Meet the most fall-off-the-bone tender, no oven, I-think-I’m-gonna-need-a-bigger-bib Crockpot Ribs. Do yourself and every rib lover in your life a finger-lickin’ favor: put a batch in your slow cooker. TODAY.

The BEST slow cooker ribs with delicious BBQ sauce

The original catalyst for this easy crockpot ribs recipe was Ben’s enthusiasm for all things barbecue and my love for simple, hands-free cooking in the slow cooker.

Like my Instant Pot Ribs, these crockpot ribs have the deep, finger-licking-good flavor that you love but they’re so much easier.

After only 10 minutes of prep, you can let the slow cooker do the rest of the work. When the cooking time has ended, you’ll open your crockpot to find the best slow cooker ribs you’ve ever had.

These tender ribs are ideal for game day parties, easy weeknight dinners, or anytime you’re in the mood for something undeniably delicious.

Tasty pork ribs covered in the best BBQ sauce

Why I Love Crockpot Ribs

This crockpot ribs recipe will work for any style of pork ribs. We did baby back ribs (cook’s prerogative—baby back ribs are my favorite), but country-style ribs or spare ribs could be used too. I haven’t tried crock pot boneless ribs yet, but I see no reason why those wouldn’t work. I’d suggest shortening the cook time.

In addition to being one of the best crock pot recipes to come out of my kitchen in a long time, these slow cooker ribs have a full rack of winning qualities.

  • The prep is quick and easy. You’ll need less than 10 minutes to get them sauced and in your slow cooker.
  • The BBQ Sauce is homemade. I adore the recipe below, and if you are looking for some extra sauce to serve on the side or another saucy option, you can check out my homemade barbecue sauce.
  • Keep the oven off. Wondering how long to cook ribs in the oven at 200 degrees? Three to four hours! To me, that is a looooong time to have my oven running. The slow cooker will keep the house cool and the oven available if you need it for other endeavors.
  • Less risk of overcooking. While I adore the flavor of barbecue ribs made on the grill, how long to cook ribs on the grill is challenging even for pit masters (the New York Times agrees). Keep it simple and let the slow cooker do the work.
  • Super smells. By the time the crock pot ribs are done cooking, your entire kitchen will smell like slow-cooked BBQ paradise.

The Ingredients

  • Pork Ribs. Juicy, tender, and one of the best cuts for barbecue! While I made slow cooker baby back ribs, spare ribs or country-style ribs will also work.
  • Ketchup. A key ingredient in our BBQ sauce. While I’m not usually a fan (true confession), here it adds thickness and sweetness.
  • Molasses. Another essential element in our sweet, sticky sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. To add tangy flavor and balance the sauce.
  • Hot Sauce. For a little bit of heat.
  • Spices. Spices are the final component that takes our BBQ sauce to the next level. This recipe uses a combination of chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

The Directions

  1. Spray a slow cooker with nonstick spray, and add the ribs. Mix the sauce ingredients, and pour half of it over the ribs.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours, until tender. Serve immediately with the reserved sauce, and DIG IN!

Easy and tasty slow cooker ribs with delicious BBQ sauce

  • Thermometer. Ribs are safe to eat at 145 degrees F, but the temperature should be at 190 degrees F or higher to ensure the most tender meat. You can use an instant read thermometer to check the exact temperature.
  • Color. When done, the meat in the middle should be white, and there shouldn’t be any pink juices.
  • Bones. Check your ribs to see if the meat has drawn back from the bone. When done, the meat will expose some of the bone at the thin end of the ribs.
  • Flexibility. Your ribs should be flexible but not falling apart. When you think your ribs are done, grab one end with a pair of tongs and pick them up. The ribs should bend towards the ground without falling apart.
  • Tenderness. Gently insert a toothpick between two of the bones. If the toothpick goes in easily, then the ribs are done.

Delicious pork ribs slathered in the best BBQ sauce

What to Serve with Crockpot Ribs

Recommended Tools to Make Crockpot Ribs

  • Programmable Slow Cooker. This one switches to warm when done so food doesn’t overcook.
  • Pastry Brush. Perfect for brushing the ribs with that sweet, sticky BBQ sauce.
  • The Add a Pinch Cookbook. My friend Robyn’s book and the source of this sticky crockpot ribs recipe. It’s loaded with delicious recipes that, while true in spirit to the traditional Southern classics that inspired them, feel fresh and original. You can feel Robyn’s warmth and charm in the writing on every page, and the photos are stunning.

Since you can prep the pork ribs ahead and serve them right out of the crock pot if you like, I have this recipe bookmarked for times when I need to serve a crowd, when I need to save oven space, and for when I need to set up my meal at an alternate location, such as a friend’s barbecue or even a tailgate.

I can guarantee that with this simple, ultra-delicious recipe at your disposal, you’ll find every reason to make these slow cooker ribs.

pork ribs made in a crockpot

Crockpot Ribs

4.94 from 32 votes
How to make fall off the bone tender Crockpot Ribs. Easy slow cooker recipe with a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. No oven required and perfect every time!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs

Servings: 6 servings


  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork ribs cut into individual ribs (spare ribs, baby back, or country-style will all work with this method; I used baby back)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Spray a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add the ribs in an even layer.
  • In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, then cover the sauce bowl and save the rest in the refrigerator.
  • Cover the ribs and cook on low for 8 hours, until they are cooked and ultra tender. Serve immediately with the reserved sauce (I like to warm up the extra sauce for serving too).


