John McCain's Rib Recipe--in the CrockPot

Day 307.

John McCain is known for many things, but one of the things you might not know is that he makes a killer rack of ribs.

I learned about this recipe when he shared it with the Today Show while he was running for president.

These are the most simple ribs I've ever made, and they are good. Really good.

Obama's chili is coming up tomorrow!

The Ingredients.

4 pounds of beef or pork ribs
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons ground black pepper
3 lemons, juiced

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker.

4 pounds of ribs fit comfortably, but I maybe could have squeezed in another pound.

Cut the ribs to fit your crockpot. In a small bowl, combine the dry spices.

Rub the rack of ribs with the dry mixture, covering all sides of the ribs. 

Put them into your crockpot. If you have extra seasoning, pour on top.

Squeeze the lemons (use one of those hand-held juicer things, to make sure all the juice gets out) on top of the ribs.

Cover and cook on low for 7-10 hours, or on high for about 5. T

he meat will be more tender if you cook it on low.

Serve with corn on the cob and baked potatoes.

John McCain's famous lemon pepper rib recipe.

The Verdict.

I've never made ribs in the crockpot with a dry rub before. 

I was nervous that they'd get awfully tough and burn.

 I couldn't have been farther from the truth. 

The meat was flavorful, tender, and juicy. The lemon gave a neat tartness I've never had with ribs before.

  The kids ate the meat, and there were happy noises at the table. They've asked me to make this again.

If you are looking for more slow cooker rib recipes, I have a roundup, here.

pst. as an FYI, I'm not going to post any comments with a political slant. ;-0

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at November 02, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous11/02/2008

    I saw him make these on Rachael Ray! It looked super simple and delicious. I'm glad you tried it in the crockpot. For those of us in colder climates it's getting a little chilly to hang out by the grill. Thanks!

  2. Hey, when it comes to food, McCain's ribs and Obama's chili are equally exciting!

    This looks great and easy--thanks!

  3. Ribs... in the crock pot... I *heat* you for evah.

  4. Anonymous11/02/2008

    i saw the rachael ray episode too! he's like a grilling machine.

    and i'm glad you don't post your political opinion. politics make people angry (really angry) and i don't want to have people yelling through blog comments.

  5. Anonymous11/02/2008

    looking forward to Obama's chili!

  6. Anonymous11/02/2008

    These sound yummy!! Try the same seasoning on steak and broil it.. it's delicious too... it's an old Nicragua recipe.

  7. Thank you for not getting political with the recipe's. I just want to believe my crockpot lady is nuetral and not biased in her food tasting verdict's.

  8. Hmmmm...I've got some country style pork ribs in the deep freeze. I think I'll put them in the fridge to defrost and crock pot 'em on election day.

  9. I'd have new thought to do ribs in the crock pot! Thank you!

  10. I also appreciate your politic-free blog. I read so many food blogs and there are some pretty politically opinionated "foodies" out there. This is a heated race - it's nice to read a blog and not to have to get angry about who you personally chose to support for president. :-).


  11. Hi Stephanie
    This is a random comment just to tell you how much I've enjoyed your blog this year and the recipes you've shared. I appreciate your honesty about things that didn't taste good or work out right and enjoy your writing style and humor as well. Hope you will keep the site up, even when you are done with the every day thing! There are still lots of your recipes I'd like to try and haven't gotten to yet. :)
    Thank you for doing this and for sharing it on a blog.

  12. These sound good. I saw him on Rachael Ray and they looked good then to:) I can't wait to see the chilli.

  13. LOL ... when I clicked to enlarge the photo, it actually made my mouth water! (Think I'm hungry?)

    I'm like you, in that I don't like the whole "swimming in fat and grease" thing. Did you elevate the ribs on foil balls or a rack?

