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.


#fbf to 1994 (ish) with my buds, @richardwiese and @wendirogerstv Bought that sport coat on sale for about 20 bucks because that’s all I had in the bank. Was 10% wool and 90% “other.” Got caught in the rain with it and smelled like wet dog ass all night.

Nine years ago, I made a vow to live my life based on three guiding principles: Love, Awe and Gratitude. Today, instead of feeling sad, angry or anxious about The Chew’s cancellation, I will look through the lens of Gratitude and thank: My cohosts, @chefsymon and @carlaphall, for being two of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The crew and staff of The Chew for being so dedicated, hardworking and collaborative. Our viewers for allowing us into your homes each day to share a laugh and a recipe — and a cocktail. It’s been a fun run and I am so freakin’ lucky to have been a part of it. Much love, CK ❤️

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