Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crockpot Barbecue Beef Ribs

Say what, you asked?  If you know me or have read my blog for very long, you likely know I am somewhat of a BBQ purist and subscribe to this definition – BBQ is meat cooked slowly over low heat (preferably indirect) in a smoky environment.  I know that this is the minority opinion in America so nuf about that.  I used this title because it will probably be the only time I use the words barbecue and Crockpot in the same sentence and I just had to do it to see how it felt.

In my continuing and seeming lifelong effort to clean out our freezers, I discovered a rack of beef ribs that had been there for a couple of years and were not vacuum sealed so I suspected they might be in bad shape or at least old tasting.  After thawing, removing the foil and plastic wrapping, and rinsing they looked and smelled fine and with no freezer burn.

I was looking for an easy way to cook them with low energy usage for just one rack of ribs (rather than the grill, smoker, or oven) which is when the crockpot popped into my mind – it is after all just a small ceramic oven.  Since many BBQ rib cooks, roast the ribs for a while then wrap them in foil with a little liquid to steam for tenderness, I decided that this was exactly what the crock pot would do – roast them for a while until they gave up some liquid them steam them in that liquid.

I cut the rack into three pieces, dusted both sides with Chris Lily’s Brisket Rub and stood them in the pot on edge – the one uh-oh was forgetting to remove the membrane.

I cooked them on high for an hour, then on low until a toothpick would slide easily between the bones – the tenderness test – this was after about six total hours.  Then I removed them, dusted with some more rub, and put them on a hot grill fire to establish a crust on both sides, which took a very short time due to the flare ups.  I sliced them into individual ribs and served them up with some fries we had also found in the freezer.

Other than the slightly old flavor, they were actually pretty good, moist and tender, but could have spent a more time on low grill heat to expel a little more of the fat – I guess this could also be done in the crockpot, but direct heat seems to be more effective and I could see them better.  The membrane likely kept the fat from rendering as well.  While I chuckled as I wrote this, I would use the method again when it makes sense but I will never ever again call it barbecueJ

Mean while, back at the freezer – I have taken two kitchen size garbage bags full to the dump and discarded a huge pan of vegetables in the woods – found one 2010 item.  Since we no longer raise a big garden for preservation and I’ve closed my BBQ business, my goal is to eliminate one freezer and I’m almost there.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


10/10/14 meal date


  1. Great job with the crock pot ribs Larry. Notice I didn't say BBQ :)

  2. That is a nice easy way to tenderize any piece of meat, not a lover of beef ribs myself.
    When I closed my restaurant, I did not buy any food for about a year and a half or so as well emptying out my three freezers.

  3. Jim actually prefers pork ribs but I think even he would like this one. Can't imagine having to clean out freezers. Well, we do have a small one but it doesn't take too long to clean it out.

  4. We do "BBQ" pulled pork in the crock pot with shoulder. I think we will give this one a try including the grilling for a crust..

  5. Larry, First the garage and now a freezer!! You have been busy indeed... Very ambitious. The ribs looked very nice but I wouldn't have had the nerve to cook and eat them despite being frozen solid in a real freezer. Laurie and I used to do pork ribs like this from time to time. She'd bake them in foil in the oven and then I'd hit them on a flaming hot grill to give them texture and some nice crust. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. uh-oh, I guess I better rename my Mom's BBQ Meatballs. But I guess those meatballs were cooked slowly (in the oven) with a smoky environment (if liquid smoke counts) I'm with you about food purism. You know me and my enchilada vs burrito "thing". :) And, no matter how hard I try to use up stored food, that freezer stays at the same level. Seems odd.

  7. I have seen recipes for pork ribs cooked in the crockpot but never beef. It's amazing what can be found in the back of a big freezer. I need to do some cleaning out too. The ribs really do look good, Larry. Finishing them off on the grill must really help them along.

  8. I sometimes have to put on ski gloves and root through the bottom of the freezer to find forgotten items. There are many paths to cooking ribs. If you enjoyed them it is the correct path.

  9. That freezer of yours seems to be bottomless, Larry - LOL. I'm don't think I've ever cooked beef ribs before but they sure look great.

  10. Good job of cleaning out the freezer. Those ribs look delicious, so I would say you did well with a challenging situation.

  11. I don't know if it was all the membrane. I love beef ribs but they have some connective and fatty tissue that never seems to render all of the way gone. Your freezer diving reminds me of those new Coors Light commercials with divers and mountain climbers in the ice.


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