How To Make Country Style Ribs In Crock Pot [COMPLETE GUIDE]

Using a crock pot to make country style ribs is a convenient and delicious way to prepare this hearty and comforting dish. With the slow cooking process, you can achieve tender, juicy, and flavorful ribs without a lot of effort. This article will guide you through the process of selecting, preparing, and cooking country style ribs in a crock pot, offering detailed instructions and tips to ensure a successful and mouthwatering result.

Quick Answer: How Long To Make Country Style Ribs In Crock Pot

The time it takes to cook country style ribs in a crock pot can vary depending on the size of the ribs and the heat setting of the crock pot. In general, it takes approximately 6-8 hours on low heat or 3-4 hours on high heat to fully cook country style ribs in a crock pot. However, it’s crucial to ensure the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 145°F (63°C) to guarantee they are safe to eat.

Selection

When selecting country style ribs for your crock pot recipe, it’s important to understand that country style ribs are not actually ribs; rather, they are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier and contain a higher fat content compared to other rib cuts, making them flavorful and well-suited for slow cooking methods like the crock pot.

When choosing country style ribs, look for well-marbled cuts with a good amount of meat. Aim for a pinkish hue with creamy white fat, as this indicates freshness. While bone-in country style ribs can add more flavor during the cooking process, boneless ribs are also suitable for crock pot cooking and often offer easier serving.

Preparation

Before placing the country style ribs in the crock pot, you’ll want to prepare them properly to enhance their flavor and ensure an optimal cooking outcome.

1. Seasoning

Start by seasoning the ribs generously with salt and pepper. You can also add other dry rub ingredients, such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, or brown sugar, to create a more complex flavor profile. Massage the seasonings into the ribs, ensuring they are evenly coated.

2. Browning

While not mandatory, browning the ribs in a skillet before adding them to the crock pot can add a rich, caramelized flavor to the meat. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sear the seasoned ribs on all sides until they develop a golden-brown crust. This step also helps to lock in the juices and enhance the overall texture of the ribs.

3. Aromatics And Liquids

Consider adding aromatics such as onions, garlic, or herbs to the crock pot to infuse the ribs with additional layers of flavor. Additionally, pour in a liquid to help keep the ribs moist during the cooking process. Broth, apple juice, beer, or barbecue sauce are common choices that can complement the savory notes of the meat. Aim to cover the ribs about halfway with the liquid, allowing them to simmer in the flavorful bath as they cook.

Crock Pot Cooking Times For Country Style Ribs

The duration for cooking country style ribs in a crock pot can be adjusted based on your schedule and the desired tenderness of the meat. Here are general guidelines for both low and high heat settings:

Low Heat

Cooking country style ribs on low heat in the crock pot typically takes 6-8 hours. This extended cooking time allows the meat to tenderize slowly, resulting in ribs that are succulent and pull apart easily. Low heat is ideal for when you want to set the ribs to cook throughout the day, perhaps when leaving for work or tending to other tasks.

High Heat

If you’re pressed for time, cooking country style ribs on high heat in the crock pot can be accomplished in 3-4 hours. While this yields faster results, the meat may not be as tender and flavorful as when cooked on low heat. This setting is suitable for occasions when you need the ribs ready more quickly, such as when cooking for a dinner gathering in the evening.

Regardless of the setting you choose, it’s essential to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ribs. The ribs should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) to ensure they are cooked through and safe to eat.

How To Make Country Style Ribs In Crock Pot

For those who are new to using a crock pot or want a detailed step-by-step guide, here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the process:

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds of country style ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional dry rub seasonings (e.g., garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil (if searing)
  • Aromatics (e.g., onions, garlic, herbs)
  • 1-2 cups of liquid (e.g., broth, apple juice, beer, barbecue sauce)

Instructions

  1. Season the Ribs: Pat the country style ribs dry with paper towels and season them generously with salt and pepper. If desired, add dry rub seasonings to enhance the flavor.

