There’s no easier way to make amazing ribs than this Slow Cooker Ribs recipe! It produces tender, flavorful ribs that only take a few minutes to prep and are sure to impress any guests!

Looking for more slow cooker recipes? Try Crock Pot Baked Ziti, Beef Noodle Soup, or Pot Roast!

A close up image of the Best Slow Cooker Ribs on a baking sheet, smothered in homemade BBQ sauce.

Why I love these ribs:

  • Hands-Off – Put the ribs in the slow cooker and let it do the work! There’s no babysitting them like you would on the smoker, and the end result is fantastic.
  • Favorite Meal – We enjoy ribs year-round, whether during the winter with a side of mashed potatoes and roasted veggies, or in the summer with potato salad, baked beans and cornbread.
  • The BBQ Sauce– If you want to make them extra special, use my homemade BBQ sauce recipe!

How to Make BBQ Ribs in the Slow Cooker:

Prep Ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub garlic powder, onion powder and brown sugar onto both sides. Lay them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Pre-bake the ribs at 400 degrees for 15 minutes on each side to seal in the juices and render some of the fat. Alternately, throw them on the grill on HIGH for 5 minutes on each side.

A rack of ribs cut in half and placed on a baking sheet, rubbed with a dry rub from garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, and salt and pepper.

Place in Slow Cooker: Layer the ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker or curl the rack around the inside, meat side facing out. Smother them in BBQ sauce, reserving some for later. Cook crockpot bbq ribs on LOW for 4-6 hours. Mine are usually done cooking around the 4 hour mark. You want them to be tender, but not falling off the bone.

Two images of a rack of ribs smothered in BBQ Sauce in a slow cooker, and then after it's cooked.

Serve crockpot ribs with more bbq sauce and your favorite sides.

A baking sheet with easy crockpot ribs cut into pieces and served with a side of bbq sauce.

Pro Tips:

  • Type of Ribs to Buy: Baby back ribs, spare ribs, or country-style ribs will work for this slow cooker recipe. I prefer baby back pork ribs (and I buy them in a 3-pack from Costco).
  • Remove membrane, if needed: Depending on where you purchase them, the ribs may still have a white, shiny membrane connective tissue on the back (bone side) that needs to be removed.

Serve With:

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A close up image of the Best Slow Cooker Ribs on a baking sheet, smothered in homemade BBQ sauce.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 4 hours 30 minutes
Total 4 hours 40 minutes
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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Season the ribs generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub garlic powder, onion powder and brown sugar onto both sides of the ribs. 
  • Pre-Bake: Line a large baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper. Bake the ribs on prepared pan for 15 minutes. Flip the ribs to the other side and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Slow Cook: (I like to use a slow cooker liner, for easy clean-up). Place the rack of ribs around the inside of the slow cooker, meat side facing out. Alternately, cut the ribs into a few sections and place them in the slow cooker. Smother them in some barbecue sauce, reserving some sauce for serving later. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, until tender but not falling off the bone.
  • Serve warm with extra barbecue sauce slathered on top.


Ribs: I prefer baby back pork ribs but spareribs, country-style and boneless ribs will all work. Double or triple the recipe for multiple racks of ribs. I can fit two racks of ribs in my 5 quart slow cooker.
BBQ Sauce: Try my homemade BBQ sauce, or store-bought like Stubb’s or Sweet Baby Rays.


Calories: 716kcalCarbohydrates: 94gProtein: 29gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 2460mgPotassium: 891mgFiber: 2gSugar: 76gVitamin A: 539IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 3mg

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I originally shared this recipe October 2017. Updated November 2019, September 2022 and January 2024.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. Hi Lauren. I have made many of your recipes and love them all. I was looking for a simple Cole slaw recipe and could not find one. Do you have one?

  2. 3 stars
    Way too much sauce. You suggest 32 ounces which is 2 bottles of bbq sauce. That makes a greasy goopy mess in the bottom of the crockpot! I used enough to cover the ribs on both sides. Then saved what was left to use with cooked ribs. I did let mine cook a bit longer as they weren’t done. And I chopped an onion and put all over the ribs while cooking.

  3. I cannot wait to try this! I’m really enjoying going through the different recipes you’ve shared. You have SO many great ideas. I’m a sucker for classic comfort food and usually stay in a safe-zone of classic italian and mexican dishes. But you’re inspiring me to try new things in the kitchen. Recipes that I usually find intimidating (such as east indian/asian dishes) are now very practical in regards to my time, budget, skill level, AND satisfying the hungry teen at home. Please keep doing what you’re doing and know that you are appreciated. Ignore the select few who leave the bitter, unhelpful, unnecessary comments. Some people cannot function unless they have something to complain about. It’s clear your recipes are a big hit in so many homes. Thank you for all you do!

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