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"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs Recipe

"Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs Recipe

A sweet, rich sauce makes these ribs so tender that the meat literally falls off the bones. And the aroma is wonderful. Yum! —Tanya Reid, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 6 hours YIELD:5 servings


  • 4-1/2 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 cup cherry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • 1. Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; sprinkle with pepper. Place in a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker. Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over ribs. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with sauce. Yield: 5 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 921 calories, 58g fat (21g saturated fat), 220mg cholesterol, 1402mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate (45g sugars, 2g fiber), 48g protein.

Reviews for "Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs

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DWare5883 User ID: 5884353 247872
Reviewed May. 4, 2016

"Very good. Pretty much falls off of the bone."

Girl43 User ID: 8721214 242735
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2016

"I have one other rib recipe that uses whiskey which is almost on par with this one...almost. I don't tweak this at all but I really don't like fatty ribs...kind of ruins the experience so, in order to thoroughly enjoy this recipe, I take about half an hour and pull all the fat I can, as well as silver skin off the meat and bones...then proceed. Stunning!"

pajamaangel User ID: 1603339 236920
Reviewed Nov. 8, 2015

"This sauce is yummy!"

Kitchen_Novice User ID: 7433907 229219
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2015

"This dish is absolutely delicious! Super simple to prepare, and a huge hit with my family and at events. Every time I make it people ask for the recipe!"

bmarana User ID: 2129710 220301
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2015

"My favorite BBQ sauce. I am not into overly spicy or smoke flavor sauces. My son said best sauce I have made."

ejt325 User ID: 4790999 218538
Reviewed Jan. 22, 2015

"So good! Used a combo of two BBQ sauces which balanced out the sweetness."

parksville User ID: 1598935 99459
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2014

"I made this recipe exactly as is. Cooked the ribs for 7 hours in the slow cooker and the meat fell off the bone. However, we found the sauce extremely sweet. Will not make again."

angcy User ID: 1160970 210864
Reviewed May. 25, 2014

"The meat comes apart and the flavor is very tasty. It is an easy recipe for a busy family."

lincop56 User ID: 4542356 167022
Reviewed Mar. 31, 2014

"We loved it, easy fell off the bones. I did not have cherry presserves so used strawberry, still good with my choice of bar-b-que sauce."

amk4985 User ID: 5118881 125088
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2014

"a different flavor for the ribs."

lakegenevafred User ID: 7209992 167021
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2013

"easy and average..won't use this recipe again."

wjamanda User ID: 6518294 105677
Reviewed Aug. 24, 2013

"These were easy to make and the addition of the cherry preserves gives them a spicy/sweet flavor. I cooked mine on low for 10 hours since I started them early in the morning for supper and they turned out great! Fell off the bone, just as promised! :)"

prettymama User ID: 573892 164873
Reviewed Aug. 21, 2013

"I used chicken thighs since I didn't have pork and cooked in crockpot 2 hours with a small amount of broth. I drained off the liquid then added the rest of the ingredients and cooked for another 4 hours. It was wonderful. I think this recipe would be good with any meat you have on hand."

cleopatsy User ID: 7353092 210863
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2013

"Made this recipe for guests coming over for dinner one night. They fell in love with it. They wantr to come again for these ribs. Everyone who tries these ribs says they are the best. I so agree."

mjlouk User ID: 1712085 105675
Reviewed Jun. 2, 2013

"These were a winner in my house. Even my super picky kids ate them without complaining!"

kleescraga User ID: 3865772 125087
Reviewed May. 23, 2013

"This recipe was so intriguing, I had to try it though slow cooking isn't my favorite way to prepare ribs. In our area cherry preserves are difficult to find and quite expensive, so I prefer to stick with the sauces we know and love. I just didn't think the additional expense was worth the resulting taste."

