For the Love of Ribs

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There’s something about a rack of hot, saucy, baby back ribs that says, “America”.  This past Independence Day, that was exactly what I wanted. Feeling festive, I rushed to the local grocery store and picked out the best rack of baby backs I could find. After scouring the internet I found the recipe I wanted to try, and I was stoked to break out my trusty crock pot and cook these ribs low and slow to perfection.

Preparing the ribs was a breeze. I couldn’t wait to try the wonderful blend of the spice rub, the tender juicy meat, and the sweet smoky sauce. I tossed the ribs in the sauce, put the top on my crock pot and endured the eight-hour wait for my ribs to cook completely.

They. Were. Delicious. Our forefathers would have been proud.

Satisfied and stuffed I rewarded myself with a little Netflix to wind down and allow the crock pot to cool on the counter before placing the crock pot insert into the refrigerator. I have a tendency to snooze on my couch and this night was no exception. Before I knew it, I was out cold. In a fog, I woke up and shuffled to my bedroom to continue my slumber.

Feeling like a barbecue master, I woke up the following morning stoked to have my delicious ribs for lunch. Strutting like a peacock rocking it’s full plumage I made my way to my kitchen. Rounding the corner, I was stunned to a stop. GASP! My ribs, my precious, delicious ribs, had spent the night on the counter top in the crock pot. I left them out overnight. I was devastated and threw them away. It was pork, I could have risked it and I thought about saving them, but better safe than sorry.

However, my deep devastation soon turned to determination. Ribs were happening. I may have botched this batch but I had all the ingredients with the exception of the meat, why not make more? How hard could it be to find another rack of ribs?

Very hard. It was a challenge.

Ribs were hard to come by this close to the holiday. Like my hunt for basil to make pesto, I visited three local grocery stores to find one lonely rack of ribs. I snatched them up and remade the ribs, tweaking the recipe just a tad. This time, there was no time to waste. I cooked them on high for half the time and to my delight, these were even better than the original batch. Don’t worry, I remembered to store them in the refrigerator this time. Determination for the win!

One last thing, this is the first crock pot dish featured on DCdishes. My crock pot was the catalyst for my love of cooking. You’ll notice there’s a plastic bag in the crock pot in the pictures below. These are slow cooker liners and I live by them because they make cleaning the crock pot a breeze. Who really wants to scrub 8 hours of baked-on barbecue sauce? Not me! I don’t use my slow cooker without them. You can find them in the ziplock bag/ foil aisle at most grocery stores. Try them and thank me later!DSC_0717

If you’re looking for a great rib recipe, don’t sleep on this one. You won’t be disappointed.

Saucy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

What you need:DSC_0700

  • 2-3 lbs pork baby back ribs
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Spice Rub
    • 1.5 TBS paprika
    • 1.5 packed brown sugar
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 3 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Barbecue Sauce
    • 2 cups ketchup
    • 1/2 cup molasses
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    • 1/4 cup seedless blueberry preserves
    • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
    • 1.5 TBS reserved Spice Rub
    • 1 TBS liquid smoke
  • Slow cooker liners

Instructions:
Click here to Cook With Me!

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut ribs into 4-6 sections, rinse and pat dry.
  • In a medium bowl, mix all spice rub ingredients. Remove 1.5 tablespoons of the spice rub to use in barbecue sauce.
  • Rub lemon juice onto rib sections and rub into meat to ensure tenderness.
  • Rub spice rub evenly all over the ribs and place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake ribs in preheated for 15 minutes on each side (30 minutes total).
  • While the ribs are searing in the oven, add all barbeque sauce ingredients to a medium saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and put 1.5 cups of barbeque sauce in a mason jar and refrigerate to use after the ribs have cooked.
  • Place slow cooker liner into the slow cooker and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add a thin layer of remaining barbecue sauce, then add ribs.
  • Layer the sauce and ribs until all are in the slow cooker. Toss the ribs to ensure all the meat is coated evenly.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 7-9 hours, until the ribs are tender.
  • When the ribs are tender, remove from slow cooker and brush with reserved barbecue sauce.
  • Serve with the side of your choice, like macaroni and cheese, and enjoy!

Cook With Me:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut ribs into 4-6 sections, rinse and pat dry.DSC_0710
  • In a medium bowl, mix all spice rub ingredients. Remove 1.5 tablespoons of the spice rub to use in barbecue sauce.DSC_0707
  • Rub lemon juice onto rib sections and rub into meat to ensure tenderness. This is an optional step, but there is definitely a noticeable difference in tenderness, in my opinion.
  • Rub spice rub evenly all over the ribs and place on prepared baking sheet. All of the spice rub should be used.DSC_0714
  • Bake ribs in preheated for 15 minutes on each side (30 minutes total).
  • While the ribs are searing in the oven, add all barbeque sauce ingredients to a medium saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool and put 1.5 cups of barbeque sauce in a mason jar and refrigerate to use after the ribs have cooked.
  • Place slow cooker liner into the slow cooker and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add a thin layer of remaining barbecue sauce, then add ribs.DSC_0726
  • Layer the sauce and ribs until all are in the slow cooker. Toss the ribs to ensure all the meat is coated evenly. DSC_0729
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 7-9 hours, until the ribs are tender.
  • When the ribs are tender, remove from slow cooker and brush with reserved barbecue sauce. If you like you can keep some sauce on the side for dipping.
  • Serve with the side of your choice, like macaroni and cheese, and enjoy!DSC_0772.JPG

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