Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs


Recipe: Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs


  • 1 full rack pork spare ribs, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 bottles of beer (12oz each)
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 18-oz (or so) bottle barbecue sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • hot sauce for serving (optional)


  1. Rub ribs with paprika, garlic powder, and chili powder. If you have time, refrigerate after rubbing for 1-3 hours.
  2. Zest oranges and lemon into slow cooker. Juice oranges and lemon, adding the juice to slow cooker. Rough chop chipotle (be sure to remove stem. Remove seeds if you want to tone the heat down) and add to slow cooker.
  3. Bring ribs to room temperature if you refrigerated them.
  4. Brown each half of the rack of ribs on both sides in a heavy,oiled skillet. Add first half to slow cooker, pour a little barbecue sauce on top, then add second half. Add the 2 beers, then top off with more barbecue sauce. Add about 3/4 of the bottle of barbecue sauce total. For best results ribs should be just barely submerged in liquid.
  5. If you have time, cook ribs for 10-12 hours on low, they will be most tender this way. If not, cook for five hours on high.
  6. Remove ribs from liquid (discard liquid), serve with the rest of the barbecue sauce and hot sauce.
  7. (Optional) If you want a bit of bark (the crispy bits on the outside), place under broiler before adding the rest of the sauce. Around 1 minute per side, longer if you like more ‘crispies’.

Number of servings (yield): 2

Photo credit: Maggie Hoffman / / CC BY

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