Ribs are traditionally slow-cooked in a smoker to get their large amount of connective tissue to convert to gelatin, which makes them tender.
The rate at which this conversion takes place is dependent on the temperature and time.
While a rib will take about three times longer to tenderize than a rib cooked at 165F / 74C, they will end up with a more Succulent, Meaty texture that eats almost like it.
Ribs that are cooked at a higher temperature will have a more traditional BBQ rib texture with well-rendered fat and meat that shreds as you eat it.
Sous Vide Ribs Recipe
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml Paprika
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml Kosher Salt
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml Whole Yellow Mustard Seed
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml Granulated Garlic Powder
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml Dried Oregano
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml Whole Coriander Seed
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Grated (grate using large holes of a box grater)
- 1 1/2 cups / 320 ml Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml Spicy Brown Mustard
- 1/3 cup / 80 ml Dark Molasses
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons / 7 ml Wright’s or Colgin Liquid Hickory Smoke
- 2 Whole Racks St. Louis-Cut Pork Ribs
Steps to Follow
These are the steps you need to follow when cooking sous vide ribs.
Pull the papery membrane away from the back of the ribs with a paper towel or kitchen towel to stay it away in one piece.
Each rack of ribs should be divided into three to four portions with three to four ribs each.
In batches, combine the paprika, brown sugar, salt, mustard seed, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, coriander seed, and red pepper flakes into a fine powder.
Set aside three tablespoons of spice rub mixture.
Now rub the ribs on all the sides with the remaining spice rub mixture.
The ribs should be placed in vacuum bags. If using a vacuum bag, fold over the top to prevent pork juices from getting on the edge of the bag, which can weaken the seal.
See also: Best Sous Vide Vacuum Sealers
Add four drops of liquid smoke to each bag.
Seals the bag and puts them into the refrigerator. Let the ribs rest there for about eight to twelve hours.
Set the precision cooker to 145 degrees F. If you are using extra meat pieces then set the temperature to 165 degrees F.
Put ribs in the water bath and cover it with a lid, aluminum foil or ping pong balls, or whatever is available. It’s best to cook for 36 hours at 141 F / 63 C or 12 hours at 165 F / 74 C.
Transfer the ribs into a large bowl that is filled with ice water. You can store these ribs for at least five days in the refrigerator at this stage.
If you want to make the sauce, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of spice rub, grated onion, ketchup, mustard, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and remaining liquid smoke in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine.
Skip this sauce if you are making dry-style ribs. Bring it to a bare simmer and cook until they are reduced and thickened. This will take about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Now remove the ribs from the vacuum bag and carefully pat dry with paper towels. If you are making ribs in dry style, rub it with 3 tablespoons of spice rub.
Preheat the oven to 300F / 150C by adjusting the oven racks to the upper and lower-middle positions.
Place a wire rack in each of the two rimmed sheets of baking. The ribs should be divided evenly on the racks.
Transfer the ribs into the oven once the surface starts sizzling. This will take about twenty minutes.
Place the ribs in the oven for 10 minutes after brushing them with the sauce.
Remove from the oven, brush with another layer of sauce, and place it again in the oven to bake until it’s dried and sticky, about 10 minutes longer.
Remove the ribs from the oven and brush them with another layer of sauce. Now your ribs are ready to serve.
Grilling the ribs
Follow these steps if you want to grill your ribs.
When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, arrange the coals on the side of the grate that is closest to the chimney.
Allow the grill to preheat for five minutes after setting the cooking grate in place.
Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the medium heat setting, cover, and preheat for ten minutes.
Remove the grill grate with a grill scraper, then rub it with a set of tongs and hold an oil-dipped kitchen towel or paper towels in a set of tongs and rub them over the ribs.
The ribs should be facing up over the cooler side of the grill. Cook the ribs until they are dry to touch. This will take about 15 minutes.
Brush the ribs with the sauce and place them over the hotter part of the grill. Cook the ribs until the sauce becomes dry.
Now again brush the ribs with another layer of sauce and cook until it becomes dry.
If you are cooking dry-style ribs then omit the sauce and cook it on the grill until the ribs become crusty. This will take about ten minutes.
Remove the ribs from the grill and brush them with a layer of sauce. Now it is ready to eat.
What kind of ribs do I use for Sous Vide Ribs?
Smoky Dry Rub is the secret to the perfect Sous Vide Ribs. These dry ribs are not glazed or grilled – they’re smoky.
Smoked Ribs don’t need to be brined like other rib recipes, but if you’d like to try, do so to remove excess salt.
Also, there’s no need to use an oven to cook these ribs. They’ll be perfectly tender in a sous vide bag.
Why dry rub your ribs before cooking sous vide?
By prepping the rib meat with a dry rub first, you’re essentially creating a marinade.
You’re using the dry rub to bring out the flavors in the meat, and by adding salt to the mix, you’ll end up with a saltier flavor than if you were just to let it sit in a brine.
The dry rub also adds another layer of smoke to the meat.