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Ribs in a crock pot?

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I didn't get around to cooking my rack of baby backs the right way over the weekend (in the smoker, that is), and I don't have the time to do it properly through the week - and, as some of you may know, it's against the law in Texas to cook ribs too fast. Good law, too. So I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to try them in the crock pot while I'm at work; anyone have any good recipes - or, alternatively, a decisive 'No, don't mess up your ribs' ?

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  1. I would figure it would also be against the law in Texas to prepare ribs in anything but a smoker. ; )

    My vote:
    No, dont mess up your ribs.

    1. They won't have that lovely pink ring or smoke-infused flavor, but it does work for producing tender & juicy ribs. Just put a rub on it and plop them in, set on low.

      1. You will have braised ribs, not BBQ ribs. If that's OK with you, go for it...

        8 Replies
        1. re: Karl S

          Not sure if it is or not; I don't think I've ever had braised ribs. I may have to give it a try, since I don't have room in my freezer and I don't want them to go bad. Thanks!

          1. re: Bat Guano

            Bat,
            Just go for it. They come out juicy and fork tender. A little different texture then smoked but good just the same.

            1. re: othervoice

              OK, I put them in this morning with a spice rub from America's Test Kitchen (except I added a bit more cayenne than they did), and a bit of OJ and barbecue sauce for liquid, and some sliced onions on the top and bottom of the ribs. Just kind of winging it. Set the timer for 6 hours on low. I'll let you know how they turn out.

              1. re: Bat Guano

                i do ribs all the time in a crock pot with a rub, however i use spare ribs. i suspect that baby back ribs may completely fall apart if you removed the membrane on them, if you didn't they will still probably be really really tender.

                1. re: rayrayray

                  Well, good thing I didn't remove the membrane then! Thanks.

                2. re: Bat Guano

                  Well, they were pretty good - almost falling off the bone, so 6 hours is a bit too long. Nice and tender, obviously, pretty good flavor - but nowhere near as good as the smoked kind. Crock pot works in an emergency, but IMO smoking is much better.

                  1. re: Bat Guano

                    That's my take. Before I crock pot them, I also broil them for about 5 minutes a side to add some brown and render off some of the fat.

                  2. re: Bat Guano

                    I am new to this here and came across your recipe and was wondering how it turned out? whatelse can you use for the juice instead of oj? mm.. does stock sound good maybe beef or pork ????????

            2. Too late for the OP, looks like, but this recipe was in the NYT some time back, and I have made it often to rave reviews and licked-clean plates:

              Short Ribs With Chinese Flavors

              Time: At least 5 hours

              8 short ribs, about 3 pounds
              1/2 cup soy sauce
              1/2 cup water
              1/4 cup sugar or honey
              3 star anise
              6 scallions, trimmed
              1 3-inch piece cinnamon
              5 nickel-size slices of ginger
              1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
              Salt
              Cooked white rice for serving
              Chopped scallions or fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.

              1. Combine all ingredients, except salt, rice and garnish, in slow cooker. Cover and cook until meat is very tender and falling from bone, 5 hours or more on high, 7 hours or more on low. Taste and add salt if necessary.

              2. If you like, remove meat, strain liquid and refrigerate meat and liquid separately; skim fat from liquid, and reheat with meat. Serve hot over white rice garnished with scallions or cilantro.

              Yield: 4 servings.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Pistou

                Thanks! This is for beef short ribs, right? I'll try to give it a shot one of these days, after I get my mitts on some Sichuan peppercorns. I've heard it's sometimes hard to find fresh ones.

                1. re: Bat Guano

                  They've been available for the past few years since irradiation was approved by the FDA for them.

                  1. re: Bat Guano

                    I think I used beef, but I can't see why pork would be bad.

                    1. re: Pistou

                      The pork equivalent of beef short ribs are baby back ribs, not spareribs, btw. And baby back ribs are not as tender or flavorful as the short ribs. So adjust expectations accordingly.

                2. Sounds like you figured it out. I don't have the luxury of a smoker, nor the time right now so the crock pot is my current preferred method for pork ribs. The only modification is when I get home and just before serving, I give them a little quick blast over a flame to finish them off and add a little crust/sizzle.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: MSPD

                    Anyone have a good recipe for Short Ribs in crockpot (besides the Asian one previously posted)? Like maybe in a savory kind of sauce?

                    1. re: aurora50

                      Braised short ribs are great in the crockpot. I don't follow a recipe but generally, I dredge them in seasoned flour and sear on the stove. Remove and put in crockpot. Sautee vegetables (celery, onions, carrots, garlic, whatever else you want to use) in same pan . Deglaze w/ wine. Add seasoned flour, and stir. Add broth until it starts to thicken. Carefully pour over ribs. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Sauce should thicken but if it doesn't, remove meat, pour the rest into a pot and simmer. Or, for a short cut, add cornstarch mixed w/ water, pour over w/ crockpot on high and stir. Leave on high w/ lid off. Crockpot is great for braising because of the moist heat.

                      1. re: chowser

                        i attempted to make beef back ribs in the crockpot - on low - and i cant believe they are done - under 3 hours!
                        what did i do wrong? i did 2lbs of ribs.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Oh, I just now saw your post chowser, thanks! It looks good.