Slow Cooker BBQ Baby Back Ribs – the easiest way to make tender, fall-off the bone ribs. If you have never made ribs because they seem too complicated or time consuming, this is the perfect recipe.
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Slow Cooker BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs are so tender, they fall right off the bone. The slow cooker can be the first or only step for cooking ribs. You can cook them all day in the slow cooker, and finish them off under the broiler or on the grill. You can also serve them right from the slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Baby Back Rib Ingredients
- 2 Racks Baby Back Ribs
- BBQ Sauce – use your favorite store bought sauce and add the ingredients below for extra flavor
- Molasses – the brand I use is called Grandma’s Molasses.
- Ketchup – for added sweetness to the sauce. Any ketchup brand you regularly use is fine.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – White Wine Vinegar works as a substitute.
- Brown Mustard – You can use spicy brown mustard for an extra kick.
- Garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper
How To Make Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Make sure to scroll to recipe card for complete directions.
- Start with two racks of baby back ribs.
- Remove membrane on both racks. Note: Some racks will already have the membrane removed.
- Season ribs with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
- Place ribs in slow cooker with meaty side facing wall of slow cooker.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, molasses, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown mustard, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Pour BBQ sauce mixture over ribs and cook on low 6-8 hours, or until fork tender.
- Some bottled BBQ sauces can be very high in sodium, so take that into account when seasoning the ribs and adjust salt accordingly.
- The extra sauce ingredients add more flavor to the recipe, but just BBQ sauce will work as well.
- Cooking time for one rack of ribs will be the same, just adjust seasoning and BBQ sauce to half.
- Broil ribs on high for about 5 minutes in oven to further caramelize BBQ sauce.
How to Remove the Membrane from Baby Back Ribs
The first thing to know is that some racks already come with the membrane removed. You’ll know if the membrane is still attached if you can see a silvery layer across the back side of the rack of ribs. This is the easiest technique for me: Use a paring knife in the middle of the rack to lift the membrane up and separate it from the rack. Then use a paper towel to grab the membrane and gently, using consistent pressure, pull it off in one piece. Some people recommend grabbing the membrane from the sides, but I feel like there isn’t enough tension to get a good grip.
- 2 racks Baby Back Ribs between 2-3 pounds each
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 cups BBQ Sauce
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Start by removing membranes if still attached. Season ribs and place in slow cooker with meaty part facing wall of slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, molasses, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, mustard, onion powder and garlic powder. Pour over ribs and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve warm with additional BBQ sauce.
Optional step: Broil ribs, in oven, on high for about 5 minutes after removing from slow cooker.
What to Serve with Ribs
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mmmm these look so good! I hardly ever make ribs… must try this recipe!
Made From Pinterest
My mouth is watering. Pinned this. Thanks for great pictures so I know how to do this.
Kelly @ View Along the Way
OMG. This looks killer. I had no idea you could do ribs in a slow cooker! YUM!
Melissa. You are KILLING me with your pictures!! They are unreal!! I want to hire you to take mine! 😀 I don’t even like ribs and this makes me want to try them right now! Sharing!!
Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage
You had me at ribs! Nothing better and this looks amazing! I think I just drooled a little bit! Sharing on my FB page right now!
Awesome idea! I’ve never made ribs in the crockpot; I’ll have to give this a try!
I’ve been wanting to try this. Thanks for sharing how you did it. I love cooking in the crockpot!!
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life
Those look great! I will definitely be trying this sometime this summer!!!
Oh my goodness I’m so glad you stopped by my Normal Cooking blog because it led me to yours! I love it! I like the layout and the photography, and of course the recipes.
Just curious if these would work for country style boneless ribs? Would LOVE to try this but I’m not a babyback rib person LOL!
I don’t see why not! Anything that you would cook low and slow should be great in the slow cooker:0)
This is an amazing way to do ribs. Thanks so much! I pinned this awhile ago and today I received #500 in repins!
Awesome! Thanks so much for pinning!
These look so good. I’ve never made ribs in the slow cooker, but I will certainly give these a go. I have 2 boys that play hockey now, and I’m at a rink 6 days a week! I’m tired of eating on the go and I’ve been trying to cook something every night, even if we have to eat dinner at 8. Will try this tonight! My kids love ribs!
