8.2.06

The easiest ribs you'll ever make (or love)


It's difficult to take a picture of pork ribs that doesn't look gross...the bones sticking out there all bare and staring back at you... But I promise the taste of these ribs will make you forget all about that.

Now, I know that there are some purists out there - myself included with many things; but after making various kinds of pork ribs over and over again on grills, slow-cooked in the oven, braised, dry-rubbed, BBQ-sauce slathered, etc. etc. etc., Loving Boyfriend and I have decided that this recipe is our utmost favorite way for us to cook ribs at home: Smoky-Flavored Barbecued Ribs...in a crockpot.

Yes, it's true...in a crockpot. These taste soooo good...they literally fall completely off of the bones and into your plate, your fingers, your mouth... Combine this with the fact that it couldn't be easier, and you've got yourself a real winner in our house. This isn't to say that I don't absolutely love it when other people make slow cooked ribs on a grill - say, the ribs at Papa's Soul Food here in Eugene (to die for; his motto is: "Food so good, it'll make you wanna slap yo mama!" and it's true! Sorry mom.), but of all the ribs we've tried to make at home, these inevitably come out tasting better, more tender, and are eaten the fastest...we even tested this during the Superbowl.

The spread we presented to our friends included homemade coleslaw, potato salad, bread, baked beans, brownies for dessert, and three different type of ribs: Baby-back in the Crockpot, slow-cooked (over low heat) country-style in the oven, and a bbq-ed rack of spare ribs slathered in BBQ sauce and cooked uncovered for 3 hrs, also in the oven (no grilling this time of year for us!). The verdict: the crockpot ribs stole the show. Loving Boyfriend and I even wrestled over the leftovers of the baby-backs while the other ribs still sit lonely in the fridge.

No matter what, if you're craving BBQ, it's the middle of winter, and you're a busy person; these are the ribs for you. Do the first half of the recipe before you go to work (or even the night before), because it only takes 15 minutes, then finish off the cooking when you get home...and you can even get a glass of wine, kick your shoes off, and relax for an hour while they're soaking up the sauce!

So here it is: tried, tested on an unbiased audience, and mouthwateringly delectable...

39 comments from you:

extramsg said...

Okay, sorry, but I've got to get all BBQ nutjob on you. First of all, Papa's is TERRIBLE. Terrible. See links:

http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=727

http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=843

I put them as the worst thing I'd eaten this past year. Their line should be: "BBQ so bad you'll want to slap yo mamma."

Second, while I like a good braised rib, there is something special about true BBQ: smoke. Also, the dry slow cooking methods produce a unique texture -- or at least can -- that I personally prefer to a braised texture. A perfect BBQ'd rib will have a crusty outside yielding to a tender, but not mushy, inside. It doesn't get better than that. Here's a pic of Central BBQ's ribs in Memphis. The best I've ever had:

http://www.extramsg.com/modules.php?set_albumName=album98&id=centralbbq7&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php

If you're willing to drive to Cottage Grove, the best in Eugene area is hands-down is Big Stuff. See the first link above and scroll down. (btw, I'm coming down this weekend and if you wanted to meet there, I'd buy you some BBQ. You can contact me through the Feedback link on extramsg.com.)

michelle said...

Hi ExtraMSG - yikes, you know your BBQ far better than I do! We've only had Papa's once, but I don't remember loads of unmelted connective tissues and rubbery sinews! I don't have a background of testing out BBQ like you do, aside from what we've eaten here, made at home, or had when someone else is making them...

I do agree that there is a special texture and flavor that comes with "true BBQ" as opposed to oven-cooked ribs. Unfortunately, most of my BBQ experience comes from Colorado, which isn't exactly known for BBQ, and come to think of it, Papa's may have been the first time I've been "out" for BBQ. It's certainly the only place I've been here, so next time I find myself eating BBQ, I'll definitely keep everything you've said in mind. But I do still like these crockpot ribs! Can you forgive me?

I'd be willing to drive to Cottage Grove to try some real BBQ with you - I'll drop you a line.

LB said...

True that grilled Ribs are superior, otherwise they wouldn't be unique. However, if you don't have the best grill or want tasty ribs waiting when you get home then these crock pot ribs are great. We weren't trying to compete with traditionally grilled ribs. As for papas, to each his own. But Big Stuff is now on the list of what to eat!

Clare Eats said...

Well what would I know, I am only a crazy Aussie, but they sound really good!

Joe said...

I don't have a crockpot, but this is sure tempting enough to look into one!

Paz said...

I don't have a crockpot, either but I'd sure love to try this recipe. Can this be made without a crockpot. Does it defeat the whole purpose of the recipe if it's prepared without the crockpot?

You pic looks great. That and your description makes me want to reach through my screen and grab a rib. Note to self: Don't read food blogs when hungry.

Paz

ilva said...

Paz and Joe-who has a crock pot???? We should start a movement for crock pot free recipes...or at least 'double' recipes for us without one.

michelle said...

Hi Clare! Aw, thanks. We're pretty much across the entire USA from Tennessee and North Carolina - so too bad :( Will this be your first visit? What exactly are you studying?

No Crockpot People: Get a crockpot! Nah, just teasing, I actually don't own a crockpot myself, it's LB's. But I'm sure that this could be made in a dutch oven or even a big heavy pot...you would probably just have to play around with the time on the recipe...and you are, under no circumstances, allowed to set it up in the morning and leave it on your stove all day while you're at work! You have to be there! I don't want you blaming me if your houses burn down!! Maybe someday I'll try it sans crockpot and make a second recipe just for you...

Michèle said...

Hi Michelle, see I think the thing with ribs is that they dont have to look pretty, because just the nature of what they are makes them look entirely yummy.. I've never made my own but I wish I had a big old plate of them on my lap right now. Do you deliver?

MM said...

I have a crockpot! I have a crockpot! Nah nah nah nah nah nah to Paz & Ilva. I can so make this and I will! Runs off cackling evilly after rubbing their noses in it.

rob said...

Hey Michelle, I made crock pot ribs recently, and I think they're fantastic too. Frankly, it's hard for the home cook to consistently get a tender, juicy rib any other way.

Hope you get a chance to see the post, and I think your ribs look fantastic.

michelle said...

Hi Michele! My dear, if I could come to Paris just to deliver you some ribs, I'd do it in a second! I agree with you...these are the only kind I've ever made (LB usually makes the grill/oven ones), but they sure are tasty!

Hi MM! Evil woman, you, but I like your style! Let me know what you think if you do decide to make them!

Hi Rob! I did check out the post and I think I'm going to steal your grandma's rib sauce for the next time I make them! And thank you.

paz said...

LOL! MM! So evil to tease me like that!

Ilva, I agree with you 100%

Yes, Michelle try it again, sans crockpot and give us the recipe!!!

Paz

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried this recipe but I sure will. You can't get much better than Betty Crocker's crock pot, cookbook. I am going to try this the next time I make ribs...I have three crock pots,,two large and one small..they come in really handy..but don't try that KENNY ROGERS recipe that is floating around the internet using,,,one can of cranberry sauce and a pkg of Lipton onion soup mix...it was sooo sweet..kids might like it though....

Rae said...

Omg....this recipe is sooooo good! My husband couldn't stop raving. The only thing I did differently was that after I dipped the ribs in BBQ sauce I put them on the grill to sear them instead of returning to the crockpot.

Five stars from me!!!

Anonymous said...

Cooked them, tried them, delicious!!!!!!!!
Would be good on the grill

Michelle said...

Great! Thanks for the feedback - I've always wanted to try putting them on the grill afterwards too, like Rae above. Have to try that one of these days!

MartinaMartina said...

I agree that ribs are probably best on a grill, but some of us don't have grills because we live in 400-square-foot apartments in New York City and have to rely on crock pots to cook! This recipe is a PERFECT solution for me. Thanks so much.

Megan said...

Amazing recipe! Have used yours twice already! I didnt have fresh onion or garlic, so I used dried minced onion and garlic instead , and it rehydrates just fine. Also I really love BBQ so I coated it in BBQ after the spice rub from the start and it was great. I love a good professionally smoked rib, but here they are 22 for a full slab, when they are discounted at wally world I can ge 4 slabs for that price! Ty for recipe!

Dustin said...

A good tip from amazingribs.com
"Line the bottom of the crockpot with the onion slices, carrots, apples, and potatoes. Place a layer of ribs on top, meaty side up. Pour some of the sauce over the ribs and coat the surface with a brush, spoon, or your (clean) fingers. Place another layer of ribs on top of the first layer, pour on more sauce, and spread. Keep going until all the ribs are in. Pour the remaining sauce on top. Resist the temptation to put the meat on the bottom. It will just get mushy."

Michelle said...

MM - Thanks!

Megan - That sounds like a good idea too, I'll have to try that!

Dustin - Thanks for the tip. Sometimes these do get a bit mushy, or at least so soft they simply fall off the bone and can be used as a pseudo pulled pork sandwich. I'll try this next time!

Dez said...

I wanted to let you know that these came up in a search for "Crock Pot Ribs" in Google, and for good reason. I made them about a year ago and i've STILL got people asking me for the recipe. I just send them here.

Michelle said...

Dez,
Thanks for leaving a comment - I really appreciate it and I'm glad you've enjoyed these ribs. We still do and it will always be a family favorite!

aubree said...

I tried these last night, mainly for my husband who loves ribs, but surprisingly I loved them! These were delicious and fairly easy to prepare.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I just did a google search and saw your recipe come up it has all the elements I was looking for. Thank you so much for sharing. I'll post this with a link back to you if that is ok?

Thanks so much for your recipe :).

Love the blog, I'm a new follower ;)

Shocka said...

My ex girlfriend makes these! a great recipe! she has been making it for years and never gets complaints! everyone wants the recipe! to get that cooked on bbq texture/flavor, she removes the ribs once done cooking and places on cookie sheet and broils just for a few min to "set" the bbq...

Catherine peacelovesweater@blogspot.com said...

These were awesome! I am making them again tonight!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to Thank You for posting this recipe; I made this tonight and I'm upset I didn't make more than one rack! It was delicious and will be made again and again and again...

You're awesome!

jc said...

Great recipe--made it tonight for my gf and she lurved it. Really appreciate the tips on the Hickory Liquid Smoke and Stubbs BBQ sauce. Perfect choices. I added a bit of mustard and horseradish to the BBQ sauce to spice it up a bit. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

These ribs are absolutely awesome! So so yummy and tender. I have been looking every to make those real smokey tasty ribs and now I have found it! Thankyou! With the barbecue sauce.. I used mostly barbecue sauce, a bit of tomato sauce and a bit of Wochershire sauce! Yum Yum!!

herbislegend said...

Do i need to fill the crock pot with water or will the 1/2 cup of cola be all the liquid I need

Michelle said...

Hi Herbislegend,
The Cola is all you'll need. Crockpots trap steam and actually help draw the liquid out of the food (but also back into it!), so you'll end up with far more liquid than you put in there by the end of it. Hope you like them!

Connie said...

Made these for my hubby and he loved them but made it with only 2 lbs and hope to make it again soon. Will it be as good with country boneless ribs? Any tips to cut the garlic much easier too?
Thanks so much!
Connie

Michelle said...

Hi Connie,
So glad you and your hubby liked them. I have never tried this recipe with boneless ribs, so you'll have to try it and let ME know! For the garlic, you could use a garlic press to make things easier. Oxo goodgrips has a good one - you don't even need to peel the garlic before you put it through the press.
Best,
Michelle

Anne said...

Can you use diet cola or does it have to be regular? Would it make a difference in how the ribs cook?

Michelle said...

Hi Anne,
I'm not sure...it's the acidity level in the cola that helps break down the muscle fibers in the ribs to make them extremely tender. From a quick search, I did find one scientific study that suggests that regular soda has more acidity than diet, but several websites say that it's the other way around. I have only used regular cola, but I would guess both diet and regular have pretty high acidity (which is why there are several studies about the loss of teeth enamel with both type of soda!). Regardless, by the time you're eating the ribs, the meat has been broken down and most of that acidity and sugar is gone because you take the ribs out of the soda after cooking. There is a possibility that the regular soda's sugar helps contribute to the flavor, but I think the BBQ sauce might cover that up if that was the case. Hope that helps!

lori said...

I am not able to find the recipe on this page? where is it?

chipsforsupper said...

Agreed! Where did the recipe go????

I made them before and they were awesome so I bookmarked the page. But the recipe disappeared!

Michelle said...

CFS - email me if you would like the recipe; my email is on the recipe archives page...