  14. I must say that, as a Texan, it's good to see someone do a Texas-style (= dry rub) beef bbq. I'll have to try this one out. Thanks for posting it, and thanks to Senator McCain for sharing it. I'm looking forward to Senator Obama's chili, too! Both are perfect things to serve for a night of bipartisan (or even partisan) election-watching. Reminds us that even those whom we oppose politically are still human beings just like us and deserve our respect for stepping up to serve.

  15. Anonymous11/02/2008

    This sounds delicious and easy enough for even me to cook! I'm looking forward to tomorrow's chili, too.

    Thanks for posting these non-politically! I visit a couple non-political message boards that have gotten awfully rude lately due to differences in politics not being discussed politely. Hey, calm down! We all love good food!

  16. I had some ribs in the freezer and an open slate for dinner tonight, so I threw these in the crockpot today. They were awesome! I know this seasoning combo as sluvaki which is a greek word that I am sure that I butchered in spelling. I hadn't done ribs in the crockpot before either and I was pleasantly surprised! They weren't greasy and the meat just fell off the bones. I will do ribs again! I stood them up to keep them out of the fat and that seemed to work pretty well. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  17. Anonymous11/02/2008

    Thanks for the politics free blog...I like the other women just want to enjoy a blog that is politics free! I've really been excited since I discovered this blog a couple of weeks's been a real treat for me to check in and see what you prepared. I'm already thinking about what I'll do at the end of the year!!!

  18. Anonymous11/02/2008

    It is on my list of recipes for the week!! Thanks for the idea! :)

  19. I am very intregued by these, I have been craving some good ribs. Thanks for blogging about crockpotting. I live too far away and work long hours. My crock pot is the only way to have a warm, home-cooked meal some days. It is nice to get so many ideas in one place.

  20. Wow! This sounds yummy. A dry rub in the crock? I have got to try it!

  21. I just found you and am looking forward to looking at old posts. I am already going to try your brown sugar chicken this week. I linked your recipe in my blog. Thank you!

  22. Lemon really? OK, I normally sprinkle garlic salt, salt and pepper on my ribs. I'll have to try the lemon next time.

  23. We are equal opportunity crockpotters, yes?

  24. Oh, those look GOOD.

    Looking forward to your review of Obama's chili!

  25. yum yum yum. Ribs in crockpot. Sounds too good to be true.

  26. Anonymous11/03/2008

    Yay, something to do with the politicians that I care to hear about LOL Looking forward to tomorrow, too!

  27. mmmm sounds yummy - I can definately try this one!

  28. Looks yummy!!! If I use pork ribs do you think that would shorten the cook time??? Can't wait to try!

  29. Anonymous11/03/2008

    Would be fun to make both candidates' recipes for an Election Night party, and see which recipe is more popular!

  30. THANK YOU!!! I saw McCain make these on Rachael Ray and was thrilled to see I could make them in the crockpot. And I just happened to have ribs in the freezer. Made them for dinner tonight and they were fabulous!

  31. Anonymous11/04/2008

    Its election day and I have these and Obama's chili in my crock pots. May the best man win.

  32. Thanks for sharing! I am trying them tonight in honor of the election. I blogged about and linked back to you!

  33. I made these last night using Country Style Pork Ribs. I used 10 large ribs with the seasoning exactly as in the recipe. I cooked on high for 1 hour then put it on low for 6.5 (they were probably done earlier). They we as tender as you could want, and totally fell off the bone - it ended up being pork chunks rather than ribs but it was delicious!

    I served them with warmed bbq sauce on the side and we all liked them with sauce even more. There was enough meat left over to mix was sauce and have it on sandwiches tonight. I'll make this one over and over! YUMMY!

    To answer someone's comment on swimming in grease - YES, they did cook in very greasy liquid. When taking them out of the crock I put them on a rack placed inside a 13 x 9 and let a lot of the grease drip off. As we ate it - the meat was moist but not greasy.

  34. I have these in the crockpot today!!! I'm really excited about dinner tonight! I'll let you know how they turn out!

  35. I wanted to try to make this and I had just one question. My ribs are int he freezer and my fridge takes forever to thaw things (well sometimes it even freezes things, I will have to look into that when I get the chance sometime). A
    Anyway, the question. If I use frozen or partially frozen ribs, it still should be okay yeah? Do I need to just upt he amount of time it is in there or what?

