Easy Slow Cooker Ribs
Jan 29, 2020, Updated Jun 29, 2023
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Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe – the best easy recipe to make fall off the bone tender ribs in the slow cooker!
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Simple Slow Cooker Ribs
I love ribs – delicious, meaty, sticky, crunchy, melt in your mouth delicious baby back ribs – but they are kind of a pain to make on the smoker when a craving for ribs hits.
I’ve had two massively popular recipes for ribs on my site for years – one on the smoker (which really is the best rib recipe on earth), and one baked in the oven.
Both have stood thee test of time on site – but the #1 question on both posts I get is always “How can I make ribs in the slow cooker??”
Today I’m sharing just how I adapted my recipe, with the help of another hugely popular crock pot rib recipe, to make the ultimate slow cooker rib recipe!
I combined my crazy popular Oven Baked Ribs and my Best Ever Smoked Ribs Recipe with my friend Becky’s Crockpot Ribs Recipe to come up with this incredible finger licking good slow cooker ribs recipe!
Instant Pot Ribs
If you’d like to make this recipe in your Instant Pot, please follow my instructions and technique in my Keto Instant Pot Ribs post.
(The recipe doesn’t have to be made keto, you can use any sauce and rub.)
How To Cook Ribs in Slow Cooker
Ribs are actually well suited to cooking in a slow cooker – the low, steady heat helps to break down the fat and connective tissue on a rack of ribs – without any fussing over them.
Ribs from the slow cooker can literally be a set it and forget it recipe – since the slow cooker is doing all the work for you.
I’m about to give you my can’t miss tips and tricks to perfect ribs every time – but the most important thing when making these ribs is to just RELAX and let the slow cooker do the work for you!
Rushing these ribs is the only real way to mess them up – they need time to get to tender, fall off the bone perfection.
Let your ribs fully cook in the slow cooker for 7-8 hours on low for best results!
Tips For Perfect Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs
To make perfect, tender, and melt in your mouth ribs in the slow cooker, there are a couple tips and tricks to make sure you have perfect ribs, every time.
-Remove Silver Skin From Ribs.
I actually don’t often follow this tip – because these ribs get so tender, I often just forget to remove the silver skin from the bottom of the ribs – but for the best results, it really should be trimmed off.
Ribs are a cut of meat that need to be trimmed well for the best flavor – and so they aren’t chewy and tough.
Ribs come with a silver skin often over the ribs – trimming the most of this tough tendon off the rib will greatly improve the flavor of your oven baked ribs – so don’t skip this step.
HOW TO TRIM SILVER SKIN OFF RIBS
- Run a knife under the silver skin to separate the membrane from the rib meat.
- If the silver skin resists in one spot, try another.
- Once you have separated enough with a knife, grab silver skin tightly and pull to remove from the ribs.
- If silver skin breaks in one spot, loosen it again with a knife to remove it completely.
-Season baby back ribs well with rib dry rub.
The dry rub in this recipe brings a rich, smoky flavor to these ribs without all the sugar from sauce – and are then topped in sauce when ready to eat.
This method develops a richer flavor you’re going to love!
How To Tell When Slow Cooker Ribs are Done
Slow cooker ribs are a largely hands-off recipe – you place them in and come to them tender, juicy, and delicious hours later.
It helps to know exactly when ribs are fully cooked for the best results.
After 8 hours in the slow cooker, ribs should be done – but to check, start around 7 hours into cooktime and gently pull at a bit of meat around a rib with the tines of a fork.
If the meat resists being pulled with a gentle twisting motion, ribs are not done.
If the meat begins to pull away easily, ribs are done.
Remove ribs from slow cooker when done, and tent for at least 15 minutes with foil.
Extra Crispy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe
These ribs really shine because after they come from the slow cooker, we’re going to chop them into individual ribs, coat in sauce, and crisp in the broiler.
This extra step is optional – but takes the flavor to new levels!
Crisping ribs under the broiler with a delicious BBQ sauce makes these ribs out of this world delicious!
The Best Easy Rib Rub Recipe
For ribs to get an amazing flavor straight from the slow cooker, ribs start off best with a delicious rib rub.
Rub your ribs with this seasoning blend at least 30 minutes before cooking (up to overnight) to give a chance to sink in before they head into the slow cooker!
- 2 TBSP garlic powder
- 2 TBSP onion powder
- 2 TBSP season salt
- 2 TBSP ground pepper
- 3 TBSP paprika
- 3 TBSP chili powder
- 2 TBSP cumin
- 2 TBSP celery salt
- 2 TBSP cinnamon
- 2 TBSP cardamom
Make sure rib rub has been applied liberally all over ribs for the very best flavor.
What To Serve With Slow Cooker Ribs
If you love this easy slow cooker baby back ribs recipe and want some ideas of what to serve alongside, please check out some of my favorites:
The Best Easy Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe
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- 8 lb pork ribs
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Rib Rub
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp season salt
- 2 tbsp ground pepper
- 3 tbsp paprika
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 2 tbsp celery salt
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp cardamom
- Rib Sauce
- 1 cup BBQ sauce, plus more for topping
- Trim silver skin from ribs.
- Mix rib rub ingredients in a bowl.
- Generously coat ribs in rub.
- Prepare slow cooker by spraying with olive oil based cooking spray.
- Cut ribs to fit into slow cooker.
- Arrange in slow cooker and cook for 7-8 hours on low, until rib meat is tender and pulls away from bone with gentle pulling.
- Remove ribs when fully cooked and tent with foil for 10-15 minutes.
- Prep large baking sheet with cooking spray or parchment paper.
- Cut ribs into individual pieces and arrange on baking sheet.
- Baste sauce onto ribs.
- Broil ribs at 500, flipping once to prevent burning, about 5 minutes per side.
- Watch ribs CLOSELY to make sure they do not burn under broiler!!
- When sauce has crisped and ribs have a crunchy bark, remove from oven and serve immediately with more sauce for dipping!
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Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 903Total Fat 73gSaturated Fat 22gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 33gCholesterol 243mgSodium 1807mgCarbohydrates 13gFiber 3gSugar 7gProtein 50g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.