Dry Rub Slow Cooker Ribs


Last spring the boyfriend and I joined Matzo and her partner (now husband) at their house for some good old fashioned grilling out. Now Matzo is a whiz with the grill. Even if I didn’t live in a third floor walk-up with no porch or balcony (or one that would not catch on fire), I imagine I’d be no Houdini with the grill.

At this grill out I brought over a package of pork ribs as my offering and Matzo did her magic and made some of the most amazing grilled meat I’ve ever had. Part of the magic was due to the bicentennial spice rub she had from Chicago’s Spice House. A mixture of Americana and goodness, it gave the ribs a fantastic, complex flavor.

Of course, me being me, I had to figure out how to replicate it at home.

It ain't pretty, but it's quite tasty.

While Matzo put some BBQ sauce on those delicious ribs of that fine spring day, when I decided to make this at home I wanted to go sans sauce, a (perhaps) misguided attempt at eating “lighter,” especially since I wasn’t in the mood to make my own BBQ sauce, as I’m getting snobbier in my old age and am trying to stay away from anything with high fructose corn syrup.

I eyeballed the various spices from the bicentennial spice mix and started experimenting with the measurements, adding in a few more spices and a good dose of dark brown sugar to kick up the flavor. Because I had no grill as well, my best option for ribs was to either make them in the oven or in the slow cooker. I’m usually short on time, though. I commute to work at least an hour each way and by the time I get home I’m tired and achy and sometimes the cats are crying at me for I don’t know what, and that tends to mean I am in no mood to wait another 2 hours for ribs to slow cook in my oven while my blood sugar drops to cranky new lows. So slow cooker it was! And what a good option, because the slow cooker? After hours and hours of cooking? Will make the meat simply drip off of the bone.

I usually prep everything in the morning before work, and so the meat doesn’t really have to marinate too long in the fridge because it does that while it slow cooks, too. Around noon I usually call my boyfriend and ask him to pop the ribs in slow cooker, and by the time I come home I can smell the sweet, spicy aroma of the meat drifting toward me as I make my way up the stairs. While this rub would work great for a grill, if that’s not an option for you, the slow cooker is the way to go, and the liquid smoke gives the meat a hint of the impression that it’s been somewhere near charcoal.

By the way. This is totally what I’m having for dinner tonight with a side of sautéed greens. Can’t wait.

Slow Cooker Dry Rub Ribs


  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke


  1. Mix together the brown sugar, paprika, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, ground red pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Pat dry the ribs and douse with the liquid smoke.
  3. Rub the dry rub spice mixture onto the ribs before salting the meat.
  4. Place in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

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4 Responses to “Dry Rub Slow Cooker Ribs”

  1. Recipe Master List « matzo&rice Says:

    […] spice dry rub […]

  2. Katie Marie Says:

    Sounds amaaaaaaaaazing. yum.

    I used to have a set of plates like that! 🙂

  3. Michelle Says:

    Mmmm…. sounds good! I’m always a fan of anything that doesn’t have HFCS too!

  4. Brad Says:

    How many ribs or lbs. does this call for?

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