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Sous Vide: Baby Back Pork Ribs, BBQ Style

Sous vide simplifies tenderization of this iconic cut, giving enthusiasts the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity.


Baby Back Pork Ribs, 3 lb/1.4 Kg.
Salt, 1.5 Tablespoon.
Ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon.


Cayenne Pepper, 1 teaspoon.
Garlic Powder, 1 Tablespoon.
Onion Powder, 1 Tablespoon.
Fennel Seed, 1 Tablespoon.
Paprika, 1 Tablespoon.
Dried Parsley, 0.5 cup/120 ml.

Brisk BBQ Sauce:

Tomato paste, 1 can, 6 oz/170 g.
Water, 6 oz/170 g.
Corn Syrup, 6 fluid oz./180 ml.
White vinegar, 6 fluid oz./180 ml.
Sugar, 6 fluid oz./180 ml.
Worcestershire sauce, 3 fluid oz/ 90 ml.
Garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon
Salt, 1 Tablespoon
Ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Flat bottomed skillet, approximately 12″/30 cm. and 3″/90 mm deep.
Sauce pot, 2 qt/2 L.
Kitchen tongs.
Flour shaker.
Infrared or probe thermometer.

Serves 2-3
Level of difficulty: 2


The picture above shows an entire rack. Because of the unique characteristics of sous vide, the rack can also be portioned into smaller pieces, packaged separately and processed without altering the time/temperature guideline. If you want to use self sealing bags (Ziploc freezer bags) for this, remove the air from the bag using the water displacement method.


Stage the baby back ribs into dedicated vacuum bags. Seal and sous vide process @
140 F/60 C for 18 hours.

While the ribs are processing, make the rub using the listed ingredients above. Make the Brisk BBQ Sauce using the listed ingredients as well. Set both aside.

When the time has elapsed, reduce the setting on the immersion circulator to 130 F/54 C. At this setting, the ribs can be held for at least 6 hours without compromising texture, quality, or wholesomeness. One hour before service, preheat your oven (or hot smoker BBQ) to 375 F/190 C.

Remove the pouch from the bath, open the bag and drain the juices into a microwaveable container. Set aside. Lay the processed rack on parchment or butcher paper. Pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and then

Sprinkle generously with the rub until the surface is well coated.

Stand the ribs up in a rack so that the hot air circulates evenly.

Hot smoke or roast at
375 F/190 C for 0.5 hours or until they achieve the desired appearance.

Process the reserved juices in a microwave oven until they begin to boil–they will turn from pink to gray in color, with clear liquid visible at the bottom. Pour this through a moistened coffee filter or paper towel sitting in a strainer and add to the Brisk BBQ Sauce.

Remove the ribs from the rack and lay out on the sheet pan. Coat the top side well with the Brisk BBQ Sauce. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for ten minutes before carving. Serve with a little extra Brisk BBQ Sauce.

Norm King


Traditional recipes link steps into a rigid series of inseparable, effort-intensive procedures. The enthusiast's creativity is restricted by someone else's unexplained preferences. Sous vide isolates the tenderization process, freeing the practitioner to personalize the flavors, textures and appearance.

Even though baby back ribs are connected from above to spare ribs, the muscles around the spare ribs are much harder working. It is for this reason that baby backs require less processing time.

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