Slow Cooker Ribs – AMAZING & EASY

Published on June 26, 2015 by Lauren

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  • You don’t need a smoker to have AWESOME ribs! These Slow Cooker Ribs will fit the bill when you’re in the mood for some fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs.


    Slow Cooker Ribs

    Slow Cooker Ribs:

    Cooking ribs don’t have to be hard – it is actually pretty easy! Only a few ingredients and 6-8 hours in the slow cooker will make your family VERY happy!

    Step 1:

    Trim any excess fat off the ribs and cut to size. You want to make sure that the ribs will fit in the bottom of the slow cooker. Don’t trim off all the fat though, you want to make sure you still have some left on there. That is what makes ribs so juicy!

    Step 2:

    Chop the ribs in half, and then slice the onion and lay it on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the ribs, then the spices, and finally the BBQ sauce and the water.

    Step 3:

    Cook on low for 6-8 hours. You want them tender and to come off the bone easily when you bite them, but not so much that they will fall apart when you simply pick them up.

    Slow Cooker Ribs


    Helpful hints for easy slowcooker ribs:

    Tip 1:

    Some recipes just call for BBQ sauce but adding paprika, pepper, and garlic really kick these up a notch. Once the ribs are done and you pull them out, the sauce left in the slow cooker is so good; you will definitely want to pour some extra on the ribs!

    Tip 2:

    If you want a super-tender rack of ribs, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for the thin membrane on the underside of the rack. This thin layer isn’t inedible, but it does toughen up quite a bit during cooking. If you do find that your rack of ribs has this membrane, simply turn your rack over and remove the thin membrane before cooking. That way you will have a very tender rack of ribs!

    Tip 3:

    I like to pre-cook my ribs in the slow cooker and then finish them off on the grill. Not only does this give me more control over the cooking temperature, but it also gives me more tender ribs. I tend to cook my ribs for 4 hours in the slow cooker and then finish them on the grill. When they are almost finished on the grill, I brush more bbq sauce on them and grill for a few minutes to give them the extra crunch I like.

    Frequently asked questions:

    What kind of ribs do you buy for Crock-Pot ribs?

    You can use any type of rib that you want, but for the crock-pot, I tend to use baby back ribs. I like them better than country style, and they seem to fit into the slow cooker a little easier.

    How long do ribs take to cook in a slow-cooker?

    I like to cook my ribs for 6-8 hours in the slow cooker. I find that if I try to rush them and cook them on high for 4 hours, they come out undercooked and tough.

    You want to cook them low and slow to break down connective tissues, that way they fall right off the bone.

    Can you overcook slow cooker ribs?

    The whole point of ribs is to eat them off the bone, so cooking them low and slow is the way to go. I find that you cannot overcook ribs in the slow cooker, but you can slow cook ribs without them falling off the bone. You do this if you cook them at too high a temperature and too quickly. If you cook ribs too quickly, they will become very tough and chewy. This may make you think that you’ve overcooked them, but you’ve actually just cooked them way too fast.

    When cooking ribs in the slow cooker, you want to cook 6-8 hours on low. Let those juices get into the ribs and slowly moisten the meat until it falls right off the bone.

    Should you sear ribs before cooking?

    You should not sear your ribs before cooking. You want to cook them low and slow to break down the connective tissue so they will fall off the bone when eating.  I do find that a quick sear will help to lock in juices and provide a good smoky flavor. I love a good rib that not only falls off the bone but also has a nice crispy outside layer!

    Slow Cooker Ribs

    And if you like this one, you might be interested in 40 other slow cooker dump recipes that are AMAZING!

    Slow Cooker Ribs

    Slow Cooker Ribs

    Slow Cooker Ribs

    5 from 1 vote
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    Author: Lauren Cobello


    • 2 - 2.5 lbs. baby back pork ribs
    • 1/2 onion sliced
    • 1 Tbsp paprika
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 16 oz. bottle BBQ sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
    • 1/2 cup water


    • Slice onion and place on bottom of slow cooker.
    • Cut ribs into halves or thirds and place over the onion.
    • Add all spices and garlic on top of the ribs.
    • Add the BBQ sauce and water.
    • Cook on low for 8-10 hours
    • Remove from slow cooker and enjoy!

    Slow Cooker Ribs

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    Slow Cooker Ribs




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