The most crazy-tender, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs you’ve ever tasted, made in your slow cooker! These SLOW COOKER RIBS couldn’t be easier to make, and the end result will knock your socks off!
I’ve been dying to update this recipe for you guys. Slow cooker ribs are one of our favorite dinners. One of those restaurant quality meals that you savor with every single bite. They are absolutly fantastic, and they require hardly any work on your part.
There are several things to LOVE about making ribs in your slow cooker.
First, they are the most tender and perfectly cooked, made this way. I’ve tried a few different methods (oven and grill) and this method is the easiest, and most fool-proof. You don’t have to worry about them drying out, or not being cooked right. ANYONE can master this recipe.
I also love how low maintenance these are. They take 15 minutes to prep, and you don’t have to babysit them at all while they cook. Perfect for an awesome weeknight meal, or a relaxing Sunday dinner.
Tips for the BEST slow cooker ribs:
What type of ribs to use:
I use baby back ribs. Spare ribs, baby back, or country-style will all work.
What size slow cooker:
Any 5 quart of larger slow cooker will work!
Remove membrane from the back of ribs:
Depending on where you buy your ribs, they may still have the white, shiny membrane connective tissue on the back (bone side) of the ribs. For extra tender, flavorful ribs, you can remove this membrane. Just flip the ribs so the top (meaty part) is face down. Slide your fingers under the membrane and rip it off. No special skills needed here, just use your fingers to yank it up and off the ribs.
I should add that I have forgotten this step before, and it’s not a huge deal–the slow cooker usually tenderizes the ribs enough that it’s easy to eat, BUT it can be chewy, and it’s easy to remove. It’s up to you.
Cut the rack in half or in sections.
You could curl the rack of ribs along the outside of the slow cooker, if you want. I’ve found that sometimes the lid doesn’t fit perfectly when I do that, so I often cut the rack in half, or into a few sections and stack them on top of each other in the slow cooker.
Pre-bake, then add to slow cooker:
Bake the ribs for 15 minutes on each side to seal in the juices and render some of the fat. You could also throw them on the grill on HIGH for 5 minutes on each side.
Then, add them to the slow cooker. I typically cook ribs in my slow cooker on LOW for 6-7 hours. If you cook them for longer than 7 hours they will still taste amazing, but they will completely fall apart (meaning the meat will be off the bone).
Reserve some BBQ sauce for later:
As the ribs slow cook in the BBQ sauce the sauce will get really thin. Before serving them, I like to baste them again in some more thick, delicious bbq sauce. You really can’t have too much sauce! YUM.
So what should you serve to go with these fantastic ribs?! The side dish options are endless. You could serve them with a big green salad and some cornbread. You could serve them with steamed or roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. They would be great alongside corn on the cob, potato salad, coleslaw, or baked beans. You really can’t go wrong here. Enjoy, guys!
The most amazing, fall-off-the-bone barbecue ribs, made in your slow cooker! These ribs couldn't be easier to make, and the end result will knock your socks off!
- 3-4 lbs pork ribs*
- 32 oz. BBQ Sauce*
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar
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. Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper. Bake the ribs on prepared pan for 15 minutes. Flip to the other side and bake for another 15 minutes.
Layer ribs in the slow cooker. Smother them in barbecue sauce, reserving some sauce for serving later. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3- 3.5 hours, or LOW for 6 - 7 hours. Serve warm with extra barbecue sauce.
*I prefer baby back ribs, but spare, or country-style ribs will also work!
*You can use homemade BBQ sauce, or store-bought. Sweet Baby Rays and Masterpiece brand are my favorites.