Orange Chipotle Ribs in the CrockPot

Orange Chipotle Ribs -- made in the crockpot. This sauce is SOOOO good!

Day 168.

We made a few different types of barbecued ribs yesterday for Father's Day. We made ribs on the outdoor barbecue, and I made this batch all by myself in the crockpot.

Because that's just what I do. :-)

The meat is much more tender and flavorful, and you don't get that charred meat taste in your mouth that reminds you (me) of the Marlboro Man.

The Ingredients.
All the ingredients for Orange Chipotle Ribs in the CrockPot. Recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking website.
3 pounds beef or PORK ribs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cloves smashed and chopped garlic

The Directions.

I used my 6qt smart-pot for this dish--the ribs fit well inside.

I didn't brown or pre-cook my meat at all. It was thawed, however. If you are using frozen meat, it will take longer to cook, but will be just fine.

In a mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the sauce---which is everything listed up there, minus the ribs.

Put the ribs into your crock--you may need to cut the racks up with poultry shears to get them in there nicely.

Pour your sauce over the top.

Close and cook on low for 8-9 hours, or on high for 5-6. The meat is done when it has reached the desired tenderness and is no longer pink. I prefer the meat to fall off the bone, and eat with a knife and fork. If you'd rather gnaw on the bones, pull them out after 4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low.

The Verdict.

I was very pleased with the tenderness of these ribs, and with the sauce flavors. I picked a pretty tart orange marmalade, and the orange rind flavor was pretty pronounced. It was good, but I think next time I'll add a touch more brown sugar. I did not find the sauce on the ribs to be spicy, but the remaining sauce in the pot had quite a bit of heat.

The kids have finally begun to appreciate ribs. They still ate a hot dog, but they both ate enough of the ribs that they needed the sauce scrubbed off with a washcloth.

Hangry for even more ribs? Here you go: lots and lots and lots of ribs.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 16, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous6/16/2008

    I agree with you about these. Well someday Ill create a blog to compete you! lolz.

  2. Anonymous6/16/2008

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  3. Anonymous6/16/2008

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  4. Anonymous6/16/2008

    You don't want any online lottery tickets?

    This dish sounds wonderful. I love the combo of orange with the spice. I'm going to test it this week on some beef tips I have frozen.


  5. please excuse the drool....

  6. Those look delicious! Any chance you will try a coconut cake any time soon? I still need to make my lentil soup! By the way, you have been tagged, stop by my blog.......

    Sue Ann

  7. Just dropped by accidentally and now I can't stop reading your blog. I'm a fan of the crockpot lady :-) Makes me hungry each time I read your posts. Keep up the good work.

  8. Oh wow, those look awesome!!

  9. Steph,

    Thanks for the shout out. Glad the ribs were a hit for father's day. When in comes to making tender succulent ribs, you cannot go wrong with the crock.

  10. Anonymous6/17/2008

    I often wonder how you continue to come up with such creative ideas every day, and then I wonder why I'm not a part of your family. Me :::: being very envious of all the yummy things Adam and kids get to taste-test!

    I'm trying out this recipe this week. It's my birthday on Friday and my week is pretty full, but I figure I can throw it all together tomorrow after work. Yum. It sounds too decadent and chichi for me to pull it off. I'll report back with my Orange Chipotle Rib shenanigins.

  11. ooooh, happy almost-birthday, Ash!


  12. Mmmm, I love ribs. I'll try this next time I have some to cook. Yum.

  13. I plan to try this later this week, but I couldn't find chipotle chili powder. Is that really important?
    Thanks, Nikki

  14. Hi Nikki,

    the chipotle powder is what makes it, um, chipotle... :-) so yup, you could leave it out, but then you'd have to change the name. ;-)

    in the hispanic aisle they have chipotles in adobo sauce that we can't eat because of the gluten, but if you aren't gluten sensitive, you can add one or two to the crock to get a smokey/chipotle flavor.

    If you want to skip the chipotle all together, use some chili powder.


  15. Anonymous6/26/2008

    I tried this last night and it wasn't my thing. It was a little too bitter from the orange rind even though I did add extra sugar. Oh well...still love this blog.

  16. I've just put this in the crockpot-that sauce smells so good I can hardly wait for 8 hours to pass. I did use pork country ribs as they were on sale and I couldn't find chipotle chili powder so I'm having to use just the regular stuff. Wow..that was a lot of garlic. Can't wait to taste it.

  17. anon, I'm sorry these weren't a hit. I can totally understand how orange peel can overpower a dish.

    donna, I hope you like them!


  18. Had these for dinner last night - they were phenomenal!! Used chili powder instead of chipotle though. The orange gave it a nice kick too!

    Boyfriend looooves ribs and the crockpot is the perfect way to make them!

  19. These were so awesome. I bought boneless ribs and they flavor is fantastic! So tender! I am eating the leftovers right now, I made a pulled pork tortilla. Thank for another awesome recipe!

  20. These are fantastic! Used beef ribs, and the meat fell off of the bone they were so tender. It's the first time I have ever cooked ribs - I didn't know they even made boneless ribs - next time I will try those. I have kids who don't like things too spicey, so I ramped down on the chili powder - they were still a huge hit!

  21. Anonymous7/27/2008

    Had these the other night -- so tender, the meat literally fell off the bone, and the sauce was terrific. The smell in the house was wonderful.

    For the people who have a hard time finding chipotle or other "exotic" spices, consider ordering online from Penzey's ( They have a huge variety of both common and rare spices and herbs, the quality is excellent and their prices are very reasonable. We get spices from them regularly because their stuff is much fresher and tastier than usual supermarket stuff.

  22. My first "a year of CrockPotting" recipe.

    (I used regular chili powder & did not have ginger powder - it was still yummy! I also did beef.)

  23. I tried this only we used steaks instead of ribs because we already had steaks at home and I didn't feel like going out and I used McCormick GrillMates Chipotle Pepper Marinade instead for the same reason. It was DELICIOUS! I served them with mashed potatoes and used the juices for gravy and they were a hit! My mom was over and had some and loved it too. She had never been over for a gluten free meal and was shocked how "normal" it tasted, lol.

  24. I have short ribs in my fridge. I have never tried them before and the plan was to crock 'em with home made bbq sauce, but this looks so good I may change my mind. As an aside, I shouldn't cruise food blogs at 11pm. I'm hungry now.

  25. I've made this 2 times now in as many weeks, with small additions, and it is so good, I find myself daydreaming about it :)

    I used pork spare ribs or baby back ribs. I place sliced onion on the bottom of the crock pot. I add molasses and back off on the chili powder, cuz I like em sweet :)

    Wonderfully tender and delicious.

  26. Anonymous12/01/2021

    I have these in the crock pot right now. I didn't have orange marmalade, so I used a lemon ginger jam that was in a gift basket that someone gave us, leaving out the ginger in the recipe. I just snuck a taste and OMG, it tastes wonderful! Can't wait to eat it for dinner. Thanks for another winner!