Friday, January 27, 2012

Double Take: Crockpot BBQ Ribs

I love ribs. I love to bite them off the bone savoring each delicious bite. I love a rib sauce that has a blend of mustard's tang and molasses'/brown sugar's sweetness combined with rich tomato flavor. I also like it when supper doesn't take hours to prepare though. With the time of the busy grad student and busy people in mind, its useful to have a selection of tasty meals on hand for meals that are nearly ready to eat upon return from a long day. I hope you enjoy the crockpot recipes Mel and I will be sharing once per month. If there's something you'd like to see done more easily in a crockpot than over the stove for a while, leave one of us a note.

Without further ado, here's my crockpot ribs recipe. Note: The last steps include baking the rib meat in the oven and boiling down the sauce. I find this unnecessary so if you're starving and want to go ahead and eat, do so. If you have extra time or want to make a couple sides, go for broiling the ribs. They'll be done when your sides are complete. 

Crockpot BBQ, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and homemade Macaroni and cheese.
Mmm..This is comfort food.

Crockpot BBQ Ribs (adapted from m is for mommy)


1.5 tbsp sweet paprika (the regular kind from the store is fine)
1 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed 
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 
Salt (about 1 tsp)
pepper (I used 1 tsp freshly ground but I think 1/2 tsp freshly ground would be better)
2 lbs pork or beef (baby) back ribs (6 lbs) - leave the membrane on the ribs to help hold them together
barbecue sauce (1-3 cups or just use the recipe I used below)
Vegetable oil spray

How To:

In a small bowl, mix together paprika, brown sugar, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Rub this mixture all over both sides of your ribs well.

Arrange ribs in the slow cooker by standing them up against the wall of the stoneware pot, thicker side down and meaty side against the pot.  

Pour barbecue sauce over the ribs, cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low. (This depends on your crockpot setting. My settings have 8 and 10 hours of low but 6 is on high. Choose the shortest low time your cooker has.)

----Tick tock, you're at work...finally home again---

Make sure your crockpot is on a surface that you can easily look and reach down into the bowl. Using a large spoon, scoop the fat off the top of the mixture. 

Using tongs, remove the meat to an aluminum foil lined pan. Place the BBQ sauce in a sauce pot, bring to a simmer and cook down until it thickens.

Baste the meat with part of the BBQ sauce. (If you like it saucy, go heavy. If you're a light sauce person, go light.) 

Set the meat into the oven on broil. Wait 3-5 minutes. Flip the meat, baste again and broil again for 3-5 minutes. Serve.

BBQ Sauce (Adapted from Neely's BBQ Sauce)


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. microplaned onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or microplaned
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

How To:

I combined all together into the crockpot and gave it a stir. I made sure to pour it over the ribs. 

This can be concentrated by simmering in a sauce pot for 45 min - 1 hour if you want to use as traditional BBQ sauce. 


Pretty good but a bit sweet for me. In the future, I'd use less sauce for basting and I'd probably cut the sugar in the BBQ sauce to 3 Tbsp. I used the full sauce recipe but half would have been sufficient. The meat is not the chewy biting off the ribs sort but rather the melty, tender falling completely off the bone type BBQ. Becky loved it. I used beef ribs but would go with pork in the future. (They're my favorite and beef is a bit sweet with this bbq sauce.) 

2 forks up! Definitely one to repeat!

Hop, skip, or jump over to Mel's blog and check out her take on these crockpot ribs. ...Tell her Happy Birthday while you're at it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Double Takes: Item of the Month GRAPEFRUIT!

Double Takes is back! 

This time we're changing things up again. Its a new year and I'll be honest ....I don't do the same thing for very long without needing to mix things up a bit. We've decided to have sort of a weekly plan that mixes up our double takes. We've enjoyed featuring other blogger's recipes and will continue to do that once per month. In addition, we'll be showcasing an Item of the Month (random item that each of us incorporate into a recipe we develop separately), a crockpot recipe (b/c everyone needs meal shortcuts...especially grad students that spend too much time in the lab and too little time petting kitties), and a bread/cheese/or something that uses or goes with bread and cheese. Sound fun? I hope so. If you have other things you'd like to see us test, let us know. We like comments. 

This month's item of the month is.......GRAPEFRUIT! This turned out to be more of a puzzle than I expected. I like the tartness of this citrus. However, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. I like baking though so I had a couple ideas and settled on a crostata. This is the second crostata I've made now. The first, cranberry apple crostata with tangerine crema, was a major hit with my family the past Thanksgiving. This time I wanted to find something to pair with grapefruit. Yeah, what goes with grapefruit anyway?! I looked to see what other people paired and didn't really find much. I decided to think about appearance...color contrast, flavor contrast, and shape variation. I landed on raspberry. Weird, right? Tart with tart? Stick with me here. Since the fruit gets combined with brown sugar and then baked, its surprisingly sweet ...especially hot out of the oven or even reheated. If eaten chilled, the sugars can recrystallize and you'll definitely be hit with some tartness. 

Grapefruit Raspberry Crostata with Meyer Lemon Crema