Thursday, May 26, 2011

Crockpot BBQ Ribs

Need a finger lickin’ fall off the bone recipe for ribs?? Do you also want it to be simple and not labor intensive? Well, my friends/readers, this is THE recipe for you!


My Mimi is famous for her ribs. Man, are they delicious! Unfortunately, they are extremely labor intensive! She makes her BBQ sauce from scratch, and then spends the day in the kitchen oven roasting the ribs, the grilling them etc… It’s a PROCESS to say the least.

Well, I happen to LOVE ribs, but on a weeknight, I don’t have the time (or the energy) for anything complicated or labor intensive. Can I get an amen? hah Well, because I love ya’ll so much, I thought I would share a few of the tricks up my sleeve to get delicious weeknight ribs.

Trick numero uno: {Enter: Crockpot}

I know I have talked about it before. Embrace it, people.  The crockpot is your friend! It can make your life SO much easier.  On my lunch break, I rubbed my ribs with a spice rub and cooked them on low in the crockpot for about 5-6 hours while I was at work. I came home to fall off the bone ribs that were fully cooked, so all I had to do was baste them with BBQ sauce and then finish them off on the grill! Dinner was done in 15 minutes! holla!

Trick numero dos: Instead of making homemade BBQ sauce, I “doctor” up my favorite bottled sauce. Friends, there is NO shame in this!

You need to try this method out ASAP. I won’t make ribs any other way! Easy Peasy = my kind of meal! 🙂

Print Print Save Save

Crockpot BBQ Ribs


For the Ribs:
2.7 pounds of baby back pork ribs
1/2 cup BBQ rub

For the BBQ Sauce:
1 cup BBQ Sauce of Choice
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce


For the Ribs:
Thoroughly coat crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. using your hands, liberally coat the ribs with the dry rub spices on both sides. Place into crockpot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove from crockpot and set aside.

NOTE: I get this question a lot, so I thought I'd address it here... No, you do not add any liquid into the crockpot - doing so will boil the ribs and you don't want that 🙂

For the BBQ Sauce:
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and stir together well. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Once sauce is hot, turn heat down to low and keep warm until ready to use.

Finishing Touches:
Spray grill with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium high heat. Place ribs onto grill (meat side down). Cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip so the rib side is now down. Liberally baste the top (meat side) with BBQ sauce, then close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and now baste the rib side (which should be facing up), close lid and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Flip again and baste the meat side one last time, close lid and cook for 2 more minutes. Flip ONE LAST TIME (I promise) so the already basted meat side is facing down and close lid for 2 more minutes!

Remove from grill and serve hot with additional BBQ sauce! Be sure to have LOTS of papertowels handy... this is MESSY!! 🙂

Note: the flipping seems complicated, but it's really not! Just a little basting and flipping to caramelized the sauce. It only takes about 10-15 minutes in total.

  Pin It

75 Responses to “Crockpot BBQ Ribs”

  1. 1

    Emily @ NewlyWife — May 26, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Wow, these look great. I’m a fairly new reader and I keep bookmarking all your stuff! It doesn’t help that I ususally read before lunch time. Torture!

    • Kristina replied: — May 26th, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

      What a nice compliment!! Thanks so much Emily! 🙂

  2. 2

    Jazz Rules — May 26, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

    Adding Worcestershire sauce is the way to go! Best thing that happened to meat since salt!

    • Kristina replied: — May 26th, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

      haha so true!

  3. 3

    brandi@BranAppetit — May 26, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    these look so good! i need to nick to make some ribs soon.

  4. 4

    RavieNomNoms — May 26, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    WOW yummy looking “stick to your ribs” ribs! haha…I really like your recipe.

  5. 5

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — May 26, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    These looks saucy and delicious! Love ribs!

  6. 6

    Angela@RecipesFromMyMom — May 26, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

    My hubby and I were just talking this morning about how hard it is to make ribs as good as what you can order at a BBQ restaurant. So you’ve given me the curiosity to try them in our crock pot. Let it do all the work :]

    • Kristina replied: — May 27th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      let the crockpot do the work! it will change your life! hehe 🙂

  7. 7

    Natalie — May 26, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

    i never make ribs, but now i might!

  8. 8

    Mrs. Puma — May 26, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    These sound easy & delicious! I’m bookmarking the recipe to try.

  9. 9

    Lindsey@Lindselicious — May 26, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

    You can make ribs in the crockpot?! YAY! I can’t wait to try this. =)

    • Kristina replied: — May 27th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      YES you can! and they are GOOOOD. Finish them off on the grill to get that “grill flavor” and you won’t notice the difference!!

  10. 10

    Tulip — May 27, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    Those ribs look so finger licking good! It’s going to be a rib Memorial Weekend. What could be a better meal to celebrate our men and women who serviced out country. Thanks Kristina!! Love the cockpot way of cooking ribs too.

