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

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.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 487kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds baby back ribs trimmed of any excess fat
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 drops 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 552mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Sweet BBQ Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

I really love making jerky on my dehydrator. I’ve been using ground top round for my ground beef jerky, but any lean ground meat will work. This sweet BBQ ground beef jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro has a nice mellow smoky BBQ flavor that is definitely not overwhelming. It has a bit of sweetness, but it’s definitely not candy-like. The meat has the perfect ‘bite’, just a little tug.

Sweet BBQ Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

Make sure you rotate your trays every 2 hours or so when making sweet BBQ ground beef jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. The bottom trays will not dry as quickly as those on top. Rotating the trays will give you nice, even drying and perfect jerky on every level.

Try these other great jerky flavors from Eastman Outdoors: spicy jalapenoCajunwhiskey peppermesquite, sweet habanero and hickory. My sous vide honey jerky is also amazing.

Check out my guide to using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. You will be making fantastic jerky at home in no time at all!

Sweet BBQ Ground Beef Jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro

This sweet BBQ ground beef jerky on the Nesco Snackmaster Pro has a nice mellow smoky BBQ flavor that is definitely not overwhelming. It has a bit of sweetness, but it’s definitely not candy-like. The meat has the perfect ‘bite’, just a little tug.
Course Dehydrator
Cuisine Jerky
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 14 hours
Servings 0.5 pounds
Calories 1243kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Eastman Outdoors Sweet BBQ Jerky Seasoning see my note below
  • 1 teaspoon curing salt Comes with the seasoning. Optional if you’re going to refrigerate the finished product
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • NOTE: The package for the Eastman Outdoors jerky seasoning states that it makes up to 5 pounds of jerky. I personally feel that the flavor is too mellow, so I use just about an entire package for 1 pound of jerky. I end up with a little left over seasoning, which I store in a labelled air-tight container. I’ll eventually mix it with more seasoning. I think I can get 3 pounds of well-seasoning jerky out of two packages of Eastman Outdoors mix.
  • Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, curing salt and water. Pour over the meat and seal. Shake to coat.
  • Refrigerate the meat for up to 8 hours, shaking or massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
  • Remove meat from the marinade and add to a jerky gun. Squeeze out onto Nesco trays. Do not overlap meat.
  • Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays (bottom to top) every 2 hours or so.
  • To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It’s really personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There’s no wrong here.
  • Let cool before storing in an airtight container.

Notes

This recipe is for starting with 1 pound of meat. You’ll end up with about 1/2 pound in the end. You can easily double/triple/etc this recipe for large quantities of meat, however 5-6 pounds is about all you can fit onto a Nesco Snackmaster Pro fitted with 12 trays (the unit comes with 5).

Nutrition

Calories: 1243kcal | Protein: 194g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 562mg | Sodium: 605mg | Potassium: 3139mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 22mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pot Roast

I’m not ashamed to say it. I can put away some pot roast. Put a bowl of pot roast in front of me, and there’s only one outcome: an empty bowl. Put a bowl of this slow cooker BBQ pot roast in front of me and there’s only one outcome: me asking for seconds and probably thirds. That same great flavor as a traditional pot roast, completely amped up with BBQ flavors. Surprisingly different and really a treat to eat!
Slow Cooker BBQ Pot RoastI used a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce when I made this slow cooker BBQ pot roast. You want something with a smoky flavor, and maybe even a bit of a spicy kick. After all, this isn’t your normal pot roast.

