Ribs are yet another BBQ staple, so they need little introduction. There are a few different cuts, but we’re using baby back ribs tonight…but if you’re a St. Louis Ribs person, we’ve used this same cooking method, and it works for your preferred cut as well. There’s also a lot of debate out there about dry rubs vs bbq slather…I’m not going to get into that though. We’re going with a little bit of both.
The best part about this recipe is that it doesn’t require any fancy smoking equipment, constant care, or anything like that. It can be made entirely in a slow cooker (although finishing the ribs off under the broiler to caramelize the sauce can’t hurt). Really, there are only a couple of keys to remember, and you’ll be on your way to some pretty succulent ribs right at home (and the accompanying aromas, I might add).
Time: 15 mins prep time and 6 hrs cook time
- 1 Rack of Baby Back Ribs (serves 3-4 people…or can be used as leftovers for a pizza or taco topping)
- Dry Rub. Either buy one or see suggested ingredients for my favourite dry rub below:
- Brown Sugar
- Paprika (smoked is good but not necessary)
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Mustard Powder
- BBQ Sauce
- Braising liquid. I used Guinness and apple cider vinegar with a few splashes of liquid smoke, but Dr. Pepper and Root Beer are good too.
- Combine your dry rub ingredients (ratios up to you, but I try to have brown sugar be the base upon which the rub is built), and set aside
- Open your pack ribs, and place them bone side up on a large cutting board.
- Working very carefully, about 3 ribs from either end, work a large knife in under the thin membrane of connective tissue behind the ribs. Once you can get your fingers between the membrane and the ribs, put the knife away, and pull the membrane away from the ribs until it is completely removed. This is easily the most grotesque part of rib-making…it gets better after this. I promise.
- Cut your slab into whatever portion sizes you will want later (it’s easier to cut them while they are still attached firmly to the bones than it is to cut them later)
- Flip them to they are meat side up, and apply your dry rub
- Move the ribs to your slow cooker, avoiding as much overlap as you can. We used a casserole slow cooker, which is a perfect shape…but this is more than possible in other shaped cookware too…just requires a bit more finagling
- Pour your braising liquid around your ribs
- Put the lid on your slow cooker, set it to low, and walk away for 5-6 hours (6 is better than 5, if you ask me). If you have a timer on your slow cooker to start it at a specific time, this is ideal for while you’re at work.
- After the time is up, remove the ribs, and either skip to the last step if not finishing in the oven…or move on to the finishing touch step:
- Place your ribs on a foil lined baking sheet, and brush your favourite bbq sauce on, and place under the broiler on low for a few minutes.
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!