  11. 11

    Mandy — May 27, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    I so need to try this recipe! I love the ease of using the crockpot – I really should start using it more. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Kristina replied: — May 27th, 2011 @ 10:27 am

      Seriously… use that baby to your advantage! It’s the best shortcut ever! 🙂

  12. 12

    natalie (the sweets life) — May 27, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

    LOVE ribs and never thought to make in the crockpot. YUM!

  13. 13

    Mom — May 27, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    Looks Ah-mazing! What a great short-cut to put them in the crock pot. I thought they would fall off the bones by the time you took them out of the crockpot.

  14. 14

    raja ali — May 28, 2011 @ 12:39 am

    greetings, i do not have a grill so will they still be finished? i understand i will sacrifice that extra authentic flavor but i still would like to try this

    • Kristina replied: — May 29th, 2011 @ 10:09 am

      Yes the ribs will be completely cooked when they come out of the crockpot… i’d recommend basting them with the sauce and then put them in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes or so to allow the sauce to caramelize. Let me know how they turn out! 🙂

  15. 15

    Katie — May 28, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    I love ribs, but I’ve always been too intimidated to make them myself. This is wonderful!

  16. 16

    Jenn — May 28, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

    Cute blog! I like your pictures on the top right of your blog – You are gorgeous!! My father-in-law makes amazing ribs, he too spends all day on them. I like your idea of using the crockpot!

  17. 17

    deb — June 3, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    What do you use for the dry rub?

    • Kristina replied: — June 3rd, 2011 @ 9:34 am

      I used this dry rub recip (click the link)… it makes a lot of rub but its stores for forever! I keep it in a ziplock and use it for pulled pork as well! 🙂 I’m sure you could half the recipe as well…

  18. 18

    deb — June 3, 2011 @ 10:42 am

    Thanks! One of my co-workers saw the rib recipe and asked what you used for the dry rub.

  19. 19

    Bree — June 10, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    Do you put them in the crockpot dry or do you add water, BBQ sauce or something else?

    • Kristina replied: — June 10th, 2011 @ 11:12 am

      I actually put them in dry (I spray the crockpot with non-stick cooking spray first)… Ribs have fat in them so as they cook down, you will find a little bit of liquid in the pot! They turn out super tender and moist even though they are cooked dry!

  20. 20

    Bree — June 11, 2011 @ 3:19 pm


  21. 21

    Jenny Steffens — June 28, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    I love that you used the crockpot! I posted my own BBQ Ribs on my blog today :

    I hope you get a chance to stop by!


  22. 22

    BBQ Babyback Ribs | The Lean Green Bean — July 8, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    […] while back, Tina posted this recipe for Crockpot BBQ Ribs and I immediately bookmarked it because I generally feel that even if it’s something […]

  23. 23

    Donna — July 14, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

    I have been cooking ribs in the crockpot for years but I put a bottle of BBQ sauce in the pot and they almost boil in bbq sauce and do not taste like grilled ribs. I am anxious to try it this way. My husband makes the best ribs on the grill but it takes him all day and when we have out of town company and we are gone all day I need to be able to have dinner ready when we get back from sightseeing. This sounds perfect

  24. 24

    Pot Roast, Pork Roast, BBQ Ribs, Swedish Meatballs, Chicken & Dumplings — September 19, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

    […] you will find all the instruction needed to cook ribs in a crockpot. After the ribs are cooked they are finished up on a grill for that special flavor that only a […]

  25. 25

    Emily — October 21, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    is there a way to convert this recipe to use a dutch oven instead of a crock pot?

  26. 26

    Courtney — January 1, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

    I’m a college student, and I don’t have access to a grill. I’m from a BBQ family (we even have a catering business!) and got excited to see a recipe that could allow me to have some ribs while at school if I ever had a few extra bucks lying around to buy the ribs.

    I’m wondering how the cook time might change without the grilling. Do you think they could be finished off in the oven after basting with sauce?

    • Courtney replied: — January 1st, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

      Just kidding, I saw a post above of someone else without access to a grill. 🙂 Love your recipes!

  27. 27

    Kait — February 6, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    Hey there, I just discovered this recipe and your blog through Pinterest. These ribs look amazing and I would love to make them, but unfortunately I live in London so we dont have a grill. Is this a necessary step for this recipe, or is there something I can do to get around this? Thanks! xx

    • Kait replied: — February 6th, 2012 @ 10:44 am

      Goodness, just saw the other posts regarding the grill issue! Nevermind haha

  28. 28

    Kristi Hardin — February 27, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

    I’m making these right now and it has the house smelling so good! Thanks for the quick and easy recipe that made me look like a chef 🙂 HOLLAH! 🙂

  29. 29

    Janie jacks — April 16, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    Has anyone made these yet? How were they? I see lots of comments about wanting to try it but no one saying they did it with yummy results. My crockpot always seems to burn or dry out meat in it, even on low so I’m skeptical. But i have ribs thawing in the fridge ready to go if someone can confirm success with this method! Thanks!

