Falling-off-the-bones is the only way to eat baby back ribs. The meat is ridiculously tender with flavors of BBQ sauce and rub spices. Finished off under the broiler, the sauce is then caramelized and the edges are crispy. This recipe for Slow Cooker Pork Ribs is easy, delicious, and very satisfying.
And let’s face it…eating ribs is fun. Yes, it’s messy, gets all over your face and hands, but it’s still fun and definitely worth it.
Plus, using the slow cooker is super helpful when there’s any chaos in your life. Set it on high or low, depending on when you want to eat.
Actually, Slow Cooker Pork Ribs is the easiest way I can think of to make this recipe with a busy schedule. Throw it all together in the morning and smell it cooking all day. Then, when you can’t take it anymore, eat dinner with little fuss, because most of the work is already done for you.
Get the slow cooker ready.
If you haven’t tried slow cooker liners, you really should. Especially when cooking with tomato-based sauces, because of how well it can burn onto a surface. I guess I’ve just never been into scrubbing pots and pans.
The maker of my crock pot recommends I put down a layer of thickly sliced onion as a barrier between the food and the heating element. Below you’ll see my liner, the onion slices, along with some sliced garlic.
The picture on the right side shows the ribs well coated in BBQ sauce.
Get the ribs ready.
The first thing I like to do is to peal off that membrane on the bony side of the ribs. It’s like a thin skin, but it can be pretty tough. Just grab hold at one end, peal it back, and throw it out. Must have done some good for the pig, but it doesn’t do anything for me.
Next, rub the spices onto both sides of the ribs, then cut the ribs into segments for either serving, or just so they fit better inside the crock pot.
Smother both sides of the ribs with BBQ sauce and pour any remaining sauce over the top.
Lastly, set the timer on the crock pot: LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours. When I have the luxury of choice, I set the timer on LOW for the 8 hours. I think they turn out the best when cooked slow and steady.
Giving color to your Slow Cooker Pork Ribs.
Ten minutes before you’re ready to eat, place the ribs on a foil lined baking sheet and turn the broiler on. Brush an extra coating of BBQ sauce (from the crock pot) onto the ribs, and place them meaty side up.
Allow them to caramelize under the broiler for 5 – 10 minutes giving them a slight char and crisping the edges just a bit.
What causes it to caramelize? When the sugar in the sauce reacts to the heat from the broiler. It turns a deeper shade of brown, and intensifying the flavors in the sauce.
That’s it…time to eat. You can scoop out some of the remaining BBQ sauce from the crock pot and serve it on the side for dipping.
Slow Cooker Pork Ribs
- Crock pot
- 1 onion thickly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 - 3 lbs. baby back pork ribs
- 2 Tbsp. pork rib rub spice
- 18 oz. BBQ sauce
- Line crock pot with slow cooker liner, or spray with non-stick spray. Lay sliced onion and garlic on bottom of slow cooker.
- Remove membrane from back of ribs and discard.
- Rub spice on both sides of ribs.
- Cut the ribs into smaller segments so it fits easily in the crock pot. Brush both sides with sauce and place in crock pot.
- Pour remaining BBQ sauce over ribs. Cover.
- Cook on LOW for 8 hours, or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Place ribs on foil-lined baking sheet and brush with sauce from crock pot. Place under broiler for 5 - 10 minutes or until ribs begin to char and edges begin to crisp.
- Serve remaining sauce in serving bowl for dipping. Enjoy!
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Have a blessed day and enjoy those ribs.
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