Pioneer woman ribs slow cooker

Pioneer woman ribs slow cooker DEFAULT

Summer doesn’t mean having to skip hot meals. Ree Drummond, the host of The Pioneer Woman, has a way around heating up the kitchen and the rest of the house. She uses a slow cooker, instead of the oven, to make her Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs. 

Ree Drummond ‘didn’t grow up using a slow cooker’

Ree Drummond smiles and wears a flower pattern blouse

RELATED: The Pioneer Woman: Ree Drummond’s Easy Watermelon Salsa Is Summer in a Bowl

Only use the slow cooker in the fall and winter months? Dust it off because the Food Network star shows just how versatile the kitchen appliance can be. 

During an episode of The Pioneer Woman Drummond explained that while she didn’t eat a lot of slow cooker recipes as a kid she turns to it when temperatures rise in the summer. 

“I didn’t grow up using a slow cooker,” she said, according to Food Network. “My mom didn’t really use one that much. But on a hot summer day like this, it’s really nice for things that need to cook for a long time. I don’t want to have the oven on for several hours today. It’s just too hot outside.”

Enter the cookbook author’s Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs. Drummond cooks them in the slow cooker until they’re tender. 

The Pioneer Woman finishes the ribs in the oven

'The Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond speaks into a microphone while addressing an audience in New York City in 2017.

RELATED: ‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Easy Recipe for Perfect Potato Salad

Drummond’s ribs aren’t made entirely in the slow cooker. She does turn on the oven. After the ribs have been cooking in the slow cooker for anywhere from two to eight hours depending on the setting, she transfers them to the oven. 

The Pioneer Woman turns the ribs about every 15 minutes. With each turn, she adds some of the sauce. According to the explanation Drummond gave on her cooking show, coating them in the sauce while they bake ensures the sauce adheres to every piece of meat. After 45 minutes and three layers of sauce, the ribs should have a shiny, sticky glaze.

What about Drummond’s ranch in Oklahoma? Did the kitchen get overheated when she turned on the oven? No. She described the house as “still nice and cool.” 

Drummond’s Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs recipe has 5 stars

At the time of publication, the Pioneer Woman’s slow cooker rib recipe has five stars on Food Network’s website. It’s been reviewed more than 50 times and while some reviewers call out the intense level of spice — Drummond uses two chipotle peppers in adobo, not two cans as the recipe may suggest — most loved the finished product.

“Best and easiest rib recipe I’ve ever had!!!” one person wrote. “I made these ribs tonight and all I have today is WOW,” said another before adding, “I didn’t change a thing and they were fabulous.”

Others loved the sauce in particular. “The sauce ingredients melded together to produce finger lickin’, mouth waterin’ ribs,” read one review. Another said, “The ribs were tender, the sauce was out of this world and it was so easy. Wouldn’t change a thing.”

This isn’t Drummond’s only slow-cooker recipe for ribs. Her Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Ribs are made in a similar way and they’re on the Pioneer Woman’s list of “cheap and easy” budget-friendly recipes.


Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs

Special equipment:
a slow cooker
  1. Cut the racks into 2-rib pieces, season with salt and pepper and put into a slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the preserves, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, garlic, chipotles, ginger and hot sauce. Pour the mixture over the ribs and cover. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. When the ribs are cooked, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Skim the fat from the juices and transfer the juices to a pan. Place the pan on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
  5. Mix the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the juices in the pan and cook until the desired thickness.
  6. Brush the ribs with the sauce and bake, brushing with more sauce every 10 to 15 minutes, until the ribs are glazed and sticky, about 45 minutes. Serve with extra sauce.
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Hello, friends! You will never, ever experience more tender baby back ribs than the ones you make in a slow cooker. Some kind of crazy magic happens under that lid, I tell you!

A “mistake” (which you really can hardly call a mistake because they taste great no matter what) I can make when making ribs in a slow cooker is cooking the sauce along with the ribs for the entire time. The problem with this is that the ribs give off so much liquid as they cook that the sauce will wind up watery and won’t stick to the ribs. So I add the sauce after the ribs have cooked—works much better!

If you’re a fan of ribs that fall smooth off the bone . . . you’re in for a heavenly experience right here.

Cut the racks of ribs in half . . .

And place them in a 6-quart (or larger) slow cooker.

Add the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper . . .

Then place the lid on the cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, making sure not to lift the lid or otherwise disturb the ribs.

This is what they look like after that time. Totally weird, but they’re about to get super delicious. Start by straining off all of the cooking liquid, making sure not to lose any of the garlic or onions. (Remove the ribs and pour the liquid through a mesh strainer if you want to be careful.)

Next, make the sauce. Combine plum preserves (or apricot!), ketchup, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce in a medium bowl. All the tangy, sticky, spicy good things in life.

And stir it until it’s all combined.

Pour the sauce over the ribs . . .

And use tongs to move the ribs around in the sauce as much as you can. Note that the ribs will be falling apart by this stage, so you won’t be able to be too rough with them.

The Pioneer Woman

I mean . . . look at how easily the bone comes out! It’s a world gone mad, I tell you.

Serve ’em on a plate, if they can travel that far without falling to pieces.

Succulent and delicious!

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Slow Cooker Ribs
slow cooker teriyaki ribs


Try your best to leave the ribs alone as they cook—every time you open the lid, the slow cooker loses heat!

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Yields: 4 - 6 servings

Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins

Total Time: 8 hours 15 mins



racks baby back ribs (about 5 pounds total)


head garlic, cloves peeled and roughly chopped


3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1/2 c.

low-sodium soy sauce


1 lb.

shredded coleslaw mix


small red onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

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  1. For the ribs: Cut each rack of ribs in half. Scatter the garlic and ginger in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, then top with the ribs, bone-side down. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  2. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Strain the cooking juices from the slow cooker into a large skillet. Stir in the honey, soy sauce and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl, then whisk into the skillet and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove 3 tablespoons of the sauce to a small bowl and set aside for the slaw. Add the ribs to the remaining sauce in the skillet and turn to coat. Keep warm over low heat while you make the slaw.
  5. For the slaw: Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey and reserved sauce in a large bowl. Add the coleslaw mix, red onion and cilantro and toss to coat well. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Cut the ribs into pieces and serve with the slaw.

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Ribs slow woman cooker pioneer

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