Sous Vide Beef Ribs

To be honest, apart from slow BBQ, not many methods can render a seamless fall-off- the bone kind of result. That’s why we cling to this classic, age-old cook for tender meat. It gets the job done!

Now, what if there was just as good a technique (maybe better) that you could alternate with. And yes, without having to sacrifice the texture of your steak. Presenting Sous Vide.

First time hearing about it? Gear up for some serious Sous Vide lessons 101. In this case, we’ll have an up-close look at what it’s all about, how it works, and more so, a delicious beef rib recipe that you could crank up.

Why Cook Using Sous Vide?

Why-Cook-Using-Sous-Vide
Photo credit: anovaculinary.com

If you can take a minute to get past the complex name, you’ll see that the method isn’t as complicated at all. The name in French translates to mean, “under the vacuum” which is exactly what the cooking scene resembles when using this approach.

Food is submerged into a warm water bath wrapped up in air-tight bags to cook for extended periods until done. As you can imagine, it is a very slow method and for many people, not their cup of tea. However, on the flip side, the results are irrefutable.

There are many benefits to using a Sous Vide machine, the most attractive being how tender and juicy the meat comes off. You could practically pull off the bones from a rib rack with a clean sweep. Plus, the daunting moisture loss, common with other methods, is toned down drastically.

Apart from this, it’s a laid-back technique. All you need is your tools and a load of patience. Nothing like temperature spikes to keep you worried, or maintaining a BBQ fire. You only need a timer to keep track of the cooking duration.

It makes a great start for anyone yet to master their craft on the grill or smoker. As you work on calibrating your outdoor cooker, in the meantime, this will spare you a ton of errors.

Which Beef Cut for Sous Vide Ribs

Sous Vide is ideal for several beef cuts including tough ones. So you can play around with quite a number and still be safe. For the sake of today’s recipe though, we’ll be using beef back ribs.

After cutting off the rib eye, this is what’s left. As such, the ribs are not as meaty, however, they are reasonably tender. Again, meat with bone is a good idea when trying to preserve internal moisture.

A full back rib rack will have 7 in number, but these can be trimmed to smaller portions of 4 depending on how much you need. If not available, spare ribs can make for a good substitute.

How to Remove Membrane from Beef Ribs

Before you can toss your ribs in a water bath, some butchering, like removing the rib membrane will come in handy.

You want to trim any fat deposits as well as peel off the outer silver skin. The membrane inhibits sufficient heat penetration and could be a nuisance when chewing due to its rubbery texture.

Poke a hole in one corner and begin to work your way from end to end. Beef doesn’t peel off smoothly like pork but stay on track and you should have a clean nice rack at the end. For safety precaution, use a fairly sharp knife to avoid accidental slipups.

Target Temperatures for the Cook

This will largely be governed by the level of doneness you like to achieve. For a medium-rare, about 150F will do, but if you prefer a clean medium finish, scale up to about 165F. Just to confirm, have a digital meat gauge that can read internal temperatures so that you’re not guessing.

How Long Should the Ribs Cook

The water bath should run at the set temperature for anything between 24-38 hours. Remember this is a slow cooker and may not be the best if you are rushing against time. Before you set up, ensure that you have the time budget for it.

The best part though is the relief from having to constantly monitor your rib’s progress. As the hot water works its magic, the muscle fibers are breaking down to render juices and a soft finish.

Recipe Instructions

For the ingredients, 50%quick salt and 50%black pepper are all you need to keep it simple. It doesn’t take much when you have a good rib collection. For the wet rub, have some BBQ sauce.

  • Once the fat and membrane come undone, use your hands to smear the dry rub generously. Coat both sides of the rib rack.
  • Place the rack into a vacuum bag and seal with a machine.
  • Have your bath rising to temperature in the meantime.
  • Dip the bags into the water at 150F and leave for at least 24 hours.
  • Pull them out and unwrap gently, patting dry any excess drippings.
  • Transfer the ribs to your hot grill or sear over high heat for a few minutes to char the skin.
  • After 2 minutes you’re ready to serve!

Cheers to your perfect Sous Vide ribs- tender inside yet crispy on the skin. Now carve and enjoy!

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