3 tablespoons smoked paprika or paprika
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 pounds St. Louis-style pork spareribs or Baby Back ribs see note
1 24 ounce jar Barbecue Sauce (Blue’s Hog original is superb)
¼ cup cider vinegar if the barbecue sauce is on the sweet side


1.Set the slow cooker to LOW and spray with nonstick cooking spray. (I always spray the underside of the lid to assist with cleanup.)
2.Remove the silver membrane from the rear of the ribs.
3.In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, sugar , salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Rub the dry-rub mix evenly over the ribs.
4.Brush each side of the rib with sauce and set the ribs within the slow cooker standing upright with the meaty side against the within wall, of the slow cooker.
5.Pour the remaining sauce over the ribs. If employing a sweet sauce, pour the vinegar over the ribs.
6.Cover and cook on LOW 5-6 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.
7.Serve with additional store-bought sauce or strain the juices, from the pan, through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium saucepan.
8.Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the warmth to low and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the mixture has reduced to 2 cups.
9.To serve, slice the meat between the bones and serve with sauce .