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Summer doesn’t mean having to skip hot meals. Ree Drummond, the host of The Pioneer Woman, has a way around heating up the kitchen and the rest of the house. She uses a slow cooker, instead of the oven, to make her Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs. 

Ree Drummond ‘didn’t grow up using a slow cooker’

Ree Drummond smiles and wears a flower pattern blouse
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Only use the slow cooker in the fall and winter months? Dust it off because the Food Network star shows just how versatile the kitchen appliance can be. 

During an episode of The Pioneer Woman Drummond explained that while she didn’t eat a lot of slow cooker recipes as a kid she turns to it when temperatures rise in the summer. 

“I didn’t grow up using a slow cooker,” she said, according to Food Network. “My mom didn’t really use one that much. But on a hot summer day like this, it’s really nice for things that need to cook for a long time. I don’t want to have the oven on for several hours today. It’s just too hot outside.”

Enter the cookbook author’s Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs. Drummond cooks them in the slow cooker until they’re tender. 

The Pioneer Woman finishes the ribs in the oven

'The Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond speaks into a microphone while addressing an audience in New York City in 2017.
Ree Drummond | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for The Pioneer Woman Magazine

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Drummond’s ribs aren’t made entirely in the slow cooker. She does turn on the oven. After the ribs have been cooking in the slow cooker for anywhere from two to eight hours depending on the setting, she transfers them to the oven. 

The Pioneer Woman turns the ribs about every 15 minutes. With each turn, she adds some of the sauce. According to the explanation Drummond gave on her cooking show, coating them in the sauce while they bake ensures the sauce adheres to every piece of meat. After 45 minutes and three layers of sauce, the ribs should have a shiny, sticky glaze.

What about Drummond’s ranch in Oklahoma? Did the kitchen get overheated when she turned on the oven? No. She described the house as “still nice and cool.” 

Drummond’s Sticky Spicy Slow-Cooked Ribs recipe has 5 stars

At the time of publication, the Pioneer Woman’s slow cooker rib recipe has five stars on Food Network’s website. It’s been reviewed more than 50 times and while some reviewers call out the intense level of spice — Drummond uses two chipotle peppers in adobo, not two cans as the recipe may suggest — most loved the finished product.

“Best and easiest rib recipe I’ve ever had!!!” one person wrote. “I made these ribs tonight and all I have today is WOW,” said another before adding, “I didn’t change a thing and they were fabulous.”

Others loved the sauce in particular. “The sauce ingredients melded together to produce finger lickin’, mouth waterin’ ribs,” read one review. Another said, “The ribs were tender, the sauce was out of this world and it was so easy. Wouldn’t change a thing.”

This isn’t Drummond’s only slow-cooker recipe for ribs. Her Slow-Cooker Teriyaki Ribs are made in a similar way and they’re on the Pioneer Woman’s list of “cheap and easy” budget-friendly recipes.