Slow Cooker Rib recipe makes tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs in the crock pot with almost no effort. This easy barbecue dinner is made with just 4 ingredients.
Slow Cooker Ribs are so easy and so tasty! The fall-off-the-bone tender ribs are cooked in the slow cooker and then finished off with a quick broil in the oven. The quick broil gives the ribs their fantastic sticky, caramelized, crackly texture.
It only takes four ingredients to make this easy recipe, and the recipe is super versatile. So, you can customize it to your tastes by using different sauces and rubs.
How to make
Rub ribs with barbecue seasoning mix. Place on side standing up in greased slow cooker. I use a 6 quart slow cooker.
Drizzle liquid smoke over ribs. Pour 1/2 cup barbecue sauce in bottom of slow cooker.
Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Preheat broiler.
Remove ribs from slow cooker, and place on parchment-lined broiler-safe pan. Brush with half of remaining barbecue sauce. Double coating the ribs in sauce helps to give the ribs the sticky, caramelized texture.
Broil for 3-5 minutes. Brush with remaining barbecue sauce.
Barbecue seasoning mix: Feel free to use any rub or seasoning blend that you like.
Liquid smoke: The liquid smoke helps to give the ribs more of a barbecued flavor. You can adjust the amount to taste.
Barbecue sauce: Homemade Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce or Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce are my go-to barbecue sauces. Feel free to make your own or use any store-bought sauce that you like.
You can adjust the cooking time depending on how tender you would like the ribs to be.
Cooking for 6-7 hours on LOW: You will end up with tender ribs that stay on the bone.
Cooking for 8-9 hours on LOW: You will end up with fall-off-the-bone tender meat.
Sides that go well with slow cooker ribs
Round out the meal with classic barbecue sides like baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, and cornbread.
While not as traditional, funeral potatoes also go really well with these ribs.
More barbecue and grilling recipes!
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Slow Cooker Rib Recipe
- 4 pounds bone-in pork spare ribs
- 1/2 cup barbecue seasoning spice mix
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 2 cups barbecue sauce divided
- Rub ribs with barbecue seasoning mix.
- Place on side standing up in greased slow cooker. I use a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Drizzle liquid smoke over ribs.
- Pour 1/2 cup barbecue sauce in bottom of slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Check out the details on the cooking time differences above the recipe.
- Preheat broiler.
- Remove ribs from slow cooker, and place on parchment-lined broiler-safe pan.
- Brush with half of remaining barbecue sauce.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes.
- Brush with remaining barbecue sauce.
- Barbecue seasoning mix: Feel free to use any rub or seasoning blend that you like.
- Liquid smoke: The liquid smoke helps to give the ribs more of a barbecued flavor. You can adjust the amount to taste.
- Barbecue sauce: Homemade Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce or Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce are my go-to barbecue sauces. Feel free to make your own or use any store-bought sauce that you like.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
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Originally posted 06/28/17 . Updated with additional photos and tips 5/7/21.
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Comments & Reviews
Kim Fuller says
Would I need to make any adjustments if I use baby back ribs instead of spare ribs?
No, you shouldn’t need to make any adjustments if you’re using baby back ribs.
Jennifer Bonsall says
Thanks for sharing another Crock-Pot idea. It’s something I’ll plan next time I go grocery shopping. I stumbled on this one accidentally because I had another rib recipe of yours bookmarked. It was also a Crock-Pot one that had a more Hawaiian taste to it. I’ve never thought to write it down because it had been on your wonderful blog for over a year. Is there a way I can please get a copy of it? It was one my picky eaters even devoured!
Yes! Would you like me to email it to you?
Thank you for sharing so many yummy recipes! My family has loved your 30 minute garlic knots-I’m looking forward to making these ribs for Memorial Day.
I’ve noted that you have previously shared a recipe for a Basic Seasoning Blend, but can you share a recipe for your preferred “barbeque seasoning mix” that you use on these ribs? Or is their an off the shelf brand you prefer?
Thank you so much! I love to hear that! =)
I have a few seasoning blends that I use: Kirkland’s Sweet Mesquite Seasoning Blend (Costco) and McCormick’s Grill Mates in Barbecue or Brown Sugar Bourbon.
Great recipe! The ribs were really good. I’ll try the sauce recipe next time. Thanks!
I’m so glad you liked them! The sauce is a family fave. Hope you enjoy it, too! =)