The Short Ribs Rule You Shouldn't Break, According To Michael Symon

Short ribs don't necessarily warrant the connotation of their name when it comes to flavor and versatility. If they are prepared well, that is. While there are many recipes and a lot of tips available to guide you if you aren't experienced with short ribs, Iron Chef Michael Symon has some sage advice. If you take it, there's a decent chance that no one will ever have any beef with your preparation again.

Classic short ribs come from the very start of a cow's ribs, near the neck, according to Food Fire Friends. A classic short rib recipe calls for root vegetables and seasonings like thyme, using a dutch oven to braise the ribs in beef broth. However, there are a lot of different directions to take this protein in, like Allrecipes' Korean BBQ or Food Network's Italian spin. Oklahoma Joe's provides a recipe that has you busting out your smoker if you want to give your oven a rest.

If that's the route you elect, you'd be best off noting Symon's wisdom before you get the smoke rolling.

The proper order of operations

Michael Symon fielded a question and shared his insight into proper short rib procedure. A Twitter user asked Symon, "hey Chef, how long should I Sous Vide short ribs before throwing them on the smoker?" Symon responded, "I would smoke first .. meat takes in smoke till about 140-150 .. if you sous vide first u [sic] will lose out on smoke .. i [sic] personally would just smoke from start till finish .. but if you must sous vide .. sous vide to finish"

As Anova Culinary explains, sous vide cooking involves removing all the air from your dish, which is what Symon was referring to when he said ribs lose smoke in the process. The more smoke you can infuse into the meat before you sous vide it, the more of that smokey flavor will survive the process. Alternatively, you could do what Symon recommends and just bypass the sous vide altogether. At the very least, Symon's advice is worth considering.

Symon is a James Beard award winner who won his Iron Chef title in 2008 and has also authored cookbooks according to Food Network. People especially seek out his expertise when it comes to preparing proteins like short ribs because of his work on television series like "Burgers, Brew & 'Que" and "Best in Smoke." Smoking definitely isn't the only way to prepare short ribs, but if you're going to incorporate smoking, try following Symon's rule of doing your smoking first.