Ree Drummond's Top Tip For Properly Saucing Slow Cooker Ribs

Small appliances come and small appliances go, particularly in the kitchen. But slow cookers have been around a long time and experts say they are here to stay (per Smithsonian Magazine). This is not just due to the rise in use during the pandemic, which found all of us cooking (like it or not) and investing in small appliances like slow cookers and air fryers to make the job easier (per NPD Group). The slow cooker has stood the test of time with the Crock Pot itself going strong for over 80 years (via The Washington Post).

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, isn't immune to the charms of this fix-it and forget-about-it device either. She's a busy woman — ranch owner, mother, cookbook author, blogger, lifestyle maven, and popular food TV host (per Food Network). With an agenda like that, it's no wonder Drummond finds the slow cooker to be indispensable. As she says on her website, slow cookers make meals a snap because you can "throw everything in, turn it on, then go live your life until it's done." The chef even has her own line of slow cookers and has learned some tricks for making the iconic kitchen tool work even better for her signature down-home comfort foods, like tender-as-can-be slow cooker glazed ribs (per The Pioneer Woman).

Hold the sauce

Every kitchen appliance comes with an instruction manual and a learning curve, and mistakes can be made even with a device as seemingly simple and straightforward as a slow cooker (per Insider). Removing the lid frequently will increase cooking time, for example, and adding too little liquid to your device will cause meats and vegetables to burn.

Conversely, adding too much liquid to the slow cooker can create unintended soup. Drummond says the secret to her "heavenly” Fall-Off-the-Bone Slow Cooker Glazed Ribs is in the sauce, and in saucing the pork loin back ribs after they have cooked low and slow for eight hours (per The Pioneer Woman). The reason she does this is because ribs give off a lot of moisture as they cook, and you don't want the sticky-sweet glaze for the ribs watered down.

After draining cooking liquid from the slow cooker, the celebrity chef mixes together a glaze made with barbecue sauce, ketchup, plum preserves, and a hint of hot sauce. Be gentle with the ribs when you dress them with the glaze, she advises, as they will be ultra-tender and coming off the bone. "Some kind of crazy magic happens under that lid, I tell you!,” Drummond enthuses, and we can't help but agree.