  2. Sear the Ribs (Optional): Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the ribs on all sides until they develop a golden-brown crust.

  3. Prepare the Crock Pot: Place the aromatics, such as chopped onions and minced garlic, at the bottom of the crock pot. Then, pour in the liquid of your choice.

  4. Arrange the Ribs: Nestle the seasoned ribs into the crock pot, ensuring they are submerged about halfway in the liquid. If you seared the ribs, place them on top of the aromatics.

  5. Set the Heat: Choose the appropriate heat setting (low or high) based on your preference and schedule.

  6. Cook: Cover the crock pot with its lid and let the ribs cook for the recommended duration, periodically checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.

  7. Ensure Doneness: Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), they are fully cooked and ready to be served.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While cooking country style ribs in a crock pot is generally straightforward, there are a few common issues that may arise. Here’s how to troubleshoot them:

Dry Ribs

If the ribs come out dry after cooking, they may have been overcooked or lacked sufficient moisture. To prevent this, consider using a generous amount of liquid in the crock pot, or reducing the cooking time to maintain the juiciness of the meat.

Lacking Flavor

If the ribs seem bland, ensure they are adequately seasoned before cooking. Additionally, consider adding more aromatic ingredients, such as onions, garlic, or herbs, to infuse the ribs with depth of flavor.

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Excess Fat

Given that country style ribs tend to have a higher fat content, you may find an excess of rendered fat in the cooking liquid. To address this, use a ladle or spoon to skim off the fat from the surface before serving, or refrigerate the liquid to allow the fat to solidify for easier removal.

Making country style ribs in a crock pot is a rewarding way to create a delectably tender and flavorful dish with minimal hands-on time. By selecting quality ribs, preparing them thoughtfully, and utilizing the appropriate cooking times and methods, you can achieve a satisfying result that will have your friends and family asking for seconds. With a bit of patience and attention to detail, you can master the art of crafting sumptuous country style ribs that will become a beloved staple in your home cooking repertoire.

Achieving Perfect Texture

Country style ribs are a delicious and meaty cut of pork that are perfect for slow cooking. The tender and flavorful meat is ideal for those looking to create a hearty and comforting meal. One of the best ways to prepare country style ribs is by using a crock pot. Crock pots, or slow cookers, are a kitchen appliance that allows for effortless cooking over an extended period of time.

One of the main benefits of using a crock pot to cook country style ribs is the ability to achieve a tender and juicy texture. The slow and low cooking method breaks down the tough fibers in the meat, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth ribs. To ensure perfect texture, there are a few key steps you can follow.

Firstly, it’s important to sear the ribs before placing them in the crock pot. This step helps to lock in the flavor and juices of the meat. To sear the ribs, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil and sear the ribs on all sides until they are browned. This process will add a caramelized crust to the ribs, enhancing both the texture and flavor.

Once the ribs are seared, transfer them to the crock pot. It is crucial to arrange the ribs in a single layer to ensure even cooking. If necessary, cut the ribs into smaller individual pieces to fit in the crock pot.

Next, choose a cooking liquid that will help to tenderize the meat even further. A combination of broth and your choice of seasonings, such as garlic, onions, and herbs, can be used as the base for the cooking liquid. Pour the mixture over the ribs in the crock pot, ensuring the liquid covers the ribs completely.

Flavor Infusion

Another advantage of using a crock pot for country style ribs is that it allows for the flavors to meld and infuse into the meat. Slow cooking in a flavorful liquid allows the ribs to absorb the aromatics and seasonings, resulting in a rich and tasty dish. Consider the following tips to maximize flavor infusion.

To enhance the flavor of your country style ribs, add aromatic ingredients to the cooking liquid. Garlic and onions are popular choices, as they release their flavors during the slow cooking process. You can also experiment with herbs and spices, such as thyme, rosemary, paprika, or cayenne pepper, to add depth and complexity to the dish.

