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Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs
You don’t need a smoker or to heat up your kitchen with the oven for hours to make amazing ribs. Your slow cooker and a few minutes under the broiler will do all the hard work for you, resulting in fall-off-the-bone, caramelized BBQ ribs.
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In a small bowl, use a small spoon to stir together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and maple syrup to make a paste.
Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and then rub the paste all over both sides of the racks. (Freezing instructions begin here.) Optional: You can wrap the ribs in a few layers of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 hours at this point to enhance the flavor.
Arrange the ribs around the perimeter of a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, with the meaty side facing outward and the wider end at the bottom. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 7 hours, until the ribs are tender. (We do not recommend cooking on High.)
Position the top oven rack about 6 inches below the broiler. Preheat the broiler. Cover a sheet pan with foil.
Using tongs, transfer the ribs to the sheet pan with bone side up and meaty side down. Brush BBQ sauce on the top side and broil for 2 to 4 minutes, until they start to brown. Flip and brush the other side with sauce. Broil for 6-10 more minutes, until well browned, brushing with sauce every few minutes.
Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with remaining BBQ sauce on the side.
Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1 and 2. Either cut the racks in half and place in a gallon-sized freezer bag OR wrap the full racks in several layers of plastic wrap and foil. Seal tightly and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen: Thaw. Follow Steps 3 through 6.
Instant Pot Ribs: We’ve tediously tested and nailed the recipe for Instant Pot Ribs, too! We love how fast you can cook ribs using this method.