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Easy Slow Cooker Ribs

Easy Slow Cooker Ribs - photo

Easy slow cooker ribs are fall off the bone incredible! Let your slow cooker do all the work and come home to super tender and flavorful ribs!  Serve them for any occasion but especially great on game day get togethers and a make ahead for BBQs.  This recipe is so simple and comes together with minimal ingredients. 

slow cooker ribs ingredients - photo

This recipe was adapted from NY Times with my preferred spice blend and I adjusted the spiced honey option.  All you have to do is prep which takes very little time and let the slow cooker do the work.

How to Make Slow Cooker Ribs

Pat the ribs dry and rub your favorite spice blend on.

Slow Cooker Ribs Rub - Photo

Then coil them into your slow cooker and go about your day.  Note: I have made these with my traditional slow cooker and my ninja foodie.

How to Make Slow Cooker Ribs - Photo

The recipe is written for 2 racks, but I have squeezed in 3 racks.  Here is how they look when they are done.

Tender Slow Cooker Ribs - Photo

Transfer them to a sheet pan (lined with foil for easy clean up).  Drizzle with honey (spiced if you prefer) or bbq sauce and broil for 1-3 minutes until caramelized.

honey slow cooker ribs - photo

Then cut them up and enjoy with your favorite ribs sides.

What I serve with Ribs

How to Make Slow Cooker Ribs - Photo

Slow Cooker Ribs

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Servings:2 racks - about 6 people
Course:Main Course
Keyword:BBQ, crock pot, crowd pleasers, Dairy Free, entertaining, Fall, Gluten Free, make-ahead, ribs, Slow Cooker, Summer


  • 2 racks baby back ribs about 4 -5 pounds total - see note below for 3 racks
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • cup honey or bbq sauce if you prefer
  • 1 tbsp red-pepper flakes optional
  • favorite BBQ sauce optional


  • Add the spices (paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ground mustard) and salt to a small bowl and mix to combine.
  • Remove the ribs from the packaging and pat them dry with paper towels (I lay a bunch of paper towels out on the counter to control the mess)
  • Optional: Turn the ribs over to remove the membrane that covers the back of the ribs: Grasp one end of the membrane with paper towels to keep your hands from slipping and pull; the membrane should pull right off in one or two sheets. (If it is not easy to pull off you can skip this step.)
  • Season the ribs all over, front and back, using the spice mixture, patting it all over both sides of the ribs.
  • Lightly coat a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker pot with oil or cooking spray. With the meaty sides facing out and the bones pointing up, coil the ribs into the pot, standing them up in a circle. (You do not need to add liquid.) Cook on low until the meat is very tender when flaked with a fork, but the ribs are not quite falling apart, 6 to 8 hours.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil (helps with cleanup). Using tongs, transfer the ribs to the sheet pan, meaty side up. Heat the broiler. Option to combine chili flakes with honey and then using a spoon, drizzle the honey all over the ribs. Then using the back of the spoon or a basting brush spread the honey as evenly as you can.
  • Broil the ribs until they are caramelized, sizzling and lightly charred in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. (Check the ribs every 30 seconds or so to prevent burning, and rotate them to make sure that all the surfaces get caramelized.) Season the ribs with salt then drizzle the juices, extra honey or bbq sauce over the ribs. Option to serve with your favorite bbq sauces.


Note:  You can do up to 3 racks!  just adjust the quantity to 3 for measurements.
The amount of people you serve will depend on how heavy your sides are.  But I usually estimate about 4-5 ribs per person.  
Did you make this recipe?I would love to see your creations! Snap a picture and tag @kristanwatson or #foodplaygo on Social Media!

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