Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Short Ribs

BBQ Beef Ribs in Slow Cooker
Paul Poplis/Getty Images
Ratings (13)
  • Total: 6 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1373 Calories
99g Fat
31g Carbs
84g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Simply delectable, these slow cooker barbecue beef short ribs are moist, tender and flavorful. It's a great way to enjoy barbecue when you don't have a grill or smoker. As well, you can easily take along a slow cooker for a get together without tying up an oven.

You will give the short ribs a quick sear to seal in the flavor and give them a delicious browning before placing them into your slow cooker. You will need to set a reminder for the ​three-hour mark so you can drain away the rendered fat and add the barbecue seasoning before finishing the cooking for another two to three hours. The draining is essential so you get nicely glazed ribs.

You can use your favorite barbecue sauce for this recipe. Most bottled sauces are in the Kansas City style, which goes well with ribs, or you can use your own homemade barbecue sauce. If you want more spice, you could add some cayenne pepper to the seasoning mixture. Look for a smoky barbecue sauce if you want to add smoke flavor. Or, you can add a few drops of liquid smoke.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds/1.4 kilograms beef short ribs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons/7.5 milliliters kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons/30 milliliters olive oil
  • 1/3 cup/80 milliliters beef stock
  • 1/4 cup/60 milliliters red wine
  • 1/2 cup/119 milliliters water (divided)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup/240 milliliters barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 milliliters garlic powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Apply the salt and black pepper to the ribs.

  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Place the ribs into the skillet and sear all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes total.

  3. Remove the ribs from the pan and add them to the slow cooker.

  4. Combine the beef stock, red wine, and 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of water and pour it over ribs. Optionally, add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke.

  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker, set the temperature for medium heat, and allow the ribs to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. At this point, the ribs will render a lot of fat.

  6. Drain the ribs (discarding all of the liquid) and place the ribs back into slow cooker.

  7. Combine the barbecue sauce, 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) of water, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, chili powder, and garlic powder until mixed through. Pour the mixture over ribs and reduce heat to low. Allow the ribs to cook for another 2 to 3 hours.

Serve the beef ribs with your favorite sides. Ribs go great with coleslaw, potato salad, french fries, collard greens, corn on the cob, or baked beans.

For easier cleaning of your slow cooker use a slow cooker liner. Otherwise, the caramelized sauce can take some scrubbing to remove. Look for them in the grocery section where you find aluminum foil and plastic bags.