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crock pot ribs on a white platter with barbecue sauce

Easy Slow Cooker Ribs

  • Author: Emily Dixon, One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These slow cooker ribs might just be the EASIEST ribs recipe ever. They’re fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy, fully of flavor, and so simple!



For The Spice Rub:

  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For The Ribs:

  • 1 (3-4 pound) rack of baby back rips (sometimes labeled loin back ribs)
  • 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce*
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup additional barbecue sauce (for broiling) 


  1. Prepare The Ribs. If your butcher or grocery store hasn’t already, remove the silver skin (thin membrane) on the back side of the ribs using a sharp knife. Using a paper towel can help you get a better grip with your fingers once you get it started with the knife.
  2. Cut In Half. Use a sharp knife to cut the rack of ribs in half. 
  3. Dry Rub.In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Whisk until well blended. Pat ribs dry with paper towels and coat the tops with spice rub. If you have time, you can apply this dry rub up to 1 day in advance. (Keep ribs covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them)
  4. Layer & Add Sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the barbecue sauce with 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Place one half of the rack of ribs into the crock of your slow cooker. Cover with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce/vinegar mixture. Add the second half of the ribs and cover with 1/2 of the barbecue sauce/vinegar mixture. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the slow cooker. 
  5. Cook the ribson LOW 7-8 hours or HIGH 3-5 hours. My favorite is about 4 hours on HIGH, which gives the ribs a fall-off-the-bone texture. If you like your ribs a bit more chewy or sturdy, you can pull them out closer to the 3 hour mark.
  6. Preheat broiler & Prep The Ribs. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment papr. Carefully transfer the ribs to the baking sheet (they’ll be very tender!). Brush generously with the remaining 1 cup of barbecue sauce.
  7. Broil the ribs in the oven 5-7 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and a bit thickened. Watch carefully as some broilers run hotter than others! If desired, you can brush them with more sauce and put them in for another few minutes.
  8. Slice & Serve. Cut into individual or manageable sections and enjoy hot from the oven. Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: slow cooker ribs, ribs in the slow cooker, crock pot ribs,