Serving: 1(of 6), without additional sauceCalories: 702kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 40gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 625mgSugar: 11g

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Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. This is a fabulous way to cook ribs. Foolproof way to cook them.  I cut these delectable little baby backs into sections and put a dry rib rub all over them the night before. I use a fabulous rub recipe that I’ve used for years from All Recipes site.  Then I pull them out of the refidgerator in the am and slather them with your BBQ sauce with some added liquid smoke and honey. I also basted with some of the leftover sauce and broiled them for a few minutes while I was warming the rest of the leftover sauce on the stove. Just awesome ribs. Try that rub recipe from AR.  Gives it a nice flavor. Thanks for sharing this recipe again. Already planning these for my Fourth of July dinner. Now if I could only make a potato salad just as delicious as these :(5 stars

  2. I’m so happy I found this! My girlfriends mom brought ribs over cause she couldn’t cook them and we didn’t have any pans. So I went a step further and put a dry rub on the ribs and coated them in barbecue. They were the best ribs ever!!5 stars

  3. Oh my goodness! Delicious! Fall off the bone and made enough for two meals for my husband and I. I made Cole slaw and beans on the side. Sooo easy!5 stars

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review, Diane! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe!

  4.  What do you think about using Sweet baby Ray’s barbecue sauce instead of homemade. I made your instant pot ribs last night using that sauce and rub and they were truly awesome! I’m just experimenting with your other recipes and wondered if you need to use a dry rub for the crockpot ribs and if you could use Sweet baby Ray’s barbecue sauce. Thank you so much for the instant pot recipe. 

    1. Hi Lois! I’ve never used store-bought sauce for this recipe, but other readers have reported success with it. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes, and I’m so happy you enjoyed the Instant Pot Ribs recipe!

  5. Hello, I’m just wondering if I can put more than one layer of ribs in the crockpot to cook?  We are having a party tomorrow and one rack will not cut it.

    1. Hi Megan! I have not tried the recipe this way, but other readers have reported success with a double layer. I hope you enjoyed the recipe!

  6. FANTASTICALLY tender and juicy! My wife doesn’t like BBQ sauce so I just use a rub and put some apple juice into the crockpot (I used 6oz, probably only needed 2oz) and, as advertised, these were fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy. While I love my smoker, winter-time in WI makes that a tricky prospect so from now on, the crockpot will come out while the grill hibernates.

    They were the PERFECT SuperBowl food and the set-it-and-forget ease of this recipe left me free to entertain and eat whenever we wanted to.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit, Burton! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  7. Hi Erin   I made your crock pot BBQ ribs for Super Bowl Sunday. What a hit!!!Everyone  loved them and it made an easy going day for me. Definitely will have them again and again!! Nonna?5 stars

    1. I’m SO happy to hear that these were a hit, Nonna! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  8. Delish!! Made it last week. I varied the recipe as follows in case anyone else is interested:

    I used 5 lb. of ribs. I doubled the sauce ingredients, as well as added 8 tsp. of celery seed. I removed from the crockpot at the end of the cook time and placed under the broiler for a few minutes to get some crispiness. My men went WILD over it!!! I also paired it with cabbage steaks (recipe on this site) which were so good! Thank you! Making this again today with baby back ribs! This will be my go to for incredible bbq ribs!5 stars

  9. This is the BEST and EASIEST rib recipe I’ve ever made.
    So flavourful.

    I will be making it over and over again.
    Got rave reviews from the family too5 stars

  10. Another winner from you. Whole family enjoyed them tonight, even the dogs begged haaaard for a taste! :D

    Thanks for all the great eats.5 stars

  11. This recipe worked out really well, the ribs were tender and delicious. I especially loved the bbq sauce which is a stand-alone recipe better than anything I’ve bought in the grocery store, and will use this as my go-to stuff (it’s so easy to make). I ‘might’ try moving the cooked ribs to a hot oven and basting them with the sauce, to see how that would work some time. Many kind thanks for the recipe!5 stars

  12. I made this last night. My boyfriend cleaned his plate. He said he never knew crockpot ribs could taste so good. I am satisfied with how good these came out as well. 5 stars

  13. Hello, I tried recipe with country style ribs  and cooked in crockpot on low for 8 hours.  Sauce was amazing and ribs were falling off the bone but meat was tough.   Just wondering if I undercooked or overcooked or maybe it was type of ribs I used?   Thanks in advance!  

    1. Hi Julie! Country style ribs are a little tougher in general, so I think if you do a cut like baby back next time, you’ll likely enjoy them more. Country style can cook more quickly too, so if you use them again, I’d try cutting the cook time down a bit and see if that helps. I hope you still enjoyed them!

  14. Delicious! The entire family LOVED this recipe. I will NEVER buy another BBQ sauce from the store. Thanks Erin for another fantastic recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Cate! I (and many readers) have had great success with this recipe as written. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  15. Great weeknight dinner, very quick to put together in the crockpot! Meat was tender and falling off the bone and the bbq sauce was tangy and sweet. Yum!5 stars

  16. I have very often put frozen beef ribs in my slow cooker and they come out awesome with the brbq sauce on them. They fall apart so cooking them slowly in the slow cooker you are getting all the flavor of the beef . I’ve done this for years. This looks like a great recipe of which I’ll try.

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