I’ve had this one in my arsenal for years. Besides being a family favorite, it’s probably the simplest, no-brainer, almost-no-effort meal I make. These super easy, slow cooker BBQ ribs really don’t require a recipe. It’s more of a method. You can probably memorize it by the time you’re done reading this post.
Are you ready? In the morning, spray your slow cooker (or use those liners I always forget to buy!) Open your packages of half-slab pork ribs and sprinkle them with garlic powder. Place the ribs in the Crock Pot standing up, with the meat side facing the walls of your cooker. (If your ribs are too tall to fit, cut the half slab in half again with kitchen scissors and lay some of the ribs down if needed.)
Cover and cook the ribs on low, without sauce, for eight hours. (They can stay on warm after that for another three hours if necessary.) A half hour before they’re done, transfer them to a platter and drain the liquid from your pot. Place the ribs back inside the slow cooker and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes.
You’ll be rewarded with saucy, falling-off-the-bone ribs that will make everyone smile. (“Smiles, Everyone. Smiles!”) They’ll think you put all kinds of effort into making this delicious meal. And you don’t need to tell them otherwise.
P.S. I haven’t perfected my homemade BBQ sauce yet, but I promise to share it with you when I do. I made these ribs on the 4th and used store-bought sauce. It’s one of the few processed items I still keep around!
(Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from a recipe I saw in an online forum about 12 years ago.)
- cooking spray or slow cooker liners
- 2 half-slabs of pork ribs (baby back or St. Louis, or one of each)
- garlic powder
- 14 ounces BBQ sauce (or use as much as you'd like)
- Spray a large slow cooker (if you have two slow cookers, use both) with oil or use the liners. Sprinkle the ribs with garlic powder. Place the ribs standing up, meat side facing the walls of the cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for eight hours (they can stay on warm for another three hours if you aren't home to take them out). A half hour before they are ready (7 1/2 hours into the process), transfer the ribs to a platter and drain the liquid from the pot into the sink.
- Place the ribs back in the slow cooker and add your BBQ sauce. Cover and cook for the last 30 minutes on low.
- Place the ribs on a platter (they will be falling off the bone). Serve with extra sauce from the slow cooker on the side. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.
In my large, oval slow cooker, I can fit one half slab of baby backs and a half slab of St. Louis ribs, cut to fit. My taller, circular slow cooker can fit a half slab of St. Louis ribs standing up.