There’s no easier way to make amazing ribs than this Slow Cooker Ribs recipe! It produces tender, flavorful ribs that only take a few minutes to prep and are sure to impress any guests!
Why I love these ribs:
- Hands-Off – Put the ribs in the slow cooker and let it do the work! There’s no babysitting them like you would on the smoker, and the end result is fantastic.
- Favorite Meal – We enjoy ribs year-round, whether during the winter with a side of mashed potatoes and roasted veggies, or in the summer with potato salad, baked beans and cornbread.
- The BBQ Sauce– If you want to make them extra special, use my homemade BBQ sauce recipe!
How to Make BBQ Ribs in the Slow Cooker:
Prep Ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub garlic powder, onion powder and brown sugar onto both sides. Lay them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Pre-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, meat side facing out. Smother them in BBQ sauce, reserving some for later. Cook crockpot bbq ribs on LOW for 4-6 hours. Mine are usually done cooking around the 4 hour mark. You want them to be tender, but not falling off the bone.
- 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 (and I buy them in a 3-pack from Costco).
- 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.
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Slow Cooker Ribs
- 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: (I like to use a slow cooker liner, for easy clean-up). 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.
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I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated November 2019, September 2022 and January 2024.
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