Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs

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Who doesn’t love pork ribs? Well, I can definitely see those with OCD having a problem with it. But the mess is part of the fun.

Of course to make them for real you need to smoke them low and slow (or at least that’s the rumor). Unfortunately, despite our apartment complex having the name “Patio Gardens” we have neither a patio nor a garden (that’s what we get for living on the second floor), so I can’t actually smoke them over charcoal for hours and hours. That and I have to go to work on Mondays so it couldn’t have been dinner in that case.

Enter the slow cooker. Sure, it’s not real barbeque (hence the quotes in the title; they are not superfluous) but it’s as close as I’m going to get in the near future. And, frankly, it’s still good so who really cares?

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Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs

1/4 cup All Purpose Red Rub
1/2 rack pork spareribs (about 2 lbs)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 bottle barbeque sauce (preferably Dinosaur Bar-B-Que)

  1. Preferably one day before serving, trim any excess fat from the spareribs and cover them well with the red rub. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Remove the spareribs from the refrigerator and dry the outside with paper towels (some of the rub will come off). Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat with the canola oil until smoking. Brown the spareribs in the skillet, about 2 to 3 minutes per side (the rib side won’t brown particularly well because of the curvature of the ribs).
  3. Place the spareribs in the slow cooker and cover with barbeque sauce. Cook on low heat for at least 8 hours. Remove from the slow cooker and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 2 to 3.

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All Purpose Red Rub
Adapted from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse

1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup garlic powder
6 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sealable plastic container and mix well.

Makes 2 3/4 cups.

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5 Responses to “Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs”


  1. 1 Rose October 17, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    Those fries look beautiful – did you make them too?

  2. 2 Matt October 17, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I did make the fries. They ended up slightly undercooked. They needed to be browned a bit more but they were still good.

  3. 3 loopykd October 23, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Nope! I call ribs “Too much work for not enough food”. Same with Crabs. Although I just plain don’t eat shellfish but since I have been cooking more and enjoying experimenting with foods, I am eating much much more fish. Nice photos though.

  4. 4 Rhonda September 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Uh, 1/2 what of garlic powder? cup? tablespoon? The recipe looks great and I plan to try it today if I can get that pesky garlic powder question resolved….. Thanks.


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