The Best Slow Cooker Ribs

the best slow cooker ribs on a cutting board
Author: Heather
Category: Recipes
Published Date: 01/17/2022
Comments: 41

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If you love ribs like our family loves ribs, then you are going to want to print this slow cooker ribs recipe ASAP! They are quite possibly the best ribs we’ve ever tasted and they are super easy to make. 

As long as you have a slow cooker and 5-10 minutes to prep, you can make these slow cooker ribs. Long gone are the days of the steam tents! Have you ever tried a steam tent to make ribs? It’s insanely annoying and you have to watch them like a hawk. 

Just prep them, put them in the slow cooker and allow it to do it’s magic!

the best slow cooker ribs close up of slow cooker ribs with barbecue sauce

Before I share our slow cooker ribs recipe, let me share a few tips.

There are so many great slow cookers on the market. I have the I have the Crock-Pot 7qt Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker. It’s large enough to fit all of our family meals and is easy to operate! We’ve actually had two of them (I broke the ceramic part of the first one by accident one day). 

The type of ribs you buy shouldn’t matter. I’ve made this recipe with both baby back ribs and pork spare ribs. They both turned out amazing. 

Don’t be afraid to go hard on the barbecue sauce. I brush as much as I can on each slab. Once you put them in the oven, the sauce will stick to the ribs and get nice and caramelized. 

the best slow cooker ribs on a cutting board man's hands pulling apart ribs

These are by far the best slow cooker ribs we’ve ever tasted and we think you will agree.

While the time on slow cookers can usually be adjusted by cutting the time in half and setting it to high, I do not recommend doing that for these ribs. The first time we made them, I set it on high for 4 hours and the ribs were tough. 

The following time, I set it to low for 8 hours and the meat literally falls off of the bone. It’s the perfect amount of time to do what it needs to do. You might even be able to leave it in a little longer, if you need to. 

ingredients needed for slow cooker ribs

steps to make and put rub on ribs steps to make slow cooker ribs steps to putting barbecue sauce on ribs

I’ve tried to show the steps in the photos above for you, to make it a bit easier to make these slow cooker ribs.

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl.
  2. Mix together the rub.
  3. Remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs and cut into even slabs of 4.
  4. Cover each slab in the rub. You shouldn’t have any left over.
  5. Add Dr. Pepper and liquid smoke to the slow cooker and stir until combined.
  6. Layer the ribs on top of the Dr. Pepper/liquid smoke mixture.
  7. Top with sliced onions.
  8. Add minced garlic evenly. Cover and slow cook for 8 hours.
  9. Remove the ribs to an aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  10. Add your favorite barbecue sauce to each slab.
  11. Brush the barbecue sauce evenly, all over the ribs.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes at 375º and serve.

the best slow cooker ribs

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slow cooker ribs with a brush and barbecue sauce

The Best Slow Cooker Ribs

  • Author: Heather l The Super Mom Life


These fall off the bone ribs cook in your slow cooker all day. It’s very little work with the ultimate reward. They are seriously the best ribs we’ve ever had.


  • 34lbs pork ribs
  • 2/3 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • your favorite barbecue sauce


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs, cut into 4 pieces and set aside.
  • Mix together all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub all over the ribs.
  • Pour Dr. Pepper and liquid smoke into your slow cooker and stir to combine.
  • Place the ribs into the slow cooker — you may have to layer them for them to fit.
  • Place your sliced onions and minced garlic on top of the ribs.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • About 10 minutes before your ribs are ready, preheat the oven to 375º.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  • Using tongs, carefully lift each slab of ribs onto the baking sheet. Leave the sauce, onions and garlic in the slow cooker.
  • Brush your favorite barbecue sauce onto each slab of ribs, covering completely.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

If you try our slow cooker ribs, we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you take a picture or share it on social media, don’t forget to tag us! Don’t forget to check out all of our family-friendly recipes


These slow cooker ribs fall off the bone. They are seriously the easiest and best ribs we've ever made and are ready in just 8 hours.
These slow cooker ribs fall off the bone. They are seriously the easiest and best ribs we've ever made and are ready in just 8 hours.

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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Recipe rating

  • I had never tried ribs in my crockpot before now! This will be the only way I make ribs from now on, it was so easy and super yummy!

  • Ha, what a coincidence my mum made ribs this weekend. These sound amazing. I must give her the recipe. It would be perfect for family get togethers.

  • Oh wow these look divine! I’ve never tried making ribs in the slow cooker but I’m definitely sold. Will have to give this a whirl.