Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Ribs
The best sweet and sour ribs brown in the oven while their sauce reduces to a potent, sticky glaze. We wanted to make this dish in a slow cooker, where browning and evaporation are minimal.
Why This Recipe Works
Sautéing the onion, red pepper, garlic, and ginger in our Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Ribs cooked off excess moisture and intensified their flavor. To deeply season the meat, we turned to soy sauce and red pepper flakes, while rice vinegar provided a sour element. Frozen pineapple concentrate packed more fruit flavor than traditional canned pineapple chunks.
Replacing liquid sauce ingredients with more potent ingredients—like tomato paste for ketchup and apricot jelly for duck sauce—greatly reduced moisture. To ensure evenly cooked ribs, we halved each rack of ribs and stood the pieces up in a ring around the outside of the slow-cooker insert, where the heating coils rest. This technique resulted in perfectly cooked ribs with concentrated meaty flavor and even allowed the ribs to brown a little right against the heat source.