The Perfect Recipe for Tender Sous Vide Ribs

Who doesn’t love tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs that are bursting with flavor? If you’re searching for the ultimate rib recipe, look no further. In this article, we’ll show you how to create mouthwatering sous vide ribs that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

Sous Vide Ribs on a baking sheet with sauce brush

Let’s Create Rib Perfection

Rib night is always a special occasion in our house, but it becomes even more extraordinary when we indulge in sous vide ribs. These ribs are so tender that they literally fall off the bone as soon as you pick them up. Now, there has always been a debate about the best way to cook ribs – smoked, grilled, or baked. However, without a doubt, the ultimate way to enjoy ribs is through the magic of sous vide cooking.

Why 24 Hours?

Yes, you read that correctly. This recipe requires a full 24 hours to achieve rib perfection. You may wonder why such a long time is necessary. Well, cooking your ribs in a precisely heated water bath for 24 hours ensures two essential things:

  • Perfect medium doneness: With this method, it’s impossible to over or undercook your ribs.
  • Unparalleled tenderness: Say goodbye to chewy ribs. These babies will melt in your mouth.

To achieve the ultimate sous vide ribs, it’s all about flavoring the meat, precise cooking time, and a final touch on the grill or under the broiler to caramelize the BBQ sauce.

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Dry rubbed sous vide ribs on a baking sheet

Selecting the Right Ribs

To make these succulent sous vide ribs, you’ll need to purchase a full rack of pork ribs. Most grocery stores stock full racks of ribs in the butcher section, so they should be easy to find.

Step 1: Preparation is Key

Start by preparing your pork ribs. Remove the white membrane on the backside of the ribs using a knife. This step makes it easier to eat the ribs later on. Then, create a flavorful spice rub. Our favorite dry rub for pork strikes a perfect balance between savory and sweet, but if you prefer a smokier taste, consider adding some paprika. Dry rubbing the ribs serves two purposes: it enhances the flavor and tenderizes the meat during the sous vide process.

Remember to save 1/4 cup of your dry rub for the final step of the recipe.

Sous vide ribs in a food savor bag

Step 2: Packaging and Sealing

Once you’ve generously rubbed the ribs with the dry rub, it’s time to seal them in an airtight bag before immersing them in a water bath for 24 hours. It’s crucial to ensure that the bag is completely sealed, preventing any water from entering or escaping. While a Food Saver bag and Food Saver Machine are ideal, regular Ziploc bags work just as well. Simply place the ribs in the bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal it. If necessary, you can use a large Stasher bag, but you may need to cut the rack of ribs into smaller portions.

Step 3: The Sous Vide Bath

With the ribs securely sealed in the bag, it’s time to immerse them in the sous vide water bath. We recommend setting the temperature to 152ºF, which ensures perfectly cooked ribs. Although the USDA approves ribs for consumption once they reach an internal temperature of 145ºF, cooking them at a slightly higher temperature helps to break down the meat fibers and maximize tenderness. Simply submerge the ribs in the water bath, set the timer for 24 hours, and let the magic happen.

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A Few Tips:

  • Cover your pot with tin foil to prevent water evaporation.
  • Check on your ribs every 6-12 hours to ensure the water level hasn’t dropped. If necessary, add hot water to maintain the submerged state.
  • Use bag clips or clothespins to keep the bag of meat securely submerged by attaching them to the side of the pot.

Brushing the sous vide ribs with BBQ sauce

Step 4: Grilling and Saucing

You’re almost there! After 24 hours of sous vide cooking, it’s time to crisp up the exterior of your delectable ribs. Preheat your grill to 450ºF, allowing it to get super hot for that perfect sear. Carefully remove the ribs from the water bath and blot them dry with a paper towel, removing excess moisture. This step ensures a deliciously crispy exterior. Apply the remaining dry rub to the ribs and generously brush on your favorite BBQ sauce.

Place the ribs on the grill and sear them on each side for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to char. Remember that at this point, the ribs are safe to eat, having been cooked to the USDA-approved temperature. The grilling step adds texture and helps caramelize the BBQ sauce for additional flavor.

BBQ Sauce Recommendations

  • Sweet Baby Ray’s
  • Stubbs
  • Wee Willy’s

Sous vide ribs caramelizing on the grill

Answers to Your Questions

  • How long should I sous vide ribs? For tender, juicy ribs, we recommend a full 24 hours of sous vide cooking.
  • What is the best temperature for sous vide ribs? The optimal temperature for sous vide ribs is 152ºF. The USDA states that ribs are safe to eat when their internal temperature reaches 145ºF.
  • How can I prevent my sous vide water bath from evaporating? The easiest way to prevent evaporation is by covering the pot. Use tin foil if you have it, or get creative and use ping pong balls to cover the water surface. This quirky trick really works!
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Sous vide ribs ready to eat!

Now that you have the recipe for the most tender, flavorful sous vide ribs, it’s time to fire up the grill and indulge in this culinary masterpiece. Get ready to savor every juicy, mouthwatering bite. For more fantastic recipes and culinary inspiration, visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Enjoy!