Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

While Baby Back Ribs are probably not a cut of meat that you should be enjoying as a part of your regular rotation, just like you wouldn’t want to be relying on bacon for a main source of protein, if you’re gonna practice nose to tail consumption, and especially if you’re gonna purchase your meat by the carcass, then sooner or later, you’re going to have to eat them ribs… Shame, I know.

And I’m telling you, when it comes to pork ribs, it doesn’t get any better than these Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs.

We’re talking ribs so tender, you can barely grab them with your fingers: the meat just wants to stay in the plate while you end up holding nothing but the bare bone. In fact, these are almost like pulled pork on a bone.

Granted, they may not be the prettiest ribs you’ve ever laid your eyes on. The thing is, these are so tender, you can’t even move a full rack from pan to plate without it completely falling apart. They have to be handled extremely delicately. But honestly, I’ll take ugly ribs that taste amazing and literally melt in my mouth a million times over the tough stuff that won’t even come off the bone, no matter how violently I try and rip it off with my teeth.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Note that for this recipe, I used Back Ribs, but you could just as well use Side Ribs, if that’s all you had on hand. The two of them are extremely similar even though the back ribs are a bit superior.

Let me explain: generally speaking, back ribs (or baby back ribs as they’re often called) tend to be way more tender and meaty than side ribs. That also makes then more expensive to buy. However, the difference in price can be very well worth it, as side ribs tend to have a lot of connective tissue in them, making them tricky, if not darn near impossible, to separate into equal portions. Unlike back ribs, side ribs can’t always be cut cleanly and neatly between bones because of all that connective tissue that gets in the way. That also can make them a bit unpleasant to eat, at times, but that doesn’t take away any of their tastiness…

I think it’s pretty obvious that my personal preference goes to back ribs, but ultimately, the choice is yours. Like I said, you can use either cut for this recipe.

But before get started working on the meat, we need to make our BBQ Sauce. Hey, ribs just wouldn’t be the same without it. Luckily, that sauce is super easy to make, providing you already have some Paleo Ketchup on hand.

Simply mix the ketchup with a bunch of aromatics and spices (as listed in the recipe below) in your food processor or blender and process until well combined, which should take no more than a minute.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Now time to work on those ribs! First, pat them real dry and remove the membrane along the back of both racks;

To remove it, slide the tip of a butter knife or your fingernail under the membrane and over a bone. Lift and loosen that membrane until you can grab the edge of the membrane firmly between your fingers, then delicately pull it off. Use a paper towel to hold it if you feel you need a better grip. The membrane should easily come off in a single piece, but you may also end up having to remove it in smaller pieces.

About that membrane, not everyone is a fan of removing it or thinks that it’s even necessary, but I find that it can sometimes be a little tough and not all that pleasant to eat, so I prefer to take it out. However, if you don’t mind it, or can’t be bothered to remove it, feel free to leave it there.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Now that the membrane has been dealt with (or not) sprinkle both racks generously with salt on both sides, then cover them in BBQ sauce, using about half the amount you made.

We’ll save the other half for later.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Wrap the ribs around the bowl of a 7qt slow cooker, being careful to place the meaty side against the walls of the pot.

If time permits, place the ribs in the refrigerator to marinate for a few hours, or better yet, overnight.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Cook the ribs on low for about 7 hours, or until fall off the bone tender, then preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C)

Very carefully transfer the racks to a broiler pan lined with aluminum foil. The ribs will be EXTREMELY tender at this point, so you might want to divide them into 2 to 3 equal pieces. That will make handling them a lot easier.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Brush a generous amount of the leftover BBQ sauce all over the top of the ribs and place them on the highest oven rack.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce becomes a beautiful, deep, rich brown color and the edges of the ribs start to char.

For an even better caramelization, drizzle a few tablespoons of melted honey over your ribs before placing them in the oven.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs | thehealthyfoodie.com

Now remove your ribs from the oven, tent loosely with foil and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

See how dark and delicious looking these got? Oh my!

Like I said, so tender you can hardly manipulate them without having the meat fall right off the bones.

So yeah… they may not the prettiest looking, perhaps not picture perfect and definitely not worthy of a TV commercial.

But once you’ve had a taste of them, I bet you won’t ever want to make BBQ Ribs any other way.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 kg 4½ pounds pork back ribs (2 full racks)
  • Generous sprinkle of Himalayan salt

BBQ Sauce

Optional

Instructions

  • Make the BBQ Sauce: Add all the ingredients to your food processor or blender and process until well combined, about one minute.
  • Pat the ribs dry and remove the membrane along the back of both racks.
  • To do that, slide the tip of a butter knife or your fingernail under the membrane and over a bone. Lift and loosen that membrane until you can grab the edge of the membrane firmly between your fingers, then delicately pull it off. Use a paper towel if you feel you need a better grip. The membrane should easily come off in a single piece, but you may also end up having to remove it in smaller pieces.
  • Sprinkle both racks generously with salt on both sides, then cover in about half the BBQ sauce. Save the other half for after the ribs are done cooking.
  • Wrap the ribs around the bowl of a 7qt slow cooker being careful to place the meaty side against the side of the pot.
  • If time permits, place the ribs in the refrigerator to marinate overnight
  • Cook the ribs on low for about 7 hours, or until fall off the bone tender.
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C)
  • Very carefully transfer the racks to a broiler pan lined with aluminum foil. The ribs will be EXTREMELY tender at this point, so you might want to divide them into 2 to 3 pieces, which will make them a lot easier to handle. Brush a generous amount of the BBQ sauce all over the top of the ribs and place on the highest oven rack. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce becomes a deep, rich brown color and the edges start to char. For an even better caramelization, drizzle with a few tablespoons of melted honey before transferring the racks to the oven.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven, tent loosely with foil and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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