I remember when I was much younger trying many times, always unsuccessfully, to cook ribs on a barbecue grill. Either the flame was too hot and the ribs burned to a crispy, unappetizing, black piece of carbon, or the fire was too cool and the ribs sizzled away for hours becoming tough and unappetizing in the process. I finally gave up trying and BeeBop and I just visited our local barbecue place any time we had a craving for some of that barbecued goodness.
Until…I read an article somewhere about using your slow cooker to produce tender, perfectly cooked ribs. It seemed quite logical to me. Give the ribs a head start in the oven then finish them off in the slow cooker! I was game to give it a try and the above is what I wound up with. Luscious, fall-off-the-bone tender, spare ribs! Here’s what you do:
Cover a baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and spray well with cooking spray. Cut the ribs into serving sized pieces, 1 or 2 ribs per piece. Salt and pepper well on both sides.
Place the ribs in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until they have obtained a light golden brown color.
Place a single layer of ribs in your slow cooker. Spoon over about 1/2 cup barbecue sauce of your choice.
Continue layering ribs and sauce. Notice the sauce I’m using above? This is my family’s barbecue sauce. The recipe has been handed down for several generations and I truly don’t know anyone else who makes the same sauce as ours. It is a vinegar and tomato based sauce and we really enjoy it, although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. You just use whatever recipe or purchased brand you like best!
Cover the slow cooker and cook on the lowest heat setting for approximately 6 hours. Be sure to stir the pot once during the cooking time to prevent the sauce and ribs from burning.
I used spareribs for this recipe, but I expect it would work equally well for baby backs. Easiest method I’ve ever seen for cooking ribs!