Thursday, July 4, 2019

Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs

A delicious plate of BBq ribs
To me, nothing says 4th of July like a plate of ribs. Grilled and especially smoked ribs might be the definitive expression of the art, but nothing gets consistently quality results like a slow cooker. Also, the 4th in my area is promising to be a rainy one, which will push people inside and grilling in bad weather is only fun to a select group of odd balls (like me). So, to make sure no ones celebration is spoiled, here is a good recipe to use if it (literally) rains on your parade.

Ingredients:

1 rack of spare ribs*
½ C brown sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp red pepper
BBQ sauce**

Directions:

Cut the ribs in half so they fit better in a slow cooker. Pat dry with some paper towels to help the dry rub stick.
Mix together everything remaining except the BBQ sauce and rub onto the ribs. Make sure you cover both sides and every edge.
Place in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5-6 or until they reach an internal temp of 190-205 F. Yes, this is way higher than the done temp for pork, but ribs, especially spare ribs, have a lot of fat and collagen in them. This needs to be rendered out for the ribs to be their best. If you cook to the usual pork temp of 160 F you will have much tougher and fattier ribs. This makes it difficult for low and slow methods to over-cook ribs, but it is easy to under-cook them.
Once they have reached temp, remove and let them rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into portions. I like to get them into pairs so people do not have to commit to a half or full rack, but can still take a plateful. Toss in BBQ sauce and serve, with plenty of napkins, to a grateful world.

*This recipe was specifically made with spare ribs in mind. If you are using baby-back ribs, you might need to adjust times.
**I made this dry rub to specifically go with my BBQ sauce recipe by using the same base of spices, but any sauce that goes well with some sweet heat will work great.

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