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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crock Pot Boneless Country-Style Ribs

Well, it's about time I posted a crock pot recipe.

I haven't used my crock pot in months.  It takes up too much room in my kitchen, so I keep it on a shelf in the basement.  Out of sight, out of mind.

And then, when I finally get around to using it, I can't help but wonder:  why don't I use this more often? 

This is one of my favorite crock pot recipes.  I've tweaked it quite a bit over the years.  In its original incarnation, I just poured a bottle of BBQ sauce into the crock pot, dumped in the ribs and let it cook for 8 hours.  I've come a long way since then.

The playlist is very short today, as it will only take about 10 minutes to prep the ingredients!

Today's Playlist
  • "Little Bitty Pretty One".........Bobby Day
  • "Another Saturday Night"......Sam Cooke
  • "O Sole Mio"......Lou Monte
  • "I've Got You Under My Skin"..........Frank Sinatra




Crock Pot Recipe:
Boneless Country-Style Ribs
  • 3 lbs. boneless pork country-style ribs
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce



  • Gather your ingredients.

    Slice your onion:

    Cut in in half.


    Slice into half-moons.

    Place onion slices in the crock pot.

    Add boneless ribs to the crock pot.


    Sprinkle minced garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper over the ribs.


    Then I flip the ribs over, and flip them again, so hopefully there will be sugar, salt, pepper and garlic on both sides.  But don't stress, it all comes together when it cooks.


    Pour in the apple juice.  This is a 6.75 ounce box of apple juice, slightly more than the 3/4 cup that I listed in the ingredients.  It's okay.  This is not an exact science.


    Cook on the LOW setting for 7 to 8 hours.  Whatever fits your schedule.


     This is what it looks like after 7 hours.  Not very attractive, I know.  But it tastes awesome!

    Remove the pork from the crock pot to a plate.

    Remove the onions as well.

    This is what is left in the crock pot.  Apple juice, and lots of other liquid.  The fat has rendered.  Dump out all of this.  In its entirety.  You do not want this.

    Quickly swipe the inside of the still-hot crock pot with a paper towel, to remove any last remnants of what-have-you.

    Pour one cup of the barbecue sauce into the crock pot.  Spread it around to cover the bottom of the pot.

    Return the pork and onions back into the crock pot.
    Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce over the pork and onions.

    Gingerly stir to coat.  Do not stir too vigorously, the pork is at the point now where it will very easily fall apart if handled roughly.

    Set your crock pot to HIGH and cook for one more hour.

     Sean and Erin wanted to eat theirs in a sandwich, so I toasted some rolls.
    Mr. Terrific and I skipped the fluffy rolls and went straight to the good stuff.

    Enjoy!!



71 comments:

  1. I LOVE that you include a playlist! Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Thank you......enjoy the recipe! :)

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    2. silly question? but is this the same as pork spare ribs?

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    3. Not a silly question at all! They are not the same. This recipe uses country-style ribs, which have larger bones (even though this recipe uses boneless ribs, the meat has been cut off of the larger rib bones). You could probably use spare ribs for this recipe, why not? If you do, leave a comment and let me know how they come out! Good luck! :)

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  2. I'm trying this today! Thanks for the great tute!

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  3. I'm trying this today! Thanks for the great tute!

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  4. I found your recipe via Creations by Kara today since she linked back to you. An awesome coincidence since I'd bought some country boneless pork ribs on quick sale yesterday but I'd never made them before and had no idea what to do with them.. I actually had all of the other ingredients on hand so this is in the slow cooker now. Hubby will be so happy we're having barbeque tonight. Thanks!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! This recipe is one of my family's favorite crock pot dishes...I hope you enjoy it. Cheers! --Fran

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  5. Making this now and it smells delicious! Just happened to have all the ingredients! I will serve it with yummy mashed potatoes!

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    1. Yum, you're making me wish that my house smelled as good. I'm going to have to plan to make this again soon! :)

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  6. Absolutely delicious.!! making this for the second time tomorrow

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  7. So happy that you liked it!! :)

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  8. I got your recipe off of pinterest. All my local grocery had was pork spare ribs. It's in the crock pot now smelling amazing. I will post again later when they are done, let you know how the spare ribs turned out!

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    1. Hi Meredith! That's terrific......let us know how the spareribs turn out, it would be nice to know that you can use them as a substitution!

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  9. I made these tonight. We haven't eaten yet, but the smell delicious. The only thing is that they don't seem quite as tender as I was hoping. I had the in the crockpot for the alloted time and followed all the directions. The only thing is that I have a slightly smaller crockpot I believe. It is rectangular with a warming plate. Do you have any suggestions on what I could do for next time to make them more tender?

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    1. Hi Doni,I appreciate your comment! I think that a small crockpot might make a difference, if the ribs need to be piled up high to fit in the crockpot, then they wouldn't be cooking in the liquid. Were your ribs covered with the liquid while they were cooking?

