Dinner for $10 (or Less): Slow-Cooked, Finger-Lickin' BBQ Ribs

Slow cooker BBQ ribs

Close your eyes for a sec. Now imagine sitting outside, with the sun pressing against your face as you begin to smell food cooking on the grill. Makes you want to smack your gums and lick your fingers, right? Well, cookout season is here, ladies and gents -- and even if you don't have a grill, that doesn't mean you still can't get in on the action.


I have yet to purchase a grill (I know, I better get on that) but loves me some barbecue. Maybe it's the southern living. Maybe it's just that finger-lickin' good.

While I don't have an outdoor grill, I do have a trusty slow cooker that also happens to be the place to make the tastiest BBQ ribs. Here's a very simple recipe that will make your house go wild. (Be sure to stock up on napkins.)

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs


  • 1 rack of pork back ribs, trimmed (stay in the three pound range)
  • 1½ cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce

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1. Add water, garlic powder, and paprika in the slow cooker. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper, and place inside. (It's okay if it doesn't fit).

2. Cook on low heat for three hours before (gently) turning to the other side. Cook for an additional three to four hours, or until the ribs are brown and fully cooked.

3. Preheat oven broiler.

4. Remove ribs from slow cooker and place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Generously coat with barbecue sauce and broil for about seven minutes.

Slow cooker BBQ ribs

5. Serve with your favorite sides.

Slow cooker BBQ ribs

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Price of items used

  • $7 - Pork spare ribs
  • $2 - Barbecue sauce

(I used rice and vegetables from my own kitchen. You can purchase a small box/bag of rice for $2.50 and a bag of veggies for $1)

$9 ($12.50 if you purchase rice and vegetables)


Images via Tanvier Peart

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