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Sunny's Kansas City Slow Cooker Rib Sandwiches

COOK TIME
9 hrs
PREP TIME
30 mins
SERVINGS
6-8
RATE THIS RECIPE
(17)
Sunny's Kansas City Slow Cooker Rib Sandwiches
Sunny's Kansas City Slow Cooker Rib SandwichesNathan Congleton / TODAY
COOK TIME
9 hrs
PREP TIME
30 mins
SERVINGS
6-8
RATE THIS RECIPE
(17)

Ingredients

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 cans beer
  • 1 teaspoon hickory-flavored liquid smoke
  • 3-4 pounds baby back ribs
For the sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup unsulphured molasses
  • ½ cup reserved rub
To serve
  • 1 loaf fresh white bread
  • 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

Chef notes

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! 

Preparation

  1. 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.

  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!