Super-Simple Baby Back Ribs

Get the printable recipe 🙂

I’m a huge fan of fall-off-the-bone-ribs and restaurants are great but expensive…especially if you’re going for ribs. There’s even a rib-fest where I live (it’s huge) but it’s also extremely expensive. If you want lots of ribs (or wanna spoil some friends) you’ll have to learn to cook them. Frozen Crockpot Chronicles’ Super-Simple Baby Back Ribs are steamed in the crockpot, then you can choose to finish them on the grill or sauce-and-eat. You can have your ribs ready to hit the grill when you get home…or later in the evening. They’re easy. I promise.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • 2 Full Racks of baby back/St. Louis/back ribs (not country or spareribs)
  • Your favorite bbq sauce
  • Liquid smoke, couple dashes (technical, huh?)
  • 1T salt, garlic powder, onion powder and Mrs. Dash
  • 1t pepper, chili powder and (optional) red pepper flakes
  • 2t brown sugar

Depending on your schedule, consider cooking the ribs overnight. This will give them time to cool during the day, which will help them hold together when you’re moving them. They will fall apart.

Spoiler Alert: This recipe is for eat-em-with-a-fork-ribs. There is no real picking them up but that’s the way I like them. We serve them in the center of the picnic table on a huge tray, family style. If you don’t (and I respect that) you can get a firmer rib by boiling instead of steaming them. I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried this but if you want to boil your ribs:

Directions for Boiling Your Ribs

  • Prepare your ribs, using the directions in the recipe
  • Bring enough water to cover the ribs and half of the spice rub to a boil on the stovetop
  • Boil the ribs for 10-15 minutes
  • Remove ribs from water and cool on your tray or platter
  • Coat ribs with the remaining spice rub
  • Grill ribs according to the recipe

Okay, here we go. First we have to prep the ribs. Really easy, we’re just removing the membrane…it’s that silvery skin on the back of the ribs. This video from Chris Grove shows it best.


  • After you’ve removed the membrane, cut the ribs in half.
  • Mix all the spices and the brown sugar in a small bowl then apply the rub to the ribs.
  • Spray the crockpot and fill ¼ inch with water.
  • Add a couple dashes of liquid smoke.
  • Ball up sheets of aluminum foil and put them in the crockpot so the ribs will set above the water.
  • Add the ribs to the crock, cover and cook eight hours on low.
  • Allow the ribs to cool before removing them from the crockpot.

Now you’re ready to grill:

  • Prep your coals and light your grill
  • Overlap two large sheets of aluminum foil to create one giant rectangle on your grill platter/tray, spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray, and crumple the short edges together to create a canoe-shaped pocket. This will help get the ribs off the grill.
  • Put the ribs directly on the foil when removing them from the crockpot.
  • Once the coals are glowing (not flaming) transfer the entire foil sheet (with ribs) to the grill.
  • Once they’re warmed through, sauce your ribs and continue grilling until hot, turning throughout.
  • Move the entire sheet of ribs back to your platter. Lift or slide it using the edges of the foil.

I know it sounds like a lot but it isn’t. And the crockpot, some tongs and a platter are your only dirty dishes! To keep clean up simple, grill a mix and match veggie packet as a side dish.

If you have any tips on boiling ribs or want to share your favorite rib recipe, I’d love to hear your comments!


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