Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow Cooker Ribs are so tender they fall right off the bone! So easy to make in your slow cooker, perfect for holidays, parties and BBQs! What could be easier than a dinner like these ribs that cook themselves?

All you need to do is grab your favorite barbecue sauce and a few seasonings and you’ll be on your way to the most tender, fall off the bone ribs you’ve ever tasted!

BBQ ribs on a white platter with napkin

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

When you need a show stopping dinner recipe that everyone raves about, these Slow Cooker Ribs are the answer. Whether you’re making these BBQ ribs for a party, barbecue, holiday or just for a dinner night at home, you can’t beat this fall off the bone, perfectly seasoned ribs recipe.

All you need to do is season a few racks of ribs with our favorite mix of seasonings and then get them into your slow cooker. If they don’t fit, no worries, just cut them in half and get ’em in there.

Pour your favorite barbecue sauce all over the tops of the ribs, cover them and walk away. How easy is that? I’m telling you guys, these are the most juicy, tender, fall off the bones barbecue ribs you’re ever going to taste!

racks of rbis with a dry rub on them

How Do You Make Ribs In The Slow Cooker?

  1. First remove the silver skin from the back of each rack of ribs. Silver skin is a thin layer of membrane on the back of the ribs that should be removed before cooking. Slide a knife or a fork underneath the skin and pull it off. It should pull off in one sheet, but if not just slide the knife or fork back in and pull off the rest until it’s removed.
  2. Season the ribs on both sides with a dry rub; we love the one used in our recipe card. If the ribs are too long to fit in your slow cooker, just cut them in half first.
  3. Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and then place the first layer of ribs inside. Pour some BBQ sauce on the first layer of ribs and then stack the rest of the ribs on top, followed by the rest of the barbecue sauce.
  4. Set your slow cooker on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. The ribs are done when they are fork tender, but the racks of ribs should still stay intact when you remove them from the slow cooker.
barbecue sauce on ribs in a slow cooker

After these slow cooker ribs are done, remove them from your crock pot and place them onto a board. Slice the ribs into sections, or you can slice the ribs individually as well.

You can also keep the ribs in your slow cooker on the “warm” setting for a few hours until you’re ready to serve!

Cooked barbecue ribs in a crock pot

Once the ribs are sliced, place them on a platter for serving and spoon the sauce from the crock pot over the tops of the ribs.

Barbecue ribs cut on a board with a knife

What Type Of Ribs Should I Use For BBQ Ribs?

Baby back ribs are our go to ribs for this recipe. They have a good amount of meat and they are known to be a more tender rib than a spare rib. Baby backs are also leaner than other ribs so you’re not going to have a lot of fat, just a lot of lean and tender meat.

You can use other types of ribs like spare ribs or short ribs for this same recipe, but you’ll need to adjust for a longer cooking time.

BBQ ribs sliced on a board

What Side Dishes Go Well With Ribs?

So many side dish recipes to list here, but if you’re still looking for more ideas head over to our Side Dishes Menu!

Slow Cooker ribs sliced on a platter

How To Make Fall Off The Bone Ribs!

There’s a fine line between melt in your mouth, fall-off the bone ribs and ribs that just literally… fall off the bone. I mean, you want to be able to pick up your ribs and eat them. We’re not talking fork and knife ribs here, we want tender, perfectly cooked slow cooker ribs that stay on the bone.

Tips for making sure your BBQ ribs are perfectly cooked:

  1. Do make sure to get the right type of ribs. As we suggested, baby back ribs are perfect for this rib recipe.
  2. Check the ribs with with a fork when it gets close to the end of the cooking time, as all slow cookers will cook at different rates.
  3. Get in there and baste the ribs with the barbecue sauce if you can, and even flip the racks from top to bottom. This step isn’t necessary, the ribs will still be perfect, but it does ensure even cooking.
Close up of a barbecue rib

Slow Cooker Ribs Tips!

Just to make sure that you have the most tender, fall off the bone (but nope, not all the way!) ribs recipe here, we’re going to highlight some of the steps that you don’t want to skip!

  • Don’t skimp on the dry rub: You’re going to think that there’s too much dry rub for 2 racks of ribs but just get it on there. I’ll even scoop off anything left on the board and sprinkle it right on the ribs in the slow cooker.
  • Best to cook on high or low? Low and slow usually produces the most tender meat, so if you have time I’ll usually go with that option. But we have also cooked these ribs on high and I can promise you, they’re still going to be super tender and delicious.
  • Should I finish these ribs on the grill? Since there’s already sauce on these slow cooker ribs, the grill isn’t the best option. If you want a char-broiled, crispy finish you can place the finished racks of ribs under the broiler on high for about 5-7 minutes.
BBQ ribs sliced into pieces on a board

Looking For More Slow Coker Recipes?

BBQ ribs sliced on a board

Slow Cooker Ribs

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

These Slow Cooker Ribs are so tender they fall right off the bone! Easy to make right in your slow cooker, perfect for holidays, parties and BBQs!



  • (2) 3 pound racks pork baby back ribs
  • 2 cups your favorite BBQ sauce

For The Dry Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Mix the ingredients together for the dry rub in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the seasoning on both sides of the ribs with your hands, making sure to use all of the dry rub.
  3. Spray a 7 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and then place the ribs into the basin of the slow cooker. You might need to cut the racks of ribs to fit, and then stack them on top of each other.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the first layer of ribs and then the rest of the sauce over the tops of the ribs.
  5. Set the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Test the ribs with a fork to see if they are done close to the end of the cooking time. If the meat is fork tender, then the ribs are done.
  6. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into sections or individual portions. Place the ribs on a serving platter and spoon some of the sauce from the slow cooker over the ribs.

Recipe Notes

You can keep the ribs warm in your slow cooker on the warm setting until you’re ready to serve.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Cocktails and Drinks

Side “Bar”

Try some of the cocktails and drinks we’re mixing up this week!