Don't dismiss me for not using a smoker for this classic southern dish. Just take a deep breath and accept that I'm lazy and not "well-funded" enough to afford my own smoker. Furthermore, don't dismiss me for declaring that I will never see a need to use a smoker for this recipe, because it's just as good in the slow cooker...and a trillion times easier. The meat quite literally falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Now, I know a lot of my other slow cooker recipes call for no preliminary prep work (as in all you need to do is put everything right in and turn the thing on); however, this one takes just a wee bit of prep. But chillax - it's just the rub...I was still able to get my honkin' slab of ribs rubbed down in a couple minutes and into the slow cooker in a crunch with enough time to stop by Starbucks on my way to work!
I served this to my brother, who - let's be real - is nothing but honest. He's family...and family is often the most brutally honest, for better or for worse. Like the time I died my hair red, everyone told me it looked great. My brother, on the other hand, told me I looked like an uglier version of Carrot Top. Or how 'bout in college...when I blew up from a combination of bulky lifting for my collegiate sport and heavy drinking in the off season. I was sporting the physique of the Michelin Man and brother dearest kept me honest about it... by calling me "Frank." In fact, he still calls me Frank....but that's neither here nor there. All in all, I'm thankful for his relative lack of filter. Must be where I get it from.
MY POINT IS, if this dish were to taste like crap, he'd have noooo problem telling me. We sat down to eat, and he was too busy ripping the meat (or, rather, letting it fall) off the bone to say anything at first. Once he finally took a breath and wiped the sauce off his face, he was raving. HAH...jk...we Amato kids NEVER wipe sauce off our faces...we just try to stretch our tongues around our faces as far as possible in order to lick it all off...no man left behind, am I right? Anyways, I was feeling SO generous and sisterly that I even let him take home the leftovers (not that there were many...between the two of us we cleared about 3 lbs of the stuff...).
For the sauce, I used my Blackberry BBQ Sauce, which was BOMB and gave a great, unique flavor to the ribs. However, you can also make it with my Tangy BBQ Sauce for your traditional tomato-based BBQ ribs...you won't be disappointed, trust me!
- 3-4 lbs. baby back ribs
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups Blackberry BBQ Sauce or Tangy BBQ sauce (or whatever other BBQ sauce you want)
- Pat your ribs dry. Combine the paprika, coconut sugar, sea salt and pepper and liberally rub the mixture all over the ribs - front and back.
- Place the ribs in your slow cooker, meat side up. If your slow cooker doesn't fit the ribs flat, arrange them so that they stand on their side and wrap around the wall of the slow cooker (meat side against the wall).
- Pour your BBQ sauce over the ribs and place the lid on. Set your slow cooker to LOW for 8-10 hours (the more ribs you have, the longer it should cook).
- When the time is up, remove your ribs to a serving/cutting board.
- OPTIONAL: From here, you can go ahead and eat up; however, if you have the time or patience, I recommend turning on your broiler and moving the ribs to an aluminum-lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. MANGIA!
Servings: 3-5 (depending on how many ribs you start with)