Crock Pot Ribs

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Crock Pot Ribs come out melt in your mouth tender and so full of flavor. They’re perfect for busy weeknights or easy weekend dinners with the slow cooker tenderizing in baby back ribs. A quick brush of bbq sauce and a flash grill (or broil) finishes these off beautifully!

Crock Pot BBQ ribs are always a hit and perfect served alongside our favorite Coleslaw Recipe, corn on the cob and Baked French Fries

Crock Pot Ribs on a baking sheet with dipping sauce

How To Prepare Crock Pot Baby Back Ribs

I’m pretty much known for my Instant Pot Ribs and my succulent Barbecue Ribs in the Oven so it’s only natural I’d share my fave crockpot rib recipe!

For all the methods, the process is similar, allow the ribs to cook low and slow so the meat becomes buttery and tender and finish up with sauce and a grill (or broil).

  • Prep the ribs by removing the silver membrane from the back (photo below). You can just slip a knife under it and pull (a piece of paper towel can help you grip it if it’s slippery). If you’re having trouble finding the membrane in this step, your ribs may already have it removed. Once in a while you’ll buy ribs that have it already removed.
  • Inspect the rack of ribs for bone pieces/shards as they can sometimes be present from the butcher cutting the ribs.
  • Cut the racks into manageable pieces that will fit into your slow cooker. I usually do halves or thirds depending on the size.

What Kind of Ribs to Buy for Crock Pot Ribs. I use pork baby back ribs (or back ribs). They’re the most tender and flavorful, side ribs also work however they have smaller white bones towards the end that I’m not a fan of (and they may need a little bit of extra time).

Removing the silver membrane from ribs

How to Cook Ribs in a Crock Pot

  1. Combine rub mix and massage into prepared ribs.
  2. Place onion, garlic and ribs in the slow cooker with a touch of water (or broth). Close the lid and let the crock pot work its magic.
  3. Once tender, brush the ribs with sauce (or just olive oil, salt and pepper if you’d prefer) and broil (or grill) for 3 to 5 minutes to get a little bit of char.
  4. Gently remove from the pan, cut ribs apart and serve!

Overhead shot of ribs and onions in a black crockpot

How Long to Cook Ribs in a Crock Pot

Crock Pot Pork Ribs (I use pork baby back ribs) are easy to make as long as you cook them low and slow. We prefer the meat on our ribs to be fall off the bone however, if you’d like a little but more ‘chew’ to your ribs, reduce the time a little bit.

  • Slow Cooker Ribs On Low will need to cook for about 8 hours
  • Slow Cooker Ribs On High will need to cook for about 4 hours

Remember not to lift the lid and peek, this can increase the cooking time substantially.

Crock Pot Ribs served on a plate with mashed potatoes and garlic bread

Perfect Rib Side Dishes

Crock Pot Ribs on a baking sheet with dipping sauce
4.98 from 140 votes
Review Recipe

Crock Pot Ribs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Nothing says busy weeknight or easy weekend dinners like Crock Pot ribs.

Ingredients

  • 2 racks baby back ribs about 3-4 lbs
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup water
BBQ Rib Sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • ½ cup your favorite BBQ Sauce

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Instructions

  • Combine all rub ingredients (below).
  • Remove silver membrane from the back of the ribs. Rub front and back of the ribs with spice mixture.
  • Place onion, sliced garlic, water and ribs in a slow cooker.
  • Cook ribs on high 4 hours or low 8 hours or until fork tender.
  • Preheat broiler. Combine ketchup, chili sauce and barbecue sauce.
  • Brush ribs with sauce mixture and broil (or grill) 3-5 minutes or until charred.

