I haven’t had access to my smoker for about a year now and I miss it. I’ve been experimenting with things I used to make in the smoker to see if I can make another tasty version with the equipment available to me in the apartment. I tried a few oven and crockpot versions of ribs, but I could never get the consistency I’m looking for.
Oven/crockpot ribs were always either too tough or too tender. I couldn’t hit the sweet spot I was looking for with juicy tenderness and still firm enough to bite. I think I finally hit the jackpot with the sous vide this weekend. These ribs were exactly what I’ve been looking for short of smuggling a smoker onto the apartment complex’s roof.
Apartment-style Sous Vide Pork Ribs
Total time: 8.5 hours
Active time: 30 minutes
- 1 full rack of meaty baby back ribs
- 4 TBSP of your favorite dry rub
- Salt & Pepper to taste (if your rub doesn’t have any)
Warm up the sous vide water bath to 167F. Remove the membrane from the ribs, put half of the dry rub on the ribs (both front and back). Vacuum seal the ribs to put them in the sous vide. I cut the rack in half and packaged each half individually to make this easier. Double seal the bags to prevent leaks. If you prefer to use the ziplock bag method, it might be helpful to double bag this batch since the cooking time is so long.
Put the bags in the sous vide and cook them for 8 hours. When they are finished, preheat the oven to 400F. Drain the liquid from the bags and pat the ribs dry with paper towels. Put the remaining half of the dry rub on the ribs, then put them on a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the pan with the ribs in the oven for 5 minutes to form a bark. After 5 minutes, pull them out of the oven, slice into individual bones, and serve.
I started this process before work on Friday and I had delicious ribs by the time the work day was over. All I had to do was put them in the oven for 10 minutes and make the sides.
- If you want some faux-smoke flavor, you can make a glaze with liquid smoke and molasses to put on the ribs before the second round of dry rub before you put them in the oven.
- If you prefer sauce on your ribs, omit the second round of dry rub and replace it with your favorite sauce before you put them in the oven.
- If you have a smoker and are short on available time, cook the ribs for about 5-7 hours in the sous vide, then smoke them for an hour at no higher than 167F in your smoker.
Ideas for sides:
- Baked beans
- Cornbread muffins