1.5 tbsp sweet paprika (3tbsp) (Edited Feb ’12 to say I’ve also used mild smoked paprika with fantastic results)
1 tbsp light brown sugar, lightly packed (2 tbsp)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
S&P to taste (about 1 tsp each is what I used)
2 lbs pork (baby) back ribs (6 lbs) – leave the membrane on the ribs to help hold them together
1 cup barbecue sauce (3 cups)
Vegetable oil spray.
In a small bowl, mix together paprika, brown sugar, cayenne and S&P. 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 (I did 7 hours and they were perfect).
Now comes the only stove/oven work involved, we need to reduce the sauce and then brown the ribs under the broiler. These steps are what turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, so don’t you dare skip them even if your ribs already look pretty good. Once the initial slow cooking is done, very carefully (as they are tennnnderrrrr) remove the ribs to a baking pan which you have lined with foil and put a rack on (like in my photo collage), bone side up and set aside. Skim any fat that has risen to the top and strain all of the remaining juices from the slow cooker through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Bring to boil and allow to simmer and reduce by about a third, approximately 15 minutes. Put your oven’s broiler on to preheat and make sure that there is an oven rack about 10 inches below the broiler element. Once the broiler is preheated, brush the ribs with sauce and broil for 3 or 4 minutes. Take them out and very carefully flip them over, brush with sauce and broil again, meat side up, for approximately 9 minutes, taking them out once or twice (I did only once because I forgot) to baste with more sauce. Serve any remaining sauce on the side with the ribs.
Hubby loved these ribs so much he said now he knows what he’ll request when he is offered the meal of his choice… he normally has a hard time making up his mind when offered, so that really means something.