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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!
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
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:
- BBQ Sauce – you can use a favorite brand you purchase, but this sauce is scrumptious, simple to make and makes amazing ribs!
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.
Add the sauce.
- Add about ¾ cup of Homemade BBQ Sauce to the ribs.
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.
Prep and Serve the ribs.
- When ribs are done and before serving, cut the rack into individual ribs.
- Brush ribs with around ¼ 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.
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 ½ 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 ¼ and ½ pound of ribs per person.
Favorite BBQ Sauces for Ribs:
Sweet & Spicy Molasses BBQ Sauce (from the Add a Pinch Cookbook)
You can also use your favorite prepared barbecue sauce if you wish.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions
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:
Here’s my Slow Cooker Ribs recipe. I hope you love them as much as my family does!
Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe
- 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.
- Pour about ¾ 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.
- Before serving, remove the ribs from the slow cooker and cut into individual ribs. Brush with additional BBQ sauce, about ¼ cup. Serve on a platter with remaining sauce.
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Can the ribs be frozen or do I need to thaw them first?
You will need to thaw the ribs first. You don’t ever need to cook frozen pork in the slow cooker. Hope you enjoy the ribs! Thanks!
Why does my spare ribs have lots liquid in the slow cooker? My spare ribs were not frozen .
Meat can produce lots of liquid in a slow cooker and the lid prevents it from evaporating. Also, make sure you only pour 3/4 cup of the sauce in the slow cooker and use the rest as a sauce after the ribs have cooked.
Do you remove the thin layer of skin on the underside of the ribs before putting them in the crock pot? I believe it is on all ribs you buy in a grocery store – maybe a private butcher shop removes. Just curious if you cook them with that layer still on the ribs. Thanks!
Chetta, if it has not been removed by the butcher, I remove before cooking the ribs.
Looks wonderful! What cut of ribs are you using, back or side?
Lyn, 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.
Attempt went well considering that I used 3 times the recipe in one pot
I’ve never tried making 3 times this recipe in one pot, Jay Pee. So glad you had good results.
Just wondering what’s the benefit of standing the ribs on their ends.
Marcia, standing the ribs on ends gives you more space to fit all the ribs in the slow cooker. Also, the meat is tender but the meat tends to stay on the bone better.
We thoroughly enjoyed these ribs made with your BBQ sauce recipe. Stood them up in my slowcooker for 6 hours and they were perfect. Not too sweet, a bit of a kick from the hot sauce. Thank you!!
Thanks, Laurie-Anne. I’m glad you tried these with my homemade BBQ sauce.