Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

These Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs are easy to prepare and cook. They are “fall off the bone” good! They are tender, juicy, and sticky-sweet! So break out the paper towels and bring your appetite!!

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs–
Tender, Juicy, and Sticky Sweet!

These Slow-Cooker BBQ Ribs truly melt in your mouth and scream deliciousness! You can make these ribs any time of the year by using your slow cooker. They cook on low for 8 hours, and your house will smell amazing!

Tender fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs are infused with smoky flavors and mouthwatering spices. These ribs promise to be the star of any meal, delivering unmatched flavor and melt-in-your-mouth perfection with every savory bite.

Why You’ll Love This Great Recipe

This slow cooker BBQ rib recipe is a fabulous choice for anyone looking to enjoy tender, flavorful ribs with minimal effort. It’s sure to become a favorite your whole family will love and friends will enjoy, and the irresistible taste and simplicity are out of this world.

Easy Prep: With just a few simple steps, these crockpot ribs allow you to achieve a mouthwatering dinner with ease. 

Versatile: The ribs are perfect for any occasion or weeknight meal. Whether you are hosting a game day or a backyard BBQ, this recipe is sure to please everyone. This recipe allows you to cook tender fall off the bone ribs without the need for outdoor grilling.

Flavorful: The homemade spice rubs add depth to the ribs and infuse them with flavor. 

Tender and Juicy: By slow cooking the ribs, they become incredibly tender and juicy. The flavors meld together, and the ribs melt in your mouth.

Customizable: This recipe is easily customizable to suit your taste preference. The dry rub is in your control, whether you like extra spicy, mild, sweeter, or tangier. You choose your favorite BBQ sauce and the kind of ribs and flavor you want.

Let Your Slow Cooker Do The Work For You

Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you, and come home to amazing fall-off-the-bone ribs. These ribs cook all day in the slow cooker and then quickly finish off in the oven under the broiler. I promise you–your ribs will fall off the bone while trying to get them out of the slow cooker. In fact, I had to piece my ribs back together even to get a picture.

With slow cooking, simply season your ribs, place them in your slow cooker, and then let your cooker do the work. The low heat works wonders as the hours pass, transforming the meat into flavor-infused, fall-off-the-bone tender ribs. At the end of the day, your crock pot BBQ ribs will be waiting for you to enjoy them. This is an easy and foolproof recipe to enjoy delicious ribs any day of the week. 

Slow Cooker Ribs
“Fall off the Bone” Ribs

These ribs will be coated in sauce and rubbed generously with spices before being put into the slow cooker.

Spice Rub
Spice Rub

Make sure you use your favorite sauce on the ribs. I like to use a thick sauce that sticks to the ribs and doesn’t run off easily.

Spices and BBQ sauce
Spice Rub and BBQ sauce

I stand my ribs up while they cook so they are not stacked on top of each other, and they are not cooking in fat drippings all day. This allows for the sauce to set on the ribs while they cook.

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Stand Ribs up in the Slow Cooker

They will get another coating of sauce before they go into the oven. The sauce caramelizes in about 10-15 minutes under the broiler. They will come out sticky and finger-licking good!

Barbecue Rib Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients list for this slow cooker ribs recipe is simple and straightforward. Most grocery stores carry these ingredients, which are easy to customize if you need to make a swap or substitution. See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and amounts. 

Ribs: Choose a rack of ribs of your choice, such as spare ribs, pork ribs, beef ribs, or baby back ribs. 

Brown Sugar: A sweetener that adds depth and flavor to the ribs and the barbecue sauce.

Cayenne Pepper: Adds a touch of heat without being overpowering. You adjust the level of spiciness.

Salt and Black Pepper: Enhances the overall flavor.

Garlic: Minced garlic adds a delicious flavor to the sauce and the ribs. 

Creole Seasoning: This blend adds a ton of flavor with the mixture of herbs and spices. I prefer Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning but choose your favorite.

BBQ Sauce: Choose a barbecue sauce that suits your taste preference. You can also use homemade BBQ sauce if you desire. Experiment with different flavors to find the one you like the best. 

How To Make Easy Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

Preparing these ribs for the slow cooker couldn’t be easier. This is an easy way to have dinner waiting for you at night. With a bit of prep, you will have ribs that are sure to become a favorite in your household.

Make the Spice Rub: In a small bowl, stir together the spices until evenly combined. Rub evenly over the meat, coating well.

Cover with Half of the Sauce: Using about half a bottle of BBQ sauce, generously coat the top of the ribs, gently rubbing the sauce into the spices. 

Transfer the Ribs to the Cooker and Cook: Carefully transfer them to the slow cooker, arranging them in a standing position if space allows. Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for approximately 7-8 hours or on high heat for about 5 hours or until the ribs reach a tender, fall-apart consistency.

Broil: Once the ribs have finished cooking in the slow cooker, carefully place ribs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. They will be quite tender and may begin falling apart. Coat the ribs with the remaining BBQ sauce, ensuring even coverage. Place the pan in the oven and broil for about 10-15 minutes. Watch closely, then remove when you reach the desired color or begin to char and caramelize around the edges. The cooking time may vary according to your desired color and oven temperature. 


Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

So grab a roll of paper towels and dig in!

Recipe Tips

These are just suggestions for making the best-tasting slow-cooker BBQ ribs. Feel free to swap out a few ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Adjust the time on your slow cooker depending on the size and amount of ribs you choose to use. These will surely be the best ribs you’ve ever made in a slow cooker.

  • Choose the best cut of ribs according to what you like the best.
  • Remove the membrane on the back of the ribs if so desired.
  • Season generously. 
  • If your crock pot is large enough, stand the ribs up, with the back sides against the bowl and the meat side facing in.
  • You may also add a little water (1/4 cup) or apple cider vinegar to the bottom of the slow cooker to create some steam. This is optional.
  • Cook low and slow.

Recipe Variations

I have found this recipe to be super easy and yield the best slow cooker ribs. Feel free to experiment and make swaps and substitutions as desired. 

  • Make Asian-inspired ribs. Mix ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce, and brown sugar together and rub on the ribs before cooking. 
  • Experiment with Honey Garlic Ribs. Coat the ribs in honey, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Finish under the broiler for a sticky sauce.
  • Add a good stout beer to the bottom of the crock pot for a beer-infused taste.
  • Add more seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or cayenne pepper.
  • Add some apricot or peach preserves to the ribs. Delish!

How To Store and Reheat Crockpot Ribs

Properly store any leftover ribs to maintain their quality and flavor. Store all leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They are best enjoyed if eaten within 3-4 days. To reheat leftovers: When reheating leftover ribs, use a method that helps retain their moisture and flavor. You can reheat them in the oven or microwave by brushing them with additional BBQ sauce to prevent them from drying out.

Recipe FAQs

Can I Make Ribs In The Slow Cooker Without Barbecue Sauce?

Absolutely. The bbq sauce is optional but does add a lot of moisture and flavor and helps to keep the ribs from drying out.

How Do I Prevent The Ribs From Sticking To The Slow Cooker?

Since the ribs are standing up against the inside wall of the slow cooker, they may stick. To prevent the ribs from sticking, spray the inside of the cooker with a nonstick spray before adding the ribs. You may also add a layer of onions and a little liquid to the bottom of your slow cooker.

How Do I Know When The Ribs Are Done Cooking In The Slow Cooker?

Ribs are done cooking in the slow cooker when the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone. A meat thermometer can also be used to ensure that the internal temperature is reached. This temperature depends on the cut and the kind of ribs you are cooking.

Should I Remove The Membrane on The Back Of The Ribs?

This step is optional, but leaving the membrane on prevents some of the seasonings and sauce from penetrating the meat. The membrane is on the back of the ribs and should be removed with a sharp knife. Ask your butcher or the meat department at the grocery store to remove the membrane for you. 

Side Dishes to Serve with Ribs

Try this Yellow Rice and Corn Casserole as a side dish. It comes together easily and is quite tasty. Also, baked beans, crispy fried okra, corn on the cob, au gratin potatoes, and potato salad are awesome sides with these bbq ribs. 

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Creamed Peas

Slow Cooker Collard Greens

Slow Cooker Purple Hull Peas

More Easy Weeknight Dinners

Chicken Spaghetti

Cheesy Dorito Chicken Casserole

Homemade Lasagna

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

Gina Abernathy
These pork ribs are coated in a spice rub, covered with a thick bbq sauce, and cooked in the slow cooker. They are finished off in the oven under the broiler. They are sweet, sticky and absolutely delicious!!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 4-5 pounds Ribs of your choice
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning I use Zatarain Creole Seasoning
  • 1 bottle BBQ Sauce Your favorite flavor and brand


  • To make the Spice Rub: Stir together all spices and set aside.
  • Rub the Spice Rub evenly over the meat.
  • Use about 1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce to cover the top of the ribs and spices. Rub gently to work the sauce into the spices.
  • Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Transfer the ribs to your slow cooker. Stand them up-if your slow cooker is large enough.
  • Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours or High for about 5 hours OR until ribs are fall apart tender.
  • After the ribs have finished cooking in the slow cooker, transfer them to a foil lined baking sheet. They will fall apart!! Cover the ribs with the rest of the BBQ sauce.
  • Turn on the broiler in your oven. I set my oven to Broil 400 degrees. Place pan in the oven and broil for about 10-15 minutes OR until the sauce has set on the ribs and caramelized. Watch ribs the whole time they are in the oven. They will burn if your are not careful!!!
  • Remove the pan from the oven. ENJOY!!!
Keyword Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs


  1. I am salivating looking at this slow cooker spare ribs recipe. Now, I need to try and get some ribs, since I don’t have a freezer full. I am happy to take some off of your hands.

  2. MMMM BBW ribs. You are making me hungry and after I write this comment I am going to get lunch. It isn’t ribs but I am putting that on my least for next months recipes. With mashed taters. OH, yeah I better go it. LOL

  3. They look yummylicious by the end of it. I have made ribs before but never have I managed to make them fall off the bone. Something to try this weekend.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness, I’m drooling just looking at these delicious ribs! Saving it for dinner this week.

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