Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

I know my buddies on the grilling and smoker forums are going to give me grief over making slow cooker baby back ribs. But I am always up to trying something new (to me). Now, yes, I know these baby back ribs don’t sit in a smoker for 6 or so hours and get a beautiful smoke ring. But, they are tender, almost fall-off-the-bone tender, and with a little help, quite tasty. And hey, when it’s blowing 45 MPH winds outside with a wind chill well below 0, slow cooker baby back ribs will do just nicely.
Slow Cooker Baby Back RibsLike with boiling ribs (ok, don’t hate me for boiling ribs!) before grilling them, you have to add something so that the ribs get some flavor to them. Last time I boiled ribs, I added Old Bay seafood boil seasoning. When I made these baby back ribs I added a drop or two of liquid smoke and a little smoky BBQ sauce to boot. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting over hickory smoke for a long time, but those smoky flavors do absorb into the meat as it cooks.

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 3 -4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds baby back ribs trimmed of any excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A few drops of liquid smoke optional
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce I recommend a smoky Hickory BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  • Separate the ribs into sections, 2-3 bones each.
  • Season the ribs on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper. Don't be shy.
  • Add the water to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce.
  • Add the ribs. Top with the onion and sprinkle with the garlic.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Remove ribs, discarding the onion.
  • Coat ribs in BBQ sauce on all sides.
  • Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has set.

Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy

I’m usually a smoke-your-ribs kind of guy. My preferred rib is a St. Louis-style sparerib, cooked low-and-slow for up to 6 hours. The result is a tender, lightly smokey flavored, moist rib. That’s why I went into this experiment cooking baby back ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy with a little skepticism (but an open mind).

These ribs were very tender, very moist and cooked perfect. The only thing they lacked was that smokey flavor. And of course you don’t get that lovely pink smoke ring you get from hours of low heat over smoke. A smokey BBQ rub and sauce helps make up for this if that’s what you’re hankering for. They’re basically trouble-free since the Big Easy is pretty much a light-it-up, load-it-up, and come-back-when-the-food-is-done cooker.

I’d make these ribs again. And again. You can fit 2 racks into the Big Easy (they have to be cut to fit as they have to be around 11″ or so or less in length), and you’ll need a set of Char-Broil Big Easy Rib Hooks (though you could fashion your own).

Hanging the ribs…

Here’s how the process came along.First, brined ribs are hung on rib hooks and placed into the basket.

Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy Picture 1The first cook…

The ribs are cooked “naked” (no sauce, no rub) for 35 minutes.

Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy Picture 2Foiled and cooked some more…

Next, the ribs are rubbed and foiled (not shown here) and cooked for another 45 minutes.

Sauced and served…

I removed them from the foil, sauced them, and cooked them a bit longer. Sliced and served!

Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big EasyAlso check out my Tony Roma’sSt. Louis-style, and Italian sausage ribs also made on the Big Easy. For a fantastic sauce for your ribs, make my copycat of Bulls Eye’s BBQ sauce. It’s great on it’s own or as a great basis for your own version.

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 racks baby back ribs cut to 11" in length (or use 1 rack, cut in half and halve the remaining ingredients below). Remove the membrane from the backs of the ribs and trim any large chunks of fat.
  • Brine below
  • Your favorite BBQ rub
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce

For the brine

  • 32 ounces of apple cider or juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup loose packed brown sugar

Instructions

  • Place the ribs into a large resealable container.
  • Stir together the brine ingredients and add to the ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Start up your Big Easy.
  • Cut small slits after the first rib in each "rack" and insert the rib hooks.
  • Place ribs into the cooker and cook for 35 minutes.
  • Remove ribs and place on large sheets of foil. Sprinkle with your favorite rub. Wrap ribs up in foil and seal well. Add more foil if you need.
  • Place ribs back onto the cooker and cook another 45 minutes.
  • Remove ribs and check for doneness. Meat should be pulled back from the bones and should bend easily.
  • Unfoil the ribs and brush with BBQ sauce.
  • Place back onto the cooker and cook until the sauce is warmed and the ribs are the desired color.
  • Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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