Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

These Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs are baby back pork ribs that are fall off the bone tender. You cannot go wrong with these and it’s the best slow cooker rib recipe out there! Throw them in the Crockpot and forget about them. The doctored up barbecue sauce puts these barbecue ribs over the top.Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

The nice people over at Crock-Pot® offered to send me one of their new NFL Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers with my choice of team. They have all of the NFL teams available.

I of course jumped at their offer because I use my slow cooker at LEAST twice a week if not more (especially during this crazy holiday season).

I of course selected to make my Crock-Pot Miami Dolphins themed. We’re huge fans to say the least. I wouldn’t drag four kids by myself to every game if I wasn’t invested in some way. Loyalty or insanity? I may need my head checked.

I thought since I had a Miami Dolphins Crock-Pot I needed some major football food cookin’ inside. Nothing says manly, messy, and down and dirty food like ribs.

Ribs are a little intimidating. My husband worked at a rib joint in college and always told me that ribs were meant to be cooked by a restaurant.

Any attempt to make them would fall short. So I never even tried. But these were amazing. Fall of the bone tender, better than a restaurant amazing.

My husband gave them two barbecue sauce covered thumbs up. He even called them fabulous. My verbiage must be rubbing off on him.

They say if you’re married long enough you start to morph into one person. Apparently that is what’s happening.

 The secret to these ribs is that they are browned in the oven before putting them in the Crock-Pot which allows the fat to render in the oven, rather than in your sauce. Browning brings out a ton of flavor. Seasoned Ribs

You can season them with whatever you want. I seasoned mine with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.Barbecue SauceThis doctored up sauce takes regular ribs up a notch. But if you’re a new cook you can totally just use regular barbecue sauce and still have tender ribs. Promise me you won’t skip the browning step though! Dolphins crockpot

Here he is. I’m in love.

Crockpot Barbecue Ribs

If you like a crispy skin you can throw these back in the oven to caramelize the sauce. I’ve done it both ways and don’t necessarily prefer one way or the other.Slow Cooker Rib Meat

Look at the meat fall off the bone. I could hardly get it out of the Crock-Pot it was that tender.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
Prep Time
22 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time
22 hrs 15 mins
Author: Christy Denney
  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder , onion powder (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
For the Sauce:
  • 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • optional 1 Tablespoon liquid smoke (if you like a smokey flavor)
  • optional dash hot sauce (my bbq sauce was spicy enough already)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place ribs in a shallow baking dish and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn over and bake for 15 more minutes. Drain fat.
  3. In a medium bowl combine BBQ sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, oregano, and liquid smoke and hot sauce if desired.
  4. Place ribs in a large slow cooker (at least 6 quart). I curled mine around but you can cut them in half if you need to. Pour sauce on top and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.
  5. If you want to carmelize your bbq sauce put them back in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Totally your preference though.
Recipe Notes

adapted from Allrecipes


Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs - so easy and fall off the bone good.

Speak Your Mind



  1. These look fabulous!!

    One question for you, do you think I could brown the meat the night before, refrigerate and then place in crockpot the next morning and eat that night?

  2. What setting did you use on the Crock-Pot, low or high?

  3. What brand of barbecue sauce do you use before you add the extras? This looks delicious!

    • Sarah,
      I love, love Rudy’s BBQ sauce but it can’t be found everywhere. I also really like Sweet Baby Rays. Whatever sauce you like…

  4. What can I say…you always make me feel hungry 😛

    a big kiss*

    All about Lady Things 

  5. Love the crockpot! I need a Patriots one!!

  6. Thx for the recipe. Will have to try it. I freaking LOVE the Crock-Pot though. Hope they come out w a Redskins one. I scored a new Crock-Pot from the Secret Santa exchange at work this year. It has the locking lid. The person I stole it from was not happy 🙂

  7. I see they DO have the Redskins already!!!! I think I just found Christmas presents for my BIL/SIL for next year. They are season ticket holders and tailgaters. Now we need NASCAR themed Crock-Pots. Lol

  8. The ribs are ready for tomorrow!! Can’t wait to try this… So-o-o happy I found you. Everything looks so good!

  9. I made this for a post Christmas dinner with family. I added hickory liquid smoke and they came out great. The meat was tender and falling off the bones trying to get them out of the crock pot. Hands-down, this recipe is a keeper!

