This EASY Slow Cooker Ribs recipe results in the most tender BBQ ribs with very little effort.

Looking for more slow cooker recipes? Try Crock Pot Baked Ziti, Beef Noodle Soup, or Pot Roast!

A large rack of ribs, sliced and covered in BBQ sauce.

We make Slow Cooker Ribs often on Sundays because I love having something wonderful to eat for family dinner, but low maintenance so I can enjoy a day off. They only require 15 minutes to prep, and you don’t have to babysit them at all while they cook. They’re restaurant quality and will wow your dinner guests!

Pro Tips:

Type of Ribs to Buy: baby back ribs, spare ribs, or country-style ribs will work for this slow cooker recipe. (I prefer baby back pork ribs. Costco sells high quality, well prices ribs in a three-pack.)

Remove membrane, if needed: Depending on where you purchase them, the ribs may still have a white, shiny membrane connective tissue on the back (bone side) that needs to be removed. Place the ribs meat-side down and slide your fingers under the membrane and use force to pull it off.

How to Make BBQ Ribs in the Slow Cooker:

Cut Rack of Ribs (Optional): You can leave the rack whole and curl it around the slow cooker if it fits well. Otherwise, cut the rack into a few sections.

Season the ribs on both sides with salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and brown sugar.  Lay them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil.

Side by side pictures of baby back ribs being covered in spices.

Quick Pre-Bake: Bake the ribs at 400 degrees for 15 minutes on each side to seal in the juices and render some of the fat. Alternately, throw them on the grill on HIGH for 5 minutes on each side.

Place in Slow Cooker: Layer the ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker or curl the rack around the inside. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. Mine are usually done cooking around the 4 hour mark. You want them to be tender, but no meat falling off the bone.

Side by side pictures of baby back ribs that are seasoned and then covered in BBQ sauce.

Serve: Baste the ribs with more bbq sauce and serve with your favorite sides (see my suggestions below).

BBQ baby back ribs laying on a counter with a person taking away one rib.

Serve With:

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Recipe

The BEST Slow cooker BBQ Ribs. Fall-off-the-bone tender and they couldn't be easier to make. | tastesbetterfromscratch.com
Prep 10 mins
Cook 4 hrs 30 mins
Total 4 hrs 40 mins
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Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 rack pork ribs* (about 2 lbs)
  • 32 ounces BBQ sauce*
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Season the ribs generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub garlic powder, onion powder and brown sugar onto both sides of the ribs. 
  • Pre-Bake: Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper. Bake the ribs on prepared pan for 15 minutes. Flip the ribs to the other side and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Slow Cook: Place the rack of ribs around the inside of the slow cooker, meat side facing out. Alternately, cut the ribs into a few sections and place them in the slow cooker. Smother them in some barbecue sauce, reserving some sauce for serving later. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, until tender but not falling off the bone.
  • Serve warm with extra barbecue sauce slathered on top.

Notes

Ribs: I prefer baby back pork ribs, but spare, or country-style will also work.
BBQ Sauce: Try my homemade BBQ sauce, or store-bought (Sweet Baby Rays and Masterpiece brand are my favorite).

Nutrition

Calories: 716kcalCarbohydrates: 94gProtein: 29gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 2460mgPotassium: 891mgFiber: 2gSugar: 76gVitamin A: 539IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 3mg

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I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated November 2019 and September 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Easy ribs that don’t take a huge amount of effort to make. My boys love it with mac & cheese.

  2. These fall off the bone baby back ribs are amazing! Absolutely delicious and unbelievably easy! Both of our favorite rib joints closed so we have been on the hunt for perfect ribs for a long time. My husband said, “This is it!” Thank you
    Lauren!!

  3. I make mine just in the slow cooker. I don’t start them in the oven. I call it one of my dump recipes…just season and dump them in the crockpot with bbq sauce (except I put pineapple preserves on top of the ribs first). Low for 8 hours, fall off the bone tender!

  4. Do you remove the membrane from the back? Will beef ribs work?
    Your recipes are spot-on they are all wonderful!

  5. 5 stars
    Typo on my last question…I would like to make a large batch of these for a crowd in my electric roaster (not toaster). How long would you recommend cooking them in a roaster and at what temp?
    Thank you!
    Shannon

  6. 5 stars
    I made these and they were excellent! I want to make them again but I’d like to make them in my electric toaster. How long would you recommend cooking them in a roaster and at what temp?

    Thank you – love your recipes!
    Shannon

  7. If I don’t have parchment paper can I still do in over or can I just put straight into slow cooker?

  8. 5 stars
    I have never been a rib fan; I have always thought they are too messy and difficult to eat with any sense of dinner table manners. To add to that, I have had false teeth for several years now which deepened my aversion to eating ribs. Well, a friend of mine has a February birthday and loves ribs and since I (modestly admit that I) am a pretty experienced home cook and Winn-Dixie always has BOGOs on ribs, I thought I would give it a try. I specifically sought out a slow cooker recipe to ensure that I wouldn’t have to whip up a batch of mac and cheese while my friend nibbled his b-day special ribs. I found your recipe, improvised a bit on sauce and seasoning, and the result was astonishing. I slow cooked for ten hours on low and the meat practically melted in our mouths. Another rib sale this weekend means that tonight I will be making these for the 3rd time in as many months. Thanks so much for helping me get over my ribophobia!

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