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How to Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

There are few things more comforting than fall-apart tender short ribs. Typically a tough cut, short ribs are taken from the chuck region of the cow (near the brisket) and need to be cooked for a long period of time at a low temperature in order to break down the connective tissue. Cooking short ribs using the precise and gentle sous vide cooking method results in wonderfully tender short ribs that have retained all of their meaty flavor.

Follow this simple guide to make perfectly cooked sous vide short ribs every time.

Temperature and cooking times for sous vide beef short ribs

TemperatureTimeResult
135°F*48 hoursMedium rare and tender
140-150°F24-48 hoursMedium and tender
165°F12-24 hoursMedium-well with a traditional braised texture
*Please note that some of these temperatures are lower than what the FDA recommends. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of food-borne illness.

When cooking a tough cut like short ribs it’s necessary to think in terms of days rather than hours. To get the best out of short ribs you’ll need to cook them for at least 12 hours to break down the connective tissue and start rendering the fat. Because of the long cooking times and for food safety reasons we do not recommend cooking short ribs at any temperature lower than 131°F for more than 2 hours.

Ingredients and Tools

Ingredients*

  • 1-2 lbs beef short ribs
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Tools

  • Immersion circulator
  • A large pot

Directions

Set the immersion circulator to the desired temperature.

Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper.

Place the ribs in a plastic bag, add a dash of liquid smoke (if using), and vacuum seal the bag.

Lower the bag into the water bath and cook. In order to prevent excess water evaporation, cover the pot with a layer of aluminum foil.

Once the cook is complete, remove the bag from the water. Remove the ribs from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.

Finishing

Pan:

Heat a cast iron pan over high heat. Add a splash of oil or butter. Sear each side of the ribs for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, slice, and serve.

Broiler:

Set your broiler to high. Cook the ribs under the broiler on each side for around five minutes. Check the progress of the ribs often to ensure they are not burning.

Grill:

Cook the ribs on a hot grill for between 5-10 minutes on each side, flipping often.

Recipes to try

5 Spice Short Ribs

Miso-Braised Short Ribs

Mushroom Braised Short Rib

Beer-Braised Short Ribs

Garlic-Braised Short Ribs with Cauliflower Puree

Korean Short Ribs

Soy Braised Short Ribs

Short Rib Ragu

Short Rib Mac and Cheese

Braised Short Rib

FAQs

Can I use Suvie?

Unfortunately, no because of the specific temperatures and long cooking times this method will only work with a regular immersion circulator. If you would prefer to use your Suvie we have several delicious short ribs to choose from above.

Can I pre-sear the short ribs before the sous-vide step?

Yes, searing the ribs before the sous-vide step is a good idea if you want to replicate a more traditional braised-style short-rib. If you prefer the ribs to have a steak-like finish we recommend searing after the sou-vide step.

Can I use boneless short ribs?

Of course! This technique will work with boneless and bone-in short ribs.

The water level keeps dropping, what do I do?

This is a common problem when cooking sous vide for long periods of time. As the water heats, it will evaporate and when you’re cooking for days rather than hours this can be a problem. We suggest covering the top of the water bath with a layer of aluminum foil.

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