As much as my family loves them, I never made ribs very often because you have to cook them for so long over low heat on the grill. That's not really such a big deal, I guess, but when it's really hot outside I don't like standing out there in the blistering heat. It's just no fun for anyone!
Then I got smart and thought about it. Why not use one of my favorite appliances that cooks low and slow and just finish off the ribs on the grill the last 10 minutes or so to get the BBQ sauce all crusty and good? We experimented with it and tried many different cuts of slow-cooking meat and we found that they all work perfectly well using this method.
Pork ribs, pork roast, beef roast, tri-tip, even some cuts of bone in chicken can be partially cooked in the crockpot and finished off on the grill. It saves you propane or charcoal, it keeps you inside where it's cool and not slaving in front of the hot grill and it's so easy!
I'll show you how I made these fall-off-the-bone tender ribs and I hope you try them for yourself. Not only are they really tasty, they are super simple to prepare.
First, peel off the membrane on the back of the ribs. The easiest way I have found is to grab it with a paper towel and just pull. Try to get as much as you can off, the more you can remove the better the ribs will be. The you need to lay them out and season them. I sprinkled these with course kosher salt, cracked balck pepper, garlic and onion powders.
Put the lid on and cook on high for 4 hours. Or, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Either one works.
When they had cooked almost done, I took them out and grilled them on a pre-heated grill.
All you're doing here is heating up the BBQ sauce and getting that crunchy bark on the outside. I cooked these for maybe 8-10 minutes on each side.
As you can see, the meat was tender, fall off the bone good.
There they are, all ready to go! Golden and delicious, tender and juicy, hot and spicy but without so much effort and time on my part.
Utilizing your crockpot in this way really frees you up to do other things. You don't have to be tending the grill and you can even leave the house if you want, all while dinner is cooking.
The best part? No one will ever know that you made them in the crockpot.
A couple helpful hints:
- Everyone's crockpots cook differently. You may need to adjust the time up or down depending on your appliance. Check your ribs to determine when you need to take them out, don't just go by the times I have given here. You may need more or less, just go with it and you will know the next time how long you need them to go.
- A dry run on the ribs the night before is a great addition.
- Any liquid can be used instead of beer. Just use about 1/2 cup or so.
- Have fun!
I'm linking this recipe up to Little House Living's Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange this week. There are always GREAT recipes shared there, go take a look for yourself!