Sous Vide Ribs

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Sous Vide Ribs – Make fall off the bone tender ribs in the middle of winter in your sous vide! So easy and so good!

Baby back ribs are probably one of our favorite things to enjoy in our house. It is hard to beat perfectly tender, fall off the bone ribs. Most of the time we make Smoked Baby Back Ribs and make them outside.

But in the middle of winter no one wants to be going in and out and dealing with the cold. Which is why the Instant Pot Ribs are such a great recipe. But we love all things sous vide, so you know I have to make them that way too!

sous vide ribs on baking sheet cut up

 

My husband first bought me a sous vide about 5 years ago and I had no idea what it was. It has quickly become my favorite appliance, and I will cook just about anything in it!

What Is Sous Vide

Sous vide is a method of cooking. You place your food in a vacuumed sealed bag, so there is not any air in it, and then place it in a water bath. A device circulates the water at the exact temperature you tell it too.

So you get the most perfectly cooked meat every time, because you control what the water temperature is, it is impossible for it to be over cooked. Plus all of the food is vacuum sealed, so you don’t lose any flavor of moisture, it is literally locked in.

seasoned ribs on baking sheet

What Kind Of Ribs To Use For Sous Vide

You want a full rack of pork ribs for this recipe. Either Baby Back Ribs or St Louis Style Ribs will work exactly the same way.

If you want to make more than a full rack of ribs, it will work exactly the same way, you just need more bags to seal them in. But the time and temperature will remain the same regardless of how much you make.

baby back ribs in vacuum sealed bag

How To Make Sous Vide Ribs

  1. No matter what you are doing with ribs, the first step is to always remove the membrane along the back of the ribs. To do this place them on a board in front of you with the bones facing up. Use a butter knife get under the white membrane that coats the bone side of the ribs.  Use a paper towel or something that helps you get a grip in the membrane and remove it. 
  2. Next up season your ribs. If you have a favorite rub you can use it here, I like the Best Dry Rub For Ribs. Generously sprinkle on both sides of the ribs.
  3. Then you seal up your ribs in a vacuum sealed bag. I like the cut the ribs in half, so I put a half rack into each bag. If you do not have a Food Saver to seal your ribs, Stasher Bags also work. You need to make sure the air is out, and the ribs are full sealed in.
  4. Now it is time to cook the ribs. Place them in a water bath with the sous vide set to 155º F for 24 hours. Make sure the ribs are fully submerged and then cover the ribs. I like to use a cooler when I am cooking overnight, so I know there will be enough water in there. If you don’t have a cooler or a sous vide bath that has a lid. You can use aluminum foil. a cookie sheet, or even table tennis balls. Any of these will help to make you don’t lose too much water to evaporation as it cooks.
  5. Once the ribs have cooked, remove them from the bag and then it is time to brown them up and get that nice crust on them. There are a few methods for this depending on what you want to do. If you are used to the flavor of smoking your ribs, you will really want to finish them that way. Smoke – you can throw the ribs on your smoker for 90 minutes at 180º F slathered with barbecue sauce. Broil – preheat your broiler, brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and then cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce starts to caramelize. Grill – preheat your grill to a high heat, brush the ribs with sauce and grill for just a few minutes until browned.
sous vide ribs on baking sheet being brushed with barbecue sauce

How Long Does It Take To Sous Vide Ribs

It takes a full 24 hours to really sous vide ribs properly. They will be cooked much sooner than that, but you need that time to really break ever down the fat and tissue to make them fall off the bone delicious! Sometimes sous vide cooking is referred to low temperature cooking for a long time, which is what makes it the perfect method for ribs.

I know 24 hours seems like forever, but don’t worry you are not going to over cook them! It is almost impossible to over cook something when you sous vide. And really if you do mess it up, it is the texture is degrading, it isn’t actually over cooked.

baby back ribs after they have come out of the broiler

What Temperature to Sous Vide Ribs

For ribs you want to set your sous vide to 155º F. You will see recipes that call for varying temps between 152º F and 165º F, I find that 155º F gets the ribs the most tender and delicious. I like my ribs to fall off the bone, and that is exactly what you get at this temperature.

Technically pork is safe to eat at 145º F, so what you are doing with the temperature is really controlling how the fat and everything is going to break down and give you that tender, not chewy or tough bite.

Sous Vide Ribs - Make fall off the bone tender ribs in the middle of winter in your sous vide! So easy and so good!

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure you cover your water bath as the ribs cook. A 24 hour cook time means water will evaporate, so check your water level and refill as necessary.
  • If you love the smoke flavor you traditionally get with ribs, use the smoker method to finish cooking them. Put on the smoker for about 90 minutes at 180º F to impart great smoke flavor.
  • Don’t skip the step of using a rub. The spices blend together and really compliment the flavor of the pork. If you have a favorite blend you like, you can definitely use it. I will like to my favorite rub in the recipe card below.
  • Be sure to use your favorite barbecue sauce when you are browning the ribs at the end.

I use the Joule by Breville Sous Vide, and I highly recommend it. It works very well, the temperature is accurate and it is reliable. I have used 2 others in the past few years that have not lasted.

baby back ribs cooked sous vide on baking sheet

More Great Sous Vide Recipes

close up of sliced baby back ribs
5 from 4 votes

Sous Vide Ribs

By Erin
Sous Vide Ribs – Make fall off the bone tender ribs in the middle of winter in your sous vide! So easy and so good!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 day
Total: 1 day 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup dry rub
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions 

  • Fill a cooler or large pot with water. Preheat sous vide to 155º F.
  • Place the ribs so the meat side is down.  Use a butter knife get under the membrane that coats the bone side of the ribs.  Use a paper towel or something that helps you get a grip in the membrane and remove it.  
  • Cut the rack of ribs in half, and generously season all sides with the dry rub.
  • Transfer each half rack of ribs to a plastic bag and if using a vacuum sealer, seal the bag. If you do not have a vacuum sealer, you can use a zip top bag that you seal almost all the way. Slowly add the bag to the water bath until just below the top is submerged. Then seal the rest of the bag to ensure most of the air is out.
  • Cover the cooler or large pot with a lid, aluminum foil, cookie sheet, or table tennis balls.
  • Cook for 24 hours. Be sure to check the water level to make sure the pork is always fully submerged.
  • After 24 hours remove the ribs from the bag and place on a baking sheet. Use a paper towel and dab to remove the excess moisture.
  • Preheat grill or broiler to high heat. Or if using a smoker to finish the ribs, heat to 180º F.
  • Generously brush the ribs with barbecue sauce. Place on a hot grill or broiler and cook for just a few minutes to caramelize the sauce and brown the ribs. If you are using a smoker, place on the smoker for 90 minutes to.
  • Remove once the ribs are nicely browned and slice to serve.

Notes

Best Dry Rub For Ribs is what I use for this recipe.
**If you are used to the flavor of smoked ribs, you will want to finish them this way. The 90 minutes on the smoker really does impart a fair amount of smoke flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 562mg | Sugar: 16g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 311
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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7 Comments

  1. I have never attempted to cook ribs using this method. I bet they are delicious! I am excited to try the new way.

  2. Yummy! This looks so delicious and very tasty! Can’t wait to give this a try! My family is going to love this recipe!