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Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Just because its fall, doesn't mean you can't still eat BBQ. And just because I live in NYC.. in an apartment.. and without a yard or a grill.. doesn't mean I can't pretend to BBQ. In fact, this recipe for BBQ ribs is made using a slow cooker (crock pot if you will) and turned out pretty spectacular. Now don't get me wrong, there is no real substitute for the smoky flavor that comes from char grilling meat, but if you're anything like me, you still need to get your fix and these ribs are perfect for your next game day!


Baby back spare ribs

One 2 liter bottle of Root Beer (you'll only use about 2 cups)

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp red pepper flakes

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp Paprika

2-3 garlic cloves (optional)

BBQ sauce


  1. Pat ribs dry and remove the papery, film like membrane - Using a paper towel to grip, grab hold of the thin layer of skin on the bone side of the ribs and tear it off slowly. It should come off fairly easy and uniform

  2. Liberally apply a dry rub of brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes to both sides of the ribs

  3. Let sit in the fridge for 30 mins to an hour. It doesn't matter too much how long you marinate, as the root beer will do most of the seasoning for you during the slow cooking process.

  4. After the ribs have marinated, cut the slab into 2 or 3 sections depending on the size of your slow cooker and gently roll them up into a small enough form to fit into your crock pot.

  5. Place the ribs into the crock pot and pour in 1 ½ to 2 cups of root beer. You can throw in a few whole garlic cloves for added seasoning

  6. Cover and cook on low settings for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.

  7. Prepare a baking pan with aluminum foil.

  8. Once your ribs are cooked through, gently remove them from the slow cooker Be careful not to let them fall apart, they will be very tender since they've basically boiled for 4 hours. Using large tongs to grasp an entire section at a time should allow you to transfer them to the baking pan in one piece. Don't use a serving fork, as they will likely fall apart.

  9. Set the broiler to low and put the ribs on rack closest to the broiler. This will give them a char similar to grilling them. Leave for 3-4 minutes. The kitchen WILL get smokey, just open a window. Remove and carefully flip, charring the other side.

  10. Again, remove and carefully add your favorite BBQ sauce (Shout out Sweet Baby Ray's). Put them under the broiler one last time to meld the char and sauce. Enjoy!

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