clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Slow cooker BBQ ribs are juicy, saucy, and tender -- the meat literally falls right off the bone. Add this easy recipe to your list of crockpot recipes. |

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Slow cooker BBQ ribs are juicy, saucy, and tender -- the meat literally falls right off the bone. Add this easy recipe to your list of crockpot recipes.


  • 2 racks baby back ribs (3-4 lb.), cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, homemade or store bought


  1. Pat dry ribs with paper towel completely and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry rub ingredients including brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and mustard powder until evenly distributed. Rub and spread onto ribs using your hands until evenly coated. You can use disposable gloves for easier clean up.
  3. Spread chopped onions evenly inside a 6-quart slow cooker (crockpot) and add water. 
  4. Place the ribs in the slow cooker and generously brush half of the barbecue sauce on top of each rib. You can stack the ribs on top of each other into 2 layers.
  5. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 8-10 hours or on the HIGH setting for 4-6 hours. When time is up, the slow cooker will automatically switch to WARM setting. Serve immediately with remaining BBQ sauce. 
  6. Optionally, to achieve crispy and nicely charred ribs, gently remove the ribs and place them on a large half sheet baking pan lined with parchment paper. Baste with additional BBQ sauce, if desired. Broil the ribs on top rack of the oven on high for 5-7 minutes until nicely browned. 


Remove the silverskin: When preparing the ribs, remove the membrane from the ribs if it hasn't already been done by the butcher. If you don't remove it, the ribs will likely be stuck together with tough skin. To remove the membrane, slide a small kitchen knife under the membrane (and over the bone) at one end of the rack. Gently lift the membrane with the knife until it tears away from the rack. Then, grab the membrane with a paper towel and pull it away from the rack—it may come off in one large piece, or you may need to take it off in several pieces.

How to store: Keep leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can store the sauce separately or with ribs.

How to reheat: BBQ ribs taste best when reheated in the oven, wrapped in foil, at 350F for 15 minutes, or until hot. You can also heat them in the microwave.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: slow cooker bbq ribs, crockpot bbq ribs, how to make ribs, juicy bbq ribs,