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How to Make Ribs Without a Grill

Ribs without a grill — This is our fail-proof method for delicious,
fall-off-the-bone ribs every time. No grill necessary! 

This is a fool-proof method for fall-off-the-bone ribs with or without a grill. So good!

Updated from the archives.

Summer all the things! Today is our last day of preschool and with Memorial Day next week, we’re feeling All The Summer Things! This week, I’ve got a few recipes that are perfect for warm weather, sunshine, and summer holidays.

First up: Ribs!


Ribs are one of those things we only make a few times a year, but savor every bite when we eat them.  For the amount of meat you get off the bones, they’re more expensive per pound than most other cuts of meat, so it’s extra depressing to me when they don’t turn out well. So, after some research, we learned that a lot of people achieve that fall-off-the-bone texture from using a slow cooker (or baking in the oven) for a few hours before finishing them on the grill or under the broiler for that amazing bubbly sauce and crispy exterior.


This recipe is pretty much fail-proof. It’s great whether you own a grill or not, and for those times when it’s just too rainy (or hot) to stand out and grill, or when you live in an apartment with grill restrictions (like we did for years).

It’s the recipe we keep coming back to year after year. It won’t let you down.

The BEST way to make ribs - So tender and flavorful. (AND you don't *have* to use a grill)

Notes on the Recipe:

  • PREP RIGHT. People on cooking shows always say “have your butcher do blah blah blah,” but I don’t have a butcher that I’m on first-name terms with, nor do I have much time at the grocery store to try to get the butcher’s attention while wrangling Milo and Sophie. So, I do most prep myself. Before cooking the ribs, you’ll need to remove the silverskin on the underside. This video is a great visual for that, but I have written instructions below.
  • BEAT THE HEAT. I actually put my slow cooker on my back patio. It doesn’t heat up my kitchen, and saves me counter space for all the other things going on in my kitchen. It’s the best.
  • FOR A GREAT FINISH. You can absolutely pop these on the grill for a few minutes instead of under the broiler. My mother-in-law does this and it’s delicious.
  • GETTING SAUCY. My favorite GF/DF barbecue sauce is Bone Suckin’ Sauce (which uses molasses and honey as sweetener). We get it at Lowe’s (of all places!) or in bulk at Amazon. though we also really like Stubb’s Sweet and Smoky. Neither brand uses corn syrup and the ingredients are all recognizable.

Perfect ribs every time with this easy method. The BEST way to cook ribs!

Like this recipe? You might also like…

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Ribs Without a Grill

  • Yield: 4-5 1x


  • 1.53 lbs. pork ribs (baby back or loin back ribs)
  • 1/21 bottle your favorite bbq sauce*
  • optional (but recommended): 2-4 Tbsp your favorite rub (we like Bone Suckin’ Dry Rub)


  1. Remove the silver skin on the back side of the ribs using a sharp knife. (The first layer is the most important.)
  2. If using a dry rub, pat ribs dry and coat with dry rub. Let rest at room temperature 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to a day.
  3. Slice into manageable sections (we did 3-4 ribs per section) and place in a slow cooker. Cook on LOW 7-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.
  4. Preheat broiler. Place ribs on a baking sheet coated with foil. Brush generously with barbecue sauce. Broil in the oven 5-7 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and a bit thickened.
  5. If desired, you can brush them with more sauce and put them in for another few minutes.



    1. Gerald – Did you look at the recipe card? Right at the top of the page there’s a “Jump to Recipe” link that’ll jump you to the bottom of the page where the recipe card is. I have the full recipe, including step-by-step instructions (including temperature, time, etc.) in the recipe card.

  1. These are bomb! Just follow the recipe. Make sure to check how your ovens cooking your ribs, some broilers/coils run hotter than others.

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