Spare Ribs “sous-vide”

I’m a big fan of slow-cooking spare ribs in my smoker. So it was natural to try them in my water bath “sous-vide”. I applied one of my favorite rubs (“Bone Sucking Rub”), vacuum sealed them in my FoodSaver and put them in 150F for 24 hours.

Then I finished them by coating with Bone Sucking Sauce and placing them in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.

In general they were quite promising. Most of the ribs were “fall apart tender” without being as well-done as if they were smoked to that point. However, portions of the ribs were fairly dry. I’m not sure if that was because of their structure or because the FoodSaver doesn’t really “shrink-wrap” food so a fair amount of juice can seep out into the bag. In future I may try rotating the bags around in the bath to see if I can ensure that all portions get plenty of liquid.

As with other sous-vide dishes the ribs didn’t have as intensive a “browning” reaction, but the juiciness helps make up for that. I’m not quite sure what to fiddle with in this approach, so I welcome suggestions!–David


February 22, 2006. Technique.


  1. j smith replied:

    try adding more liquid to the bag that the ribs were in.

  2. Josh replied:

    It’s hard to seal a bag with liquid in it. I would add other fresh or dried ingredients and sear at finish. If the strength is the juicy flavor concentration it could make for an excellent spare rib ravioli type thing.

  3. sousvide replied:

    Another quick tip I found was to freeze the liquid portion so that it seals more effectively. I’ve done that with stock or other liquids I wanted to use to flavor a sous vide dish.–David

  4. oxygen mask replied:

    oxygen mask

    ka-ka-sh-ka 3880377 Popular authors of oxygen mask articles

  5. alfa romeo dallas replied:

    alfa romeo dallas

    ka-ka-sh-ka 3880377 alfa romeo dallas start page

  6. davesimo63 replied:

    I’ve done baby backs a couple of times and thought they came out extremely moist. Cooked at 165° for 12 hrs then in a smoker at 150° for 1 hour. Came out great. Very moist.

    Right now trying at 149° for 24 hrs to see if any difference.

    I also used a Foodsaver vacuum sealer. I am not happy with it at all. Decided to take the hit and buy a small commercial vaccum unit with adjust vacuum and heat seal controls.

    I’ll let you know the results.


  7. Andy replied:

    If you keep your spare bones, and meat trimmings, you can really really brown them in the oven at high temperature. Refrigerate them until needed. Then when you pack up your ribs or other products “sous vide” you can add these browned scraps to the bag as seasoning elements. You will get that “browned” flavor without the drying out that comes from high temp cooking.

  8. Andy replied:

    Also, the problem with freezing the liquid portion is that you do not have the liquid being sucked into the meat when you create the vacuum. When you have liquid in the bag, the pores of the meat open up when there is a vacuum in the bag, and then air is all let out, the meat sucks up a bit of the liquid and the pores close. That is why I use melted butter when I am making butter poached lobster, instead of cold solid butter.

  9. Dave N replied:

    My sous vide experience with ribs has been great – the main differences are; I portion ribs by 4 bones each, brine in h2o/brn sugar/ and kosher salt for 24hrs, drain & dry rub (i’m a fan of bone suckin rib dry rub too), vac pack, then 12 hrs at 157F gives me great results. Then just finish on the BBQ with your favorite sauce a minute a side! The best is you can do all of this well in advance, so you can finish them at a tailgate or grill off lots at your party without being handcuffed to the grill. CHeers,

  10. Tadg mcloughlin replied:

    Brown the ribs after seasoning on high heat as quickly put them in the freezer to cool down quickly, Double shrink wrap the ribs with your food saver and proceed with recipe.

  11. John Biswanger replied:

    Here is another way to do the ribs the combines smoking and souse vide. Rub the meat with your “rub” hold in the cooler for 12 hrs. Cold smoke the ribs for 2 hrs. using a med to heavy smoke setting. Now seal 4 rib portions into your bags and teh cook in your bath for 12 hrs. at 157 F.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: