Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Ultimate Slow cooker or Crock pot BBQ Ribs recipe.. super insanely easy!

I know, its still summer(ish) and BBQ season is still in full swing... why on earth am I posting a slow cooker or crockpot recipe for ribs when folks are happy to be out and firing up the grill?  Well, its primarily for those folks that:
a) don't have time to BBQ
b) don't have space for a BBQ
c) want to have an easy, brainless, hassle free meal ready in a few hours with very little work
d) they have crazy schedule and/or kids and, well, see above reasons

This recipe essentially involves:
1) Rubbing the ribs with seasonings and tossing it into the slow cooker/crockpot for a few hours
2) Boil and baste the ribs with sauce
3) Finish off ribs under the broiler to imitate an upside down BBQ in your house... with total hands on prep time = 20-30min tops (including broiling time).

And... 4) the BBQ sauce is KILLER... I wanted to share it so you can feel free to use it on ribs you plan on actually BBQ'ing or, you know, for this easy peasy recipe :)
Heck, this recipe is so easy, you might just cheat on your trusty BBQ and make these super tender ribs only using the slowcooker/crockpot and oven from now on... or save this gem for the winter when you really don't feel like bundling up outside to BBQ and have a taste of BBQ happiness all year round!

While you can use any bottled BBQ sauce you have on hand... this BBQ sauce is super easy to toss together with what most folks have kicking around as condiments if you happen to look into the cupboard and realize oops... nada.  Its a spin on Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa's) BBQ sauce... I love her use of hoisin sauce since its molasses-y, has sweet elements and adds a rich dark caramel color to the BBQ sauce... genius!  You can make up to 2 full racks of ribs in a large 7 quart crockpot (as I did)- just wrap the second rack around the other side, or if you're cutting up the ribs into portions, line all surfaces of the crockpot with ribs... or 1/2 the recipe for just one rack of ribs... don't worry if your crockpot looks too full, ribs do cook down.  And don't be shy with the paprika.. its very mellow, isn't as spicy "hot" as pepper and gives the ribs a nice color as well as a kick of flavor.

Step 1:  Rinse the ribs and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub all over with rub spices and place thick side touching the slow cooker or crock pot sides.You may keep it as an entire rack, or cut it into 3-4 rib bone pieces.  Its much debated if not cutting it will keep in more moisture vs cutting it now so its convenient portion sizes... do what you like. The slow cooker or crockpot will seal in a lot of the moisture anyways since it partially roasts and steams the ribs in its own juices as it cooks.  You can also remove the tough membrane at the back of the ribs... I didn't bother and the cooking process tenderized it fine. Any crockpot would work, I used a 5 quart one to cram in 2 racks of ribs

Step 2: Mix ingredients together for BBQ sauce, or use bottled BBQ sauce. Dump BBQ sauce to coat all the ribs - dont' be afraid to use your hands and massage it into the ribs!

Step 3: Put the lid on and turn on the slow cooker or crock pot to either high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  My slow cooker runs on the hot side, so my ribs were fork tender after 2.5 hours.  Use the longer end of the range if you like fall off bone ribs, use the shorter time as an estimate if you like fork tender.
You ain't seen nothin' yet!

Step 4: Preheat oven broiler to high. Transfer ribs to a foil lined baking sheet.  Skim off fat from cooking juices and reduce the juices to half over high heat in a non-stick sauce pan - boil for about 10-15min.
Ribs  right out of the slow cooker before getting basted - so moist!
Step 5: Baste the ribs: with reduced BBQ sauce. Pop in oven with the oven rack as close to the broiler without touching for about 5 minutes until the sauce forms a nice crust and develops a beautiful BBQ'ed look... the interior will remain nice and moist, promise! Now... Dig in!


Wooooo baby!!
Ultimate Slow cooker or Crock pot BBQ Ribs recipe
Ingredients
-2 racks of ribs - spareribs, Louis style, baby ribs, country style.. whatever you prefer or have on hand
-1 cup Ultimate BBQ sauce or any bottled BBQ sauce

Rib Rub
-2-3 tablespoons paprika (regular or smoked - more if you want more kick)
-1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
-1 teaspoon black pepper
-1 teaspoon granulated garlic
-1-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more if you want more heat)

Ultimate BBQ sauce (makes 1 cup)
-1 large onion diced
-3 cloves of garlic
-3 tablespoons tomato paste or concentrated tomato paste (more flavor and color!)
-3 tablespoons vinegar or apple cider
-3 tablespoons honey
-3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (can sub out with molasses or honey if you don't have any)
-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-2 tablespoons mustard - yellow, Dijon, grainy.. whatever you have
-1/2 - 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used sirracha, but Tabasco or whatever you have on hand works too)
-1-2 teaspoons chili powder
-1 teaspoon soy sauce
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-pinch or 2 of dried chili flakes

How to make Ultimate BBQ sauce

1) If you're using this BBQ sauce for this recipe, just mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
2) If you're using this sauce for other recipes, mix all ingredients together in a non-stick saucepan and simmer on low for about 30min.  If you like your sauce smooth rather than chunky, after making the sauce -cool sauce, then use a hand blender to purée it smooth.

How to make Ultimate Slow cooker or Crock pot BBQ Ribs recipe

1) Rinse the ribs and pat dry with paper towels.  Rub all over with rub spices and place thick side touching the slow cooker or crock pot sides.
2) Mix ingredients together for BBQ sauce, or use bottled BBQ sauce. Dump BBQ sauce to coat all the ribs.
3) Put the lid on and turn on the slow cooker or crock pot to either high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  My slow cooker runs on the hot side, so my ribs were fork tender after 2.5 hours.  Use the longer end of the range if you like fall off bone ribs, use the shorter time as an estimate if you like fork tender.
4) Preheat oven broiler to high. Transfer ribs to a foil lined baking sheet.  Skim off fat from cooking juices and reduce the juices to half over high heat in a non-stick sauce pan - boil for about 10-15min.
5) Baste the ribs : with reduced BBQ sauce. Pop in oven with the oven rack as close to the broiler without touching for about 5 minutes until the sauce forms a nice crust and develops a beautiful BBQ'ed look.  Dig in!

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