Recipe Notes

Rib Rub 1 tablespoon paprika 1 tablespoon brown sugar 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder 3/4 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

Nutrition Information

Calories: 297, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 724mg, Potassium: 439mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 280IU, Vitamin C: 6.2mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1.2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword baby back ribs, Crock Pot ribs, slow cooker ribs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Crock Pot Ribs with dipping sauce with a title

Crock Pot Ribs with a title
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. These ribs look amazing. I’ve never cooked ribs with a crock pot before. In fact I don’t even own one but this recipe has inspired me to get one and try this out.

  2. Another perfect meal! Today, 4th time making for my family. Holly, you did perfect again! These ribs and recipe is something that people would literally drive for to get! That’s how much we enjoy them!

    Thanks again Hollie.
    I do leave out chili and ketchup and use honey barbecue sauce. Always a hit.

    1. You can simply omit the lemon pepper or replace with half as much regular pepper. Enjoy Anne!

    1. Hi Syd, you may want to increase the rub by half more to cover the 3 racks. You could replace the chili sauce with BBQ sauce or ketchup. Enjoy!

  3. Taste is good. However it’s way too spicy and I love spicy food. The heat is so overwhelming that’s all you can taste. Will make again but reduce the chilli sauce by half.3 stars

  4. WOW. I very rarely post comments on recipe sites, but this was exceptional. I’ve never made ribs before, and I’m not a big rib fan, but felt like trying something new. I cooked them on low for 8 hours as directed and it was very difficult smelling them all day, but the wait was worth it! I had to use two spatulas to keep the ribs from falling apart while transferring from the crock pot to the pan for broiling. I added the sauce, but the rub was delicious on its own, too. Thank you for sharing this recipe!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review Chelle, I truly appreciate it. So glad you loved these as much as we do.

  5. Second recipe in a week I’ve used/cooked from on spendwithpennies.com. Both have been amazing — especially this crock pot baby back pork ribs recipe (the other was chicken tortilla soup in a crock pot)! Both keepers!!! My husband said when eating “…these ribs are sooo good!” I used the rub recipe (highly recommend) and used a lot of minced garlic instead of chopped garlic in the crock pot. I used regular BBQ sauce at the end although I intend to try the sauce recipe here in the future. I too (like others who have commented) cooked for 4.5 hours on high for just under 4 lbs. of ribs.5 stars

  6. I’m making crockpot ribs for the third time in about 6 weeks. This has turned into a family favorite both because it’s so easy to put together, and because it tastes so good!

    1. Use the low setting on the slow cooker for 8 hours, or the high setting on the crockpot for 4 hours. It is the setting on your crockpot, not a specific temperature.

    1. I haven’t tried beef ribs with this recipe but I do think it would work. Let us know how it goes if you do try it.

    1. Hi Ken, you can certainly use beer instead of water or broth! Let us know how they turn out for you! :)

  7. The ribs came out perfectly. I was so surprised they literally fell off the bone. Thanks to Mironda’s suggestion on cooking them on high for 4 1/2 hours. I also tried the homemade rub and it added a nice flavor. I also used Kraft honey bbq sauce since that’s all I had and it still came out soooo good. Thanks for this easy flavorful recipe.5 stars

  8. Why wouldn’t you use just straight BBQ sauce? Just curious on your thoughts. I try to stay away fron high fructose corn syrup.

    1. You can if you’d like, I love the flavor the chili sauce adds. It takes some of the sweetness and makes it zestier!

  9. My oven died and I needed to cook some ribs. I googled if it was possible to cook ribs in a crock pot I saw this recipe. I was skeptical because it was so simple and easy. It was delicious! The ribs were fall off the bone tender and juicy. The flavor was delicious. My rub was paprika, onion powder and garlic powder,cracked pepper. I cooked mine on low for 5 hrs and on high for the last 2. Then broiled them with BBQ sauce. Perfect! Thanks for sharing this fabulous method for the easiest and most delicious ribs.5 stars

      1. I haven’t tried this with boneless ribs (depending on what kind of ribs) but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work! If they’re country ribs, you might need to add some extra cook time to make them tender. Let us know how it goes.