Big juicy beef ribs are one of my favorite foods but you have to make sure they become tender enough to really enjoy them. There are many ways to make sure they are tender, from smoking to braising, to cooking in the oven at low temperatures. They all have their benefits and sous vide just adds one more option for you.
Sous vide beef ribs come out a nice medium rare while still maintaining that great beefy flavor typical of beef ribs. The long cooking time, at least 1 day and up to 3 days, helps to greatly tenderize them as well so the sous vide beef ribs are falling of the bone.
Simple Sous Vide Beef Ribs
Sous vide beef ribs can be a very easy meal if you keep it simple.
For a fast and easy version just salt and pepper the ribs, seal them in the sous vide pouches, and cook at 137°F for a few days. Take the beef ribs out of the pouches, pat them dry and quickly sear them. Just serve them with your favorite BBQ sauce with a side of corn and coleslaw.
Sous vide beef ribs can be made with only 15 minutes of actual kitchen time with this method!
Complex Sous Vide Beef Ribs
When doing sous vide beef ribs you can also make them as complex as you want.
Some people smoke their beef ribs before cooking them sous vide. You can also apply a spice rub or marinade before sealing them. And many people will make their own BBQ sauce to go with the sous vide beef ribs. If you want to try a great BBQ sauce I highly recommend the Sweet and Smoky BBQ sauce from Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible, I find myself making steak or chicken just as an excuse to eat the sauce.
You can combine any of these methods and make the sous vide beef ribs your own creation. The options are really unlimited.
Our Sous Vide Beef Ribs
For this preparation we cook the sous vide beef ribs with some liquid smoke and worcester sauce. The liquid smoke will give it a nice deep smoke flavor without any of the work. We've also found that worcester sauce is an easy way to add complex and rich flavors to sous vide beef.
After cooking the beef ribs sous vide we pat them dry and apply a nice spice rub. The rub we use here is a sweet rub with just a hint of heat. You can use any rub that you like though, or leave off the rub and use some of your favorite BBQ sauce.
We then simply grill the sous vide beef ribs until the spice rub is cooked and begins to brown. You can then serve them with any sides you like. We served ours with a side of roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, radishes, and celery from our garden and a light cucumber and tomato salad with fresh herbs to cut the richness of the other components.
Ingredients for Sous Vide Beef
- 3 to 4 pounds of beef ribs
- 1 tablespoon worcester sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1.5 tablespoons onion powder
- 1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
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Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Beef Ribs
At least 2 to 3 days before serving
Preheat the water bath to 137°F (58.3°C).
Place the beef ribs into the sous vide pouches. Sprinkle the beef ribs with salt and pepper then add the worcester sauce and liquid smoke. Seal the pouches and place in the water bath. Cook for 2 to 3 days.
For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.
Just before the ribs are done cooking combine all of the dry spice rub ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.
Take the sous vide beef ribs out of the water bath and remove them from the pouches. Pat them dry with a paper towel or dish cloth. Coat both sides with the dry spice rub. Quickly sear the beef ribs on the grill for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, until just browned. Remove from the heat and serve.