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.
Like 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
- 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
- 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.