How to Sous Vide Short Ribs Like a Pro Chef

There are undoubtedly tons of cooking methods and rib recipes you can try, but only a few can help you get that golden brown, amazing sear that makes everyday food seem divine. That said, getting this rich, amazing flavor can be a challenge, which is why you need to master sous vide short rib cooking properly before you give this a shot.

Thankfully, there’s no reason to stress!

In this article, we’ll be giving you a complete sous vide walkthrough that’s guaranteed to make even tougher meat melt in your mouth. Be warned though: this type of cooking takes a lot of time. However, the result will be more than worth it.


Understanding Sous Vide Cooking

Before delving into the recipe instructions for sous vide short ribs, it’s vital to understand just what sous vide cooking is and how it helps you get tender beef ribs with an amazing flavor.

So, what is sous vide?

Simply put, this is a style of cooking that uses a device referred to as an immersion circulator.

An immersion circulator works by circulating a precise cooking temperature consistently in a water bath container, effectively ensuring that everything in the water bath is cooked thoroughly and evenly.

Sous vide cooking is profoundly different from traditional cooking methods because it keeps the cooking temperature even at all times.

Thanks to this, it’s easier to prepare delicious recipes with minimal risk of overcooking.

One of the best ways to cook with sous vide, especially if you don’t want to invest in a pricey chamber vacuum sealer or want to get even better results from this style of cooking, is the water displacement method.

Let’s look at this cooking style briefly.

Water Displacement Method

Cooking sous vide.

This simply involves using a zip-lock or zip-top bag for the cooking process. The zip-top bag is partially opened at the top to allow air pressure to escape while it’s submerged in water.

To ensure that air or water from the water bath doesn’t find its way into the bag, a clip is used to hold the side of the bag.

Now that we have the basics of sous vide down, let’s get to the meat of things (pun intended)!

Tools and Ingredients Needed for Sous Vide Short Ribs

For this post, we’ll be using six (6) different tools for the preparation of the rib cuts of meat. These are:

  1. Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker.
  2. Cast iron heavy-bottom skillet.
  3. Vacuum sealer.
  4. Water airtight container with aluminum foil.
  5. One clean bowl.
  6. One saucepan.

In the ingredients department, here’s our entire recipe card.

S/N Ingredients Quantity
1. Beef ribs (Must be short beef ribs) 2 pounds
2. Smashed garlic cloves 4 pieces
3. Yellow onion 2 tablespoons
4. Brown sugar (granulated sugar) 2 tablespoons
5. Ginger paste 2 teaspoons
6. Kosher salt 1 tablespoon
7. Gochujang 1 tablespoon
8. Light soy sauce 1 tablespoon
9. Dark sesame oil ½ teaspoon
10. Chicken stock ¼ cup
11. Chinese cooking wine or Chinese rice wine ¼ cup
12. Balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar ¼ cup
13. Cooked white rice (optional) As needed

Each of the ingredients on our recipe card plays a crucial role in helping you lock in the amazing flavor of the beef ribs and ensuring you don’t make the meat dry.

In terms of cuts of beef, we recommend you get cuts like bone-in Korean beef stock. This is because these pounds of beef will absorb the spicy flavor better.

As for the sauce, the chicken stock, light soy sauce, dark sesame oil, rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, brown sugar, Chinese cooking wine, and gochujang each add an extra layer of flavor necessary to achieve the mouth-watering taste we’re going for here.

To give you even more control over how much kosher salt goes into this sauce, you can use homemade chicken broth.

And, if you don’t have Chinese rice wine close at hand, you can easily replace this ingredient with dry sherry, which can also do an excellent job of keeping the Korean beef stock and pork very tender and juicy.

The cooked onions and white rice come in when it’s time to finally eat your tasty tender beef ribs.

With all the tools and ingredients for the entire recipe in place, here’s a simple 7-step guide you can follow to prepare one of our favorite recipes for sous vide bone beef ribs!

7-Step Guide to Preparing Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

Raw Organic Beef Short Ribs

To cook this beef ribs recipe, start by:

Step One: Salting the Beef Short Ribs

Rub 1 tablespoon of salt liberally across the entire length of the ribs beef stock. When you’re sure you’ve covered every inch of the 2 pounds of beef, allow it to sit uncovered in your fridge for the night.

Step Two: Prepare the Warm Water Bath

On the day you’re ready to cook, prepare the sous vide water bath and heat it to a cooking temperature of 155℉ or 68°C.

Step Three: Mix the Sauce

Bring out your clean bowl and pour in all the listed ingredients on our recipe card in the required amounts and mix them thoroughly.

Step Four: Mix the Short Ribs with Sauce and Seal

There are two ways you can go about this, depending on how you’re cooking.

If you’re using the water displacement method we mentioned earlier, you’ll be pouring the mixed sauce ingredients and your beef stock into a zip-top or zip-lock bag.

If you’re using a chamber vacuum sealer, you’ll be pouring your cooking ingredients into a vacuum-sealed pouch instead. In either case, it’s vital to ensure the ribs in vacuum bags or zip-top bags are sealed properly.

Step Five: Wait for the 48-Hour Additional Cooking Time to Lapse

As we mentioned earlier, sous vide beef short ribs take additional time to prep.

To get the taste and texture we want here, the beef ribs have to sit in the warm water bath for 48 hours. During this time, you should make sure to check the water levels frequently as evaporation can be an issue here.

Also, you should make sure that the vacuum-sealed pouch remains below water level and doesn’t float, as this will affect evenness as the meat cooks.

Step Six: Let the Meat Simmer for 5-10 Minutes and Sear

After the additional cooking time has elapsed, remove the contents of the bag from vacuum sealing. Empty it into your saucepan and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Some chefs have been known to simmer for longer (10-15 minutes), while others only do it for about 3-4 minutes.

For us, simmering for 5-10 minutes in the saucepan before removing from heat is more than ideal as this gives the beef just enough time to settle without making the meat dry.

After you’ve removed the meat from the heat, stir it properly with dark sesame oil.

Step Seven: Heat on the Skillet

The final step in preparing delicious sous vide ribs is to heat them on all sides on your hot skillet on medium heat for just 30 seconds per side.

This is just enough time for the meat to get a golden brown glaze.

Once you get that look, you’re done!

All that’s left is to serve your beef on white rice, sprinkle some cooked onions on it for presentation, and enjoy your delicious meal!

Why Sous Vide Your Short Ribs?

While it’s undoubtedly one of our favorite recipes, even we will admit that this cooking method can be a handful to manage. So, why exactly is it worth your while?

Sous vide cooking is a great approach here because short beef ribs can be very tough meat. The lengthy cooking time that the ribs are subjected to breaks down the connective tissue of the tough meat, making it more tender and tastier to eat.

Also, although the meat cooks for several hours, this method of cooking ensures that the beef ribs never overcook or dry, giving you only tender meat at the end of the day.

The last thing that makes following our recipe instructions worth the stress is that it gives you a 5-star dining experience right in your home!

What to Remember When You Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

Some important things to keep in mind here are:

  1. Ensure you get the right cuts of meat as different beef cuts require different sous vide cooking times.
  2. Ensure that the short ribs in vacuum bags remain below water level at all times during the cooking process.
  3. Don’t brown your beef cuts for more than 30 seconds per side, as doing so for longer can make the meat dry.
  4. If you don’t want to use a hot skillet, you can use the hot grill method instead. Using a cover grill with oil on medium-high heat will get you the same perfect results easily.

Bottom Line

And that’s a wrap! You’re now ready to sous vide short ribs like a pro.

We hope you have a fun time using this recipe.

See more sous vide cooking recipes here!

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