Ribs 2-Ways Part I: BBQ Glazed Slow Cooker Ribs

I love my housemates so much that every time the grocery store has baby-back ribs half price, I buy two and throw them in the freezer. You should see the glee on Mr. Luz and Papayablue's faces when they unassumingly open the freezer to pull out a HotPocket, and find a freezer full of ribs instead!

This rib recipe is about as easy as it gets. It's so easy that I feel like I'm cheating, and I imagine that slow-smoked rib purists would say that I am cheating. To that I say "MMMMmmm....Mr. Purist, these fall-off-the-bone ribs are soooo good! What's that you say? It's too cold/rainy/hectic to baby your smoker for the next 5 hours? That's too bad. Enjoy your tuna salad!"

The rub has a distinct earthy, spicy flavor without overpowering the ribs themselves. I also like a tiny bit of caramelized sauce on the outside--here it completes the spicy, tangy flavor of the ribs and adds some velvety, caramelized texture as well.

BBQ Glaze Slow Cooker Ribs:

(serves two hungry people as an entree)
1/2 Rack Pork Baby Back Ribs
1/4 cup your Fav. BBQ Sauce
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
3/4 tsp. Black Pepper
3/4 tsp. White Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1/3 tsp. Cinnamon
Trim any large pieces of fat and tendon off the ribs. You don't have to remove the skin from the bone-side of the ribs, because it'll cook off, but you can if you prefer. Cut the racks into large pieces, so that they barely fit inside the crock pot when standing upright. You want the pieces to have enough "length," and therefore curvature to stand up and you want the outer edges to press into the sides of the crock pot if possible.
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl, and press it on all sides of the ribs. Cover and let sit overnight. (You can skip this step, but I wouldn't). Put the ribs in the crock pot standing up on their edge, with the meaty side out (Very important! This gives them a crisper texture, and keeps the ribs from becoming mushy. It also allows the meat to brown a little on the outside). Cook in a crock pot/slow cooker on high for 7-10 hours. The longer they cook, the more the ribs will condense into meaty yumminess.
Carefully remove ribs from slow-cooker with tongs, and place on a broiler pan. Brush the meaty side of the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce (thinned with a little water or beer, if you prefer) and broil on high until the sauce has caramelized onto the top of the ribs. Remove, and enjoy!


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  2. 1/3 cup cocoa powder? I hope that's not a typo, cause I'm doing it.

  3. Surprisingly, the cocoa actually works well. It was a nice change from my usual paprika based dry rub. Setting my slow cooker to high might be a bit much though, after 8 h hours the ribs were falling off the bone to the extent that I could no longer identify individual ribs. Some parts got pretty dry and crispy too. I'll try low next time.