Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sous-Vide Beef-Back-Ribs Revisited


This is not my first rodeo or my second. I've made these ribs several times and wanted to share with you all that I have learned. Here is a link to one of my earlier POSTS. I wish my ribs were that big. I use to love watching Fred eat these enormous portions of food. 

I cut the slabs into more manageable sections. So far so good. These Backbones are way bigger than the ones I've have used in the past and much meatier too. These larger size ribs shouldn't change the process or cook times though.

I would suggest a store bought rub or make your own. I like adding lots of brown sugar to my rubs. Rubs are so easy to make so give it a shot.

Some people will tell you to Sous-Vide your ribs naked but not me!! I dry brine all my proteins for the following reasons. Dry-Brining provides more flavor, denatures the protein and makes them more tender, and reduces moisture loss during the cooking process. If you want to read more about Dry- Brines click HERE. Or you can just google Dry-Brines and Science. There's a lot of info out there. I have conducted my own experiments and they can be found HERE.

How about that rub? Well to be honest only the salt will penetrate the protein which gives you all the benefits I listed above. The extra components of the rub are mostly a surface treatment. According to what I have read, and yes I can attest to this the additional components of the rub will penetrate but a mere 1/8 of an inch, if at all. Of course the amount of penetration is tied to the overall dry-brining time. I dry-brine most proteins for at least 24 hours and schedule permitting up to 36 hours. If you plan on a short Dry-Brine don't waste your time or rub. For this to work well you need a full 24 hours and of course 36 is better.

Double vacuumed sealed. On long cooks I double them up. After the 36 hour Dry-Bining I cooked them at 149 f degrees for 52 hours. After the cook I dropped all the bags into a large container with Ice-Packs to cool them off rapidly. Note: Previous ribs were cooked for 48 hours. Because of my schedule I did not smoke them for another 8 days. Since the ribs were pasteurized I was able to keep them for an extended time in the refrigerator.
Out of the bags and into a large container. The container is huge!! It needed to hold all 20 lb.  Notice the congealed fat? 

Apply some more rub if you want too.

Apply BBQ sauce if you want too. I love BBQ sauce. In traditional smoking I always add the sauce during the last couple of hours.

Set up your smoker. I have a custom Weber Smokey Mountain. I use this method which I find to be the best. Charcoal around the bricks will burn more evenly and will last a long time. In the charcoal I have added some wood. Using a charcoal chimney starter I poured hot coals on one end. I can do 22 hour long smokes on this baby at 225 f. This smoker is so huge I can do 12-14 whole chickens. 

I kept the temp between 200-215 f degrees. They smoked for 2.5 hours until an internal temp of 165 f was reached.

I have special racks to hold the ribs. Very handy.

Review- They came out great!!! Pulled off the bone and no big gobs of fat to chew on. In the past I have done them at 131 f for 48 hours and smoked until an internal temp of 140 f was reached (other temps and times too). The meat was near perfect but the fat did not render down at all. Globs of fat in your mouth was not what I was looking for. Than I tried 149 f at 48 hours and smoked until an internal temp of 150 f was reached. This was an improvement but again fat was not perfect. Now I believe I nailed it.... 148 f for 52 hours and smoked until an internal temp of 165 f was reached. Fat rendered down nicely and meat fell off the bone. If you want more chew SV for about 44 hours. 

My next version of these ribs will include faux aging