These Slow Cooker Baby Back ribs are fall off the bone, fork tender, and some kind of good. I'm talking melt in your mouth, finger licking good. They're seasoned with a homemade dry rub and slow cooked in a semi-homemade smoky BBQ sauce with a splash of whiskey and brown sugar.
Place the racks of ribs in a large Crockpot Slow Cooker for 6-8 hours and you're done. You get all of the flavor without all of the hassle of using a grill.
Love rib recipes? You've got to check out these Peanut Curry Braised Ribs.
These are seriously the easiest and most delicious slow cooker ribs recipe you'll ever make. Like the best ribs ever. You simply season, cook, and then broil in the oven for a good sear that caramelizes the BBQ sauce and gives these delicious pork ribs a nice crispy skin on top.
After you make these ribs in the crockpot, this will likely become your favorite and easiest method of cooking them.
Don't get me wrong, I love grilled ribs. However, I hate grilling. In fact, my husband does all of the grilling because a live fire scares me. That's where the Crockpot comes in (not to mention, I love an easy recipe).
It's lightweight and easy to use and doesn't heat up the house in the warm summer months. It also makes for an easy clean-up which saves me so much time.
Best of all, I can place these barbecue BBQ ribs in the slow cooker in the morning and have delicious ribs by dinner time.
It's frankly a win-win for me. It's all of the smoky flavor of grilled ribs without all of the hassle. Save this recipe for (unfinished sentence?)
For these slow cooker pork ribs, I used baby back ribs because they're so meaty and tender. Baby back ribs are smaller than spare ribs which I've found work best for cooking in the Crockpot.
I also used:
dry rub seasonings: smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, ground mustard, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. This mix of spices is the BEST.
brown sugar: to go with the tangy barbecue sauce and give the sauce some sweetness
apple cider vinegar: a little science for you, vinegar actually helps tenderize the meat and helps the seasonings really get into the ribs to maximize flavor! It's a must.
Worcestershire sauce: for that umami flavor that we all love. This this ingredient is KEY. Some people use soy sauce, but I prefer this as it has a more vinegar based flavor.
Whiskey: whiskey adds deep caramel flavors to the braising liquid and pairs so well with the smokey barbecue sauce. *for an alcohol free replacement, use beef broth or omit entirely.
First things first, remove the silver skin on the back of the ribs. This is critical because if left on, the seasonings won't penetrate the meat and the skin, after cooked, get super tough and leathery. If you don't know how to remove the silver skin, check this video.
These slow cooker bbq BBQ ribs have varying cooking times depending on the desired result.
For super tender ribs that fall off of the bone, cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 4 hours. For tender ribs that are tender but don't fall apart, cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.
Then place the ribs on a baking sheet and slather with the remaining sauce / braising liquid from the Crockpot. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes.
For this recipe, I used the Crockpot™ 7-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker and the ribs fit perfectly when cut in half. If you have a smaller Crockpot Slow Cooker, simply cut the rack of ribs into smaller pieces to allow them to fit into whatever size slow cooker you have.
These crock pot BBQ ribs will turn out phenomenally either way. I promise, this easy ribs recipe is really hard to mess up!
The best way to enjoy these ribs is however you like. BUT - I love eating them with some of my favorite sides like potato salad, baked beans with ground beef, corn on the cob, coleslaw, greens, mac and cheese - you name it.
Dunk these ribs into this honey bbq sauce for extra deliciousness!
Put it all on a plate and you've got a delicious meal that the whole family will love.
In my opinion, bone-in pork baby back ribs are the best. I've never cooked with boneless ribs, but I imagine once cooked in the slow cooker, they wouldn't hold their structure too well. You can also use spare ribs, just be mindful of cooking times as spare ribs tend to be larger meaning they'll take a little longer to cook.
This comes down to time. I always prefer low and slow, however, I know that sometimes we're in a bit of a rush. The difference between the low and high setting is the amount of time it takes for the crockpot to get to the simmer point. So, either way, the baby back pork ribs will still have tender meat when all is said and done!
No, you should not. The BBQ bbq baby back ribs will be soggy and watery because they'll thaw as the slow cooker warms. All of the water will render out into the sauce it'll be a mess. I do not recommend. Use thawed meat for this crockpot ribs recipe.
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