You want your ribs to be fall-off-the-bone tender. The crockpot is a great choice. BUT, how do you go from this ugly mess:
Well I can tell you that if you just throw ribs and bbq sauce in a crockpot for 8 hours, you'll get some fall-off-the-bone ribs, but they'll be kind of funky. The bbq sauce won't have caramelized at all, and the liquids in the meat will have produced a really runny bbq sauce liquid. I've seen the method out there of lining the ribs around the edge of the crockpot so that it caramelizes from the heat of the pot itself, but it just doesn't work for me because I almost always make more than one rack at a time. I find the crockpot to be the easiest method to cook ribs and it is my go-to method, especially when cooking for a crowd. Combine the ease of the crockpot with my easy secret tip and you'll have yourself some pretty dang amazing ribs.
Check out this video for a quick demo:
Step 2: Give the ribs a dry rub if you want. This step is optional. Some people like a good dry rub first for additional flavor.
Step 3: Put your ribs in the crockpot. Lather them with bbq sauce. You can use a homemade sauce or a store-bought bottle. If you are going store-bought I recommend using Sweet Baby Ray's. Just remember to save a little bit for later.
Step 5: Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The more racks in the pot, the longer you'll need to cook.
Step 6: Gently remove the racks and lay them out on a foil lined baking tray. Add more barbecue sauce on top.
Step 7: Broil under a broiler for 3-5 minutes until the barbecue sauce starts to bubble and caramelize. Alternately you could wrap them in foil and throw them on a heated grill for the same effect. I sometimes do this for crowds and picnics. This keep the ribs warm until ready to eat and makes it easy to pass out portions.
Step 8: Enjoy!