  10. Fall off the bone tender! Who knew the Crock-Pot was the best way to make ribs at home?! We threw ours in the oven to caramelize the sauce at the end, but I’m thinking if it were summer, a few minutes on the grill instead would take them over the top. These were definitely husband approved 🙂

  11. I made these for dinner on Sunday night and they were AMAZING!! I found that I did need to cook mine for the full 8 hours to get the meat “fall off the bone” tender. I love coming to your website for great dinner/potluck ideas! Thanks!

  12. Some foods are just ugly. Ribs are one of them…so impressed that you managed to make them look so delicious!

  13. Have just done a batch myself and they are cooking away. I had to use American Beef ribs instead as I couldn’t find pork on short notice.

    Can’t wait to see how they go!

    I assume the ones up top that aren’t in the sauce whilst cooking will still be ok?

  14. Do they leave a sour taste in your mouth if cooked in any other slow cooker than a Miami Dolphin slow cooker (not that anyone would do that)? 😉

  15. Made this recipe the other day and my husband and I LOVED it! The meat was SO flavorful and tender. Best rib recipe for the crockpot to date! Thanks Christy!!

  16. Chris Kelly Lasch says:

    I’m making these today! I love your crockpot by the way!

  17. Just like you, Christy, I was always afraid to try these wonderful ribs as I thought they were better left to the pros, but your recipe inspired me and I gotta say they were fabulous! I had to post about it on my site, but I totally linked back to you as my inspiration, so thank you! Cheers!

  18. Hi…can you tell me the yield on this recipe? or how many adults it will feed??? thank you!

  19. Seriously amazing recipe. So impressed. Born and raised in Texas, so I know BBQ. My fiancé couldn’t believe these were from the crock pot. Thanks!

  20. Heather Walters says:

    I have never made ribs before, let alone in a crockpot. These were incredible…no kidding! They truly did fall off the bone. I will make these again soon…..everyone loved them. Great recipe..thanks

  21. I made these last night – AMAZING!! I used Bull’s Eye BBQ Sauce, and seeing as I didn’t have any red wine vinegar substituted it with Apple Cider Vinegar. I also skipped the browning (I didn’t have time) but the sauce was delicious and the ribs cooked up perfectly! I can see myself using this sauce for pulled pork too! Thanks for sharing – you’ve created some very happy bellies over here!

  22. Just wondering if you’ve tried searing them on the stove instead of browning in the oven? I do that with my pot roast before putting in the crock pot and it really does make all the difference to brown the meat first.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I haven’t done it that way but you definitely could do it on the stove. I don’t have a large enough pan though…

  23. Just came across this recipe and it looks great but I have a
    Problem! I just realized that I have 2 packs of thick ( bone in
    Pork butt country style ribs) I have never cooked this kind before
    And it really doesn’t look like there is a bone! I got them from Kroger
    And it is their brand! Do you have any ideas on how to
    Cook this kind of rib!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Hmm. I haven’t tried that kind. I think it would still work I just like the texture of baby back ribs.

      • Yes me too, trust me I would rather have had that too! I didn’t realize
        That I grabbed this kind (managers special)!! Well I finally have them in crockpot, I dry rubbed them first and I just put both packs in and stacked them up together (There are about 5-6 in each pack.) I then added about 3 different kinds of bbq sauce on them! I did cook them meat side up, I hope that is right! I am cooking them on high for about an hour ( I got started really late .) then I will cook on low for 5-6 hrs) does every thing sound right to you with h

      • Yes me too, trust me I would rather have had that too! I didn’t realize
        That I grabbed this kind (managers special)!! Well I finally have them in crockpot, I dry rubbed them first and I just put both packs in and stacked them up together (There are about 5-6 in each pack.) I then added about 3 different kinds of bbq sauce on them! I did cook them meat side up, I hope that is right! I am cooking them on high for about an hour ( I got started really late .) then I will cook on low for 5-6 hrs) does every thing sound right to you on how long they will cook???
        I will let you know how they turn

  24. A half-teaspoon of salt for an entire rack of ribs? Hahaha… why even bother seasoning?
    And it’s “verbiage,” just FYI.

