Sous vide baby back ribs with a sweet, tangy BBQ sauce – juicy and succulent. Finish them on the grill or broiler for a delicious all-season meal that will be well appreciated.
I had to try ribs in our new sous vide machine from Cederlane Culinary. Given the long cook time – similar to a slow cooker – I wondered if the sous vide method would make a noticeable difference to the taste and texture of the meat.
Make no mistake. The ribs were delicious – super tender and flavourful, but because you’re not aiming for a medium-rare, for example, the slow cook oven method works just as well, I think, in less than half the time with no vacuuming sealing. The nice part, however, is plunging the ribs, sealed in the sous vide bags, into the water and walking away for 6-8 hours without a worry. No fuss, no mess.
Regardless of the cook method, the seasoning and BBQ sauce in this recipe enhance the flavours of the pork without overwhelming it. The flavor of the meat still shines through. The sauce recipe is adapted from a beef short rib recipe by Once Upon a Chef. You can, of course, use your favourite rub and sauce instead.
Both methods – sous vide and oven/grill – can be made-ahead up to the point of saucing and grilling/broiling. Our Famous Montreal Ribs (Copycat) Recipe – pictured/linked if you scroll down – is a good example of the alternative oven-to-grill (or broil) method.
Try serving this ribs with Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Gremolata.
Shortcuts for Sous Vide Baby Back Ribs
- use any purchased rib rub instead of making it yourself.
- use your favourite store-bought BBQ sauce instead of making it yourself.
Sous Vide Baby Back Ribs Recipe
- 1 rack baby back ribs (2-3 pounds)
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH - garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 4 tsp cider vinegar
- 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- PREPARE THE SOUS VIDE BATH: Fill water in the sous vide machine as per manufacturers instructions. Set the temperature to 165F and allow water to heat to that temperature.
- MAKE THE RUB: Add all rub ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
- PREPARE THE BACK RIBS: Remove the silver skin on the back of the ribs by sliding the tip of a knife under the skin at the small end of the rack. Loosen the skin from the bone, then grab it with a paper towel and peel the skin off the entire rib. With any luck, it should peel away in one large sheet. Cut the rack horizontally into 3 pieces. Generously season each piece on both sides with the rub. Fold back top of sous vide bags about an inch to create a flap (this ensures no food touches the top of the bag where it gets sealed). Insert one or two rib portions per bag, ensuring no overlap. Unfold the flap and vacuum seal the bag using a vacuum sealer. Note 1.
- COOK THE RIBS SOUS VIDE: When the temperature of the sous vide machine reaches 165F, submerge the vacuum sealed bags with the ribs into the water. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours.
- MAKE THE BBQ SAUCE: Combine all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix well to combine.
- FINISH THE RIBS: Remove the ribs from the water bath. (Ribs can be cooled, then refrigerated at this point to be finished the next day). Remove ribs from the bags. Discard juices. TO GRILL: Clean and oil the grill. Heat grill to medium high. Slather sauce on the ribs. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, adding more sauce as needed. TO BROIL: Line a pan with foil. Heat broiler and place oven grill 6 inches from the top of the oven/broiler. Place ribs (meaty side down) on the pan and slather with sauce. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Turn ribs over. Slather sauce on top of ribs. Broil for another 2-3 minutes. Spread any remaining sauce on top of ribs. Cut into serving pieces and serve.
- Alternative to vacuum seal: Instead of vacuum sealing, place ribs in a ziploc bag, lower into water bath until seal of bag is just above water line (air will be pushed out), then seal the bag. You want to get air out of the bag so it doesn't float.
Here are three other rib recipes from TKITK you might like: