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Monday, 9 February 2015

Ribs with a Slow Cooker

I've tried different ways of cooking ribs.  I've tried baking, BBQing, and boiling.  None of these methods gave me the result I wanted.  They were often tough, or stringy, or just not flavourfull.  I also tried the cooking them in the slow cooker.  This method made the ribs nice and tender, but eating them directly out of the slow cooker, made them lack the nice BBQ flavour and outside crispiness that I wanted in my ribs.

I finally discovered that if I cooked them in the slow cooker first, to get the tender pork I wanted, and then cooked a few minutes longer,using another method like the BBQ or quickly baked in the oven, I got the best of both worlds.  Below is the recipe that works for  me.

Note: Using different "tenderizing" ingredients (liquids with carbonation)  can give you different tastes.  I usually go with what I have in my kitchen.

My preference is to use beer - Guinness works really well with ribs.  I've also used Coke and club soda.  This time, I was given Q Ginger - a spicy ginger ale found in some grocery stores (Whole Foods carries it in Canada).  There was defenately a different flavour using this product, but you can use whatever bubbles you want to experiment with.

(Sorry a couple of the pictures turned out blurry, but you can still get the gist.)

Pork Ribs Slow Cooker & Oven

  • 1 large pork rib
  • 1/2 cup bottled BBQ sauce (or use recipe below)
  • 2 bottles Q Ginger Ale
  • OR 1 can Guinness Beer
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Water enough to cover ribs
  • Additional 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. Cut ribs in half so that you have two pieces that fit in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour Ginger Ale (or beer) over ribs.
  3. Pour BBQ sauce over ribs and enough water so ribs are almost completely covered with liquid.
  4. Cook on low for at least 4 hours
  5. Oven Method:
  6. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Remove ribs from slow cooker and place on baking pan.
  8. Sprinkle salt & pepper on ribs.
  9. Brush half of remaining BBQ sauce on one side of ribs.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Turn ribs over.
  12. Brush remaining BBQ sauce on the other side of the ribs.
  13. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  14. BBQ Method:
  15. Pre-heat BBQ to medium/high
  16. Follow previous instructions, however reduce cooking time to 5 minutes per side, or until ribs have a crispy skin on the outside.
Instead of using bottled BBQ sauce, create your own simple recipe.

3/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
pinch pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
Stir until well combined and sugar disolved.  This gets better the longer you let it sit, so preparing it ahead of time, gives it more flavour.  Recipe can be doubled or tripled and kept in a jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 

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