jwfy User ID: 4335749 105666
Reviewed Mar. 2, 2013

"Followed recipe using boneless country-style ribs. Used "Baby Ray's" Original Sauce and the cherry preserves. The sauce was tangy with a little sweetness. Served over rice. I would make again."

kaylee47 User ID: 877664 99417
Reviewed Jan. 27, 2013

"This recipe is wondeful.I didn't have any cherry preserves so I used Grape instead.They were delicious served with rice and fresh sourdough bread. Yes will make them again and again.."

sdipiazza User ID: 2106899 182246
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2011

"I cooked the ribs without sauce in the slow cooker for 2 hours, drained off all the liquid, and then spooned sauce over each rib portion, put them back in the slow cooker for about 2 more hours. When we were ready to eat I put the ribs in the oven at 450 with the sauce from the cooker for about 20 minutes to heat through. The sauce was not runny when cooked this way. Delicious!!!!"

Ldeponceau User ID: 6225919 105664
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2011

"First time I made ribs....this recipe was delicious!"

linsvin User ID: 1584655 185606
Reviewed Sep. 6, 2011

"This is the second time I made this, only after 6 hours I finished them off on the grill. I slathered sweet baby rays sauce on for the finishing touch."

colky08 User ID: 1087575 114440
Reviewed Jul. 11, 2011

"My whole family loved these. so tender!"

SJimenez User ID: 5937057 164871
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2011

"Delicious! Sauce was a little runny, but everyone still loved it!"

BonnieBryant User ID: 770618 105663
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2011

"slow cooker caught my eye as I have more energy in the mornings, I look for these types of recipes. The flavor was wonderful and meat fell from the bones. Will for sure keep this recipe as a favorite."

obsessedwithfood User ID: 3724663 125080
Reviewed May. 10, 2011

"Awesome recipe! Loved the sauce. I used the country style ribs, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, and peach preserves. Falling off the bone after 6 hours. Would not change a thing. Finger lickin' good!"

Sparrow11 User ID: 3453670 185599
Reviewed May. 3, 2011

"There's no way it can be 921 calories a serving."

jessf711 User ID: 4183696 181162
Reviewed Apr. 6, 2011

"Used Peach preserves--yum. Have also used the same sauce on chicken wings--also a hit!"

cjaws User ID: 5795830 185598
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2011

"These were awesome. Cooked for 8 hours and they were perfect. Even my picky husband loved them. The sauce is great served over mashed potatoes."

Pluranune User ID: 5839987 181161
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2011

"This is the easiest ribs recipe. I am a beginner cook and you really can't mess this up. The meat falls off the bone. My husband and I actually ate these with just a fork!

The portions are kind of high so I just cut everything in half.
Next time I'm going to add some crushed red pepper to spice it up a bit more.

neeley9679 User ID: 5246665 114439
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2011

"I love this sauce!!! My family asks me to make it all the time now. I cooked my ribs in pinapple juice, onion and garlic for the first 5 hrs. then dumped that out and cooked them with the sauce the last half hour. They are sooo tender and delicious. The sauce is not runny this way."

bdiederich User ID: 2369142 185597
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2011

"Following some of the previous recommendations we used Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, peach preserves, and skimmed the fat off after a few hours. The result was a great sauce and very tender ribs. Will definitely make again!"

macaroni girl User ID: 5175509 114438
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2010

"These were to die for - I replaced the sauce 1/2 hour early like honeydoodle2 suggested and that worked great! Thanks for sharing. :-)"

aug2295 User ID: 4631582 169416
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2010

"Sauce was very thin as some posters mentioned but the ribs were super tender and took on the flavor of the sauce, so it really didn't matter."

leftycheryl User ID: 3314740 114437
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2010

"Excellent. Better than Lloyd's ribs. My husband loved them. Said I could "keep my knives" as they do on Top Chef!!!"

