A Crockpot Baby Back Ribs Recipe that is SO easy to make! Learn how to make slow cooker ribs that are delicious and fall off the bone tender!
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Have you ever wanted baby back ribs, but it was too cold outside or you don’t own a smoker? Trust us, these crock pot baby back ribs will hit the spot!
They are perfectly tender and are lick-your-fingers good!
These ribs can easily be paleo, Whole30, and are keto friendly! I know you will love them!
Why we love Crockpot Ribs
There are so many reasons we love these crock pot ribs! Here are some of the things that we love about them:
- Super easy to make – Like most crockpot recipes, you can let the pot do most of the work. Just rub the ribs with some spices, cook in the crockpot and finish in the oven with some bbq sauce!
- Ribs are fall off the bone tender – Because the rack of ribs cooks low and slow, they are incredibly tender!
- Easy to customize – This slow cooker ribs recipe is very easy to customize if you eat paleo, keto, or are doing Whole30 (check the green box below for substitutions).
Crockpot Ribs Recipe Ingredients
Cooking slow cooker baby back ribs is so easy. You’ll need a few basic ingredients like:
- baby back ribs
- brown sugar
- water (or beer, apple juice, broth)
- barbecue sauce
- paprika, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper
How to cook Ribs in a crock pot
- Mix together the spices.
- Spray ribs with olive oil. Then coat ribs with dry rub and press spices in.
- Pour liquid in crockpot and place ribs in.
- Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
- After 4 hours, preheat oven to 425° and remove ribs and place on a nonstick foil lined baking sheet
- Brush ribs with barbecue sauce and bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Substitutions for Crockpot Ribs Recipe
Ribs: You can use St. Louis Ribs in place of baby back ribs. They might take a little bit longer to cook, so just ensure they have an internal cooking temp of 145°.
Brown Sugar: You can use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar. If you are doing Whole30, you can skip the sugar but we really recommend it. It adds a lot of flavor!
BBQ Sauce: You can use any kind of BBQ Sauce on these ribs.
Crockpot Ribs Recipe FAQs
Slow cooker baby back ribs get dry when you overcook them or cook them too high.
We don’t recommend cooking for more than 5 hours. We also recommend cooking your slow cooker baby back ribs on low vs high to avoid them from drying out.
Cooking ribs with liquid at the bottom of the pot helps to keep slow cooker baby back ribs from drying out.
If you slow cook baby back ribs for too long, they may start to dry out and can be tough. The ribs could also completely fall off the bone which would make them difficult to eat.
Crockpot ribs will be done after 4-5 hours. They’ll start to get darker brown in color and more tender. You want the ribs to be flexible, but not falling off the bone.
No, ribs do not need to be covered in liquid in the slow cooker. Ribs need a small amount of liquid in the slow cooker to help them cook, but they don’t need to be completely covered.
Yes, you can overcook ribs in the crock pot. They will just become fall off the bone, and almost too tender. They’ll still be delicious! If you really over cook the ribs, they may become dry, but this would only happen over 10+ hours of cooking.
Ribs are better in the crockpot! Cooking ribs low and slow helps ribs get super tender. The oven can lead to dry ribs.
You slow cook ribs bone side down.
Storing and Reheating Baby Back Crockpot Ribs
Refrigerator: These ribs will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Freezer: We haven’t tried freezing these ribs but I don’t think they would freeze very well.
Reheating: It’s best to reheat crockpot ribs in the oven or in a toaster oven until warmed through. We wouldn’t recommend microwaving them or reheating them on the stove.
What to serve with Crockpot Ribs
These Crockpot Ribs are super filling. They can be eaten as an appetizer or a meal. Here are some of our favorite things to serve them with:
- Corn Tomato Avocado Salad
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Healthy Mac and Cheese
- Spinach Strawberry Salad
- Best Potato Salad Recipe
- Remove the membrane from ribs. The best way to do this is to stick a butter knife under the membrane and pull the membrane from the back with a paper towel (it’s hard to grip and the paper towel helps!)
- Mix together dry rub.
- Spray both sides of ribs with olive oil cooking spray
- Coat both sides of the ribs generously with the dry rub. You can gently press the rub into the ribs so it adheres. Optional: let the ribs sit with the dry rub for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the liquid in the crockpot. Place the ribs in a greased crockpot. You can lay flat if they’ll fit or curl so that they fit in the crockpot.
- Cook on low for 4-5 hours. We don’t recommend cooking on high.
- After 4 hours, preheat the oven to 425.
- Gently remove the ribs from the crockpot and place on a nonstick foil lined baking sheet.
- Top with barbecue sauce and bake for 15 minutes.
- Slice & enjoy!