UPDATE!!! I doubled the recipe (don’t judge! I’m feeding hubby and 3 growing boys!), added some more spices like cumin, chili, etc.., and put in slow cooker for 8 hours. Everyone LOVED them. Verbatim- “Best ribs I have ever had in my life” was what my husband said and he is super picky. I will definitely make these again. thanks so much for the great recipe : )
Woohoo! Thanks so much for sharing, Anita! :0)
Great idea! My grandson-in-law uses same method with pork loin. After 9 hours cooking time he pulls it apart and shreds it with 2 forks. Best barbeque sandwiches I ever ate!
I want to make these right now, but I’d like to eat them sooner, would putting them in a croc pot on high for 4-6 hours be okay?
Good recipe but I’ve never seen a slow cooker create char marks??? Perhaps we put them on the grill for a little visual enhancement?
In the last optional step, I suggest putting them under the broiler for 5 minutes to further caramelize the BBQ sauce. That is what I did with the ribs pictured here.
It would be helpful to read the whole post before making rude comments and making yourself look like an ass 🙂
I thought the same thing about the char marks. “Once ribs are done, remove from slow cooker and serve.”…. the picture that goes long with this already has char marks….still in the slow cooker, sounds like they have not gone in the oven yet. Says nothing about putting it in the oven then back in the slow cooker. Maybe it was just done for visual, idk. I fail to see how the oven will create char marks either. The only way I have ever cooked ribs is on the smoker or grill, this is the only real way to get char marks. The comment was not rude, it was asking a valid question which was not answered. Maybe try and understand the question one is asking before making a rude comment back.
I will definitely try this recipe but do not expect them to look the same way in the picture without going on the grill. Maybe I will prove myself wrong. Only one way to find out.
Thanks for the post!
I think what you are seeing is where the sugar in the BBQ sauce has caramelized under the broiler, or perhaps you mean the picture in the slow cooker? The bone marrow darkened during cooking, and I suppose that could look like char marks. The ribs are very tender after cooking, so removing was a delicate process. They would not of held up to being removed from the slow cooker and placed back in in the same position. As you said, best try it for yourself:0)
Just finished preping my ribs and they are slow cooking as we speak.. Can’t wait to bite into one of these tonite. I have my 6 year old Grand Daughter with me tonight and she is a big rib lover so when she gets off the school bus and walks through the door and inhales the smell of those ribs, she’ll know what Gram has cooking for dinner tonite and she will be mighty happy.. We’ll let you know how they come out.. Can’t wait for my house to fill up with the aroma of the ribs.. than I’ll open my windows and tease the neighbors… LOL..
I tried these tonight. Oh my goodness were they delicious! The meat was falling off the bone and very juicy. I wouldn’t skip on the extra sauce and broiling them for a few minutes. It made all the difference. I have a feeling this recipe is going to become a staple in my house. Thanks!
Do you remove membrane first or is this not necessary when using the slow cooker?
I did not remove the membrane. Thanks for the question!
I am going to save this recipe. I like your pictures 🙂
Thank you, Wini!
i am a mother of 5 growing girls and they love ribs and today daughter #4 gets to pick dinner and she picked your recipe to try. They are in the crockpot right now and they smell delish! Also I’ve never put ribs standing up in the crockpot before, now I will never go back to laying them on top of each other so thank you!
Okay, I made these ribs last night per the recipe. Wow, what a hit. Even the master grilled of the family praised them. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Is any water needed in the slow cooker for this recipe?
You don’t need to add water.
We have been looking for a good way to make tender (falling off the bone) ribs. This recipe was perfect! So simple too. Thanks so much!
Do you use fresh ribs or frozen ones?
If frozen, do you need to thaw first?
Great recipe, thx for sharing!
I’ve found over a “few tries” of Ribs in the Crockpot/Slow Cooker? I cut the ribs into “thirds” (I cut the rack into 3 manageable pieces) then stand them vertically in the slow cooker. I can comfortably fit 2 racks of ribs into my crockpot
Funny thing, I always have a sheet pan covered with foil, for the “broiling component”, but thus far? THE RIBS HAVE
NEVER MADE IT THAT FAR! :))
Tried these today, Amazing!!!!
I added a little more than a cup of apple juice to help keep it moist it was so good and fell right off the bones. Thanks
We have made these many times. Very good and easy to make. One of Hubby’s favorites
Oh wow! This has been a favorite at my house! Seriously amazing!
These ribs were a huge hit! So easy to prep and let the slow cooker do the work. Love it!
DELICIOUS. Came out amazing!!!