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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Banjo's recipe: Pork Spare Ribs with Sous Vide

I picked up a package of Spare Ribs from Costco.  The package weight about 9 lbs.  This contains two (2) whole racks.

  • Prepare the brine (Banjo's Pork Spare Ribs Brine).
  • Cut the pork spare ribs into sections small enough to fit into several vacuum pouches.  I will not place into the vacuum pouches at this time because I want to brine them first.
  • Place the spare ribs into the brine.
  • Place brine into the refrigerator for 48 hours
  • After 48 hours, remove spare ribs from brine and blot ribs dry.
  • Prepare any special sauce and place sauce into vacuum bags where you will be putting your spare ribs.
  • Place ribs into vacuum bags and seal.  
  • Note: if you have difficulty with this step with applying vacuum without sucking fluids out of pouch, then use Zip Lock Freezer Bags gallon size to put sauce and ribs into, then use 'water immersion' method to evacuate the air, or leave the sauce out.
  • Note: if you prefer, you can put a dry rub on the meat instead, which should allow you to use your vacuum device to seal.

I will be brining the pork spare ribs.  Here is Banjo's Recipe


  • Cook for 48 hours at 135 dF.  
  • Note: if this is your first time cooking Sous Vide, or low temperature cooking, then don't get alarmed about the low temperature for pork.  We are cooking the meat for a long enough time at this temperature in order to pasteurize the meat and to also tenderize it.  It will be slightly red in color because it will come be medium well when we take it out at 135 dF.  There are two things associated with this cooking - pasteurization and tenderizeation.  Per Douglas Baldwin's book, pasteurization will take 1 hour at 130 dF for meat 1.25 inches thick.  Notice we are above this temperature, and at a much longer time, so we are definitely pasteurized!  However, we are going this extra length of time in order to tenderize the will be "falling off of the bone tender" when we are through.  
  • If you will be 'toasting' the ribs on a grill-with-a-dome, then 30 minutes before taking them out of their pouches, heat up the grill, placing your charcoal on one side of the grill while leaving the other side open so your ribs won't be directly over the hot coals (indirect heat).  I try to get my dome up to 400 dF or hotter - you aren't going to cook the ribs because they are already cooked - you are just trying to toast the outside, so hot and fast!
  • In inclement weather I will toast our ribs under our oven's broiler. Simply place them in a pan to catch the drippings, meat side up, about 4 inches below the coils.  Place it on "hi", and monitor.  Since they are already cooked, I'm just toasting.  I leave the door open so I can watch to decide when to pull off.  This probably took at least 10 minutes (sorry, I forgot to time this).
  • Remove ribs from  vacuum pouch.  You can either eat them at this point, or continue on with 'toasting' to brown.
  • Toasting: Rinse the ribs off so you get the salt off of the meat.  (I didn't do this the first time, and they were too salty).  Blot the ribs dry, (this is important as it help speed up the process of toasting the meat) then place the ribs onto the side of your grill opposite the hot coals.  I like to put a aluminum drip pan under them to keep the oil from getting all over my grill.  Toast for about 10 - 20 minutes, or they acquire the browning you desire.  Your goal is to not leave them in the dome for very long, as you are wanting to toast the outside without additional cooking on the inside.


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