Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs recipe

These slow cooker ribs are the finest I’ve ever tasted, short of grilling them! They’re simple to make; simply cook them in the slow cooker until tender, then cover with barbeque sauce and finish in the oven. When I want ribs during the week, I make them within 30 minutes of arriving home and they turn out perfectly every time!

Prep Time:                   Cook Time:                      Total Time:
10 mins                        4 hrs 15 mins                    4 hrs 25 mins

This slow cooker ribs dish will quickly become your favorite one-pot meal. The delicious, fall-off-the-bone flesh is guaranteed to satisfy.

How to Cook Ribs In the Slow Cooker

The recipe below includes a thorough ingredient list and step-by-step instructions, but first let’s go over the fundamentals:

Slow Cooker Ribs Ingredients

These are the ingredients you’ll need for this Crock-Pot baby back ribs recipe: 

  • Ribs: For about six servings, you’ll need three pounds of trimmed baby back ribs. 
  • Seasonings: The ribs are simply seasoned with salt and pepper. 
  • Water: You’ll need about ½ cup of water. 
  • Onion and garlic: Sliced onion and minced garlic lend bold flavor. 
  • Barbecue sauce: Use store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce. 

How to Make Slow Cooker Ribs

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make baby back ribs in the slow cooker: 

  • Add all the ingredients (besides the sauce) to the slow cooker. 
  • Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours. 
  • Coat the ribs with sauce and bake until the sauce caramelizes. 

How to Store Slow Cooker Ribs

Cooked slow cooker baby back rib leftovers should be stored in an airtight container or securely wrapped in storage wrap or aluminum foil. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. Warm it up in the microwave or on the stove.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“This is an easy recipe if you’re a novice in the kitchen or just in a hurry,” says Karen L Turk. “Set it up before you go to work and finish it when you get home.”

“Best ribs we’ve ever had,” Christine Zyontz exclaims. “What an incredible, simple recipe!” Before cooking, I cut them into four pieces. They were fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy after 8 hours on low in the slow cooker.”

“Easy to do and produces fantastic results,” comments Wayne Chadwick. “Meat falls off the bone… you can use almost any liquid instead of water.” This is something I’ve done with beer, root beer, and cranberry wine.”


  • 3 pounds baby back ribs, trimmed
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce


  1. Season ribs with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup water into the slow cooker, then add ribs. Scatter onion and garlic over top. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
  3. When the ribs are almost finished, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Transfer ribs from the slow cooker to a baking sheet; discard onion and garlic. Coat ribs with barbeque sauce.
  5. Bake ribs in the preheated oven until sauce caramelizes and sticks to meat, 10 to 15 minutes.
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs recipe


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Can I use a different type of ribs for this recipe?

Yes, you can use spare ribs or St. Louis-style ribs instead of baby back ribs. The cooking time may vary slightly, so adjust accordingly.

Do I need to pre-cook the ribs before placing them in the slow cooker?

No, there’s no need to pre-cook the ribs. The slow cooker will tenderize the meat perfectly.

What can I serve as side dishes with the slow-cooked ribs?

Popular side dishes include coleslaw, corn on the cob, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, or a fresh green salad.

Can I use homemade barbecue sauce instead of store-bought?

Absolutely! Homemade barbecue sauce can add a personal touch to the recipe. Feel free to use your favorite homemade sauce or experiment with different flavors.

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