These sous vide baby back ribs will transport your taste buds to Valhalla. We don’t say that lightly. For this recipe, we use our secret spice blend to enhance the flavor of the baby back ribs.
We guarantee that this will send you on a one-way trip to Flavortown. Then, just before serving, we brush the ribs with BBQ sauce for a delicious glazed finish.
The days of cooking dry spare ribs, St. Louis style ribs, baby back ribs, and country style ribs are over, thanks to the sous vide. Make this recipe as soon as possible.
WHAT IS SOUS VIDE?
Sous vide is essentially a method of cooking that employs an immersion circulator.
This immersion circulator circulates water in a temperature-controlled water bath at a specific temperature to ensure that your food is perfectly cooked every time.
Because the temperature does not change and your meat (or dessert, vegetables, etc.) remains at the same temperature, the risk of overcooking is greatly reduced.
WHAT ARE SOUS VIDE BABY BACK RIBS?
Contrary to popular belief, baby back ribs are not derived from young pigs. The rib cage of a pig varies in length and curvature of the bones, and it tapers over the animal’s length.
Baby back ribs originate at the top of the rib cage, just below the loin muscle, and between the spare ribs and the spine.
Meatier baby back ribs have a milder flavor than their spare rib counterparts. Because of the mild flavor, we must exercise extreme caution when it comes to moisture and dilution.
Cooking the baby back ribs sous vide simulates the low and slow controlled application of heat that smoking requires.
WHAT MAKES GOOD BABY BACK RIBS?
Ribs are delicious because of their texture. The magic we’re attempting to recreate is the perfect balance of fall-off-the-bone and solid mouthfeel.
I used to think that baby back ribs should fall apart like braised short rib or carnitas when I was younger, and boy was I wrong.
There’s something to be said for the succulent texture of baby back ribs, which is really lost when they’re broken down too much.
REMOVING THE MEMBRANE
A membrane is a piece of tissue attached to the underside of a pork rib. The membrane, unlike connective tissue, does not soften when cooked.
As a result, we want to get rid of that baby to make sure the ribs don’t have any tough, chewy spots.
This is how you do it:
- Slide a small knife under the membrane and over a bone at the edge of the rack.
- Pull up on the membrane with the knife to loosen it.
- Then, using a paper towel, grab the edge of the membrane and pull it off. It is possible that it will not come off in one piece, so remove it in smaller pieces if necessary.
- And presto! Your ribs are now ready to season and cook.
Putting ingredients in an airtight bag or container is a critical step in the sous vide process.
Vacuum sealing and the water displacement method are the two most common methods for packaging your ingredients.
A vacuum sealer uses a vacuum to remove all the air and seal the contents of a plastic bag.
This procedure ensures that the food is airtight and properly sealed, as well as that the bag does not float, which can result in uneven cooking. If you’re looking for a vacuum sealer, I recommend the Anova sealer.
The displacement method entails placing your food and marinades in a sous vide bag, submerging the bag in a container of water, and allowing the pressure to force all the air out of the bag.
BABY BACK RIB TIME AND TEMPERATURE
After much trial and error, we discovered that cooking baby back ribs at 74C/165F for 12 hours is the ideal combination.
By leaving the pork ribs in for 12 hours, the connective tissue (collagen) is broken down, resulting in an extremely tender rack of ribs.
In addition, cooking it at 165F is the sweet spot for juicy, delicious baby back ribs.
Just make sure you have a dependable sous vide that accurately regulates the bath temperature, or your results may vary (check out the Anova or Joule).
CAN YOU SOUS VIDE FROZEN RIBS?
The short answer is, of course! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is a quick and easy way to prepare your protein.
Simply remove the food from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe), and let the sous vide do its thing.
In most cases, the only thing you’ll need to change is the cook time. However, because we are already sous vide cooking the baby back pork ribs for 12 hours, there is no need to add any additional time.
- Removing the air from the bag is an important step that should not be overlooked in order to prevent bacteria from entering the bag.
- Because we’ll be cooking these ribs for up to 36 hours, you’ll need to keep the water level high and the air out of the bag to prevent bacteria from forming.
- Don’t forget to remove the membrane (or silver skin) from the back of the ribs. The texture is tough and chewy, detracting from the tenderness of the beef.
- The longer the ribs are cooked, the more tender they will become.
- Make sure your grill is hot enough so the ribs get crispy on the outside quickly.
- Grill or broil the ribs for no more than 1-2 minutes per side, or they will overcook and become dry.
- Before grilling or broiling these ribs, slather on some homemade barbecue sauce to enhance the BBQ flavor!
Frequently Asked Questions
One of my favorite sous vide dishes is baby back ribs. I usually cook it at 150°F (65°C) for 18 to 24 hours, until it’s tender but not too fall-apart. Others prefer a temperature of 165°F (73.9°C) for 18 to 24 hours.
We adore ribs. And, after experimenting with various recipes and techniques, we’ve discovered the secret to making any type of ribs even better: cook them sous vide. Low and slow cooking for 24 hours in a water bath results in tender and juicy meat. Then finish them off on the grill, and you’re ready to eat.
Even at this low temperature, the long cooking time breaks down the collagen in the ribs, resulting in tender ribs, but the meat does not dry out due to the low cooking temperature. These ribs are a revelation, with meat that literally falls off the bone when you bite into them.
The short answer is, of course! Cooking frozen foods sous vide is a quick and easy way to prepare your protein. Simply remove the food from the fridge, repackage it (unless you know the bag is sous vide safe), and let the sous vide do its thing.