Utilizing a marinade before cooking can also significantly boost the flavor profile of your country style ribs. Prepare a marinade with ingredients like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic. Place the ribs in a ziplock bag, pour the marinade over them, and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, or preferably overnight. The longer the marination period, the more intense the flavors will be.

Furthermore, consider adding a barbecue sauce or glaze to the country style ribs towards the end of the cooking process. This will add a delicious sticky and sweet layer to the ribs, enhancing their taste and presentation. Brush the barbecue sauce or glaze onto the ribs during the last 30 minutes of cooking and allow it to caramelize.

Aroma

One of the most enticing aspects of cooking country style ribs in a crock pot is the mouth-watering aroma that fills your home. The slow and gentle cooking method allows the flavors to develop gradually, resulting in an irresistible smell. Here are a few tips to maximize the aroma of your crock pot country style ribs.

Firstly, be sure to include aromatic ingredients, such as onions, garlic, and herbs, in the cooking process. These ingredients release their natural oils and fragrance during the long cooking time, creating an inviting aroma in your kitchen.

Additionally, consider using spices that have a strong and distinctive aroma. Cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and paprika are just a few examples of spices that can add depth and fragrance to your dish. Sprinkle a small amount of these spices into the cooking liquid to infuse the ribs with enticing scents.

The key to achieving an intoxicating aroma is to cook the country style ribs on low heat for an extended period of time. The low and slow cooking process allows the flavors to intensify and the aromas to develop fully. It is recommended to cook the ribs on low heat for approximately 6-8 hours, or until they are tender and easily shred with a fork.

Cooking Techniques

Although cooking country style ribs in a crock pot is generally a simple and straightforward process, there are a few cooking techniques that can help you achieve the best results. Consider the following techniques to ensure your crock pot country style ribs turn out perfectly every time.

Firstly, it is essential to use the correct setting on your crock pot. Most crock pots have two settings: low and high. When cooking country style ribs, it is best to use the low setting to allow for a slow and gentle cooking process. Low heat helps to achieve the desired tenderness in the meat and allows the flavors to fully develop.

Secondly, avoid removing the lid of the crock pot during the cooking process. The lid helps to retain heat and moisture, which are crucial for achieving tender and juicy ribs. Every time you remove the lid, you risk losing heat and extending the cooking time. It is only necessary to remove the lid when adding additional ingredients, such as a barbecue sauce or glaze.

Lastly, once the country style ribs are cooked to perfection, it is recommended to remove them from the crock pot and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the meat to reabsorb the juices, resulting in a moist and succulent texture. Resting also helps to intensify the flavors and makes the ribs easier to handle and serve.

Crock Pot Tips For Country Style Ribs

To ensure your country style ribs turn out flawlessly in the crock pot, consider the following tips and tricks:

  1. Choose the right cut: When purchasing country style ribs, look for cuts that have a good amount of meat on them. This will ensure that the ribs remain tender and juicy throughout the cooking process.

  2. Trim excess fat: While a certain amount of fat adds flavor and tenderness to the meat, it is essential to trim any excess fat before cooking. Excessive fat can result in a greasy and less appetizing dish.

  3. Select the appropriate size crock pot: Make sure the crock pot you are using is the correct size for the amount of ribs you are cooking. It should be large enough to fit the ribs in a single layer without overcrowding. This allows for even cooking and ensures each rib is properly submerged in the cooking liquid.

  4. Monitor the cooking time: While it is generally recommended to cook country style ribs on low for 6-8 hours, it is important to regularly check on them to avoid overcooking. Each crock pot may have slight temperature variations, so it’s crucial to monitor the ribs’ tenderness and adjust the cooking time accordingly. You want the meat to be tender and easily pull away from the bone.

  5. Skim off excess fat: After the country style ribs have finished cooking, there may be excess fat floating on the surface of the cooking liquid. To enhance the presentation and flavor of the dish, use a ladle or spoon to skim off any accumulated fat before serving. This helps to reduce the greasiness and allows the flavors to shine through.

