Slow Cooker BBQ Baby Back Ribs – Cooking For My Soul

Pork loin rib slow cooker recipe

If you love ribs, this slow cooker BBQ baby rib recipe is for you! They are so tasty and so incredibly tender. It’s crazy.

It’s a super easy and low-maintenance recipe. Simply season with a homemade dry massage and cook slowly in the slow cooker for 6 hours. Then, brush with your favorite BBQ sauce, roast for a few minutes… And ta-da, dinner is served!

These slow-cooking baby ribs fall out of the bone beautifully and melt in the mouth. Seriously out of this world!

No matter what season of the year it is, my favorite way to cook ribs is using the slow cooker. Even during the summer, when everyone is smoking or roasting ribs, you’ll probably find me cooking ribs slowly on my Crockpot.

These slow cook BBQ baby ribs are truly AMAZING! Incredibly tasty, super tender and succulent. They fall out of the bone beautifully and melt in the mouth like no other.

Why you’ll love these Crockpot BBQ


  • Incredibly easy, low maintenance: These ribs are cooked for 6 hours at LOW and roasted at the end for just 2-4 minutes to get that beautiful caramelization. It’s a recipe for non-intervention for the most part.
  • Super tender and fall out of the bone: they fall off the bone and melt in the mouth, but they also do not become “shredded pig”. It’s the perfect intermission.
  • The dry rib massage is AMAZING! Packed with lots of aromatic spices and brown sugar for that classic BBQ rib flavor.
  • Use your favorite BBQ sauce

  • : To keep it easy, convenient, and simple, use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce. Or try my favorite homemade sweet BBQ sauce. It’s the same sauce I use to make Spatchcock BBQ chicken and BBQ chicken salad.

I love serving these BBQ baby ribs with bacon and potato skins loaded with cheddar and macaroni and white cheddar cheese. During the summer, this potato dill salad and potato salad with pesto are my favorite side dishes.

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Slow cookers are great for always making tender meat easily, with very little supervision. Have you tried my slow cooker chicken stew or my slow-cooker Cuban sandwich yet?

Skip to:Size and shape of slow


  • Cooked slowly for 6 hours
  • Dry seasoning
  • for ribs

  • Ingredient Notes
  • Step

  • by Step Instructions
  • What Types of Ribs to Use
  • Pairing and Serving Ideas
  • Frequently Asked

  • Questions
  • About

  • Recipes Tips for Success
  • Slow cooker Barbecue Baby ribs
  • Size and shape of the


pot I would recommend this 6 quart Crockpot slow cooker. To fit a full shelf of baby ribs, use a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Make sure it fits and that you can close the lid completely. As for the shape of the slow cooker, use a round or oval slow cooker.

Preferably, screw the ribs around the sides of the slow cooker. It is my preferred method because it encourages even cooking and heat distribution. This also ensures that the water does not directly touch most of the meat, which helps to get the right texture out of the meat.

If you can’t place the ribs around the sides of a slow cooker, cut them into 2 to 3 pieces and place them as well as possible to cook them evenly.

Cooked slowly for 6 hours

The goal is to make these slow-cooker ribs fall apart tender, but not turn them into “shredded pork.” There are two ways to achieve this:

  • cook slowly for 6 hours in LOW. If cooked for too long, the meat will begin to decompose too much and turn into shredded meat or porridge. Tender is good, but too tender is not what we are looking for when it comes to ribs. note: For 4-pound ribs, cook closer to 6.5 hours.
  • Add the BBQ sauce only at the end, when roasting. There’s no need to add BBQ sauce in the slow cooker – too much liquid will cause the ribs to “simmer” in the sauce and break down more than necessary. Instead, cook the ribs only with the dry massage, garlic, onions and water, and use the BBQ sauce at the end when roasting.
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Dry seasoning for ribs

Speaking of dry massage… this rib seasoning is really AMAZING! It is a simple massage made with brown sugar and aromatic spices that you can find practically anywhere.

Here’s what’s in the dry rubbing used to make these slow-cooking barbecue ribs: brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper. If you want to add other spices you like, feel free to do so.

Ingredient Notes

  • Pork ribs: Also known as “pork loin ribs”. A shelf full of ribs weighs about 3-4 pounds. Find the fleshy ones to make extra succulent ribs.
  • Onion and garlic: Infuse flavor inside the slow cooker while cooking the ribs. It also creates a tasty liquid that you can spoon over your serving ribs.
  • Water: To create moisture inside the slow cooker.
  • Rub dry: brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.


by Step Instructions

Step 1 | Remove

the membrane from the ribs At the back of

the rib grid, pass a sharp knife between the flesh and the top layer of the membrane to separate it. Then, remove the entire membrane with your hands to the end.

Step 2 | Season the ribs with

the dry massage

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Pat the ribs dry and evenly rub the seasoning all over the rack, on both sides.

Step 3 | Cook slowly until tender

Place the ribs in a 6-quart slow cooker, rolling it along the edges of the pot. Add the water, onions and garlic to the bottom of the pot. Cover (make sure lid closes completely) and simmer for 6 hours until tender. note: If your slow cooker is not big enough, cut it into 2-3 pieces and place them as well as possible to cook them evenly.

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Step 4 | Brush with BBQ sauce and roast ribs

Transfer ribs to a large tray. Brush with BBQ sauce and roast 2-4 minutes until caramelized.

What types

of ribs to use Baby ribs

  • (RECOMMENDED): I highly recommend using pork ribs, also known as “pork loin ribs”. They contain leaner meat (less fat), and are also curved and shorter than other rib cuts, which is great for slow cooker. They are cooked and tenderized in just 6 hours.
  • St. Louis style ribs: They are less fleshy than baby back ribs and more fatty. Your bones are also larger, so if you use St. Louis-style ribs, you may need a larger slow cooker (7-8 quarts) and cook for an additional hour or so, depending on the size.
  • Spare ribs

  • : Spare ribs are large (fleshy and longer bones), so you definitely need a large 8-quart slow cooker. Spare ribs need more than in the slow cooker to get tender, closer to 8 hours.


and serving ideas

Check out these amazing side dishes to serve with slow-cooker BBQ ribs:

You can also air fried frozen chips or sweet potatoes (super easy!) and serve with homemade coleslaw. As for BBQ sauce, use your favorite store-bought sauce or try my homemade sweet BBQ sauce!

Frequently Asked Questions About Recipes

This recipe was published in 2019 and updated in February 2022 to include new photos and information.

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