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  10. Hi Fran,

    I made this recipe this weekend and it was a hit!! My honey absolutely loved them and my house smelled soooo good in the process!

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    1. Hi Rae, I appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback....I'm so glad you liked the ribs!! :)

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  11. I tried it today and it was awesome. The whole family loved it.
    I didnt have apple juice so I substituted with orange juice. It was good.
    I will forsure cook again. :)

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    1. Glad you liked it! I think you could probably use any acidic fruit juice....I've also made this with pineapple juice when I didn't have apple juice. I think apple juice is just a natural go-to for pork.....reminds me of that old episode of the Brady Bunch, "pork chops, and apple sauce!"

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  12. I made a recipe before that was kind of like this but with a bit of apple vinegar, apple sauce instead of juice and liquid smoke- cooked in oven. I couldn't find the recipe and was afraid I wasnt going to run out of time to prep it all and cook it. Then I just happened to stumble across this one for the crock pot and decided, why not give it a try (except i had apple cider so I used it instead lol)
    Thank god it all came out pretty good but it wasnt as golden as my husband usually likes so I cooked it on low for 6 hours. Took it out and put in foil pouch, brushed it with baby rays and topped it off on te grill. YUMMY!! Thank you so much :)

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    1. I like the idea of finishing it on the grill...I'll have to try that! Thanks for visiting :)

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  13. The only ingredient I was missing was apple juice so I took a chance and used a 12 0z, Gatorade Fruit Punch.
    Who Knew??
    This turned out great!!!

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    1. Hi Mary, Thanks for letting us know that we can add gatorade to the ever-growing list of juice substitutions! :)

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  14. << Cooking Dad. Just turned on the crock pot. I hope they come out as good as they smell. Thanks Fran. By the way, what do you cook as side dishes with this?

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy those ribs! My standard side dishes for the picky eaters in this household are rice pilaf or roasted potatoes, and green beans or a salad. Follow this link http://www.whatsfordinnerfran.blogspot.com/2011/05/spectacular-side-dishes-part-ii.html and it will take you to my post with recipes for a spectacular spinach salad and loaded baked potato skins. If you have the ingredients on hand, and the time to spend in the kitchen, these are two of my favorite side dishes! Good luck! :)

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  15. Hi Fran, just today bought some country style ribs and will cook overnight for tomorrow's dinner with salad and baked potato. Thanks for the wonderful EASY and step by step directions...wish me luck!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Good luck and enjoy :)

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  16. Do you think I could use pork tenderloin instead?

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    1. Hi, Thank you for visiting my blog! I've never tried this with pork tenderloin, but I think it would probably work. One adjustment that I would suggest would be to shorten the cooking time....tenderloin is a very lean cut and would dry out if cooked for the 8 hours that this recipe calls for. I would probably cook it for 5 hours, then when you switch out the liquid for the bbq sauce, give it another half hour to an hour. I hope this works. Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out!

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  17. I made this today. I didn't change a thing. The house smelled amazing when I got home. The only thing that didn't work out was stirring it "gingerly", I ended up with pulled pork!! :) I made mashed potatoes and served it over the potatoes. The family LOVED it!! I will be making this again for sure!!

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    1. Hi Kristen, Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you were happy with the recipe, even if stirring it gingerly morphed it into something you weren't expecting. Nice that you were willing to go with the flow! :)

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  18. I made this for my son and his friends. They ate it on bread and said it was fantastic. I followed your recipe to a T.

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  19. Love your recipe - I have a similar one I use and it is always delicious - I also add 3 tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 heaped teaspoon chopped ginger and a teaspoon of chinese five spice - adds a wonderful spicy taste and richness.

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    1. Hi Faye, Thank you for stopping by! I'm going to have to give your variation a try--you had me at peanut butter! :)

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  20. I didn't have apple juice so I mixed apple sauce with warm water and made my own! :) PERFECT....

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  21. Found this too late to really cook it for the proper time on "low", so I am doing it on high and watching it closely... that said, my house smells so GOOD! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Erin, I hope your ribs taste as good as they smell!

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  22. Do you think I could use applesauce instead of apple juice? It would save me a trip to the store today. :)
    Thanks!

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    1. Garrett--Go for it!! There will be so much liquid released by the ribs, I think you will do fine!

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  23. It's great that you're still answering comments on a post this old. :) I'm waiting for the last 30 minutes or so of cooking in the sauce before I tuck in, but this recipe aced my preliminary taste test a few minutes ago. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. I made this several months ago and it turned out great. My mom had the left overs and asked for the recipe. She then recommended it to my sister who asked me to make it for her wedding shower this weekend. Only for that, I am going to try it with a different pork cut and turn it into pulled pork for sandwiches. This is definitely one recipe I will be keeping!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback! My kids also prefer it in a pulled pork sandwich.

