The Secret to Perfect BBQ Ribs

If you're hosting a BBQ and want to break out a special but stress-free dish, this is it! I’ve figured out a secret shortcut to making juicy, tender ribs every time; start in the slow cooker and just finish them on the grill or under the broiler for that crispy char. Paired with this Bourbon BBQ sauce they’re finger-licking, bone-sucking delicious. And the sauce is a great way to use up leftover bourbon if you happen to have a bottle sitting in your bar.


Slow Cooker Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • Serves 4
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 Hours, mostly inactive


  • 2 c ketchup
  • ⅔ c apple cider vinegar
  • ⅔ c light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp mild hot sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 3 lbs pork back ribs


  • Combine all ingredients but the ribs in a small saucepot, simmer for 30 minutes; let cool. (Yields 3 cups Bourbon BBQ sauce).
  • Combine the ribs and BBQ Sauce in a slow cooker, cutting ribs if necessary to fit. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until very tender.
  • When ready to serve: Preheat a grill or broiler.
  • If using a grill, place ribs in foil and fold into packet. Place on grill and cook for 5-10 minutes, until sauce caramelizes in places on the ribs.
  • If using a broiler, arrange ribs on foil-lined baking sheets. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until sauce caramelizes and crisps in places, watching and rotating the pan throughout the process.
  • Remove and cut into individual ribs. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.

MORE: Spicy Slow Cooker Steak.


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