CVap Sous Vide Barbecue, Sort Of!

Part 1

Chef Barry Yates checks the bagless ribs

As the weather heats up, many folks begin daydreaming about barbecue. May is National BBQ Month – an entire month focusing on the delicious ways we’ve discovered to make proteins their savory, smoky best.

Barbecue has been a frequent topic in our blogs, for a couple of reasons. First (obviously) is that barbecue is freakin’ delicious. But another huge reason is how perfect CVap® Staging technology is at bringing the lip-smacking best out of barbecued meats and veggies. I’m amazed (but not surprised) at just how many calls we get at Winston asking about how to prepare barbecue in CVap. (For a quick, quirky video about CVap® Staging and sous vide, click here).

CVap technology positively impacts your BBQ recipes in many ways. Cook amazingly tender briskets in a CVap Cook & Hold. Add a Winston Smoker Box to your CVap Holding Cabinet to smoke bodacious Boston butts in a CVap holding cabinet. You can even Sous-Vide-Que your ribs using the method outlined on the Amazing ribs website.

In our most recent BBQ test, we prepared baby back ribs using two different methods of “sous vide” – bagged and bagless, simultaneously in the same unit, our new CVap RTV5-05 Retherm Oven.

Raw ribs, ready for prepping


    1. Remove membrane from ribs and rinse.
    2. Rub mustard on all sides of the ribs.
    3. Liberally sprinkle Memphis Dust on all sides of ribs.
    4. Weigh each slab of ribs.

rubbed ribs

    1. Smoke ribs in preheated CVap Holding Cabinet to 170°F food temp and 170°F air with smoker box set for two hours. In this case, we used hickory chips.

ribs in smoker

    1. Vacuum seal three slabs of ribs in vacuum sealer, using high temp bags.
    2. Allow ribs to rest in refrigerator for a minimum of six hours.

Ribs ready for cooking

  1. Preheat CVap RTV5-05UV to 190°F water temperature and 240°F air temperature.
  2. Place prepared ribs into oven and cook until ribs reach 203°F.
  3. Remove ribs and weigh for yield.
  4. If preferred, place on grill and crisp, then finish with another dusting of Memphis Dust.

Bagless ribs, close up

Weight In Weight Out Yield Time to End Point End Point
Vacuum Sealed 3.607 kg 3.207 kg 88% 2 hours, 23 mins 203.1°F
Bagless 3.087 kg 2.657 kg 86% 3 hours, 10 mins 201.7°F


  1. Ribs that were vacuum sealed in the traditional sous vide style cooked more quickly and had a slightly higher yield.
  2. Both ribs were highly acceptable relative to taste, tenderness, and juiciness.
  3. Ribs cooked in bag were slightly more tender; ribs cooked bagless were slightly more toothsome.
  4. Ribs cooked in bag had a less-defined outer bark, and more of a wet finish.
  5. Ribs cooked bagless in CVap had better bark and more defined rub taste.

Bagged ribs on left, bagless on rightNext Steps

  1. Duplicate Amazing Ribs Sous vide Que.

CVap Staging Download ButtonCVap® Staging is a revolutionary process that brings food to a precise temperature and keeps it there, for a quick finish on a grill, griddle, or fryer. Traditionally slow foods can be served in a flash. Think sous vide, but don’t think you have to use the bags if you don’t want. It’s your call!