Crock Pot Spare Ribs with Mom’s Secret Sauce!

Kitchen Staples 22

I realize that most of the recipes I post on here seem to come from my Mom’s recipe files, but what can I say? They’re all “tried and true”….and the fact that I’m STILL making them after being “on my own” for 30+ years must mean they’ve got something going for them!

Today I found spare ribs on sale at the grocery store and on a whim decided to pick some up for dinner! My daughter in college and my newlywed son and his “bride” were coming for dinner, so I needed something that would feed a “crowd” of 7.

I hadn’t really thought about doing a blog post about this, until I got to the SAUCE part…and then I realized that this was something I just had to share. But keep in mind, it contains a “secret ingredient” that you can’t tell anyone about! It will just be between you and me!

Because I hadn’t planned on posting this…there aren’t many pictures. Plus, the ones I DID take are pretty bad!!  For some reason they are terribly out of focus…stupid camera phone. I do apologize…and recommit to getting a better camera SOON (and learning how to use it!)

All I did to prepare these ribs was season them with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and place them in the crock pot. Since they were both fairly long, I had to lay them on their sides and curl them around each other…but they cooked up just fine still the same. :-)

I cooked them on low for 8 hours (you could do “high” for 4ish hours too), then took them out and put them on a cookie sheet to finish them off in the oven. Before I took them out though, I mixed up the “secret sauce”. This picture provides a clue to the “secret ingredient”. Can anyone out there guess what it is??  Here’s a hint: Mom’s with infants might recognize it easier than the rest of us!

Did anyone guess BABY FOOD PRUNES?? If so…you’re right!!! You are the winners of……bragging rights! Too bad you can’t tell anyone….remember?  It’s a SECRET ingredient. It can’t leave this post.

Like I said earlier….I’ve been making this for YEARS…so I don’t really have a “recipe” per se…I just add the ingredients seen in the picture in the amounts that “look about right” to me. But for you, I will attempt to write it out.

Mom’s BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (I drained MOST of the juice out)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 container baby food prunes

Stir together and spread over the ribs. Then place the ribs in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Just enough time to allow the sauce to get nice and caramelized. (I usually save a little to serve on the side as well.)

Talk about “finger lickin’ good”!  You are going to need plenty of napkins when eating these bad boys.

(This post will “self destruct” in 30 seconds.)

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  1. Jill says

    Did you put any liquid in the crock pot when you cooked them? They look delicious (even in slightly out-of-focus pictures!)

    btw, I LOVE your site & post just about everything on Pinterest.

    (another) Jill from GA

  2. Jill Nystul says

    Hey Jill from Ga!! :-) Welcome!

    Nope…no liquid. Seems everything I cook in the crockpot creates plenty of liquid all on it's own. There was probably a good inch of liquid in the bottom when I took the ribs out. Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  3. Janie Stoker says

    I enjoy getting your blogs via email each day. I enjoy your honesty and sense of humor. It was refreshing to read that you take pictures with your camera phone. So many bloggers seem to be professional photographers with their expensive equipment. All that is great but it's really great to read about someone that we all can truly relate to. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for taking the leap of faith that you mentioned last month. It's inspiring. You go girl!

  4. Jill Nystul says

    Jenny…chocolate pudding would have been a good guess! lol.

    Janie…that was very nice of you say! It's one of the things I feel is most "lacking" on my website…good quality photographs…but I'm working on it. This whole website is definitely a "work in progress" and I really appreciate your kind words. Truly. :-)

  5. Jill Nystul says

    Joyce…I make the country style ribs all the time. Cooking time is the same. :-)

  6. Deb says

    OMG! Fixed these ribs yesterday for a family gathering. Had yummy comments before I even had a chance to sit down and try a bite! The secret ingredient was a stunning success! This will be my go-to recipe from now on! Thank you, Jillee! Just love your “stuff!”

  7. Linda Minadeo says

    Did you use pork ribs or baby back ribs. I tried pork ribs in the crock pot once, and they were still a little tough.

  8. marie says

    Hi, I am excited about your website…a friend turned me on to it. Wondering about the rib…it looks like baby back ribs?? just want to make sure. thanks!

    • says

      They are actually spare ribs which is a different part of the rib meat. You should be able to find them in any grocery store.

  9. Hana says

    Hi Jill,
    I’ve been looking into ribs recipes for Christmas dinner and this one looks really easy to make (since I’ve never made ribs before). I have a couple of questions:
    1) Will the “secret” ingredient have any secondary effects? (you know what is said about prunes…)
    2) Can you recommend a side dish that will go well with these?
    As always, I love your site. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful bits of wisdom.