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Crock Pot Ribs

Crock Pot Ribs

My friend D. gave me this recipe. Our friendship extends waaaay back to college, and she’s so good about sharing her best recipe finds with me. I have to admit I was a little skeptical of this recipe for crock pot ribs at first. Ribs in the slow cooker? We’ve done them in the oven and on the grill, but I was puzzled as to how they would work in the crock pot. D. claimed they were fall-off-the-bone tender. I should have known never to doubt my bestie. She wouldn’t (and didn’t) lead me astray. 

Having guests over to watch the big game? These ribs could easily be a scene-stealer at your Super Bowl party. Who doesn’t like a recipe that keeps you out of the kitchen and in with the action? I didn’t wait for a party; just popped them in the crock pot on a Wednesday. My kids immediately wanted to know what smelled so delicious the moment they walked in the door from school. I used Famous Dave’s Rib Rub (from the spice section of my grocery store), but feel free to use any rib seasoning you prefer. Same goes for your preferred brand of BBQ sauce. With so few ingredients, it’s important to seek out the flavors you most enjoy. Especially since you’ll be licking your fingers clean. 

Crock Pot Ribs

Crock Pot Ribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 rack pork baby back ribs
  • 4 tablespoons rib or pork seasoning
  • 2½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce (molasses-based)
  • Dash of liquid smoke (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Additional BBQ for serving
  1. Cut rack of ribs in half. Rub each half with 2 tablespoons of rib seasoning.
  2. Place ribs in crock pot. Add red wine vinegar and liquid smoke (if desired). Pour ¾ of bottle of BBQ sauce over ribs.
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Flip the ribs about half way through cooking time (place bottom rib on top and top rib on bottom.) Add remaining BBQ sauce.
  4. Serve with additional BBQ sauce if desired.
Be careful removing the ribs from the crockpot as the meat will literally fall off the bones.


  1. What a great idea! I hadn’t thought to do ribs in the slow cooker (or is it crock pot!)–and I am always looking for ideas for busy nights. I bet they are so soft and delicious. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • Ha! Your comment made me laugh. We were just having the conversation the other day about crock pot vs. slow cooker. Seems to vary from person to person.

  2. These were Fabulous! I am so finicky about crockpot recipes, but this one was really excellent. Great flavor, incredible tenderness… yum!! I used a Bobby Flay recipe for the dry rub and served them with baked beans. Thanks for a great, easy recipe to add to my rotation! :)

    • Aw, thanks for the great feedback, Claire. So glad you enjoyed them!

  3. These ribs were fall off the bone goodness. I have never used a rub before and I was not able to find either Famous Dave’s or Bobby Flay so I used one of those flavor packs from McCormick’s for ribs. We did not care for the flavor. Too much pepper and mesquite for us. Also, did not realize that I was out of red wine vinegar so I used white white vinegar and it worked well. Ribs were delicious and would make it again but need to find a rub that I like. Noticed several recipes posted using brown sugar that you make yourself so I think I will experiment with that. Thank you!

    • Finding the right rub can be a challenge, but so glad to hear the recipe worked well for you!

      • The picture above shows them to be a little browned. Did you put them on the grill to finish them off or did they come out of the crock pot looking like that? I usually cook mine in the oven and finish on the grill. It would be nice to just do it all in the crock pot.

        • Nope, no grill, just the crock pot!

          • Im so thrilled. I just put it all in there. We’ll see what happens. :)

      • Google Al Rokers rub. It is the bomb.

        • I’ll check it out. Thanks, Jim!

    • This Rub is awesome…

      1/4 C. Brown Sugar, 1 1/2 Tbs. Paprika, 1 Tbs. Kosher Salt, 1 1/2 Tbs. Black Pepper, 1 tsp. Garlic Powder, 1 tsp. Onion Powder, 1/4-1/2 tsp. Cayenne Red Pepper

      to 3-5 lbs. of meat

      • Thanks for sharing. I’ll give this rub a try the next time I make the ribs.

  4. What size bottle of BBQ sauce did you use?

    • I believe it was 18 ounces. It’s the average-sized bottle you typically find at the store.

  5. Everything looks very yummy.I love it
    Thank you for sharing.
    Helen recently posted…Large crock pot—-Hamilton Beach 33182—-8 quart crock potMy Profile

  6. I have never heard of crock pot ribs. Definitely interested in this because we love ribs around here and the crock pot would be so much easier!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted…Chocolate Crunch Pudding CookiesMy Profile

    • We like easy at our house, too. :)

  7. Crock-Pot = brand name
    slow cooker = generic name

    Like kleenex vs tissues

    But this sounds delicious and simple!!

    • BULLS EYE!!

  8. I made the ribs tonight using 1 1/2 slabs of ribs. Modify the rub and barbecue sauce suggested–way too salty!!!

    • Bummer that they didn’t work out for you, Jenny. We’ve always enjoyed the recipe as written but I’d check your rib rub. Salt in seasoning blends tends to vary.

  9. These sound delish hope to try them this weekend

  10. This sounds delish! But I wonder if you have to trim the ribs before you put them in, sometimes ribs are so fatty. And I don’t mean nutritionally speaking!

    • Hi Susan, I’ve never trimmed my ribs other than cutting them in half to fit in my Crock Pot. I find that the low and slow cooking method melts away most of the fat. Additionally, you can remove the ribs when you’re done and add more sauce if you prefer instead of using any of the pan drippings. Hope you enjoy!

  11. I always cook my ribs is the crock pot. I will have to try this recipe. Sounds great!!

    • Hope you enjoy, Peggy!


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