But I don’t own a smoker. Cooking ribs at a low temperature for a low amount of time is key to tender ribs. So, I make it work with my crock pot! They cook until tender then I pop them under the broiler to get that nice, thick glaze on them. These are so easy and flavorful. My husband has declared these even better than our local smokehouse’s ribs!
Crock Pot BBQ Ribs
- 1 pound rack baby back ribs
- 1 21 oz bottle barbecue sauce
- kosher salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
Season both sides of ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Rub it in well.
- Place ribs in your slow cooker with the meat side facing the wall of the slow cooker.
Pour barbecue sauce all over the ribs, making sure that it coats the ribs as much as possible.
- 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 the 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.
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.
If you are not serving these 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. 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.