Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe


5 from 12 votes
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This Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe makes the most delicious, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs! No grill or oven is required with these amazing ribs!

Slow Cooker Ribs are incredibly easy to make and most people would never guess they were made in the slow cooker. Coated in BBQ sauce and slow cooked in the slow cooker for the ultimate, tender, juicy ribs!

Photo of BBQ ribs on a white platter on a white background.

Save time warming up the oven or standing over the grill’s heat if you want to make the absolute best ribs. These Slow Cooker Ribs are the most amazing, delicious, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs ever, I think!

I absolutely love them and I’ve been told time after time that they are now so many other’s favorite ribs now too. And they couldn’t be easier. The secret is how I make them in the slow cooker.

How to Make Easy Slow Cooker Ribs

Photo of slab of ribs and bbq sauce ready to be cooked.


Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

To make these fabulous ribs, you’ll need the following:

  • Ribs
  • BBQ Sauce – you can use a favorite brand you purchase, but this sauce is scrumptious, simple to make and makes amazing ribs!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Rack of ribs arranged in a slow cooker.

Arrange the ribs.

  • To make them, start by spritzing the slow cooker insert with olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray.
  • Then, arrange the rack of ribs along the edges of the slow cooker. Depending on the size of your slow cooker and the size of your ribs, you can determine how many racks you can fit. For my 6-quart slow cooker, I’ve managed to snuggle in 5, about 2-pound each, racks of ribs.
Slab of ribs in a slow cooker coated with bbq sauce ready to cook.

Add the sauce.

  • Add about 3/4 cup of Homemade BBQ Sauce to the ribs.
Slab of ribs cooked in a slow cooker with bbq sauce.

Set the slow cooker and cook.

  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on Low or cook on High for 4 hours.
Ribs on a platter being brushed with additional BBQ sauce.

Prep and Serve the ribs.

  • When ribs are done and before serving, cut the rack into individual ribs.
  • Brush ribs with around 1/4 cup of Homemade BBQ sauce to finish them off with a fresh glaze of BBQ sauce before serving.
  • Serve on a platter with some additional BBQ sauce on the side.
Photo of cooked ribs on a white platter with more bbq sauce on the side.

How Many Ribs Per Person Do I Need?

When planning to make these slow cooker ribs, you’ll want to determine how many people you’ll be serving. I always like to add a little extra to my estimate to have leftovers or extras if needed.

Minimum as part of the meal. My rule of thumb for determining how many ribs per person I need is to plan for 1/2 pound of ribs on average if I have a well-planned menu, including great side dishes.

Maximum as part of the meal. If I know I’ll be serving a lot of hungry people, and mainly hungry men, I go ahead and plan for 1 pound of ribs per person.

Buffet or Appetizer. If the ribs are part of an appetizer or other meats are being served, I plan between 1/4 and 1/2 pound of ribs per person.

Favorite BBQ Sauces for Ribs:

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Mama’s Coca Cola BBQ Sauce

Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce

Sweet & Spicy Molasses BBQ Sauce (from the Add a Pinch Cookbook)

You can also use your favorite prepared barbecue sauce if you wish.

Storage Tips

To make ahead. Prepare as directed. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To freeze. Prepare as directed, cool completely, and store in a freezer-safe, airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Side Dishes for Slow Cooker Ribs

These ribs go with so many side dishes, from a simple House Salad to a favorite casserole. Here are some other sides we enjoy with them:

Southern Potato Salad

Southern Baked Beans


Squash Casserole

Here’s my Slow Cooker Ribs recipe. I hope you love them as much as my family does!

Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe

5 from 12 votes
This Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe makes the most delicious, tender, fall off the bone ribs! No grill or oven is required with these amazing ribs!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 people



  • 3 pounds ribs
  • 2 cups BBQ Sauce, homemade or store-bought


  • Spritz slow cooker insert with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. 
  • Arrange the rack of ribs by standing them on their ends around the edges of the insert. 
    Rack of ribs arranged in a slow cooker.
  • Pour about 3/4 cup of the BBQ sauce over the ribs, place the lid onto the slow cooker and set the timer for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. 
    Slab of ribs in a slow cooker coated with bbq sauce ready to cook.
  • Before serving, remove the ribs from the slow cooker and cut into individual ribs. Brush with additional BBQ sauce, about 1/4 cup. Serve on a platter with remaining sauce. 
    Slab of ribs cooked in a slow cooker with bbq sauce.


