Back

Mouthwatering Sous Vide BBQ Pork Ribs

Best Sous Vide BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe - Perfect Tender & Juicy Ribs Every Time

Discover the secret to achieving tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked pork ribs without a smoker! This sous vide BBQ pork ribs recipe delivers restaurant-quality results right in your own kitchen.

Imagine sinking your teeth into succulent pork ribs with a crusty bark or rich glaze, boasting a texture that’s both tender and meaty. These ribs don’t fall off the bone (a sign of overcooking), but release with just a gentle tug – the hallmark of perfectly cooked barbecue.

The Science Behind Perfect Sous Vide Ribs

Traditional BBQ ribs rely on low and slow cooking to break down tough connective tissue and develop flavor. Our sous vide method achieves the same results with precision temperature control, ensuring consistently delicious ribs every time. Here’s what makes these ribs special:

  • Precise temperature control converts tough connective tissue to gelatin, resulting in tender meat
  • A flavorful spice rub infuses the meat during the long cooking process
  • Liquid smoke provides authentic smoky flavor without the need for a smoker
  • Optional pink curing salt creates a visually appealing “smoke ring”
  • Finishing in the oven or on the grill creates a delicious crust

Choosing Your Perfect Texture

This recipe offers two temperature options to suit your preference:

Extra Meaty Ribs: 145°F (63°C) for 36 Hours

At this lower temperature, the ribs retain more moisture and have a texture similar to a tender pork chop. The meat pulls away from the bone with a gentle tug, offering a unique and satisfying eating experience.

Traditional BBQ-Style Ribs: 165°F (74°C) for 12 Hours

This higher temperature results in meat that’s more tender and shreds easily, resembling classic barbecue texture. The pork practically melts on your tongue while still maintaining a satisfying chew.

The Secret to Extra-Juicy Ribs

Our recipe incorporates a key step for maximum juiciness: salting the ribs and allowing them to rest overnight before cooking. This simple technique helps the meat retain moisture during the long cooking process, resulting in incredibly succulent ribs.

Smoke Flavor Without the Smoker

We use high-quality liquid smoke to impart authentic smoky flavor. Don’t be fooled by misconceptions – good liquid smoke is simply condensed wood smoke, providing real flavor without the need for special equipment.

Ingredients

For the Spice Rub:

  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Prague Powder #1 (optional; see note)
  • 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the Sauce (if making sauced ribs)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) spicy brown mustard
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3ml) Wright’s or Colgin liquid hickory smoke

For the Ribs:

  • 2 whole racks St. Louis–cut pork ribs
  • About 3/4 teaspoon (3ml) Wright’s or Colgin liquid hickory smoke

Directions

  1. Prepare the Spice Rub: In batches, combine all spice rub ingredients in a spice grinder. Pulse until you achieve a fine powder consistency.
  2. Make the Sauce (Optional): In a medium saucepan, whisk together 3 tablespoons of spice rub with the remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes until thickened. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Cut each rack into 3-4 portions. Generously coat all sides with the spice rub mixture. (Reserve 3 tablespoons of rub if making dry-style ribs.)
  4. Place rib portions into vacuum bags. Add 4 drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) liquid smoke to each bag. Seal bags and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours.
  5. Cook the Ribs: Set your sous vide cooker to either 145°F (63°C) for extra-meaty ribs or 165°F (74°C) for traditional texture. Cook for 36 hours at 145°F or 12 hours at 165°F. After cooking, chill ribs in an ice bath. They can be refrigerated for up to 5 days before finishing.
  6. Finish Dry-Style in the Oven: Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Pat ribs dry and apply remaining rub. Place on wire racks on baking sheets. Cook for about 40 minutes until a crusty bark forms.
  7. Finish Dry-Style on the Grill: Prepare grill for two-zone cooking. Pat ribs dry and apply remaining rub. Grill over indirect heat for 15 minutes, then move to direct heat to develop a crust, about 10 minutes.
  8. Finish Sauced Ribs in the Oven: Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Pat ribs dry and place on wire racks. Cook for 20 minutes, then brush with sauce. Return to oven for 10 minutes. Apply a second layer of sauce and cook for 10 more minutes. Finish with a final layer of sauce before serving.
  9. Finish Sauced Ribs on the Grill: Prepare grill for two-zone cooking. Pat ribs dry. Grill over indirect heat for 15 minutes. Brush with sauce and move to direct heat. Grill for 7 minutes, apply second sauce layer, and grill 5 minutes more. Finish with a final sauce layer before serving.

Notes

Prague Powder #1, a curing salt, can be added to give the ribs a red ‘smoke’ ring. You can order it online.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1373 Calories
111g Fat
20g Carbs
76g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1373
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 111g 143%
Saturated Fat 33g 165%
Cholesterol 372mg 124%
Sodium 3166mg 138%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 76g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 8mg 42%
Potassium 1211mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

You may also like: