Welcome to our latest sous vide ribs experiment, cooking ribs low and slow in a temperature-controlled water bath for 48 hours. #sousvide… Complete Setup-By-Step guide follows.
Cooking meats low temperature and over long periods of time, that usually means one thing, smoking meat BBQ style with a smoker.
Why It Works
Short answers: you cannot fail or mess up these ribs. Talk about easy planning for an upcoming party. Think of the rib recipe and technique as “Set It And Forget It“. #easyribs
The Sous Vide Effect –
– Have you ever been out to dinner and ordered something that blew your mind? Possibly thought to yourself, how in the world did they cook that piece of meat so perfectly?
- The Answer: -Odds are, it was cooked using the Sous Vide method
🍽 What Is Sous Vide?
Sous vide (/suːˈviːd/; French for ‘under vacuum’), also known as low temperature long time (LTLT) cooking, is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than usual cooking times (usually 1 to 7 hours, up to 72 or more hours in some cases) at a precisely regulated temperature.
The temperature is much lower than usually used for cooking, typically around 55 to 60 °C (130 to 140 °F) for red meat, 66 to 71 °C (150 to 160 °F) for poultry, and higher for vegetables. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and to retain moisture.
💭 Rib Tips
When shopping for your ribs, you honestly can use any kind of ribs you like, even beef ribs work great. I suggest shopping with your local butcher shop, such a great way to support your community and find some prize cuts of pork.
To start, rinse the ribs under cold water. Please always rinsing your ribs off under cold water before preparing them.
🔪 Removing Rib Membrane
When cooking ribs, you want to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. I like using the end of a spoon to work your way underneath the membrane. Once you get a piece exposed, use a paper towel for gripping and pull the membrane right off.
📹 Here is a video link to the starting point where I demonstrate how to remove the membrane. Starting Time: 1:33 – Click To Watch
Purchase the meatiest ribs with the thickest sides – No one wants a skinny Rib
Inspect the ribs next. Cut off anything that looks out of place. Usually there’s a piece or two on the underside that could be cut off.
The Sous Vide Bag -Two Options:
- Use a food saver machine to seal and remove the air.
- Use normal Ziploc bags. Key reason: they’re cheaper and they work. No machines to remove the air needed.
Proceed by cutting the ribs in half. I like cutting them on the backside/rib side. It’s easier to see what you’re cutting into. #safer
Place the ribs in a large Ziploc bag or use a food saver machine and seal them removing the air.
Season the ribs with your favorite dry rub – I like the 2 Gringo’s Chupacabra Dry Rub – Also like adding a little bit of soy sauce as well.
If you signup for our newsletter you will get our secret BBQ Dry Rub recipe. Signup link at top of page
Set the sous vide machine temperature to 140 degrees to begin
Removing The Air From The Ziploc Bag
The Ziploc bag has the ribs located at the bottom of the bag. Holding the bag, lower it into the water making sure to keep the opening at the top away from the water. As the bag submerges the air is pushed out. Once the air is out, seal the bag.
You can watch the process here: Short video – Click To Watch
Secure the bags to the opposite side from the sous vide machine. This ensure the bag will not come in contact with the sous vide machine motor/heating element. The bags could break open, filling with water.
Sous vide the ribs for 8 hours, then turn the temperature down to 130 degrees until 48 hours has lapsed. You can cook the ribs for 12 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, 48 hours. They all work well. The longer cooking time equals a more tender rib.
🥘 Types Of Pork
When it comes to purchasing Pork here’s what the USDA has to say about it:
Pork is not graded with USDA quality grades as it is generally produced from young animals that have been bred and fed to produce more uniformly tender meat. Appearance is an important guide in buying fresh pork. Look for cuts with a relatively small amount of fat over the outside and with meat that is firm and grayish pink in color. For best flavor and tenderness, meat should have a small amount of marbling.
Common Breeds of Pork :
- The American Yorkshire, a breed of the domestic pig, is the American version of the English Yorkshire. The American Yorkshire has smaller and more-floppy ears when compared to the English Yorkshire’s large, erect ears. American Yorkshires are the most recorded swine breed farmed for its meat in the United States. The breed was developed in Yorkshire, England, circa 1761. In 1830, the first Yorkshires were imported to the United States, specifically to Ohio, but because of their slow growth rate, they did not become popular until the late 1940s. At that time, many large pigs were imported from Canada and England for their ruggedness and favored carcasses. The breed then improved rapidly through selection. Today, the American Yorkshire pig is found in nearly every American state, with the highest populations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio. The modern Yorkshire is muscular with a high proportion of lean meat. The American Yorkshire data has been maintained with great diligence, including growth, sow productivity, and backfat formation, representing the largest source of documented livestock performance records in the world. The American Yorkshire can grow as big as 6.5 feet in length, but rarely longer.
- Berkshire pigs are a breed of pig originating from the English county of Berkshire that is bred and raised in several parts of the world, including England, Japan, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The Berkshire pig is not all black, but has white, including white socks from the “knee” down and typically a white blaze on its snout. Berkshire pigs are an average to large breed, with an average weight at maturity of 600 lb (270 kg). They are a short-legged breed. They have prick ears and a relatively short snout with an upturned nose.
- The Chester White is a breed of domestic pig that originated in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It was formerly known as the Chester County White. The Chester White was first developed around 1815–1818, using strains of large, white pigs common to the Northeast U.S. and a white boar imported from John Russell Duke of Bedford, Bedfordshire county, England, referred to as the Woburn breed, brought by Captain Jefferies of Liverpool, England. In 1848, two breeders at a county fair, one from Delaware County and the other from Chester County, showed their two breeds. The judge decided to use the name, Chester County White. “County” was dropped and the breed became known as Chester White. By 1884, a breed association was officially formed, but competing organizations, sometimes for individual strains, continued to appear into the early 20th century.
- The Tamworth, also known as Sandy Back and Tam, is a breed of domestic pig originating in its namesake Tamworth, Staffordshire United Kingdom, with input from Irish pigs. It is among the oldest of pig breeds, but as with many older breeds of livestock, it is not well suited to modern production methods and is listed as “Threatened” in the United States and “Vulnerable” in the UK by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, as fewer than 300 registered breeding females remain. This animal is of ginger to red coloration and is thought to have descended from wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe. Principal populations today are in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada.
📋 Sous Vide Ribs Recipe
- Sous Vide Machine / immersion circulator
- 1 Rack Baby Back Ribs 0r Spare Ribs
- 4 tbsp Dry Rub / signup for our newsletter to receive our secret BBQ Dry Rub
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt
Sous Vide Setup
- Using a large temperature safe tub fill 75% of the tub up with water. Place the sous vide machine on the edge of the tub and secure it. Set the temperature to 140 degrees and turn the machine on.
Preparation & Cooking The Ribs
- Start by rinsing the ribs off under cold water. Pat them close to dry. Inspect the ribs and cut off anything that looks out of place. Fat hanging off, etc.
- Check and see if the membrane has been taken off. It's the silver looking stuff on the underside of the ribs. I like using the back of a spoon. Get under the membrane right by the edge. Then grab a paper towel get a grip on the membrane and pull it all the way off.
- You can use a food saver and seal up the ribs that way. If you can find a bag large enough, then, by all means, go that direction. I personally use a Ziplock freezer bag. Prep: Take the ribs and cut them in half and straight into the bags.
- Season the ribs once you get them in the bags. You'll waste nothing this way. Zip up the bag and shake and get the seasoning all over the ribs.
- Lower the bags into the water bath. The air in the bag will leave the bag from the pressure of the water. Once the air is removed, using a clip, secure the bags to the opposite end of the tub.
- After 8 hours of sous vide cooking, lower the temperature to 130 degrees and cook for an additional 40 hours. Or So, you can easily do 12 hours, 18 hours, 24 hours, 36 hours, 48 hours. No problem.
- To finish the ribs, place them on a roasting rack. Paint on some of your favorite BBQ sauce and place the ribs under the broiler and give the ribs a bit of texture. The caramelizing of the BBQ sauce one of the best parts. Enjoy.
- Be sure to remove the rib membrane, or risk having a chewy rib on the meat next to the bone on the bottom half.
- If you season the ribs aggressively the ribs will taste over powered and the flavor of pork ribs will be lost. You can always add more season after the sous vide cook. I like adding BBQ sauce and putting the ribs on the smoker for a while to get some smoke flavor.
- Putting the ribs under the broiler in the oven with BBQ sauce to get some texture. Keep an eye on the ribs. The sugar in the BBQ sauce wants to caramelize, but will burn very fast. Takes about 5 to 7 minutes. I keep the oven cracked so I can see what’s happening. The BBQ sauce will start to bubble and begin to brown. Stop short of over browning and becoming burnt.