If the membrane on underside of the ribs has not been removed by the butcher, I always remove before I cook the ribs. 
To make ahead. Prepare as directed. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To freeze. Prepare as directed, cool completely, and store in a freezer-safe, airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Calories: 794kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 715mg | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 4.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Robyn xo

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

5 from 12 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Review


  1. Linda says:

    Hi Robyn,

    Just wanted to tell you the ribs were DELISH!

    We just bought an RV and don’t have an oven or a small grill. So I wanted to make something easy without having to spend too much time in the (small) kitchen of the RV.

    I looked all over for slow cooker rib recipes, but they all said to put the ribs in the oven for the last few minutes of cooking. Your site is the only one that truly showed how to cook ribs in a slow cooker!

    Thanks again!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Thanks, Linda!
      So glad you liked this recipe. I use my slow cooker a lot when we are in our RV. Happy traveling!

  2. Linda says:

    Hi, just found this blog and am trying your rib recipe right now. Question: Is there a special reason to put the ribs up on their side? I have a 6 qtr. slow cooker that is oval shape but not as deep as the round ones, so my ribs stick up out of the pot.



    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I use a 6-quart oval slow cooker, too. I can just get more ribs in the cooker with them on their sides as shown in my photo. You can place them however you want and the best way they will fit in your slow cooker. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

  3. Gwen Berliner says:

    Could I just throw the ribs in without whatever racks you mention? 

    1. Tracey Pegg says:

      Gwen Berliner – A “rack of ribs” is the uncut strip as purchased. 🙂

  4. Rachel says:

    Question- the ingredients list says 2 cups of sauce, but the directions say to use 3/4 cup and then glaze with 1/4 cup, which is only a cup! Am I missing something? What do you do with the second cup of sauce? Thanks!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Rachel,
      You add the BBQ Sauce as directed in the recipe. Then you’ll serve ribs with the remainder of the sauce on the side so people can add more sauce if they wish. Hope this helps! Enjoy them!

  5. Margo Haynes says:

    5 stars
    Robyn, these are absolutely delicious! I put them on at 9 this morning & my husband polished off an entire rack of ribs at 1 p.m. when they were done. I did not use your coca cola recipe as I love coke & I’m diabetic & I KNOW I would want to polish off the remainder of the coke! I used a BBQ sauce that I had purchased 2 gallons of from a couple that comes through about every 3 months selling their BBQ. Their sauce is delicious & since I used the last of it this time, next time I’ll try one of two homemade BBQ sauce recipes I’ve saved: yours and another one with a little more kick that has some onion & chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. I am sure though, I’ll eventually work my way through all of your BBQ sauces. I also need to get me a 6 qt. slow cooker as mine is only 5 qts. & I could barely manage to get tracks of ribs in it because I could find no 2-pound racks they were 2 1/2 pounds each! I truly love your blog! I can’t have a lot of sweets as I have diabetes 2; however, I do have some chicken breasts thawed that are calling for your for your spicy peach BBQ sauce! Thank you for all of the recipes, hard work, & love that you pour into your blog! Wishing you a very blessed remainder of 2018!

    1. Morgan Pevehouse says:

      5 stars
      If I only have about 1LB of ribs do I still cook for the same times?

    2. Robyn Stone says:

      I would cook the same as the recipe, Morgan.

  6. Daniela says:

    I would looooove to try these ribs but I have a question: could I keep these warm in the oven? I would like to make it for 6 people but my slowcooker might not be big enough for 3 pounds of ribs.Would be great if you could give me some advice! Btw, I loooove your cooking receipes!

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Daniela,
      You sure can! I hope everyone enjoys them! xo

  7. Pam says:

    Hi Robyn.
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful recipes you post.
    Do you have a specific type of rib that you prefer for the slow cooker?

    Thank you.

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      Hi Pam!
      I have found that all ribs work with that recipe for the slow cooker and it really depends on your personal favorite. My husband prefers St. Louis-style pork ribs, so that is generally what I use. I hope you enjoy it! xo

  8. Bo says:

    What kind of ribs do you generally use for this recipe? I see baby back and spare ribs. What’s the difference? Thank you

    1. Robyn Stone says:

      I used spare ribs in these pictures, Bo. You can use any kind of ribs. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

  9. Robyn Stone says:

    Thanks for catching that Sue! I’ve fixed the recipe for the correct time.
    I’m so happy you enjoy the recipes and the blog! Thanks so much!!! xo

  10. Sue says:

    Why does your recipe say cook time 2hrs 5 min. And your instructions say 8hrs on low or 4hrs on high?  Thanks sue.  I love your blog. Have tried many great recipes