  25. Love this website it shows things that you never been able to do

  26. Love this website

  27. How much fat did you have to drain? I don’t seem to have that much and I just want to make sure im not over-browning them?

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      No, you shouldn’t have much unless you have unusually fatty ribs (which is a bad sign anyway).

  28. It’s Official! I slowed cooked a roast pork in the sauce, shredded, then died and went to pulled pork heaven! Thank you sooo much for this recipe! I’ve made it many many times, and every time – perfect!

  29. What BBQ sauce do you use?

  30. Made these and they were awesome! Thanks for the recipe! It was so easy to make.

  31. Absolutely delicious. Great idea to precook to remove fat. Will be my go to recipe from now on.

  32. WIth three kids at home with me right now and a husband that wants ribs for dinner this seems like the ideal way to make my ribs. I love the idea of browning first to get rid of some of the fat. I have them in the crock pot right now and can’t wait to find out how they come out. I have to say that I have become a crock pot cooker for sure, it really does make things a little easier when you have a family!

  33. Any sub for red wine vinegar? Making these today (they look delish) but only have balsamic or rice vinegar…

  34. I only have to feed 2 adults and 1 kid to feed, and the 2 of them are both awful when it comes to eating leftovers. If I halve this recipe, is the cooking time still the same, or would it need less time?

  35. Sharon Bailey says:

    This is the best recipe I have ever made in a crockpot and I use my crockpot ALL the time! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

  36. keith "koolbluek" says:

    So; you don’t put any water in the pot,….

  37. Making these again! They were a huge hit when I made them the first time! 🙂
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  38. How many people does this recipe serve? Did you cut the ribs into thirds and then serve them or what? Thanks, Christy for your help and I will be trying these very soon. 🙂

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      It serves around 6-8 people. I definitely would cut them into segments before serving so that people don’t get intimidated by a whole slab.

  39. I’ve made this twice now and they were the best ribs I’ve evee made…the fam LOVED them!

  40. They’re scrumptious delicious! Thanks!

  41. Thank you for posting this. I made yesterday with one rack (is that the right word?) of ribs for 3 people. No leftovers. I used a commercial rub (webers) then curled it along the wall of the cooker on low. At about 6 hours it started it get that “falling apart” look. Put BBQ sauce on the table as my family does not like the sauce cooked on. My teen, who s going through a “no meat for me” phase, stuffed herself. Thanks for giving me the confidence to try this. Now I can make it regularly.

    For a weeknight, I can see the point of doing the oven thing one day, putting it in the refrigerator overnight, then, setting out to cook in the morning. Maybe next time I will try 2 racks.

  42. Really hoping these will be fine with the crock pot set on high since dinner is less then “6-8 hours” away. Thoughts?

  43. Delicious!! Browning the ribs prior to cooking made all the difference. I put a little less BBQ sauce over the ribs than I have in the past so they weren’t swimming and did not get soggy. I was a little short on time so I had them on high about 2 hours then turned them to low. Everyone loved them. I am so pleased to find a good recipe for ribs in the crock pot. Thank you.

  44. Great way to make ribs wwithout having to stand over a hot grill; how convenient that WinnDixie has baby backs for $2.99# again tomorrow.

  45. Made these ribs yesterday and they were phenomenal. I think I might add some extra liquid smoke next time (but I just REALLY like the smokey flavouring). Had them in about 8 hours on low and I could barely lift them out of the pot. The bones came out the cleanest I have seen in a long long time. Thanks!

    • just found this recipe. i’m new to cooking ribs, so quick question: i’ve been told to remove skin/membrane from back ribs. is this true? thanks!

