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Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs + RECIPE VIDEO

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings 4

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These Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs couldn’t be simpler! They have a homemade spice rub and are slow cooked until they fall off the bone, then you can slather them in any barbecue sauce you like! Includes how to recipe video


slow cooker bbq ribs in chunks on parchment lined baked sheet with bbq sauce

Maybe this seems really strange to you, but ribs aren’t actually my favorite thing to eat in the summer. They’re just a little messy, you know? I’ll take a burger or a hot dog or grilled chicken or pizza or pretty much anything first. (This Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin? A little more my style 😉 )

I guess I’m just not one to dig in and get dirty, unless we’re talking about a bowl of Grandma’s Hot Fudge Sundae Cake, which is a completely different story.

But I wanted to give them another try in the slow cooker, because the hubs loves them and, well, Father’s Day is coming folks! I had seen a slow cooker ribs recipe in one of my cookbooks and it has been on list to make forever.

slow cooker ribs on a white plate on a dark grey background

I feel like it’s an awesome recipe for segueing from Spring to Summer. You can have all of that summer barbecue flavor, without all of the work. And when it’s too hot to even think about cooking, the slow cooker takes all of the work out and keeps the house cool.

To be completely honest, I think these are the best ribs I’ve ever made. I wanted them to be tender, with the meat easily pulling off the bone but not mushy and falling apart. I wanted a good crust of intense flavor and a sweet, sticky barbecue sauce coating. Also, I wanted easy!

The husband gave them “two meaty thumbs up” (<— his words, as he was stuffing his face), and even my kids liked them!

stack of crockpot ribs on a white plate with bbq sauce in the background

I wanted to include a barbecue sauce recipe with these ribs, but I just have so many favorites that I thought I would let you choose for yourself! This Pineapple Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce has always been a favorite on The Recipe Rebel, and there’s also this Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce (which would go perfectly on these ribs!).

If you’re not feeling up to making your own (although really, you can make a big batch and keep baggies in the freezer alllllllll summer long!), feel free to use your favorite store bought. I won’t judge!

If you’re looking for more easy slow cooker barbecue recipes, try this Slow Cooker Pineapple Brown Sugar Pulled Pork. And if you’re wondering what to serve them with? Try this Creamy Italian Potato Salad or this Layered Broccoli Salad!

*NOTE: I usually use pork side ribs for this recipe, but baby back ribs should work just as well. If you’d like to remove the membrane from the backside of the ribs (this is optional), you can find a tutorial herea tutorial here.

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Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

These Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs couldn’t be simpler! They have a homemade spice rub and are slow cooked until they fall off the bone, then you can slather them in any barbecue sauce you like!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 10 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 476cal


  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 lbs pork ribs (side or back)
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce


  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, brown sugar. cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.
  • Cut ribs into 4 sections (if desired — you could leave them whole). Rub spice mixture over both sides of the ribs.
  • Lightly grease a 4 quart slow cooker and line the sections of ribs up around the edges (so the meaty part is pressed against the side). Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove from the slow cooker, brush with barbecue sauce, and grill for 5-6 minutes or broil for 2-3 minutes, until sauce is sticky and slightly caramelized. Serve.


*To make ahead: prepare the rub mixture and leave on the ribs overnight, in a ziploc bag or refrigerator container. You can also cook in the slow cooker, store in the refrigerator and reheat in the broiler or grill with barbecue sauce before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 476cal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 545mg | Potassium: 861mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 690IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2.8mg

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Ashley says

    If I want to do more ribs than it calls for is it okay if the ribs aren’t touching the side of the crockpot? Like I would still kind of stand them up so they don’t sit in the juices the whole time.

  2. Karen says

    These are better than restaurant ribs! Love the rub and also the pineapple brown sugar BBQ sauce. I’ll never buy jar sauce again. These are so yummy!

  3. Jason Jungling says

    Haven’t made before, I put the rub on tonight, and will be inserting then in the crock pot tomorrow morning as I head off to work. I’m thinking of adding a bit of liquid smoke to get that smoke flavor.

  4. Hoosiersmoker says

    I resort to the crock pot once it gets too cold outside to maintain temp in my smoker. I have a large crock pot and have cooked 3 full racks of ribs at a time. The night before after removing the membrane I rub them, wrap them and refrigerate over night. 8-10 hrs or so before I serve them I just trim them to length, stand them on edge and curl them all together drop in the trimmed parts and turn it to low for 8-10 hrs. It’s great to come home from work to ribs! If you add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to your sauce it really gives it that outdoor flavor too!

  5. Michelle says

    I’ve never put the ribs along the sides of the crockpot before, is that so they cook differently?

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