Easy 5-Minute Slow Cooker Ribs

by Gigi Ross on October 1, 2013

slow cooker ribs

I have been making these slow cooker ribs for…maybe 8 years now.

EVERY time we have new guests over and they try this recipe, people say:

There is NO WAY these were made in a slow cooker.

So I show them the slow cooker, then they ask for the recipe.

And they say,

Where is the rest of the recipe? There’s no liquid.

And I tell them that’s the whole recipe. For reals. I tell them it will take no more than 5 minutes to get these ribs in the crock pot.

Six to seven hours later, you’ve got yourself a yummy meal.

First, you make your rub. It’s a nice blend of spices like paprika, chili powder, white pepper, oregano, sugar and brown sugar. (I triple the batch so I have more for next time)

slow cooker ribs

You slap that rub right on the ribs after you rinse them. We normally use baby back ribs, but we’ve done spare ribs too and they’re just as good.

slow cooker ribs

Stand your ribs on the long end and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for about 6 to 7 hours (my big slow cooker usually has these done in about 6). They smell AMAZING and are falling off the bone.

slow cooker ribs

Brush your favorite BBQ sauce on the ribs, place ’em on a foil lined cookie sheet, and let the sauce bake onto the ribs for 5-10 minutes. Serve them up. Be everyone’s instant BFF.

slow cooker ribs

Have I convinced you yet? Because mealtime doesn’t GET easier than this. Seriously. It takes longer to go through a drive thru then it does to make these slow cooker ribs.

Want the recipe?

It’s not mine. It’s one that I found on About.com years ago and I’ve been delighting friends and family with this puppy ever since.

BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs




  • 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

You can check out this fantastic recipe for slow cooker ribs here. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!!!

P.S. I used to do a lot of food blogging back in the day. You can see what else I’ve cooked up by checking out my food category.


Kerry Ann Morgan October 1, 2013 at 5:28 am

OMG—my hubby and son would LOVE these!

Jackie October 1, 2013 at 8:08 am

I would have never thought to put ribs in the slow cooker! Much less without liquid!

Yes, I’ll be trying this one soon.

Maribel Reyes October 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm

This recipe is exactly what I’ve been looking for! We don’t have an oven in the house we live in now, so I am now searching everywhere for non-bake recipes and this sounds absolutely delicious and I do have a slow cooker! win-win!

Miya Goodrich October 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Trying these when my mom comes to visit next month!

Betsy October 1, 2013 at 9:58 pm

On my agenda for FUN MONTH! Got a new slow cooker and can’t wait to bust it out!

Galit Breen October 2, 2013 at 2:20 am

These sound absolutely amazing!

Lisa December 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

Stupid question alert: “Stand the ribs on the long end”–what does that mean exactly?

Gigi Ross December 12, 2013 at 11:18 am

So a rack of ribs is rectangular- short on two sides and long on the other 2 sides. You take the ribs and fit them into your cooker with a long end at the bottom. The ribs will sort of curve to fit the shape of your slow cooker and will not be laying flat on the bottom of the cooker. Make sense?

Lorri March 30, 2014 at 8:27 am

What do you mean by meat side out. Should the meat face the inside of the pot or the outside of the pot?

Gigi Ross March 30, 2014 at 9:29 am

The outside of the pot

Brooke J May 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Can you stack them?

Gigi Ross May 26, 2014 at 7:52 am

You can, as long as you keep a little space between the racks of ribs.

Rachel Thopy June 19, 2014 at 1:49 am

When you place the ribs in the crock pot, do you add any liquid or BBQ sauce, or put them in just by themselves?

Gigi Ross June 23, 2014 at 11:17 am

No liquid. It sounds strange…but they come out amazing. When they are done in crock pot, I brush with BBQ sauce and stick them in oven to warm the sauce a bit.

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