How Long To Cook Ribs In Slow Cooker


Ribs are a classic American dish that can be cooked in a variety of ways. One popular method is to cook ribs in a slow cooker, also known as a Crock-Pot. Slow cooking can produce tender and juicy meat that falls off the bone. However, cooking time can vary depending on the type of ribs and the size of the cut. In this article, we will discuss how long to cook ribs in a slow cooker and share some tips for achieving the perfect result.

Choosing the Right Cut of Ribs

Before you start cooking, it’s important to choose the right cut of ribs. Baby back ribs are a popular choice, but spare ribs or St. Louis-style ribs can also be used. The key is to look for a meaty cut that will hold up to slow cooking. Avoid ribs that are too thin or have excessive amounts of fat.

Preparing the Ribs

Before placing the ribs in the slow cooker, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by removing the thin membrane that covers the back of the ribs. This membrane can prevent the marinade or seasoning from penetrating the meat and should be removed for maximum flavor.

Once the membrane is removed, season the ribs with your preferred rub or marinade. Popular flavorings include barbecue sauce, dry rubs, and wet marinades. Allow the ribs to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for better results.

Cooking Time and Temperature

Cooking time and temperature are important factors to consider when cooking ribs in a slow cooker. The recommended temperature is low, between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the meat to cook slowly and evenly. In terms of time, the average cooking time for a full rack of ribs is 6 to 8 hours on low heat. Half racks or individual ribs may require less time, around 4 to 6 hours.

It’s important to note that every slow cooker is different, and cooking times may vary depending on the make and model. To ensure that the meat is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ideal temperature for cooked ribs is between 145 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additional Tips for Perfectly Cooked Ribs

Here are some additional tips for achieving perfectly cooked ribs in a slow cooker:

– Add liquid to the slow cooker. Adding liquid, such as apple juice or beer, can help to keep the meat moist and tender. The liquid can also help to infuse additional flavor into the meat.

– Don’t overcrowd the slow cooker. It’s important to leave enough space for the ribs to cook evenly. If necessary, cook the ribs in batches or use a larger slow cooker.

– Avoid lifting the lid. It can be tempting to peek inside the slow cooker, but lifting the lid can cause heat loss and extend the cooking time.

– Finish the ribs in the oven or on the grill. While slow cooking can produce tender and juicy meat, it may not result in a crisp exterior. To get the best of both worlds, finish the ribs in the oven or on the grill for a few minutes to crisp up the outside.


Slow cooking ribs in a Crock-Pot can be a convenient and delicious way to enjoy this popular American dish. Choosing the right cut of ribs, preparing them correctly, and cooking them at the right temperature and time are crucial to achieving the perfect result. By following these tips, you can create tender and juicy ribs that are sure to impress. Don’t forget to add your favorite sides and toppings, and enjoy your slow-cooked ribs!

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How Long To Cook Ribs In Slow Cooker

How long does it take to cook ribs in a slow cooker?

Cooking ribs in a slow cooker can take anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on the recipe and the size of the ribs. As a general rule, 6-8 hours on low heat or 3-4 hours on high heat will result in tender, flavorful ribs.

Should I cook ribs on high or low in a slow cooker?

Cooking ribs on low heat in a slow cooker will result in tender, juicy meat that falls off the bone. However, if you are short on time, you can cook them on high heat for 3-4 hours instead.

Do I need to add liquid to the slow cooker when cooking ribs?

Yes, adding liquid to the slow cooker when cooking ribs is important to keep the meat moist and tender. Water, broth, or even barbecue sauce can be used as a cooking liquid. Aim to use enough liquid to cover the bottom of the slow cooker and halfway up the ribs.

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