Tender, juicy, tasty… slow cooker ribs have quickly become one of my strong points! Cooking ribs in the slow cooker is perhaps the simplest and most practical way – if you can’t do the barbecue – to obtain very soft, succulent ribs that come off the bone perfectly. If like me you love BBQ ribs but you don’t have the time or way to grill them as the traditional recipe requires, using the crock-pot or any other slow cooker pot is the best option, especially if you leave the house early in the morning and when you come back you want to have the meal ready.
In the slow cooker ribs recipe, the fat from the pork ribs melts slowly without burning, thus making the meat tender and succulent. The same thing is also possible in the oven, but it requires a bit of testing to guess the right temperature and cooking must be partly covered in the pan, so it will have to be monitored closely. If you cook the BBQ ribs in the slow cooker you just have to season them, turn on the crock-pot and wait for it to do its job!
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- DifficultyVery easy
- CostVery cheap
- Preparation time10 Minutes
- Cooking time9 Hours
- Serving4 servings
- Cooking methodSlow cooking
If you are gluten-intolerant you must check that the barbecue sauce has the wording “gluten-free” on the label and that the rub does not contain ingredients and flavorings that have gluten (if in doubt, choose one with the wording “gluten-free” on the label or prepare it yourself mixing the spices you prefer; at the end of the recipe I leave you the instructions for preparing my rub for BBQ ribs).
How to preparare slow cooker BBQ ribs
Qui puoi leggere la ricetta in italiano!
To prepare slow cooker ribs the first thing to do is get the right rub. In fact, beyond cooking, to obtain excellent BBQ ribs it is essential to give the meat the authentic flavor of American ribs.
I – also for my need to cook gluten-free – prepare the rub for the ribs at home with the recipe you find at the bottom of this article. For 70 oz of pork ribs, you will need approximately 1/3 cup.
Take the ribs, rub them and massage them carefully on both sides (wear disposable gloves if there is chilli in the rub), to distribute the spice mix evenly and make them absorb by the meat. Do this operation very carefully, it is practically the only thing to do before cooking.
Meanwhile, preheat the slow cooker. Place the ribs inside the pot (to make them fit better you can cut them into two parts).
With a kitchen brush, brush them with plenty of barbecue sauce on both sides. It will not be necessary to add other condiments – neither oil nor butter – because the pork ribs are already sufficiently fat.
ut the lid on and cook the slow cooker ribs for 9 hours in low mode or 4 hours in high mode. As always, the best results, in my opinion, are obtained with the low mode.
During cooking, never open the lid, if possible, in order not to disperse the steam that will have formed and which guarantees uniform cooking even without turning the meat. At the end of cooking, turn off the slow cooker; the ribs must be very soft, so much so that they detach from the bone almost by themselves.
Drain the fat that has formed on the bottom of the meat and serve the ribs immediately, brush with more barbecue sauce if you like.
Tips and variations
If you want, after cooking with the slow cooker, you can pass the ribs quickly in the convection oven at high temperature – 430-450 °F (220-230° C) – to make the sugar caramelize better. However, I confess that I have never done it and the ribs still came out excellent.
My dry rub for ribs
Normally I don’t buy ready-made dry rub for ribs, but I prepare it myself by mixing the spices I like best. Here are the proportions:
• 1/3 cup of Muscovado sugar (70 g)
• 2 teaspoons of fine salt (10 g)
• 2 teaspoons of ground pepper (6 g)
• 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika (6 g)
• 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (3 g)
• 1 teaspoon of onion powder (1.5 g)
• 1 teaspoon of ground mustard seeds (5 g)
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1 g)
• 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder (0.5 g)