I eventually found this recipe and I finally thought I might be able to make ribs on my own.
A couple weeks ago, the local grocery store had baby back ribs on special, so I picked up a rack and decided to give a try someday soon. I liked this recipe because she adapted it from America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker cookbook, which I had flipped at the library recently. They usually have great recipes that are fairly easy to do at home.
I followed the cooking method from the above recipe, but used Todd Wilbur's version of Chili's Baby Back Ribs rub and BBQ sauce.
Here's my recipe:
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke (concentrated)
½ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Heat for two hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally until thick. I made this day before and stored in the fridge until I was ready for it. This recipe makes a little over 1 cup of sauce for me.
2 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 lbs pork (baby) back ribs - leave the membrane on the ribs to help hold them together1 cup barbecue sauce (The sauce made above or you could use a store bought sauce of your choice.)
Combine the rub ingredients in a bowl and rub 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 cooked mine for 6 hours and they came out perfectly. I checked the temperature with a meat thermometer before taking them out. Also, I highly recommend using a slow cooker liner, it makes clean-up super easy.
Once the initial slow cooking is done, very carefully (as they are tender and want to fall apart) remove the ribs to a baking pan which you have lined with foil and put a rack on, bone side up. Set to the side. 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. I simmered on low, but I probably should have had it a little higher. It didn't reduce as much as I thought it should. Put your oven's broiler on to heat up and make sure that there is an oven rack about 10 inches below the broiler element. When 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 to baste with more sauce. Serve any remaining sauce on the side with the ribs.