  30. 30

    Kelly B — May 4, 2012 @ 9:26 am

    Trying this today, using Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning blend for the rub. I’ll post the outcome!

  31. 31

    Kelly B — May 4, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    Ok, I did it! It came out amazing! Only thing I changed was I used Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning as the rub, then followed the directions you posted. It was perfection. Thank you so much for putting this up, I have wanted to make ribs in the crock for a while, and couldn’t figure out the best way until now. Thanks again!!!

  32. 32

    Kelly L.E.C. — May 15, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    I have a home made BBQ sauce that I use for pulled pork. It’s already very thin…its what people would call NC style BBQ sauce, vinegar based and a little spicy. Should I use this as the BBQ sauce to mix with the other ingredients. Or should I go with the thicker more traditional one. The ingredients you add to yours are pretty much already in my sauce. I was scared it wouldn’t baste correctly w/out that sweetness..

  33. 33

    Marcus — May 27, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    Fantastically easy and tasty recipe. Was skeptical about adding nothing to the crockpot but the ribs, but turned out great and definitely fall off the bone. A keeper for this household.

  34. 34

    Lisa Austin — June 6, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    You can also cook for 2 hours on high in the crock. It works, I tried it last night.

    • Tina replied: — June 6th, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

      thanks! good to know! 😉

  35. 35

    Leah Smith — July 8, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    Made these tonight. They were amazing and super easy. Thanks for sharing!

  36. 36

    Regina — July 10, 2012 @ 10:36 am

    Discovered your site and this recipe last night. This is so simple even my husband can do this (with my help on the prep). Can’t wait for dinner tonight! Will update with results…

  37. 37

    Regina — July 11, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    Update…the ribs turned out amazingly well. I was very skeptical of the no liquid, but I prefer crispy on the outside ribs and this method allows for that as the ribs aren’t soaking or boiling in liquid. And they were juicy and tender on the inside. I won’t make in the oven ever again! Thank you for sharing such a great technique!

  38. 38

    Jason — July 20, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    I am going to be trying these tomorrow while at work! I usually smoke my ribs but obviously, having to work, not a possibility! So this I will try! If it’s ok, I like to review recipes on my blog. I will give you full credit and post your link in it, with your permission of course.

  39. 39

    Meesha — August 16, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    These were phenomenal!!! It was like we opened up our own BBQ joint in our kitchen! YUMMY! Will make again and again… Five stars!

  40. 40

    Kris — August 19, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    I would like to cook some small red potatoes to go with the ribs, can I do in the crock pot as well? My ribs are about half done, how should I prepare the potatoes and when should I put them in?

  41. 41

    Anna — September 24, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    These were yum!! Ribs in crock pot = Awesome! Been dying to make these with the hubs and we finally did this evening. I think our grill was little too hot but they were fall off the bone wonderful. Thanks for your recipe – I love your blog 🙂

  42. 42

    Stephie — September 26, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    We tried this method last weekend and it was a hit! It was so easy that we are definitely going to do this again!

  43. 43

    bruce — October 25, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    Tina, just wanted to thank you! i have cooked quite a few of your recipes and have fallen in love all over again! been cooking for a very long time and i have followed your recipes to the t! all i can is unbelievable!thank you so much!!!!!!

  44. 44

    Slow Cooker (Crockpot) BBQ Ribs : Oven Love — November 16, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    […] mins Cook time:  7 hours Total time:  7 hours 5 mins   with inspiration from My Life As A Mrs, Mmm is for Mommy, Foodie Crush and Spicy Ice Cream […]

  45. 45

    lori — January 16, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    This was delicious best ribs i’ve ever made my family devoured them! I did country ribs (bcus they were on sale @ my local store bogo coudlnt pass it up but babybacks are my fav)and i also added liquid smoke to the sauce only about 2-3 tsp bcus i had it for making jerky and thought bcus i didnt have access to a grill at the time it would give it a little grill flavor and it was wonderful! Thanks for our new rib and bbq recipe!

  46. 46

    the ultimate super bowl survival guide | Diary of a Crazed Cook — January 30, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

    […] fare like wings & ribs and beyond. And the smartest Super Bowl cooks will employ their slow cookers all weekend long – soups, chilis, pulled pork, stews or theeee best lasagna ever – set it and […]

  47. 47

    Kee — February 3, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    I found this recipe on pintrest, it looks amazing, I’ll try it this week and let you know how I get on. Thanks 🙂

  48. 48

    Jayme — February 16, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Do you stack ribs on top of each other or to you stand them on their side?

  49. 49

    Diane — February 17, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    Do you leave the membrane on or peel it off?

  50. 50

    Amber W — March 2, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

    mmmmm! Just made these tonight and they were fabulous! I started the recipe a little late so I cooked the ribs on high for 4 hours plus grill time. My husband and his friend could not stop eating them. thanks for a great recipe. this one is a keeper for sure

Leave a Comment