Also try my slow cooker Mississippi pot roast.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pot Roast

I’m not ashamed to say it. I can put away some pot roast. Put a bowl of pot roast in front of me, and there’s only one outcome: an empty bowl. Put a bowl of this slow cooker BBQ pot roast in front of me and there’s only one outcome: me asking for seconds and probably thirds.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 627kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 - 3 pound chuck roast some fat removed
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 large Russet potatoes chopped into chunks (I left the skin on)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce I used Heinz Memphis Sweet & Spicy
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme crumbled
  • 1/2 cup water plus more, possibly

Instructions

  • Place everything into your slow cooker, starting with the meat first.
  • Cook on low 8-10 hours or until the meat is fall-apart tender, stirring every hour after the first 4 hours. Add more water as you go if the pot roast is thicker than you prefer.
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 1038mg | Potassium: 1481mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Quick Fix BBQ Ranch Dressing

A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients (such as crumbled cooked bacon) to make it different for different dishes, such as for dipping onion rings or chicken wings.
This quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing isn’t just for salads, that’s for sure. I squirted it on a big plate of French fries. I dipped grilled chicken wings in it. Just make sure you start with good, quality BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing. And don’t hesitate to use a spicy BBQ sauce, or one with a bit of smoky flavor to it.

Also try my dill Ranch dressing. Oh, and this dressing is fantastic on my Santa Fe chicken salad.

Easy BBQ Ranch Dressing

A lot of restaurant signature sauces start with simple, off-the-shelf ingredients. A restaurant near us starts with BBQ sauce and Ranch, just like with this quick fix BBQ Ranch dressing, and then adds a few other ingredients.
Course Dressing
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 827kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Ranch dressing
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • Embellishments optional (crumbled cooked bacon, chili powder, cayenne, Sriracha, hot sauce, chopped fresh parsley, etc)

Instructions

  • Whisk together the two ingredients.
  • Add any embellishments and stir to combine.

Nutrition

Calories: 827kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 2781mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 366IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Hot Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce

Oh, what a wonderful BBQ sauce this hot pepper jelly BBQ sauce is. It has the perfect consistency. Not too runny, not too gloppy. A small bit of heat and a little tang from vinegar and mustard. Perfect for any pork BBQ dish. For me that means smoked baby back ribs.
Hot Pepper Jelly BBQ SauceYou can substitute any kind of jelly for the hot pepper jelly, really. But don’t be afraid of hot pepper jelly. Out of the jar, sure, it’s got some kick. But in this hot pepper jelly BBQ sauce that heat gets a little mellowed. You still get great pepper flavor though. It’s still a great sauce!

Want something even spicier? Try my atomic BBQ sauce on ribs.

Hot Pepper Jelly BBQ Sauce

Oh, what a wonderful BBQ sauce this hot pepper jelly BBQ sauce is. It has the perfect consistency. Not too runny, not too gloppy. A small bit of heat and a little tang from vinegar and mustard. 
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 482kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup hot pepper jelly I used Tabasco
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Whisk until all ingredients are combined.

Nutrition

Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1110mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 83g | Vitamin A: 481IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Basic BBQ Rub

When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. That’s because I use it on just about every piece of meat that I throw onto my trusty old smoker. It shines best on beef and pork, adding a bit of sweetness and a bit of heat. And though it contains coffee and lemon pepper the flavors from those two ingredients don’t jump out and scream at your taste buds. They’re there though, working perfectly with the rest of the flavors. This is truly a great all-around rub.
Basic BBQ RubThe idea for this basic BBQ rub came from Ray Lampe’s book, Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Lip Smacking Barbecue. The book is full of great recipes and stories and ideas, just like this one. This rub can be used as-is or as a great jumping-off point for making your own rub. Play with the ratios to suit your tastes. For example, don’t use regular paprika just use only smoked paprika for a much stronger smoke flavor, perfect for seasoning foods cooked in doors where you won’t get a strong wood flavor. Or add more heat. Or leave out the heat. It’s a very versatile rub.

Also try my basic BBQ sauce. Like this rub, it’s great as is or use it as a base for your own flavors.

Basic BBQ Rub

When I make a batch of this basic BBQ rub I don’t just make a little ole container full. No, I make a bunch of it. A whole lot. 
Course Spice Rub
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 ounces
Calories 42kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder use hot for extra kick
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or lime pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coffee finely ground, not instant

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4749mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 818IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.