Easy Crock-Pot Ribs

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Embrace true kitchen convenience by making these Easy Crock-Pot Ribs—a different, low-maintenance method of preparing these Game Day faves.

Easy Crock Pot Ribs featured image above

It’s Sunday morning. The gang is coming over for some football and you KNOW they want ribs. But you have so many other things to do before their beer helmets and oversized foam fingers cross your threshold. What to do?! Luckily, you have stumbled upon this wonderful recipe, which delivers meat-melting taste without sacrificing convenience.

I have my good ol’ reliable Crock Pot to thank for it. Just some light prep work and rib treatment and you can leave the kitchen and let the slow cooker do its thing. The result is a flavorful, less greasy bit of meat that has achieved just the right amount of tenderness. While you can make ribs in the oven or Dutch oven, doing them in a slow cooker has something “down home” about it. It also means freeing up the oven for other game-time goodies! So this Sunday, don’t sweat the snacks; take it slow with this slow-cooker recipe that will have your guests removing those foam fingers to get their real fingers on these ribs!

Pork Ribs & Beef Ribs: What’s the Difference?

Let’s start with the basics: beef comes from cows; pork comes from pigs. With me so far? Great. Apart from coming from the rib section of their respective animals, there are a few ways these meals vary. For instance, beef ribs are bigger and have a more robust taste. Having a formidable feast? Go with beef. Just be prepared to pay for it, as all that robustness means beef ribs are more expensive than their pork counterparts. Speaking of which, pork ribs are smaller, which makes them easier (read: quicker) to cook. They also bear a milder flavor, which some prefer. I tend to think of pork ribs as the perfect midweek dish, thanks to its affordability and quick turnaround. Beef, because of its cost and time it takes to cook, is more of a luxurious weekend affair.

Ingredients

  • 1 rack (2 lb.) Pork Ribs
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cups barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper
Easy Crock Pot Ribs ingredients

How to Make Crock-Pot Ribs – The Steps

Step 1: In a bowl, add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, smoked paprika, ground coriander, ½ cup barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper. Use a spoon to mix it together until it’s well combined.

Easy Crock Pot Ribs step 1

Step 2: Cut the rack of ribs in half so that it can fit into the slow cooker, then brush all over to make sure they are coated in the sauce, and pour the sauce over the ribs. Put the slow cooker on LOW for 5–6 hours.

Easy Crock Pot Ribs step 2

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Once the ribs are cooked and the meat is soft and falling off the bone, carefully lift the ribs out and place them onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with the rest of the barbecue sauce and pop into the oven to caramelize for 10 minutes.

Easy Crock Pot Ribs step 3

Top Tips For Perfect Crock-Pot Ribs

  • Layer the bottom of the Crock Pot with slivered onions. It will add taste and liquid, and it’ll prevent the ribs from sticking to the pot.
  • Slow cookers range in size and power. So keep an eye on your ribs as the hours roll by to ensure they’re not being overcooked. Consult your pot’s manual and adjust the timing as it prescribes.
  • If it looks like your ribs are swimming in juice, don’t hesitate to remove a few spoonfuls; you don’t want your ribs oversaturated and bordering on mushy.
  • Setting your Crock Pot on HIGH will cut down on cooking time but at the cost of tougher ribs. Whichever setting you use, switch to the other temperature the next time you make these ribs and see whether the difference is worth the time.
  • Set the oven to BROIL if you want to add a bit of crispness to the exterior of the ribs.
  • If you don’t have brown sugar, add molasses to white sugar. It’s important you get that caramel texture.
Easy Crock Pot Ribs featured image below

FAQs

Can ribs go into the Crock Pot without juice?

Yep! The meat won’t burn (the temperature is too low to do that) and soon, the meat will secrete its own juices for it to cook in.

Can you overcook ribs in a Crock Pot?

Yes. You want tender meat, not mush, which is what you will get if you leave them in there for too long.

Do I run the risk of drying out my ribs with this method?

Not with this recipe, no, because we add the sauce beforehand. But, if you were to cook the meat dry and on HIGH heat, there is a chance you could overdo it and dry them out.

Do I need to flip the ribs during cooking?

No, that’s the beauty of the slow cooker. They’re designed to cook everything evenly and, because they’re set to such a low temperature, you’re not going to burn the bottom.

What type of BBQ sauce should I use?

There are many varieties to choose from and much of it has to do with personal taste; however, I tend to use a sugar-free BBQ sauce on account I’m already using brown sugar. I like savory ribs; too much sugar and they’ll start to taste like a dessert.

Easy Crock Pot Ribs featured image below

Serving Suggestions

Boursin Mashed Potatoes: A cheesy, upscale version of a starchy staple.

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese: A hearty take on comfort food that you just KNOW tastes good with a hint of the ribs’ BBQ sauce.

Creamy Polenta: Southern grits’ Italian cousin.

Easy Corn Chowder: A hearty appetizer with corn, bacon, and thyme.

How to Store Crock-Pot BBQ Ribs

Let the ribs cool completely. Store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge where they should last for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them. Just wrap them in aluminum then place them in an airtight container. They should be good for up to 3 months. Let the ribs thaw in the fridge before attempting to reheat them in the oven or on the grill.

Easy Crock Pot Ribs featured image below

Easy Crock-Pot Ribs

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 rack Pork Ribs (2 lb.)
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cups barbecue sauce
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, smoked paprika, ground coriander, ½ cup barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper together. Use a spoon to mix it together until it is well combined.
  • Cut the rack of ribs in half so that it can fit into the slow cooker then brush all over to make sure they are coated in the sauce, and pour the sauce over the ribs. Put the slow cooker on low for 5 – 6 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Once the ribs are cooked and the meat is soft and falling off the bone, carefully lift the ribs out and place them onto the lined baking sheet. Brush with the rest of the barbecue sauce and pop into the oven to caramelize for 10 minutes.
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