  46. I made this over the weekend for my date and it was a huge hit! Delicious and the meat was so tender and juicy. Awesome tip on the browning! There was no fat in my sauce.

    Thank you!

  47. Hi! Ive got my ribs browning in the oven right now. I’ve got a slow cooker that doesn’t give me the option to set the temp, it just goes based on the time I punch in. At 7 hours its cooks at low but anything below that is cooked on high, how long would you suggest I put the ribs in for?


  48. I made these ribs & they were the BEST RIBS I have ever had ..Thank you !!! Better than any restaurant that I’ve been to. p.s. I used Sweet Baby Rays Original bbq sauce

  49. Wanda E Jackson says:

    I made them today, and they were fantastic! The sauce truly was the BOSS!!! Thanks so muc for posting this recipe.

  50. I just made this and it tasted amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing with such great details and pictures. I’m not much of a cook and have never cooked ribs before but I followed your instructions (including browning) and dinner was awesome. My husband even gave me the “pass!” 🙂 thanks again!

  51. I asked for a crockpot for Christmas and made these a couple of weeks ago and they turned out fantastic! I didn’t change anything except if left out the oregano. I’m making them again today! Thank you for the yummy recipe. I will be coming back to your site for more!

  52. Hi Christy: I hope to make this tomorrow and I have a question regarding the sauce. Would it come up too watery if I were to do a half recipe and use water, or a veggy broth to bring the level high enough to cover? I’m trying to manage our sugar intake a bit.

  53. Want to make this tonight. I don’t have a crock pot do you think i can do it in the oven? They look delicious!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I’m sure you could do it in the oven. It won’t have that fall apart nature that a crock pot gives it. How did it go?

  54. Hi Christy: As expected when I made this some time ago and added water to keep the sugar levels under control it came up too watery, even for me! I went in search of a recipe for a low sugar BBQ sauce and made this recipe again yesterday. Three racks stuffed into a smallish crockpot and it turned out just GREAT!!! Our 13 year old grandson ate as much or more than his grandmother and I combined. The sauce I made came out quite a bit spicier than the Sweet Baby Ray’s we used before so I’m going to make some adjustments there but overall this is now our standard recipe for ribs. Thanks so much for posting it.

  55. Love this receipe! I actually throw mine on the grill to carmalize the sauce and get the outside a little char. Yummy……

  56. I had never made ribs before for my husband as he was an, he would boil them for hours & then bbq & make his own sauces & they were amazing, I was never even a fan of ribs before trying ribs. Only problem is we would only ever get to eat them in the summer when we could bbq! I stumbled across this recipr and thought it looked tasty enough to try, I didnt add smoke or hot sauce but they were DELICIOUS! Hubby gave big compliments which was incredible since his have always been the best around. Thank you! 🙂

  57. Would love to know approximate servings ?

  58. Hi,
    I have the 4.5 quart crockpot. Does this make a difference?

  59. Making these tonight and it’s a rainy day to boot! I love finding new recipes for the crock pot. Anxious to see how my family will respond, and more importantly who will do the dishes? Thanks for recipe and everyone’s feedback!

  60. I love this recipe! I have used it lots over the past 2 yrs.

  61. I was told to add the bbq sauce at the end (the last hour so it won’t burn?)

  62. I just made these and they were awesome!! They were falling off the bones as I was taking them out of the crock pot! Thanks for the recipe!

  63. TERESA WILSON says:

    I made these tonight and my husband can’t stop raving about them. He is already planning a dinner party so I can show off how great these ribs are. Goodbye, expensive restaurants and hello slow cooker!! I followed the recipe exactly. I added some Siracha to my sauce to balance the sweet. It came out perfectly and because it fell off the bone, I didn’t even get my fingers all yucky.

  64. This looks like a great recipe, and thank you for sharing it! I do have one question, would the same time and temps (roughly 200 degrees for low setting) work for cooking 9lbs of ribs in an electric Turkey roasting oven? Thank you again!!

  65. This is a family favorite! Easy to make, perfectly seasoned and fall off the bone good!!