honeydoodle2 User ID: 4969354 125078
Reviewed Jun. 20, 2010

"This recipe sure made fall off the bone ribs easy. The bbq sauce was a bit on the liquidly side like others have said. I solved this by removing the ribs when cooking time was up and pouring the bbq sauce in a sauce pan to reduce it a little. It only took about 10 minutes on med-hi. I also decided to use peach preserves instead of the cherry....I'm sure any flavor would be just as good."

srliving User ID: 4326619 169414
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2010

"My husband was really excited about trying this, and I was pleasantly surprised. Our very good friends own a bbq rest., so we eat bbq ALOT, which kinda makes us critical of other bbq. This was better than I was expecting. I don't like the texture of meats if they cook too long in the crock pot, so I only cooked them about 6 hours or so, but it was delicious! Also tried what another reviewer said about replacing the cherry preserves with peach, and loved that even more!"

PETALSJW User ID: 254007 100456
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2010

"I also made this when I first saw the recipe in the magazine last year. Never having ventrured into making BBQ ribs b/4 couldn't believe how easy and absolutely delicious these were. My son, who is quite an excellent cook, gave it rave reviews and asked for the recipe - That speaks volumes in our family. My trick to the runny sauce is to make double the sauce, add half to begin with and then the last 1-2 hours b/4 serving drain the original sauce and add the fresh reserved sauce. This really freshens it up and gives you a better sauce to serve. (I just take the ribs & place in a bowl and pour the original sauce down the toilet!!??- Hope this helps!!"

pay001 User ID: 1044471 99415
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2010

"My family loved this recipe. I also made it when it came out last year. It is in my saved recipes and I have shared this recipe with all my friends. We have crock pot fridays at work and I know what I will be making when my turn comes up."

Paul'sWife User ID: 4918322 182245
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2010

"I made this recipe last year when it came out in the TOH magazine. My family LOVED it!! In fact my step-son took the recipe to his mom and now she makes these delicious ribs too! They are SO easy!...Now I just need to find a bigger crockpot, because my 6qt doesn't make enough when everybody's here :-)"

mrsjenb User ID: 3366624 181157
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2010

"I've made this recipe twice, and it's wonderful. I thicken the sauce with a bit of cornstarch, because it is a bit runny. My family loves it, and I have shared it with my coworkers who agree. Yum!!"

cheriwinkle User ID: 1239361 144569
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2010

"bwooley-stop and figure up the calories--it IS 921 calories for ONE serving."

josib User ID: 1895279 181156
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2010

"I have also tried this with apricot preserves and it was even more delicious. The meat falls off the bone."

Sascha18 User ID: 4667359 144568
Reviewed Jun. 11, 2010

"I was somewhat disappointed with this recipe. I went to the store and bought the most expensive bbq sauce thinking it would prevent the sauce from getting runny, like other people said it did, but it still ended up being very watery. The sauce definitely wasn't as thick as it looks in the picture. The ribs were definitely nice and tender but next time I would probably only cook them for 7 hours because 8 was almost too long. The flavor of the ribs was defintely lacking, we had to dip them in regular bbq sauce. Anyways, I liked the idea of cooking them in a slow cooker but next time I will definitely alter the ingredients and preparation."

queenbfb User ID: 1743238 100453
Reviewed May. 27, 2010

"Can't rave about this enough. Simple and easy to prep. Really delicious. Have served this numerous times to guests who have all given it rave reviews."

ladychef3179 User ID: 5108726 144567
Reviewed May. 5, 2010

"The "secret" which was the cherries didn't add anything extra to the sauce. I could have just used regular bbq sauce and it would have turned out the same. If you want the meat to fall off the bone and be juicy..its no secret. I just cooked it at 325 in the oven for a few hours. I felt let down with this recipe. I don't know how it got a blue ribbon."

donmelody User ID: 1559808 114436
Reviewed Mar. 9, 2010

"This was excellent! I followed the recipe exactly and I didn't have any trouble with the sauce being runny. Maybe the brand of BBQ sauce could contribute to the runny sauce?The BBQ sauce I used was Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce."

