It wasn’t after a trip to a “real” bbq place in our 20’s (yes, we were late to the game) that we realized that ribs aren’t always supposed to be fall off the bone and drenched in sauce – nothing against that either, but they should be tender, yet still have a good bite to it. After much research, all for you guys, of course ;), here’s our take on fool proof sous vide ribs. We’ve gone through a few iterations and tested a bunch of different recipes including from Serious Eats and Chef Steps (both of which are great resources), using what we learned, we’ve come up with our favourite mashup. In true fusion fashion it’s neither a dry rub or very saucy, but they are meaty, tender, but still with a good texture to them, and most importantly a crowd pleaser. This is a great recipe if you have a bit more time to your meal prep – You can choose to chill them and save them for another day, but it rarely goes that way. We usually have a few prepped ribs ready for the sous vide in the freezer. We also use our smoker, but you can definitely finish these in your oven, and of course… blow torch. You’ll notice the one thing missing is a good smoke ring, and I chose to exclude the pink curing salt as it is only for looks.
Baby Back Ribs
Your Favourite Rub (I’ve included mine below)
Your Favourite BBQ Sauce
½ cup Molasses
2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- Set water bath to 165F
- Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs
- Trim any excess fat – in the cook we are doing it won’t have much time to render. Cut into an appropriate size to fit into your vacuum bags and sous vide container.
- Place onto a wire rack over a baking sheet
- Mix the Molasses and a few drops of liquid smoke in a bowl – A bit of liquid smoke goes a long way. You don’t want to over do it here. If it’s your first time using it, go lighter as adding too much can make your food bitter (source: life experience)
- Salt the ribs to taste (optional step depending on your rub) – careful though, depending on your rub, there could be more salt added
- Brush both sides of the ribs with the liquid smoke and molasses mixture
- Sprinkle on the rub to both sides of the ribs. Don’t worry about perfection, it’s going into the sous vide bag and will get the flavour all around.
- Place ribs into vacuum or freezer ziplock bag. Since bones are involved, make sure they don’t make holes in your bag.
- Place into water bath. I place my ribs in an Ikea pot lid holder. I find it holds my ribs in place allowing water to flow properly. I also place a rack on top to keep them submerged.
- Sous Vide for 4 hours.
- Shock the ribs in ice water. From here, you can refrigerate for another day or continue on.
- Set your smoker to 225-275F; or oven to 300F. If you need to eat faster go higher.
- Remove ribs from packaging, and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Pat ribs dry.
- Brush your bbq sauce all over both sides of the ribs
- Sprinkling on your rub to taste. Once again, be mindful of how much flavour you’re adding.
- Place ribs in smoker or oven, keeping an eye on them so they don’t dry out. Remember, it has already been cooked to perfection.
- Brush on a new layer of sauce once the first layer has become tacky. Place back in oven or smoker
- Brush on another layer of sauce once the second layer of sauce has become tacky.
- Once the final layer is tacky and the ribs have been warmed through, it’s ready to go. Serve with more sauce or just like that.
Rub: Store extra in an airtight container in your pantry for next time.
1/3 cup paprika
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cup salt (adjust this according to your taste, you can always add more later much more difficult to take out)
2 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
1 tablespoon granulated onion powder
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
Put all ingredients into a spice mix and pulse until a course powder is achieved.