bbq ribs

Bought 2 racks of St. Louis style ribs, dry rubbed,cooked for 36 hours in anova bath, put on grill and smoked for 2 hours. Ribs looked beautiful, absolutely tender, but with absolutely no flavor except for the outside char. How disappointing. Have other “anovians” encountered the same? Suggestions?

Forgot to mention temperature at 145 degrees F.

I’ve not tried it, but smoke absorption is one of the reasons why I would’ve thought smoke first and sous vide after.

I’m still working the bugs out but here’s what I’ve discovered…

When you smoke first then cook SV, the smoke molecules will seep thru the bag, turn your water light brown and make it smell like smoke.

The general consensus is to first cook SV (with added liquid smoke) then throw it on the smoker.

I cooked the ribs, chilled in an ice bath, fridge overnight, then into the smoker to bring back up to heat. They tasted great but still no substitute for the real deal. But if the availability of a smoker is not an option this is an acceptable alternative.

I believe cooking should be fun. Experiment and rejoice in the pork!!

Iv’e found that smoking after the SV doesn’t work all that well. As @Ember said, the absorption isn’t that great. Once the proteins start to bind, taking on smoke is unpredictable.

I’ve had good success with tossing the meat in my pellet grill at 168F (ish) with heavy smoke for an hour or so, then bagging it and SV cooking, then finally searing to finish.

Cold smoking didn’t work out that well, it was no better that liquid smoke in the bag, plus there is a huge contamination / spoilage risk during that period of time.

What is interesting about those is that I was expecting it to be the other way around, that the cold smoke would work (it didn’t) and that the 168-ish F hot smoke wouldn’t work that well because it would toughen the meat. Maybe it does a little bit, but the long slow SV cook seems to make it unnoticeable.

I personally don’t care much for liquid smoke, I use it in some sauces. Yeah, it does the job if it’s all you have / can do but I’m not really a fan, it’s kind of like “fall off the bone ribs” and pulled pork from a crock pot, all kinds of wrong there

Worthwhile to point out that I’m using these methods for things like leg of lamb, and pork chops, never tried them with ribs. For those, I just fire up the Pit Barrel Cooker.

Hope that gives you some ideas to work off.

Oh, and yeah, as @Anomalii says the smoke aroma does penetrate the bag during the SV cook, but I’ve found that to be also true of many things, including garlic, coffee and liquid smoke.

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Most things that are cold smoked have already been preserved with curing, so the food safety concern is less of an issue.

I know, that’s what I normally do, I didn’t really feel the need to go into more detail.