newkerr User ID: 2068405 182442
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2010

"Yum! I agree that the sauce is on the thin side and may try the suggestion to cook for awhile, then drain fat before putting sauce on. I substituted chery pie filling for cherry preserves and ran all the sauce through the food processor so the cherries weren't whole."

isaacs_girl User ID: 1324737 185596
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2010

"Since i read in the reviews that the sauce became too thin, instead of altering the recipe i cooked it as suggested but made more sauce to serve on the side. That was a great solution to the sauce problem."

karachi User ID: 4775058 210862
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2010

"Cherry flavor really comes through to the meat. I had to spoon off some grease, no big deal though. Even better cold the next day."

GrammieRuth User ID: 3877856 182441
Reviewed Jan. 16, 2010

"This was excellent and so easy. As noted in previous reviews, the sauce is on the thin side, but my husband and I still enjoyed it immensely, spooning it over the meat."

Cecile A User ID: 1442776 99393
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2010

"I made these ribs and they went over so much I have given the receipe to four other friends that had tasted them Yes, I plan to contine to use this receipe over and over."

kmcmurphy User ID: 4633902 114434
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2009

"Great flavor, but my sauce turned out runny as well. Next time, I'll brown the ribs in the oven for a bit to get the fat out and see if that helps."

Edil User ID: 1732465 144566
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2009

"just delicious,jummy"

sillytia2 User ID: 4607742 169413
Reviewed Nov. 20, 2009

"Awesome, quick, easy , great flavor!"

IrishBanger User ID: 495240 105662
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2009

"I have very picky eaters that never eat cooked fruit but when I made this dish it went over so well I well have to remake it again and again ..etc etc"

cwbuff User ID: 441425 164869
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2009

"Turned out great for me. I didn't have cherry preserves so substituted red currant jelly instead. Super easy and tasty for a busy weeknight dinner or weekend when you want to take it easy."

JLB2482 User ID: 4113690 99392
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2009

"I followed the recipe exactly, and they turned out great. I see some others had some trouble with the sauce turning out runny, but I didn't have that problem. Very tasty, will make again."

3prettykids User ID: 3912465 182241
Reviewed Sep. 28, 2009

"These were yummy! Definately will make again!"

bweis71 User ID: 4389311 210861
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2009

"I made this recipe in the slow cooker and my family loved it. My only complaint was that the sauce was really runny. Any suggestions?"

Ging User ID: 105673 115492
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2009

"P.S. I drained the fat off of the ribs after the first 45 min."

Ging User ID: 105673 181155
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2009

"I made these in the oven.I baked the ribs in the oven for 45 min. at 350*, then I put on the sauce and baked for another 45 min. They were so delicious. Got rave reviews!! Sauce was so tasty!"

scrambledwithcheese User ID: 1233902 182439
Reviewed Aug. 6, 2009

"One of the worst recipes I have made in a long time. The flavorless ribs end up swimming in a watery, greasy, flavorless sauce. I followed the recipe exactly. I don't understand how this recipe even made it in the magazine. I really want to know if TOH is even testing their recipes anymore. I don't see where I went wrong with following the recipe exactly. The ribs looked nothing like the picture shown here."

schultzd548 User ID: 94223 125077
Reviewed Aug. 4, 2009

"Oh my, talk about yummy! The "secret" is picking your favorite sauce! And, it is so easy. Thanks Tanya!"

chouk User ID: 4300769 182436
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2009

" What's the recipe (or brand) for the 2 1/2 cups of sauce?

bwooley User ID: 1521401 100444
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2009

"I initially thought the same thing but then noticed that the calories are calculated as though the entire recipe is one serving, not divided into the 5 servings as catorgized in the recipe."

1dandc User ID: 4099464 185594
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2009

"Wow. I was interested and ready to make these ribs but took a look at the nutrition facts. 921 calories, 58 grams of fat, etc. I think I will keep looking for another recipe."

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