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Perfectly Tender Slow Cooker Ribs

Absolutely the best slow cooker ribs we've ever had! Easy to make - pour the beer (or stock), mix up the dry rub & hit go. 5 min under the broiler & done!

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5 from 1 review

These slow cooker ribs are perfectly tender and juicy, and fall-off-the-bone delicious! With easy prep, they taste just as good as grilled without all the work! Pair with Stovetop Mac and Cheese and Instant Pot Steamed Veggies for a delicious meal.


  • 1 onion, sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, beer or apple juice or orange juice (use whatever you have on hand)
  • ½ Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 slabs of ribs
  • 12 cups of your favorite barbeque sauce (here’s my homemade BBQ sauce)


  1. Place sliced onion in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker. I have and recommend this 6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Mix the spices in a small bowl. As written, these spices are enough for one slab of ribs. If you’re making two slabs, double the spices.
  3. Generously cover both sides of the ribs with the spice rub.
  4. Place ribs in the slow cooker with the meat-side up (and bone-side down). It’s okay if the slabs overlap a little bit.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours for perfectly tender ribs. If you want them to have a bit more of a bite and less fall-off-the-bone, set the timer for 3 ½ hours.
  6. Preheat the broiler on high.
  7. Meanwhile, use a pair of tongs to carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a baking sheet or a 9×13 glass baking dish with a lid. I recommend approaching the ribs from the very end and sliding as much of the tongs underneath the ribs as possible so that nearly the entire slab is resting on the tongs. (This helps to keep the ribs together, instead of falling apart.)
  8. When the broiler is ready, generously coat the ribs with barbeque sauce and place under the broiler for 5 minutes. You *can* keep them in there for another minute or two, but I’ve found that 5 minutes gives us the caramelized outside yet leaves the inside meat still very tender.


  • I’ve never cooked these ribs on low. If you want to try it, I’d suggest setting the clock for 8 hours and going from there. 
  • I have this 6-quart slow cooker and I can fit two racks of ribs in it without the meat touching the lid. It’s fine if the meat touches each other, but you don’t want the ribs crammed in your slow cooker so much that there’s no airflow. You need the lid to sit on top correctly too. Use your best judgment as to how many slabs you can cook at one time.
  • I’m using a very basic rub on these ribs and it won’t fall off into the juices, so feel free to get fancy if you have any of those fun rubs in your spice cabinet!