How to Cook Ribs in a Crockpot
The meat in this crock pot ribs recipe is tender, flavorful, and falls off the bone. Your
whole family will love it!
What ingredients do I need to make slow cooker ribs?
Baby back ribs: I recommend 3-pound ribs but 4-pound ribs will work as well. I
sometimes use St. Louis style ribs, spare ribs or pork tenderloins for this recipe.
Water: The water in the bottom of your slow cooker keeps the ribs moist during the
cooking process. You can also use stock, beer, or apple juice instead.
Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce: We love eating our slow cooker barbecue ribs with Sweet
Baby Ray’s sauce or ketchup. You can use homemade bbq sauce or your favorite
Spices: Store-bought bbq rubs, or just simple salt and pepper are great options as well.
What equipment do I need to make the ribs?
- Small bowl
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoon
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
How to make slow cooker ribs
First, season the ribs with spices and then brush barbecue sauce on them. Cook them
in a crockpot that has a little water on high for 3-4 hours and low for 7-8 hours.
What is the internal temperature for bone tender ribs?
The internal temperature for bone-tender ribs is between 190 and 200 degrees. Ribs
tend to be done at 145 degrees but at that temperature, they are usually kind of tough.
Can I use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil?
I wouldn’t recommend using parchment paper to broil the ribs. It could catch fire.
What kind of store-bought seasoning can I add to the ribs?
Feel free to add your favorite seasoning. I would recommend seasoning that’s meant to
be put on pork.
How many pounds is a rack of ribs?
I recommend the 3 pound baby back pork ribs for this recipe.
What can I do instead of broiling?
Instead of broiling, brush sauce on them, place the ribs in an oven at 400 degrees and
bake them for 15-20 minutes. You can also throw them on a grill!
What sides go well with barbecue ribs?
In my opinion, almost everything goes well with ribs. Our family favorites are sweet
corn, potato salad, baked potatoes, coleslaw, French fries, mac and cheese and beans.
How many people does one rack feed?
One rack will feed about 4 people. Or 2, depending on how hungry they are.
Will 4-hour ribs be as tender as 8-hour ribs?
Yes, 4-hour ribs will be as tender as 8-hour ribs.
Can I use pork tenderloins for this recipe instead of ribs?
Certainly! You can totally use pork tenderloins instead of ribs.
What crock pot size did you use?
I used the 4-quart cooker for this recipe. You can also use the 5- to a 6-quart slow
cooker for this recipe.
Can I cook 2 racks in this slow cooker?
Yes, you can cook 2 racks in your slow cooker. It’s okay to place them on top of each
other. Also, be sure to double the ingredients.
Would it be okay to add veggies to the slow cooker?
Yes, it’s absolutely okay to add veggies like carrots, and onions to cook along with your
Can I use a plastic bag in the slow cooker?
Yes, you can use what are known as slow cooker liners. These liners are designed for
slow cookers and won’t melt while cooking. Liners are great because they make
clean-up really easy! Slow cooker liners can be found next to the aluminum foil in the
What do I do with leftover ribs?
Place your leftover ribs in a freezer bag and store them in the fridge or freezer. They will
keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Slow Cooker Ribs
- 3 pounds baby back ribs
- ½ cup of water
- ½ cup of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce
Spice Rub Ingredients
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, chili powder, salt, onion powder, dried thyme and black pepper.
- Using a paper towel, pat your ribs dry. Removing the silver membrane that's underneath the ribs is not really necessary.
- Sprinkle the homemade dry rub evenly on the meaty side, and on the sides of the ribs.
- Apply the spice rub on the back of the seasoned ribs as well.
- Brush Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce onto the rack of ribs. Feel free to use homemade sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce.
- Cut the ribs into smaller sizes so they can fit into your slow cooker. This is an optional step.
- Add ½ a cup of water into the bottom of your slow cooker and then place the ribs inside. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat for 7-8 hours. The longer you cook them, the more tender and ‘fall off the bone’ they will be.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the crockpot ribs on it. Brush the remaining sauce on the ribs.
- Place the bone-tender ribs under a broiler, bone side down, for 5-8 minutes or until the rack of delicious ribs are crispy and caramelized. Remove the ribs from the oven and brush them with the additional barbecue sauce.
- Enjoy your fall-off-the-bone crockpot baby back ribs with a side of fries and coleslaw.