How to Slow Cook Barbecue Ribs in a Crock Pot

by Ashley Walton
Cooking ribs in a slow cooker is a no-fuss way to do dinner and takes less than eight hours.

Cooking ribs in a slow cooker is a no-fuss way to do dinner and takes less than eight hours.

A rack of ribs can be a daunting slab of meat to cook. Cooking ribs in the oven takes a lot of time and care, checking them frequently and basting them every hour so they don't dry out. However, if you cook ribs in a crock pot instead, you'll save yourself time and hassle, and end up with a delicious, slow-cooked dish that didn't take much active cooking time. Just let the ribs do their thing in the crock pot during the day, and you'll have a dinner ready to go.

Trim any excess fat from your pork ribs, if necessary, and add the ribs to your crock pot. Cut your rack in half if it has trouble fitting.

Pour an entire bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce over the ribs, using a spoon to evenly coat them. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make a couple cups of your own barbecue sauce instead of using a store-bought one. Simply mix together ingredients like chili sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar, adjusting to fit your tastes. Add about a cup of water to the crock pot.

Sprinkle rib seasonings over the meat, if desired. The seasonings you use will depend on if you like your ribs sweet or spicy, but commonly added spices include oregano, cumin, chili powder or garlic. If you prefer ribs with more of a spicy kick, adding garlic or chili powder will bring out a fiery flavor in your barbecue sauce.

Set the crock pot to cook for 6 to 8 hours on low heat, or until the rib meat becomes tender and easily comes off the bone.

Items you will need

  • Kitchen knife
  • A bottle of barbecue sauce or two cups of homemade sauce
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Spices (optional)


  • You can set your crock pot to stop cooking at a certain time, so you don't have to keep a close eye on it.


  • According to the Food and Drug Administration, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption, and can be checked by inserting a food thermometer into the meat, away from the bone.

About the Author

Ashley Walton holds a master's degree in English and has taught various courses at Brigham Young University, including rhetoric in new media and transatlantic literature. She has worked as an online copywriter for the last five years, and has eight years of copy editing experience.

Photo Credits

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