Crockpot ribs are fall off the bone tender pork ribs cooked in a sweet and smoky homemade BBQ sauce. Just 10 MINUTES to prep and you’ll be ready to cook up this easy slow cooker ribs recipe! Definitely one of the best crock pot recipes for summer.
This recipe for the most fall-off-the-bone tender, no oven, I-think-I’m-gonna-need-a-bigger-bib Crockpot Ribs was 12 months in the making. Do yourself and every rib lover in your life a finger-lickin’ favor: put a batch in your slow cooker this weekend!
The catalyst for this easy crockpot ribs recipe was a video that Ben saw posted to Facebook nearly two years ago.
This was back when the overhead, quick-motion recipe videos that now seem standard in every food lover’s Facebook feed were the hot new thing. (Remember that? SPOILER! I have one at the bottom of this post.)
Ribs and the entire barbecue family is Ben’s favorite food group, and he was enthralled by the apparent ease and good sense of cooking ribs in a crock pot.
I promised him that, just as soon as we polished off our current supply of leftovers from the blog recipes I’d been testing, I’d make him his own personal batch of tender crockpot ribs.
Fast forward 12 months. I still hadn’t made the ribs. Wife of the year!
In my defense, we do have a hefty and seemingly unceasing supply of leftovers.
Though now that I think of it, we did not have ANY leftovers the day I made these crockpot ribs. The only evidence of their existence was the bones…and a few stains on my pants.
Fortunately for Ben and for you, me, and anyone else on the hunt for a dynamite way to cook ribs perfectly, this sticky crock pot ribs recipe arrived right in my mailbox. It comes from my friend Robyn’s fabulous cookbook Add a Pinch: Easier, Faster, Fresher Southern Classics and like all of the recipes in the book, it’s simple to prepare and the payoff is outstanding.
Crockpot Ribs – A Recipe Too Good to Wait
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 as long as you adjust the cooktime.
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 Robyn’s in 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.
I can see these easy Crockpot Ribs being an ideal fit for any summer party, starting with Father’s Day this weekend.
Since you can prep the 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, 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.
After two bites, Ben submitted his request for a second round of Crockpot Ribs. I can guarantee that with this simple, ultra-delicious recipe at my disposal, we definitely won’t be waiting another year!
What to Serve with Crockpot Ribs
- Easy Baked Beans
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad or Israeli Couscous Salad
- Pesto Potato Salad or Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
Recommended Tools to Make Crockpot Ribs
- Programmable slow cooker (switches to warm when done so food doesn’t overcook)
- Pastry brush (perfect for basting the ribs with that sweet, sticky BBQ sauce)
- Robyn’s book,Add a Pinch. It’s loaded with delicious recipes like these Crockpot Ribs 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.
- 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).
Thank you Robyn and Clarkson Potter for letting me share this recipe! I originally posted it in May of 2017 and am resharing it with the addition of a how-to video. This post was originally posted with a cookbook giveaway, which has since ended. Congrats to the winner and thank you all who entered.
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