July 20th, 2016

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

I’m not sure why, but making ribs has always intimidated me. I love them though (and so do my boys!) so I decided to take the plunge and start with something I was pretty sure I couldn’t mess up–ribs in the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

Wow! These Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs were nothing short of amazing! I’m kicking myself for not having tried them sooner. They were fall off the bone tender and delicious, and better than anything we’ve ever had in a restaurant.

The secret, after your ribs have cooked, is broiling them for a few minutes to get so that your barbecue sauce thickens and caramelizes. I’m sure if I could have fit any more ribs in my slow cooker, my family would have devoured them all!

We like Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, but feel free to use your favorite. Other than that, there’s not much more to say. These ribs are just so easy and hassle-free. It really is hard to mess them up. I may just have the confidence now to try a more traditional method of cooking ribs, but I’m not sure I even want to bother. These ribs are so good, I may just stick with the slow cooker method!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

Preparation 10 min 2017-04-27T00:10:00+00:00 Cook Time 6 hr 2017-04-27T00:00:00+00:00
Serves 1     adjust servings


  • 3-4 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 2 (18 oz.) bottles barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Rub spice mixture over ribs. Cut the ribs into 2-3 sections, with 4-6 ribs each.
  2. Lightly grease a large, oval slow cooker. Place ribs standing up in the slow cooker, with the meatiest part leaning against the walls of the slow cooker.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together all of the barbecue sauce and the liquid smoke. Pour the mixture over the ribs in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Just before serving, preheat broiler. Remove ribs to a lightly greased, foil lined baking sheet. Pour the sauce from the slow cooker into medium saucepan. Simmer sauce for about 10 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.
  5. Brush thickened sauce over ribs and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until sauce begins to bubble and caramelize.

If you’ve never tried making ribs at home, this is the place to start. It was so much easier than I thought it would be, and I know my family will be enjoying delicious, home-cooked baby back ribs for years to come!

Be sure to save this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

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If you love this recipe, you might also like:

Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce


Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Real Food by Dad



  1. This looks great. Would it work with beef ribs, as well? Thank you!

  2. LOVE this recipe! I’m not much of a rib-eater, but I try making them every now and then because my husband loves them. I’ve made a few recipes in the past that never turned out great (not good enough to try them a second time), but this one is phenomenal! Easy, flavorful, tenderโ€“ the whole package! I’ve made it a couple times now, and it’s become my go-to for ribs. I’m glad to know I’ll never need to try another ribs recipe! Thank you!


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