Sous-vide cooking works its magic on a lot of foods, but short ribs yield some of the most dramatic results I've seen. In traditional recipes, the ribs (usually cut into short 2- to 3-inch chunks by the butcher) are braised for several hours. Although the braising method adds great flavor and makes the meat extremely tender, the meat is also necessarily well-done. But, thanks to our sous-vide wizardry, we're able to maintain a perfectly pink medium-rare and have our meat come out fork-tender. After tasting these short ribs, I may never cook any type of ribs the same way again. This summer, I plan to lightly smoke a rack of spare ribs, then cook them sous-vide for a few days before finishing them back on the grill. I expect pretty incredible results.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
3 days
total:
3 days
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 pounds
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat water in a sous-vide water bath to 133 degrees F (56 degrees C).

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  • Trim any areas of fat left on short ribs; coat thoroughly with garlic and salt. Place ribs into a large, sealable plastic bag. Seal, on low pressure if using a vacuum sealer, removing as much air as possible.

  • Submerge bag fully in the water bath and cook, rotating every 12 to 18 hours, for 60 hours. Increase heat to 144.5 degrees F (62.5 degrees C) and cook an additional 12 hours.

  • Remove ribs from water bath; let rest in bag on cooling rack placed over baking sheet until cool enough to handle.

  • Remove ribs from bag and drain. Turn ribs bone-side up on a work surface and slice meat between bones lengthwise to separate ribs. Cut membrane running along the length of the rib; slide bone loose from the meat. Trim any excess fat and cut into serving portions.

  • Pat ribs dry with paper towels; return to cooling rack-lined baking sheet. Heat a skillet until smoking hot; brown ribs quickly, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.

Cook's Notes:

I use a 6-pound uncut slab of short ribs from my butcher, but you can use 6 to 8 pre-cut pieces.

I prefer alderwood smoked salt.

Use more than 1 sealable plastic bag if necessary to leave plenty of room between ribs.

Ribs can also be browned to finish using a blowtorch, or under a hot broiler. The goal is to brown them evenly and as quickly as possible.

Nutrition Facts

940 calories; protein 43g 86% DV; carbohydrates 1.3g; fat 83.3g 128% DV; cholesterol 186.4mg 62% DV; sodium 2401.6mg 96% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (2)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2017
I have made 72-hr sous vide ribs but not with this exact recipe. They were spectacular. However I felt a need to respond to the other reviewer who questioned the food safety. Sous vide safety guidelines are different from all other cooking methods due to the length of time food is kept at temperature. Find details here: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Safety Read More
(6)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
07/17/2018
Sous Vide cooking at that low temperature for so long is counterproductive. It is better to Sous Vide cook the ribs at 165F for 5 - 8 hours which is enough to render the fat then quickly braise the meat for a few minutes under high heat (400F) to get the brown cooked surface. Remember to dry the ribs before braiding them Read More
(1)
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2017
I have made 72-hr sous vide ribs but not with this exact recipe. They were spectacular. However I felt a need to respond to the other reviewer who questioned the food safety. Sous vide safety guidelines are different from all other cooking methods due to the length of time food is kept at temperature. Find details here: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Safety Read More
(6)
Rating: 2 stars
07/16/2018
Sous Vide cooking at that low temperature for so long is counterproductive. It is better to Sous Vide cook the ribs at 165F for 5 - 8 hours which is enough to render the fat then quickly braise the meat for a few minutes under high heat (400F) to get the brown cooked surface. Remember to dry the ribs before braiding them Read More
(1)
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