  36. wv mom, throw them in frozen. I've cooked with frozen ribs lots. I'd count on another 90 min-2hrs cooking time.


  37. Steph,

    We partook of these last night. My hubby likes pork better, but I made the beef and he LOVED them! We both loved them! I found them to be a bit too salty so next time I will lay low on the kosher salt. Otherwise, this are on the menu anytime I find ribs on sale!!!
    You ROCK!
    ps - probably this weekend or next week, I'll be writing a blog about how great these were - you will get ALL the credit!

  38. We do baby back pork ribs in our crock pot all the time. I season mine with plain old Tony Chacheries Cajun seasoning and cook on low for about 6 hours. You can also put them in still frozen. No liquid is necessary. They are tender and juicy.

  39. I made these last night with your garlic baked potatoes in another crockpot and my husband loved both of them! Thanks!

  40. Just ran across your blog. I too love cooking in my crock pot. In fact, I have potatoes baking in it right now. I am looking forward to trying the ribs, cheesecake and PB fondue.

  41. GREAT idea being non-partisan in your blogging! There's plenty of that to be had elsewhere.

    Here we can appreciate how good food brings people together, instead of splitting us apart.

    Long live non-partisan crock potting!!!

  42. Anonymous11/18/2008

    I used beef ribs and they were amazingly tender. My husband liked the ribs, but I thought they were too salty. I did like how tender the meat came out and plan to try again with a different dry rub.

  43. Anonymous12/01/2008

    These are so yummy! I used pork back ribs, and seriously wish I had a bigger crock pot so I could make more in one batch. My hubby & 2 year old loved them too. There were no leftovers. So simple and tasty. Thanks for the recipe! I can't wait to make them again.

  44. These are so yummy. My picky son who does not like ribs loved these. THank you so much:-)

  45. My ribs always fall off the bone in the crockpot so I had given up on cooking them in there. However, I decided to give these a whirl. I prefer my ribs to be sticky with sauce and still attached to the bone. These came out more like pot roast beef. They were a bit too spicy for us, so next time I will add less pepper. I also think 3 lemons was too much sourness so next time I will use 2 lemons and one orange. Hubby loved them and the girls would have liked them if there wasnt so much pepper. I will be trying these again though.

  46. I just realized that my Blogger name is no longer applicable!

    I made these tonight and they were DELICIOUS!
    My tongue jumped outta my head and was doin a jig on the table!
    I pared it with my mama's homemade BBQ sauce. I don't think it coulda been easier or tastier!

    I will concur, however, with the PPs who said they were a bit too peppery. But, to each his own!

  47. Stephanie - my girlfriend just sent me the link to this blog last week and I LOVE it! I made these ribs on Sunday and they were fantatsic - can't wait to try more of your recipies!

  48. We made these last night (well, ate them last night, made them yesterday morning!) and they were SO good! I love the different flavor rather than just using BBQ sauce or something. I used country-style pork ribs and they worked out great.


  49. These were great--thanks! So easy, stuff I always have in the house for spices--a true winner.
    One thing--I used country style pork ribs, and they ended up almost braising, there was so much liquid. Still delish and enjoyed by 3/4 in the house, so success, but not what I expected!

  50. I tried this last night. My family loved it! John McCain really knows his way around some ribs, and I love the crockpot variation. I put a bit of barbeque sauce on mine, and I am looking forward to leftovers for lunch.

  51. Anonymous1/12/2010

    we made these for a casual dinner party for 4 and NONE were left. i think the husband of the couple who came for dinner now wants to marry me because of these ribs. Just joking but they were the best things we've eaten in a LONG time! thank you!

  52. Anonymous7/14/2011

    I made these tonight & they were a huge hit! Due to our political leanings, I'd call this recipe a bi-partisan success!