairing with lamb. Roast mini potatoes or wedges in the oven until browned and tender. Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary or thyme.
  • Sauteed or roasted vegetables – Try asparagus, green beans, broccolini, carrots, Brussels sprouts, or zucchini. Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at a high temp until caramelized.
  • Ratatouille – The Mediterranean flavored stew goes great with lamb. Saute eggplant, squash, tomato, bell pepper, and onion in olive oil with garlic and herbs.
  • Couscous salad – Make a refreshing salad with couscous, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, olives, fresh herbs, lemon, and olive oil.
  • Risotto – Creamy parmesan risotto is a luxurious side for lamb. Cook the rice in broth, white wine, shallots, and garlic.
  • Polenta – Creamy, cheesy polenta is comforting. Make with cornmeal, broth, milk, and parmesan.
  • Orzo pasta salad – Toss cooked orzo with feta, tomatoes, spinach, red onion, olives, and a red wine vinaigrette.
  • Pita bread – Warm pita bread complements the rich lamb. Serve with hummus, tzatziki, or baba ganoush dip.

A simple green salad or sauteed spinach with lemon and garlic also make excellent pairings. Sous vide lamb chops deserve flavorful vegetable-based sides that highlight the succulent meat.