  6. Serve with a sauce or glaze: While country style ribs are delicious on their own, serving them with a flavorful sauce or glaze takes them to the next level. Consider using a homemade barbecue sauce, sweet and tangy glaze, or a flavorful gravy to accompany the ribs. Drizzle the sauce over the ribs just before serving, or serve it on the side for dipping.

  7. Experiment with different flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings, herbs, and spices to create unique flavor profiles for your country style ribs. You can create a smoky and spicy flavor with chipotle powder and cumin, or opt for a sweeter profile with brown sugar and cinnamon. The possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen.

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Creative Crock Pot Country Style Ribs Recipes

Now that you have a good understanding of cooking country style ribs in a crock pot, let’s explore some creative recipes to elevate your culinary experience.

1. Classic Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear the country style ribs on all sides until browned.
  2. Transfer the ribs to the slow cooker and add the chicken broth, chopped onion, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. Make sure the ribs are fully submerged in the liquid.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the ribs are tender and easily pull away from the bone.
  4. Optional: For a caramelized finish, brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and broil in the oven for a few minutes until the sauce is sticky and slightly charred.
  5. Serve the country style ribs with the cooking liquid spooned over the top. Enjoy!

2. Asian-inspired Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 green onions, sliced (for garnish)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, and Chinese five-spice powder. Mix well.
  2. Place the country style ribs in the crock pot and pour the sauce mixture over them, ensuring the ribs are fully coated.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the ribs are tender and easily shred with a fork.
  4. Once cooked, remove the ribs from the crock pot and skim off any excess fat from the cooking liquid.
  5. Optional: For a glazed finish, transfer the ribs to a baking sheet and broil for a few minutes until the glaze is sticky and caramelized.
  6. Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with steamed rice or noodles. Enjoy!

3. Smoky and Spicy Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds country style pork ribs
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine beef broth, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Place the country style ribs in the crock pot and pour the sauce mixture over them, ensuring the ribs are fully coated.
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the ribs are tender and easily pull away from the bone.
  4. Once cooked, remove the ribs from the crock pot and skim off any excess fat from the cooking liquid.
  5. Serve the ribs with the sauce drizzled over the top. These smoky and spicy ribs pair well with coleslaw and cornbread. Enjoy!

Conclusion

Crock pots are a fantastic tool for preparing country style ribs. The slow and gentle cooking process allows for the perfect texture, flavor infusion, and aroma. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can create mouth-watering country style ribs that are tender, flavorful, and satisfying. Whether you opt for classic, Asian-inspired, or smoky and spicy flavors, the crock pot will consistently deliver a delicious and comforting meal. So pull out your crock pot and get ready to indulge in some irresistible country style ribs.

FAQS

What Are Country Style Ribs?

Country style ribs are meaty cuts of pork that are cut from the blade end of the pork loin. They are a bit fattier and meatier than other types of ribs, making them a great choice for slow cooking.

How Long Should I Cook Country Style Ribs In The Crockpot?

Country style ribs should be cooked in the crockpot on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of your meat

Do I Need To Sear The Ribs Before Cooking Them In The Crockpot?

It is recommended that you sear the ribs in a pan or on the grill before transferring them to the crockpot. This will help to lock in the juices and add extra flavor to the final dish.

What Kind Of Sauce Should I Use For Country Style Ribs In The Crockpot?

You can use a variety of sauces for country style ribs in the crockpot, such as barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, or a sweet and spicy glaze. Be sure to add enough liquid to the crockpot to keep the meat moist as it cooks.

What Are Some Good Side Dishes To Serve With Country Style Ribs?

Some great side dishes to serve with country style ribs include coleslaw, baked beans, corn on the cob, roasted vegetables, and mashed potatoes. These dishes complement the rich and savory flavors of the ribs and create a well-rounded meal.