Sids Guide to Sous-Vide Ribs

  • Ready in: 40 hours
  • Complexity: very easy
Sids Guide to Sous-Vide Ribs


  • Texture
  • Flavour


  1. When perfecting a recipe like sous-vide barbecue-style pork ribs, where there’s not only dozens of variables (temperature, time, cut of pork, the rub, the sauce, smoking, grilling, etc.), but also a huge built-in expectations (barbecue-lovers are the most exacting crowd around), is an even bigger project.
    Things to look for in a good barbecued rib are -
    Texture: The ribs should be tender, never greasy and the meat should still have a definite bite to them. If the meat slips and falls off the bones as you’re trying to eat, they’ve been overcooked in my book (and, for the record, in the book of any competition barbecue judge). Ribs should have a nice gentle tug to them.
    Flavour: Barbecue ribs should be smokey, but not overly so. Too often I taste ribs that remind me more of an ashtray than serious eats. Smoke, just like any other seasoning, should be there to enhance the meat, not overwhelm it. Similarly, a robust but balanced spice rub or sauce should bring out the best in the pork, not cover it with gloopy sweetness.
    The lower the temperature, the longer it takes for tough connective tissue to soften and the more moisture the meat retains. Ribs cooked at a higher temperature have a more traditional texture than those cooked at a lower temperature, but both have their advantages.

    For Extra Meaty, Succulent & Tender Ribs: I like giving my ribs a good rub with a homemade spice blend, letting them rest for 4-12 hours to allow the salt to penetrate the meat, then cooking them at 63°C for 36 hours for an extra-meaty bite.
    For Tender, Traditional BBQ Ribs: At a higher temperature, you can recreate the classic, backyard BBQ rib texture with well-rendered fat and meat that shreds as you eat it. To get this style, I cooked the ribs at 74°C for 12 hours which resulted in a traditionally tender, slightly shreddy texture that pulls easily from the bone with just the slightest bit of resistance.
    For the smoke flavour, either -

    SIDS SMOKEY BBQ RUB: liberally coat the ribs and leave for 1 hour before sealing.
    SIDS SMOKEY GARLIC SAUCE: liberally coat before sealing.