Sous Vide Pork Ribs – BBQ Recipe

Ribs cooked in the sous vide style give you an appealing preparation option that doesn’t involve a bulky smoker or long hours of checking on your food outdoors. The technique slowly cooks the ribs and breaks down the cartilage to make the most tender ribs you’ve ever tasted. In this article we’re talking sous vide ribs and how to cook them!

What Is Sous Vide?

Sous vide is a cooking technique that cooks food in a sealed bag in water at precise temperatures. The immersion circulator sets a precise temperature and maintains water circulation to deliver even heating. Food cooks in its own juices, and the result is moist, flavorful and tender.

The technique was first developed in 1974 when French chef Pierre Troisgros desired to cook foie gras in a different way to preserve the fats and juices. He enlisted chef Georges Pralus to come up with a practical method of cooking the foie gras without losing fat. The best result came from gently poaching the foie gras in a water bath while protected with plastic wrap.

Later, the discovery was made that vacuum packing protected food from germs in sterilization and pasteurization processes. The technique was adopted by hospitals, labs and large commercial food processing companies. Inventor Bruno Goussault, partnered with Chef Joel Robuchon to create a sous vide dining experience for France’s rail system. That involved using immersion circulators, formerly laboratory instruments, to maintain precise temperature and circulation control. Chefs began using sous vide machines in the early 2000s, and that opened the floodgates to consumer use.

Different Types of Ribs

There are many different types of ribs that include pork and beef. Pork ribs and their cooking methods tend to generate the most excitement among connoisseurs, and sous vide pork ribs are the focus of our article. However, you can cook the various styles of beef ribs using the same techniques.

The four types of pork ribs include:

  1. Spareribs: These are long cuts obtained from the belly and shoulder of the pig. They have little meat, but many aficionados consider the flavor of spareribs tastier than the other styles.
  2. Saint Louis Style: These ribs come from the belly, but they are more carefully trimmed. This results in a square rack that’s compact, flavorful and tasty. Kansas City-style ribs are included here, and they have more of the bone removed.
  3. Back Ribs: These are also favorite of many rib lovers, and they’re called baby backs, riblets and loin ribs. These tend to have a lot of fat, but that just intensifies the flavor.
  4. Country-style Ribs: These ribs come exclusively from the shoulder end of the pig’s loin, and you get the most meat off these ribs. The ribs have less fat than others, so they’re perfect for eating with the fingers or a knife and fork.

Sous Vide Ribs Recipe

For this recipe you will need:

Dry Rub

  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic or 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

Wet Rub or Barbecue Sauce

  • ! medium yellow onion, grated
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ⅓ cup unsulphured dark molasses
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 
  • ¼ cup apple vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke, if desired
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup honey 

As well as:

  • 2 racks of St. Louis or Baby Back Ribs
  • Sous vide cooker, bags and vacuum-sealing equipment
Pork Ribs Recipe

Download This Recipe

Save this recipe in your Cave Tools BBQ app or download other recipes from the community recipes exchange!

Sous Vide Pork Ribs – BBQ Recipe (10 downloads)

Step 1

You can use either a dry or wet rub, and you can use the wet rub as the basic ingredients for a barbecue sauce if you want to offer it as an option. Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub, and grind them into a fine powder. You can add or subtract any ingredient according to your taste.

The wet ingredients can be simmered together or just mixed. You need to cool the sauce before adding it to the sealing bags. You can make the sauce the following day if you plan on serving it on the side.

Step 2

Prepare the ribs by trimming away any unwanted fat. Remove the papery membrane from the back of the ribs. Divide each rack into three or four portions, each containing three to four ribs. If using the dry rub, rub each rib on both sides. Place portions in separate bags. If using the wet rub, divide the sauce equally among the bags. Vacuum out the air, and seal the bags.

Step 3

Transfer the bags to the refrigerator to rest and marinate for 4 to 12 hours.

Step 4

Set the temperature of your sous vide cooker to 145 degree up to 165 degrees, which is the safety recommended temperature for cooking pork. Put the ribs in the water bath and cook for 36 hours at 145 degrees or 12 hours at 165 degrees. 145 degrees is recommended for thick, meaty ribs.

Step 5

You can dump the hot water, add ice water to the container and store the ribs for up to five days in the refrigerator. If using right away, slit the bags and remove the ribs, juices and sauce. At this point, you can caramelize the ribs if desired by frying them quickly in a skillet, broiling them in the oven or cooking them on the grill. If using sauce separately, heat it and serve.

