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Slow Cooker Ribs

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Slow Cooker Ribs
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Makes: 6 servings adjust
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen. Requires a 6 Quart or larger slow cooker.



  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 14 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 6 pounds Baby Back Pork Ribs, each rack no larger than 2 pounds or so. note: i used 2 racks each 2.75 lb and they fit and cooked perfectly in my slow cooker.

Step 1

Mix the paprika, sugar, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and then rub the mixture evenly over the ribs.


  • 3 cups Barbecue Sauce, sweet baby ray's preferred

Step 2

Measure the barbecue sauce out into a bowl. Spoon some of the sauce over both sides of the ribs using spoon to spread it out to completely coat the ribs.

Step 3

Place the ribs into the slow cooker propping the racks upright on their ends along the perimeter of the slow cooker, wide end down, meatier side facing the side of the slow cooker. This will ensure that the ribs cook evenly.

Step 4

Pour the remaining barbecue sauce over the ribs, cover, and cook on low until tender, 6 to 8 hours. NOTE: Most comments said 6 hours was plenty. Too much longer and they just fell apart. I used about 6 1/2 hours.


  • Cooking Spray

Step 5

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top, coating both with vegetable oil spray.

Step 6

Using tongs, carefully transfer the ribs, meaty side down, to the prepared wire rack and tent with foil.

Step 7

Let the braising liquid in the slow cooker rest for 5 minutes to allow the fat to float to the surface. Skim the fat from the surface of the braising liquid and discard it. Pour the defatted braising liquid into a medium saucepan and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. NOTE: I ladled the liquid into a gravy separator in several batches, discarding the fat and pouring the liquid into the saucepan each time, to do this.

Step 8

Meanwhile, position the oven rack 10 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler (I used the Low Broil Setting). Remove the foil from the ribs, brush them with some of the reduced braising liquid, and broil until they begin to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.

Step 9

Flip the ribs over, brush again, and continue to broil until the ribs are well browned and sticky, 9 to 12 minutes longer, brushing every few minutes.

Step 10

Transfer the ribs to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Step 11

Slice the ribs between the bones and serve with the remaining reduced braising liquid on the sideā€”and lotsa napkins.
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