HI THERE! I know I’ve been neglecting the blog lately…but I promise that this recipe does not disappoint! Summer is here (FINALLY if you live in the Midwest!) and it literally feels like one day it was snowing and the next it was 80 degrees outside. So much for a gentle transition Mother Nature…anyway I rely on recipes that are low-fuss and give me as much time as possible to spend with my family outside. Ribs are the perfect summer food, but many time they are labor intensive and don’t even end up being tender. UNTIL now. Several years ago, I started making ribs in the crockpot and I was amazed at how tender they turned out. My family raves about how tasty and tender they are and they think I have some “secret” way that I get them to be super tender. But honestly, it’s all in the crockpot!
A couple of my “Secrets” for the perfect ribs
- I worked on perfecting this recipe and developing the perfect rib rub to go along with it. Rib meat is quite fatty and to get some good flavor sealed in without using a smoker, I’ve found that a good rub is the way to go. I sometimes make a double portion of the rub, so that I have some ready to go for the next time I make ribs. It stores well in a jar or a ziploc bag.
- I do use sugar in my rub, but it is low amount in proportion to the amount of meat and the fact that this rub is good for two full racks of ribs. (Keep in mind that most BBQ sauces also have a high sugar content)
- As tempting as it may be, do not put anything else in the crockpot with the ribs! The meat is fatty enough that they will cook themselves. Weird things happen when there’s too much liquid in the crockpot.
- To seal in the flavor (and make it look like you slaved away making these on the grill), I broil the ribs. I put them on a baking sheet and add the bbq sauce and the broil on high for 3-5 minutes per side. Watch them closely!! Broiling can quickly turning to burning if you leave them too long.
- Rib Rub:
- ¼ cup brown sugar/coconut sugar (I use coconut sugar because it has a lower glycemic index than normal sugar)
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy)
- For the Ribs:
- 1 Rack of ribs (I like to use babyback ribs)
- Mix the ingredients for the rub well
- Rub generously onto both sides of the ribs. Grease crockpot (I know ribs are fatty, but I always do this just in case)
- Place ribs in crockpot fatty side down (important! As the fat helps cook the meat). Yes you will have to likely fold your ribs part way while putting them in; a full rack of ribs does not typically fit in a crockpot.
- Cook on low for six hours. NOTE: I have cooked them on high for 4 hours, so this can be done in a pinch, but I recommend low, since “low and slow” is the way to go (hahahaha) with tough meat. SECOND NOTE: Cooking times may vary depending on what kind of crockpot you have. I use one I received in 2008 and it runs fairly hot. (Granted the crockpot I used before this was my MIL’s from the 1980’s.)
- Take the ribs out. The meat should be practically falling off the bone when you take them out. If not you may need to cook them longer.
- Place them on a greased cookie sheet. Pour desire amount of barbecue sauce on the ribs. I don’t really measure it out.
- Broil on high for 3-5 minutes on each side. Watch carefully for burning!
- Serve and enjoy!