Weeknight Indoor Ribs
Ribs don’t get much easier—or tastier—than these, thanks to our time-saving starter. A blend of tomatoes, molasses, vinegar and spices, it adds a sweet-smoky taste to baby back ribs, which simmer to tender perfection in a slow cooker. Just before serving, use a smoking gun to infuse the meat with natural mesquite flavor.
- 1 jar (25 oz.) rib starter
- 2 slabs baby back ribs, about 5 lb. total
- 1 cup chicken stock
Set aside 3/4 cup of the rib starter for brushing the ribs and 1 cup of the starter for serving.
Cut the rib slabs in half and place in a slow cooker. Add the remaining starter and the stock. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the ribs are fork-tender, about 7 hours (for best results, rotate the placement of the ribs halfway through cooking).
Preheat an oven to 500°F.
Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them, rounded side down, on an oven-safe grill/griddle or on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with half of the 3/4 cup reserved starter. Roast for 5 minutes, then turn the ribs over and brush with the remaining half of the starter. Roast for 5 minutes more.
Place the ribs in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, leaving a small opening in one corner. Fill the chamber of a handheld smoking gun with mesquite chips and smoke the ribs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat the smoking with another chamber of chips. Immediately seal the pan and let the ribs stand for 10 minutes.
Transfer the ribs to a carving board and cut between the bones. Serve immediately with the remaining 1 cup starter. Serves 6 to 8.