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Crock Pot Ribs

Crock Pot Ribs made in a slow cooker with an amazing dry rub and BBQ sauce. These incredibly tender ribs are fall-off-the-bone delicious and so full of delicious barbecue flavor.

Stack of crock pot ribs on a white serving plate

If you’re looking for the easiest method for cooking unforgettably amazing ribs that result in show-stopping tender results each and every time, these crock pot ribs are pure gold!

In the past, I’ve had mixed results cooking ribs in the oven or on the grill, but cooking them in the slow cooker yields the most magical texture. I would go so far to say crock pot bbq ribs is the best way of cooking ribs.

In fact, the ribs turn out so tender that the meat just slides right off the bone.

Plus, it is so easy to shred, which is ideal for those who love making barbecue sandwiches using shredded pork rib meat.

So the next time you’re craving a big rack of ribs, put them in the ol’ slow cooker, take the set it and forget it approach, and be greeted with the BEST ribs that the whole family will surely love!

Make these crock pot baby back ribs for an easy weeknight dinner or serve them up to friends and family on any special occasion or game day.

hand holding a rib

Let’s discuss the crockpot ribs ingredients, most of which you already have on hand.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Ribs:

Rack of Ribs: What type of ribs to use for crock pot ribs? Use baby back ribs, spare ribs, or St. Louis style ribs.

What is the difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs? Baby back ribs are leaner yet more tender than spare ribs and for this reason, tend to be a little more expensive.

In this sense, spare ribs are both fattier with a meatier bite. St. Louis style ribs are flatter in a near perfect rectangle and also fattier, which makes them easy to work with and also ensures a nice crispy fat layer.

Select the type of ribs you use based on the texture you enjoy. 

Regardless of whether you use baby back ribs or spare ribs, both options will be fall off the bone tender when you follow this easy crock pot pork ribs recipe.

Most large crock pots can fit two racks of ribs so if you’d like to make two racks (which is about 6 pounds), double the amount of dry rub and the amount of barbecue sauce. 

Dry Rub: Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper are all we need to make a fabulous dry rub for these delicious slow cooker ribs. 

Many people add brown sugar to a dry rub for ribs. If you’d like to do so, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the dry rub. You can also use chili powder or your favorite rib rub to season ribs.

BBQ Sauce: The reason we’re all here! The ribs get slathered in barbecue sauce throughout the slow cooking process, making these delicious ribs completely saturated in BBQ flavor.

I use Kevin’s Paleo BBQ Sauce which is naturally sweetened (refined sugar-free). We all have our favorite barbecue sauce, so pick yours! Stick with something that is tried and true that you know you will love.

You can also use homemade bbq sauce such as my Maple Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

If you follow a keto diet, use sugar-free keto BBQ sauce for a great recipe for sugar-free ribs.

While you only need 9 ounces of barbecue sauce to cook one large rack of ribs, which is about 3 pounds, I suggest having an additional bottle on hand for dipping the ribs for all the sauce lovers.

Serving plate with ribs

Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients for this easy slow cooker ribs recipe, let’s make them!

How to Make Crock Pot Ribs:

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the dry rub (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper) until well-combined.

Remove the rack of ribs from its packaging. If there is silverskin on the back of the ribs, cut it off and discard. Note: some racks of ribs come with the silver membrane already removed. If you’re unsure how to remove the membrane from pork ribs, watch this video for an easy tutorial.

Place the rack of ribs on a large cutting board and sprinkle both sides very liberally with the dry rub – you want those ribs to be well-seasoned!

Gently press the rub into the meat with your hands so that it sticks to the ribs.

Brush a light layer of Barbecue sauce over both sides of the ribs.

brushing bbq sauce over the ribs

Plug in your crock pot and spray the sides with cooking spray. This will make the crock pot easier to clean once the ribs have finished cooking.

Transfer the rack of ribs to the crock pot, placing it upright with the meat side against the walls of the crock pot.

rack of ribs in a crock pot

Pour the remaining sauce over the ribs, ensuring the rack is well saturated in sauce.

Secure the lid on the crock pot and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours, or until the ribs are very tender. Mine are fall-off-the-bone tender after 5 hours.

Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a large cutting board or baking sheet. Slice the ribs between the bones and serve with more barbecue sauce or collect the juices from the crock pot to use as a dipping sauce.

slow cooker ribs on a cutting board

If you’d like crispy ribs, transfer the rack of ribs to a large baking sheet and broil in the oven under the High Broil setting for 5 minutes.

Enjoy with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!

Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

plate of bbq ribs ready to be eaten

 

How Long To Cook Ribs in the Crock Pot:

On Low heat, cook ribs for 5 to 6 hours, or on High heat for 3 to 4 hours. I suggest cooking ribs on low heat for a longer amount of time for the best, most tender results.

The exact cooking time will vary depending on how meaty the ribs are, but 5 to 6 hours on low is generally all you need for incredibly tender meat.

Slow Cooker ribs on a plate, sliced into individual ribs with bbq sauce for dipping

If you love tender rib recipes, also try my Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs, Instant Pot Tart Cherry Short Ribs, and my Red Wine Braised Spare Ribs

If you’re looking for side dishes to serve alongside these best slow cooker ribs, check these out!

What to Serve with Ribs:

Enjoy this incredible pork ribs recipe!

Stack of crock pot ribs on a white serving plate

Crock Pot Ribs

Yield: 5 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Amazing tender fall-off-the-bone delicious and flavorful crock pot ribs is the BEST method of preparing ribs if you love tender meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp paprika*
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 9 ounces BBQ Sauce
  • 1 rack (3 pounds) baby back ribs or spare ribs

Instructions

    1. In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the dry rub (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper) until well-combined.

    2. Remove the rack of ribs from its packaging. If there is silverskin on the back of the ribs, cut it off and discard. Note: some racks of ribs come with the silver membrane already removed.

    3. Place the rack of ribs on a large cutting board and sprinkle both sides very liberally with the dry rub - you want those ribs to be well-seasoned! Gently press the rub into the meat with your hands so that it sticks to the ribs.

    rack of ribs on a cutting board seasoned with seasonings

    4. Brush a light layer of Barbecue sauce over both sides of the ribs.

    brushing bbq sauce over the ribs

    5. Plug in your crock pot and spray the sides with cooking spray. This will make the crock pot easier to clean once the ribs have finished cooking.

    6. Transfer the rack of ribs to the crock pot, placing it upright with the meat side against the walls of the crock pot.

    rack of ribs in a crock pot

    Pour the remaining sauce over the ribs, ensuring the rack is well saturated in sauce.

    7. Secure the lid on the crock pot and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours, or until the ribs are very tender. Mine are fall-off-the-bone tender after 5 hours.

    FInished baby back ribs in a crock pot

    8. Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a large cutting board or baking sheet. Slice the ribs between the bones and serve with more barbecue sauce or collect the juices from the crock pot to use as a dipping sauce.

    plate of bbq ribs ready to be eaten

    9. Enjoy with your choice of side dishes and enjoy!

Notes

*I use sweet paprika, but if you prefer smoked paprika, feel free to make the swap.

Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information
Serving Size 1 Serving (of 5)
Amount Per Serving Calories 680Total Fat 52gCarbohydrates 9gSugar 7gProtein 38g
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crock pot ribs collage

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Martin F. X. Marnik Jr.

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

I was unaware the crock could be used for ribs. I felt intimidated to bake them on the grill. Thanks for a fresh view in preparation and cooking.

Julia

Saturday 9th of July 2022

My pleasure! It truly is the best method when you're trying to get that incredibly tender fall-off-the-bone texture :)

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