Juicy BBQ ribs cooked in the crock pot is the best and easiest dinner idea! Great for a small family, big family, or cooking for a crowd!
Best Slow Cooker Ribs
Trust us when we say that these are the BEST slow cooker ribs!
This recipe is super simple and these ribs turn out delicious every time – it’s fool proof! The meat falls of the bone and it’s cooked to perfection. There is almost no prep required for this recipe. Just place the ribs in the crockpot, whip up the BBQ sauce, and cook for 8 hours. The slow cooker does the heavy lifting for you.
We love eating ribs all year long, but especially in the summer time. This crock pot recipe is great for when you don’t want to heat up the grill or heat up your house by turning on the oven. Also, clean up is a breeze!
After the ribs are done, serve with some of your favorite summer side dishes. We’ve listed some of our best side dish recipes down below so be sure to check those out!
Picking the Meat
Picking rib meat: I used baby back pork ribs for this recipe. They come from the upper section of the rib cage and are typically leaner and include more meat on the bone. You can also use spare ribs. They come from the lower section of the rib cage. They have more bone to meat ratio which is why they are a little less expensive.
How much per person:
- Baby back ribs: plan for 1 lb per person.
- Spare ribs: Plan 1.5 lb per person 3
How to Cook Ribs in a Crock Pot
Prepping the ribs:
- Remove the silver lining on the back of the rack of ribs. Many butchers will already have it removed. It’s very thin, almost transparent. You should be able to slide your fingers underneath to peel it off or you can use a knife.
- Inspect the rack for any rogue pieces of bone
- Cut the rack so it will fit nicely into your crock pot.
Spray the crock of the crock pot with cooking spray, or use a liner for easy cleanup. Cut the rack of ribs in half to fit into the crock pot.
In a small bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire, chili powder, and salt. Pour the barbecue sauce mixture over the ribs. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 8 hours, or high heat for 4 hours. Spoon the additional barbecue sauce over the ribs before serving.
To caramelize the top: Save some of the sauce for this step. Once the ribs are finished cooking gently place it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the ribs under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully as they can quickly go from a beautiful caramel to unappetizing charred.
Storing, Side Ideas + Tips
FRIDGE: Raw ribs can last in the fridge for 3-5 day before they need to be cooked or frozen. Cooked leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.
FREEZER: Raw and cooked Pork Ribs will last in the freezer for 4-6 months. Be sure to properly store them. Tightly wrap raw ribs with plastic wrap then again with aluminum foil or freezer paper. Cooked ribs can be placed in a freezer safe container and frozen for
- Oven: preheat to 250°F Thaw in the fridge if applicable. Allow the ribs to come to room temperature. Wrap them in foil, including an extra coating of BBQ sauce. Place on a baking pan and heat for 20-30 minutes. Open the foil and broil for about 3 minutes.
- Microwave: I would only use this method if you are in a hurry as they dont turn out quite as well as the oven. Place the ribs in a microwave safe dish, add extra BBQ sauce and heat for 1- 2 minutes. Check and repeat if needed.
What to serve with ribs? The side dish ideas are endless, but here are some of our favorites:
- Parmesan Crusted Zucchini
- Easy Twice Baked Potatoes
- Baked Beans
- Roasted Green Beans
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
For More Meat Recipes, try:
Crock Pot Ribs Recipe
- 3 pounds baby back pork ribs
- 2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Spray the crock of the crock pot with cooking spray, or use a liner for easy cleanup. Cut the rack of ribs in half to fit into the crock pot.
- In a small bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire, chili powder, and salt. Pour the barbecue sauce mixture over the ribs.
- Cook on low heat for 8 hours, or high heat for 4 hours. Spoon the additional barbecue sauce over the ribs before serving.