I typically don’t have 6 hours just before my guests arrive to cook ribs.
I was looking for a convenient way to do most of the work days or weeks in advance. What I discovered was a better way to cook ribs.
I always liked “fall off the bone” ribs but I have to admit, the meat was often a little mushy.
This method renders all the collagen without drying out the meat or making it mushy. This method results in a competition-style “tug off the bone” consistency.
- Baby back rib slabs (cut in half).
- Adam’s Rib Rub.
- Mix the rub (minus the brown sugar)
- You can add the sugar later to make a mopping sauce.
- Clean the bone slivers from the ribs and remove the membrane.
- Cut the rib slabs in half at the 6th or 7th rib.
- Coat the ribs in rub.
- Smoke the ribs at 225 degrees for 4.5 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker.
- Lay the ribs together so the small bones lay against the middle of the other half-slab to help prevent the bones from poking through the bags. You may need to double bag some slabs to maintain vacuum.
- Seal the slabs.
- Sous vide the slabs at 165 degrees for 7-8 hours.
- Remove the slabs from the sous vide and finish, refrigerate, or freeze them.
- Ribs can be finished immediately after sous vide, or you can freeze them or refrigerate them until you are ready to serve them.
- Finishing just brings the ribs up to temperature, browns, and sauces them.
- Adding the sauce is optional. I like them with and without the added sauce.
Making a mopping sauce:
- Remove the ribs from the bag and mix the juice from each bag/slab with about 1/4 cup of brown sugar. This makes a good mopping sauce for the finishing step.
Finishing in the oven:
- Thaw ribs overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen).
- If possible, ribs should be cooled or refrigerated before finishing.
- Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the ribs on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until browned and heated through (about 155 degrees in the center), basting with the mopping sauce every 5 minutes.
Finishing on the grill or in the smoker:
- If possible, ribs should be at refrigerator temperature before grilling or finishing on the smoker.
- Grill or smoke ribs at medium-high heat (300 degrees)
- Place the ribs directly on the rack and cook until browned and heated through (about 155 degrees in the center), basting with the mopping sauce every 5 minutes.