I don't have a smoker, but I love slow-cooked BBQ ribs.

Would it be possible to cook ribs for 8-10 hours or however long I like in my kitchen slow cooker, then pop them onto a charcoal barbecue to brown / char when they're soft enough / cooked?

  • what kind of grill do you have?
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 13:47
  • It's a Weber, but we're just borrowing it so I've never used it before.
    – Luke
    Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 15:45
  • you're in luck. Webers do an excellent job on Ribs, see my answer below.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 15, 2013 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


While you could do this. A better method(Provided you have an enclosed grill) would be to set your grill up for indirect heat and slow cook them on your grill. This is how I do ribs and it works amazingly.

You'll have to do things slightly differently if you have a square or round grill. For a round grill try the following:

  • Place unlit briquettes around the outside of the grill about 3/4 of the way around.
  • Start about 12 briquettes until they have ashed over, place them at one end of the circle, put a few (2-3) pieces of smoking wood chunks on top of your coals.
  • Get your grill temp to about 225-275 degrees F and adjust your vents to keep it there (Start adjusting before you get to your desired temp, it's easy to shoot past it).
  • Put your dry rubbed meat on the grill opposite your set of lit coals (do not sauce, if you want sauce put some on at the end).
  • Cook 4-6 hours until the meat bends easily at about the third bone when picked up from the end.
  • If your coals burn too far under your meat, rotate your rack to keep the meat opposite the lit coals.

If you've got a square grill than you probably cannot do the ring method I've described above, instead you will have to figure out how to do indirect heat a different way. A set of banked coals on each side with the meat in the middle or some lit coals placed in the center of some unlit ones on just one side. You need something that can keep a constant low temperature and burn for 4-6 hours. Experiment and see what works for you.

  • OK, I am so going to try that.
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 20:12
  • @GdD I was so hungry typing this up that this was dinner tonight :)
    – wax eagle
    Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 23:03
  • This is probably grilling blasphemy, but I don't own a grill and I am curious what will be lost if I simply cook them in my oven at 225-275 degrees? Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 8:03

That absolutely could work. There are many methods to par-cook ribs, and then finish them for service.

The main concern you will have is that slow cookers tend to be very inexact. You don't want your ribs so cooked that they cannot stand up to being handled and moved, so that they fall apart when you try to put them on the grill.

Many folks also advocate simmering ribs before finishing them on the grill, although this is controversial, as flavor could be lost to the simmering liquid. Cooks Illustrated recommends (for baby back ribs) simmering for approximately 20-25 minutes at a bare simmer (to prevent over-cooking the thin end of the rack) until the internal temperature of the ribs comes up to 195 degrees. The also suggest simmering in a brine to help season the ribs.

Another method of par-cooking is to wrap the ribs in aluminum foil, and par-cook them in the oven, then finish cook on the grill.

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