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  25. Would this recipe work with boneless beef country style ribs? They were on sale, and this recipe sounds delicious! Also I have a 1.5 quart crock pot.. any advice?

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    1. Hi Yana, Thank you for stopping by. I don't see why you couldn't use the beef ribs instead of pork. I'm not sure about the smaller crock pot size, however--the meat on the bottom would be sitting in the liquid and the meat on top might get dry. Maybe stirring the ribs carefully every couple of hours would help to keep them from drying out?

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  26. I am trying this tomorrow for my birthday dinner and my husbands fathers day dinner. I cant wait!

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    1. Happy Birthday, Jenny! Hope you have a wonderful day, and enjoy those ribs! :)

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    2. My house smells DELISH! and thank you!

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    3. I'm cooking this right now for my daughter's 11th birthday cookout! Smells amazing! Thank you!

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    4. Great day for a cookout, Mary Lou. Thanks for stopping by, and a very Happy Birthday to your daughter!

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  27. I want to make this today, but won't be able to start until about 3pm so I don't have time for crock pot. Any suggestions on doing it in the oven?

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    1. Hi Jami, Thanks for visiting! I have never done these ribs in the oven, so I can't really say that it would be the same. If I WERE going to give it a try, however, this is what I would do: 1. brown the meat in olive oil (1 to 2 tablespoons) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. After the meat has browned, place it in a roasting pan and then saute the onions in the same skillet until they are softened. Add the onions to the meat in the roasting pan 2. Here is where I'm going to change things up: I would probably just cover the ribs with the barbecue sauce and roast them at this point. I wouldn't use the apple juice because that is just liquid to keep the ribs moist over the long period of time in the slow cooker. Cover the pan with foil and roast at 350 degrees for about an hour (until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached). I have no idea if this will work, you may end up with ribs in a watery-bbq sauce in which case you would drain the liquid and add some fresh bbq sauce. I hope the ribs will turn out as tender as they do in the slow cooker. If you do try this, would you come back and leave a comment and let us know how the oven method worked? Good Luck!!

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  28. Will do! I just put it in the oven.

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  29. Delicious!!! They were tender, not as tender as would be in the crock pot, but could still cut with a fork. It was a little watery, but the sauce was still very flavorful. I really sautéed the onions, almost caramelizing them. Very tasty!!

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    1. That's great! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's good to know a time-saving alternative to cooking with the crock pot!

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  30. Tried this recipe several months ago, and it's now a family favorite. So easy, and delicious. I didn't have the apple juice, so used applesauce and it turned out just fine. We are going on a family beach trip soon, and plan to use this recipe. Thanks so much!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Cheryl, and for suggesting applesauce instead of apple juice. Enjoy your time at the beach with your family!

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  31. I am about to get my crock pot out and start this for dinner tonight. It sounds so good! Luckily, I have all the ingredients on hand (hooray for stocking up!). Back to school for my oldest tomorrow so I don't want to fuss with dinner tonight - too much to do! Thanks for the recipe :)

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  32. Hi Fran! I am cooking this for the THIRD time today! To intensify the wonderful apple flavor, I use frozen apple juice concentrate diluted just a little. Then we throw them on the Big Green Egg (in one of those vegetable grilling baskets) for about 20 minutes after the eight hour crockpot time. Great smoky flavor!

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  33. I've made this recipe a couple times and the family loves it! Best ribs ever! Thank you

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    1. Thank you for the comment! Happy New Year!

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  34. I just found your recipe after I had my boneless ribs in the crock pot on high for an hour... I now put them on low...added two applesauce cups and some honey to the bbq sauce that I already had in there. I had added a bit of water earlier. I also added the salt and pepper and some garlic. We'll see how it turns out. I hope great!

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    1. Sounds like you added all the right ingredients! Hope it turned out well! :)

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  35. this is one of my favorite recipes! any idea how many weight watchers points this would be???

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    1. Hi Mrs. Hyde, Thanks for stopping by! I have no experience with weight watchers so unfortunately I can't answer your question. Maybe if someone reads this comment and knows the answer, they can take the time to respond and let us know :)

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  36. Im making this on Sunday!!!!
    Gracias!!!!!
    Nidia Corzo

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  37. I made this with beef country style boneless ribs and it was delicious! I used about 1 cup barbecue sauce because it was all I had and it was plenty. I used orange juice instead of apple because it was the only juice I had--so glad it's not an exact science! My daughter, son and husband all loved it!

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    1. I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment! I like that you used what you had on hand and it all worked out :)

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  38. Thank you so much for posting the picture with the juice box. I was just thinking that I wanted to make this for tonight but don't have apple juice. Your picture reminded me that I have a handful of juice boxes left over from my son's birthday party that probably won't be used otherwise. Thanks for saving dinner for us!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Emily! Happy Birthday to your son, and I hope you enjoy your dinner!

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