This is hands-down my favorite way of cooking pork ribs. I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible to highlight both the cooking method and the fact that pork doesn’t need any help to taste amazing. I remember when I first started cooking sous vide. The idea of cooking something for 24 hours seemed a bit extreme and in my head, I was thinking “why not just grill the ribs and be done in a couple of hours”… right? well… you don’t have to agree with this 24-hour approach right away but if you prepare them this way, you’ll understand why sous vide cooking is so incredible for it maximizes tenderness and retains the maximum possible amount of juiciness. The trick is being able to cook the ribs low and slow… to the extreme and when you’re ready to eat, give them a nice golden color by deep frying them very quickly in super hot oil. There’s no turning back. Best yet simplest pork ribs ever.
Ingredients (Servings: 4, Time: ~24 hours):
1 pork rib rack.
30 grams kosher salt.
30 grams brown sugar.
Prep the rib rack.
A whole rack of ribs will be too big to easily handle so I recommend cutting it up into 2 or 3 portions and bagging them independently. Some people like to remove the membrane covering the bone backside of the rack.I don’t bother. It’s mostly gone after the flash frying step.
Make the brine.
Mix the water with the salt and sugar until fully dissolved in a small vat large enough to fit the rib portions. Make sure the meat is fully submerged. Brine overnight in the fridge. If you need to make more brine to fully submerge the ribs, just keep the ratios the same and increase quantities accordingly.
Time to vacuum seal.
Remove the ribs from the brine and vacuum seal. You could use ziplock bags and the water displacement method if you don’t have a vacuum sealer which means… let’s see… grab a ziplock bag. Put the ribs in it and zip it but not all the way through. Leave a little window for air to come out. Submerge the baggie in the water tub (yeah, the same one you will use with your sous vide cooker). Displace as much air as possible out of the bag and seal it the best you can. There will still be some air inside the bag… hopefully not a lot if you did your job right… and that’s it. Water displacement. Done.
There are a few options here and it all depends on your preference:
Cook for 48 hours @60C if you want chewier texture. Very juicy.
Cook for 24 hours @62C if you want a more tender texture but slightly less juicy. My fave.
Cook for 7 hours @75C if you want fall-off-the-bone scrumptiousness. MC special.
You can add a bit of liquid smoke to the baggie before sealing if you want that BBQ style rib taste. I actually like adding a tbs of instant espresso instead. Great pairing. Adding both? sure, why not.
After the ribs are finished cooking in the sous vide bath, remove the ribs from the bags and place on a tray lined with paper towels. Pat the ribs as dry as possible with extra paper towels. Remember, you’re about to deep-fry them, so any excess water will just increase the oil splatter facto and slow down the process. Meanwhile, place enough peanut oil (or any high smoke point oil of your choice) in a large pot. Oil should not fill the pot more than 1/3 of the way. Heat the oil to 190C/375F. Work in batches. Deep fry for about 2-3 minutes.
Alternative To Frying.
If you’re not comfortable deep frying in a pot and you or you don’t have a deep-fryer you can still get a great color on them in a number of different ways. A very popular one is by grilling them on high heat. I have used the broiler on high as well, placing the ribs on a pan a few inches away from the heating element and using large tongs to move/turn the ribs as they brown. You could also just simply pan-fry them which will use a lot less oil and be safer.