I love using a slow cooker for tailgating. You literally can put this in the slow cooker Saturday night and be set for game day Sunday!
For the rub
- 1/4 cup hot Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 cup dry mustard
- 1/4 cup onion powder
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- Kosher salt and black pepper
For the ribs
- 2 12-ounce beers (I like to use a pilsner here, even better if it's a Kansas City beer brand)
- 1 teaspoon hickory-flavored liquid smoke
- 3-4 pounds baby back ribs, trimmed, silver skin removed
For the sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses
- ½ cup reserved rub, from above
- 1 loaf fresh white bread (I like Wonder Bread or Sunbeam)
- Pickled Pepper Sauce
Sunny's 1-2-3 Pickled Pepper
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 2 cups small yellow, red and green chili peppers
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt
Make the pickled pepper sauce: In a small pot on medium high heat add the peppers, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, then turn off and cover with a lid. Steep for 20 minutes, then refrigerate until chilled.
- Make the rub: In a large bowl combine the paprika, dry mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a few hefty grinds of black pepper. Reserve ½ cup of rub for sauce. Rub the ribs all over with the remaining blend.
- Slow cook the ribs: In a slow cooker on low, add the beer and liquid smoke, and place the rubbed ribs inside, concave/bone side down. Cook for 6-8 hours without removing the lid.
- Make the sauce: In a small pot on medium heat combine the ketchup, molasses, and reserved rub. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Caramelize the ribs: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove the ribs to a large baking sheet with sides and slather with sauce. Place in an oven or over the indirect heat of the grill and heat until the sauce caramelizes, about 10-15 minutes.
- Make a sandwich and serve: Shred meat and pile onto a piece of bread, add a shake or two of Sunny's 1-2-3 Pickled Pepper Sauce and top with another slice of bread. Enjoy!