Like any good American, I love a good BBQ. Until I turned 30 years old, I had no idea any other BBQ existed besides pork BBQ. Or maybe I knew and I just pretended no other BBQ existed. Then I moved to Texas. And I realized their version of BBQ consisted of beef BBQ. Texas is beef country, y'all and they know how to cook it up right. I grew up in pork country. But I have a love for it all (although don't tell my Texas friends that I will always be more partial to piggy.)
So when it comes to BBQ sauce, I'm kinda picky and I know everyone has their favorite blends. But for my everyday cooking, I like pick up some good bottled BBQ sauce. Because you don't have to wait for summer, or a special occasion or own a smoker to make some good and tender ribs.
So I had a chance to try the new KC Masterpiece® Kansas City Classic barbecue sauce 35th Anniversary blend. I love the tagline on the bottle where it says "Made with love and real sugar". It's the little things, people. This particular blend is a limited edition and is only being sold in the "heartland" markets. It was created to pay tribute to the 35th Anniversary of that original, award-winning, "Blue-Ribbon" KC Masterpiece® blend.
So, ya know, the first thing I gotta do is dip my finger in it. Hey, we're all family around here and I couldn't wait to try it. I knew we were gonna have some lip-smacking ribs with this stuff. Straight outta the bottle, it was pretty dang good. You can taste the molasses and slight onion and garlic flavors and it has just a bit of a peppery kick but nothing too strong. My 8 year old loved it and he doesn't like anything with too much kick. A fantastic, all-around great sauce. If you can't find this one, just pick up the KC Masterpiece® Kansas City Classic barbecue sauce. I'm kinda hoping they make this one permanent though and expand it to more markets. I would definitely make this one a regular staple in my cooking.
So, let's get to these ribs! Make sure to read my notes along the way for the little tips and tricks that you might find helpful. These are so easy and flavorful. My husband has declared these even better than our local smokehouse's ribs!
1 rack, baby back ribs (about 2-3 pounds)
1 (21 oz.) bottle KC Masterpiece® Kansas City Classic barbecue sauce
kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder
Season ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
I just sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of each on both sides. Then make sure you rub it in well.
Cook's Note: A quick word on baby back ribs. On the back of the ribs, you may see something called a membrane (it will look smooth and shiny). This membrane can be removed, it is up to you. I find cooking ribs in the slow cooker tenderizes the ribs to the point that you can easily eat this bit of the rib with no problem. But, a lot of people like it removed because they find it a bit chewy. Most supermarkets these days sell the ribs with this membrane already removed. But if you notice it is still on there, then you can take a small knife and make a small incision underneath it. Then get your fingers underneath it and pull it off. But again, I really have never found it to be a huge issue when cooking it in the slow cooker.
Place ribs in your slow cooker with the meat side facing the wall of the slow cooker. It may slide down during cooking and that is fine. This just helps you to fit a whole rack into the slow cooker and to ensure even cooking. And with an oval slow cooker like this one, I can actually add in a second rack of ribs. Pour KC Masterpiece® Kansas City Classic barbecue sauce all over the ribs, making sure that it coats the ribs as much as possible. Note: I save about 1/3 cup of the BBQ sauce to serve the ribs with.
Cover and cook on low for about 4-6 hours (until the thickest part of the ribs reaches an internal temperature of 145f degrees.)
When done, continue to this optional next step. Take the ribs out and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Baste the ribs with some of the BBQ sauce that is hanging out in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Turn your oven broiler on to high and place ribs under broiler (while watching carefully!) Let the ribs caramelize under the broiler for just a few minutes. Again, this is not absolutely necessary but I love a good caramelized BBQ sauce.
Take them out, then chop them up into 2-rib sections for easy serving. Or, if you are not serving right away, after cutting, you can place them back into the slow cooker, meat side down, with the sauce that is still in there, cover and let them hang out in there with the "keep warm" setting on. I have found this keeps the ribs tender and juicy and if you are a sauce lover (like me) then this really gets the sauce all over the individual cuts of ribs.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KC Masterpiece®. The opinions and text are all mine.