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Slow Cooker Ribs

Is anyone else crushing on the fact that it is FINALLY spring?! I normally don't mind winter, but come on - this is not Westeros and winter can (and should) come and go here.

I've really been anxious for spring this year because we are getting a patio poured in our backyard this week. Since it's been a hot minute since I've posted (you know, three years I think) I should catch you up that we moved about two years ago to a new build, and therefore our yard has been a bit lackluster. Last fall we built the kids a playground, and now we will finally have a patio where we can hang out while they play, like respectable adults versus sitting in lawn chairs on the grass.

With the new patio comes more grilling, which I'm coming around too, but ribs are just something I've never been able to successfully grill. Rob wants a smoker, and maybe now that we have a patio we can get one, but I really don't see the need to reinvent the wheel here - I've always had tremendous success with these ribs. They're fall apart tender, and so full of flavor. Plus, Tyler calls them T-Rex ribs and could eat half a rack himself if we let him! He's even taken leftovers for lunch before.

Slow Cooker Ribs
3 lbs baby back ribs, membranes removed
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought)

In a small bowl, mix together: brown sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder. Rub mixture evenly over both sides of the ribs, really working it in to the meaty side.

Arrange your ribs standing along the perimeter of  your slow cooker - wide end down and meaty side facing the outside of the slow cooker.

Pour sauce over ribs, cover, and cook on low until tender - about 6 hours.

Preheat broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a wire rack on top, spraying with vegetable oil spray.

Using tongs, carefully transfer ribs to the wire rack.

Skim fat from leftover braising liquid. Baste some of the skimmed liquid over the meaty side of the ribs with a silicone brush.

Broil until the ribs begin to brown and caramelize and get sticky - about 5-7 minutes. You can continue to baste with braising liquid if you desire. (I usually still top at the table with extra sauce so I only baste once.)

Remove ribs from broiler and tent with foil to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice the ribs between the bones, and bust out the wet wipes!

Note: You could strain the braising liquid and reduce on the stove for 10-20 minutes to create a fantastic sauce to serve on the side.

Source: heavily adapted from America's Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Revolution 


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