My Mom didn’t actually use a crock pot, her original recipe was using an oven (which I have also posted, its listed under “Entrees”). But I love to use my crock pot. Since Mom was always the one famous for her “Fall Off The Bone” ribs, I adapted her style of rib cooking to suit a slow cooker, but in a way so they still come out caramelized in the end. Slow cookers get meat VERY tender… But they can make BBQ sauce quite watery, and thus not really coated with much sauce-- because they cause the meat to release soooooo much natural juices. It all tends to run off the meat. So this recipe involves doing 98% of the cooking in the crock pot, then broiling the ribs with extra sauce in the oven for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce. Perfect!
Crock Pot “Mom’s Fall-Off-The-Bone BBQ Ribs”
1 rack beef or pork baby back ribs (or as many as you want)
Your favorite spice rub (about 1 heaping tsp. per rack)
You favorite BBQ sauce (enough for all your ribs)
1. Remove the rough membrane from the ribs (it’s the thin, white, tough layer along the bottom curved side of the ribs). Dig your fingers under the membrane, and peel it away. This membrane is what makes ribs so tough and chewy. You don’t want that.
2. Take your favorite spice rub, and rub about a teaspoon of it over the rack of ribs (or each rack, if you’re doing more than one).
3. Line your crock pot with a “slow cooker liner” to protect it from the mess of the BBQ sauce.
4. Lay your rib rack(s) in the crick pot, top side facing up. Drizzle BBQ sauce generously over the top of the rack(s). If doing more than one rack, layer them and coat in sauce one at a time. You do not need to add any liquids. Crock pots cause meat to produce A LOT of natural liquids and juices. Adding extra liquids can make it far too watery. Put some extra sauce on the top rack, if doing more than one.
5. Place the lid on the crock pot tightly and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Meat should easily come away from the bone with a fork.
6. When they are finished, carefully remove the ribs and place them on a baking sheet, lined with foil. You may need a very sturdy spatula for this, because the ribs will be very tender and can break apart very easily.
7. Brush ribs with an extra, generous coating of BBQ sauce.
8. Turn on the broiler setting in your oven and place oven rack on its highest level. Put the ribs (on the baking pan) under the broiler, until the sauce caramelizes. This will happen quickly, so keep a close watch. Pull the ribs out to check them frequently. When they are as dark as you like, remove them from the oven and serve with your favorite side.