If you've ever watched an episode of BBQ Pitmasters on TLC, you know that some people take their ribs very seriously. While I love ribs as much as anyone, the thought of tending to a grill all. day. long. in this hundred-degree-weather we've had lately just totally overwhelms me.
So while the masters would probably call it sacrilegious, I prefer to make my ribs in the slow cooker. Slow cooker ribs turn out tender, juicy, and flavorful, with minimal mess and hands-on work -- sounds like a winner to me!
I like to experiment with different seasonings and sauces when making ribs in the crockpot. Sometimes I make them from scratch, and other times I'll try a store bought combination. With this method they typically turn out fantastic either way.
For this beautiful 4-lb. rack of ribs, I chose to pair McCormick Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub with Kraft Thick 'n Spicy Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce. I simply gave the ribs a good rub down with about two tablespoons of the rub and then placed them in the crockpot with the meaty side facing the walls and the bones facing inward.
Note that I used a manual 5-qt. Crock-Pot slow cooker for this recipe. I own fancier digital slow cookers, but I always seem to come back to this basic one. I picked it up for a steal (just $5!!!) at Target on Black Friday a few years ago, but it's well worth the current Amazon price.
Then I poured about a bottle-and-a-half of the sauce over them and let them cook over low heat for about seven hours.
Now let me tell you, they were absolutely delicious at this point and my family would have gobbled them up as is, but I made them hold off for just about 15 minutes longer to add the finishing touch...
First, carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a cookie sheet lined with a cooling rack sprayed with cooking spray with the meaty side up. Skim off any grease from the remaining barbecue sauce and then strain into a sauce pan. Reduce over medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken up.
Baste the ribs with the sauce and pop the tray under the broiler for about five minutes. This gives them that slightly crispy outer coating -- just as if you've been cooking them on the grill all day!
I'm not kidding when I tell you that my family picked every last bone clean. I served them up with a side of Roasted Parsley and Garlic Fingerling Potatoes and Grilled Corn On The Cob. Gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Do you have a favorite ribs recipe?
Enter your favorite ribs recipe using a McCormick spice/seasoning and a Kraft sauce (if a sauce is used in the recipe) in the Dibs on My Ribs recipe cookoff!
Three finalists will be chosen from both the indoor preparation and the outdoor preparation categories to take part in a finale event cook-off on October 12, 2012 at Tyson Foods, Inc. in Springdale, Arkansas. One winner from each category will win "Groceries for a year from Walmart" and a trip for two to Memphis in May, 2013.
Maybe I'll see you there!