Sous Vide Pork Ribs
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Sous Vide Pork Ribs – BBQ Recipe

Ribs cooked in the sous vide style give you an appealing preparation option that doesn’t involve a bulky smoker or long hours of checking on your food outdoors. The technique slowly cooks the ribs and breaks down the cartilage to make the most tender ribs you’ve ever tasted. In this article we’re talking sous vide ribs and how to cook them!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 d 12 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pork Ribs, sous vide
Calories: 553kcal

Equipment

Sous vide cooker
Bags
Vacuum-sealing equipment

Ingredients

Dry Rub

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard seed
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic or 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

Wet Rub or Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 medium yellow onion, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/3 cup unsulphured dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke, if desired
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

Also:

  • 2 racks St. Louis or Baby Back Ribs

Instructions

  • You can use either a dry or wet rub, and you can use the wet rub as the basic ingredients for a barbecue sauce if you want to offer it as an option. 
  • Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub, and grind them into a fine powder. You can add or subtract any ingredient according to your taste.
  • The wet ingredients can be simmered together or just mixed. 
  • You need to cool the sauce before adding it to the sealing bags. You can make the sauce the following day if you plan on serving it on the side.
  • Prepare the ribs by trimming away any unwanted fat.
  • Remove the papery membrane from the back of the ribs. 
  • Divide each rack into three or four portions, each containing three to four ribs.
  • If using the dry rub, rub each rib on both sides. Place portions in separate bags.
  • If using the wet rub, divide the sauce equally among the bags. Vacuum out the air, and seal the bags.
  • Transfer the bags to the refrigerator to rest and marinate for 4 to 12 hours.
  • Set the temperature of your sous vide cooker to 145 degree up to 165 degrees, which is the safety recommended temperature for cooking pork. 
  • Put the ribs in the water bath and cook for 36 hours at 145 degrees or 12 hours at 165 degrees. 145 degrees is recommended for thick, meaty ribs.
  • You can dump the hot water, add ice water to the container and store the ribs for up to five days in the refrigerator.
  • If using right away, slit the bags and remove the ribs, juices and sauce.
  • At this point, you can caramelize the ribs if desired by frying them quickly in a skillet, broiling them in the oven or cooking them on the grill. If using sauce separately, heat it and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ribs | Calories: 553kcal

Tips for Pros

There is a learning curve associated with cooking sous vide, but you can bypass the troublespots by using these pro tips for cooking in the sous vide style:

  • Maintain Water Level
    Although sous vide foods are cooked below the simmering temperature, there is risk that the water will evaporate during the look cooking times of sous vide. You can prevent evaporation with a lid designed to fit the container or by covering the pot tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Choose and Use Herbs Sparingly
    The long cooking process flavors the meat deeply, and using overpowering herbs or too many flavors can overpower the meat’s flavor. Always take a cautious approach when seasoning; you can add more at the table if necessary.
  • Use Protection for Your Pot
    Even though the temperatures are low, they can still damage certain surfaces. Use trivets, foil or other types of protection between the cooking container and your counters or fine wood surfaces.
  • Check the Bag’s Seal
    Make sure that there are no gaps or air bubbles in your vacuum-sealed bag. The bag must contact the food directly. If you decide to experiment with standard plastic bags, make sure to suck out all the air.
  • Make Sure the Bag is Covered by Water
    The circulator might cause the bag to pop up above the surface, but that usually means there’s an air pocket. The only time that happens with properly vacuumed bags is when the item being cooked is very light, which is never the case with ribs.
  • Caramelizing the Meat Before Cooking
    You can caramelize your ribs before or after you cook them using sous vide. If you prefer, you can sear meats quickly to provide color and caramelization before sealing them in bags. Don’t caramelize too intensely because the flavor might overpower the ribs.
  • Pre-searing Technique
    You should immediately cool the seared ribs before sealing them in a bag. The difference in temperature can raise the cooking temperature above what’s optimal for fall-off-the-bone tenderness. There could even be a safety issue of food left too long in the danger zone.
  • Cooking to Order Using Sous Vide
    You can set the water temperature according to your preferred degree of doneness, and your food won’t overcook. It can, however, begin to dry out if you cook it too long. That’s seldom a problem with pork ribs, but you might prefer medium rare beef ribs.
  • Cooking Longer Isn’t Always Better
    With cooking times ranging from 12 to 36 hours, some cooks might try cooking sous vide for longer periods like 72 hours. That offers no benefit because sous vide foods do lose moisture after the proteins reach the optimal cooking time. Each type of protein has a different cooking time, and following the recommendations is recommended for best results.
Sous Vide Recipe

Wrapping Things Up

You should never store your meat in a vacuum bag for more than 72 hours. That would give time for bacteria to develop. If you follow our recommendations as to time, you’ll always get flavorful and tender ribs. You won’t have to worry much about storing any leftovers because there won’t be any. You can even mix up your ribs, using dry rub for some and wet rub for the rest. Many people choose to use both rubs, which is perfectly fine, but the end result is always a wet rub

Each Share Saves a Steak From Being Cooked Well Done