How To Cook Ribs In A Crock Pot


When it comes to cooking ribs, many people think they need a grill or smoker to achieve the perfect flavor and tenderness. However, did you know that you can also cook ribs in a crock-pot? Crock-pot ribs come out juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. Plus, it’s a fool-proof method that’s great for those who aren’t BBQ experts. Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook ribs in a crock-pot.

Choosing the Right Ribs

When it comes to choosing the right ribs for your crock-pot, you have two options: baby back ribs or spare ribs. Baby back ribs are shorter and have less fat, while spare ribs are longer and fattier. Both will cook beautifully in a crock-pot, but it’s important to keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the type of ribs you choose.

Preparing the Ribs

Before cooking the ribs, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by removing the membrane from the underside of the rack of ribs. This will help the flavors of the seasonings and sauce penetrate the meat. Next, season the ribs with your favorite dry rub. You can use a store-bought seasoning blend or make your own with a combination of spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

Adding the Right Liquids

To cook the ribs in a crock-pot, you’ll need to add some liquid. This will help keep the meat moist and tender, and it will also help infuse the flavors into the meat. You can use a combination of broth, apple juice, or even beer. If you’re looking to create a sweet and tangy flavor, you can use a mixture of BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar. Pour the liquid into the crock-pot, making sure it covers the bottom of the pot.

Cooking the Ribs

Once you have prepped the ribs and added the liquid, it’s time to cook the ribs. Place the seasoned ribs into the crock-pot, standing upright if possible to maximize space. If the crock-pot isn’t large enough to fit the full rack, you can cut the ribs into sections to fit. Cover the crock-pot with the lid and cook the ribs on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Basting the Ribs

Once the ribs have cooked for a few hours, it’s time to start basting them with your favorite BBQ sauce (if desired). Every hour, spoon some of the liquid from the bottom of the crock-pot over the top of the ribs. This will help keep the meat moist and infuse it with flavor. If you’re using BBQ sauce, start basting the ribs with the sauce during the last hour of cooking.

Finishing the Ribs

Once the cooking time is up, it’s time to finish the ribs. Remove the ribs from the crock-pot using a pair of tongs and place them on a cutting board. Let the ribs rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before cutting them into portions. If you want to add more flavor, you can brush the ribs with additional BBQ sauce before serving.


Don’t let the lack of a grill or smoker stop you from enjoying delicious and tender ribs. With a crock-pot, you can easily achieve the perfect flavor and tenderness every time. Just remember to choose the right type of ribs, season them with your favorite dry rub, add the right liquids, cook them on low heat for hours, baste them with BBQ sauce, and let them rest before serving. Once you master this method, you’ll be able to enjoy mouth-watering ribs all year round.

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FAQ #1: How do I cook ribs in a crock pot?


To cook ribs in a crock pot, first season the ribs with your preferred seasoning. Then, place the ribs in the crock pot with any vegetables or liquids you prefer. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, or until the ribs are tender and falling off the bone. Finish the ribs by brushing them with your favorite barbecue sauce and putting them in the oven for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

FAQ #2: What temperature should I cook ribs in a crock pot?


It is recommended to cook ribs in a crock pot on low heat for 6-8 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours, depending on your preferred cooking time. However, it is important to ensure that the internal temperature of the ribs reaches at least 145°F before serving to ensure they are cooked through and safe to eat.

FAQ #3: Should I remove the membrane from the back of the ribs before cooking in a crock pot?


Yes, it is recommended to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs before cooking them in a crock pot. The membrane can prevent the seasoning and flavors from penetrating the meat and can also result in tough, chewy ribs. To remove the membrane, use a butter knife or paper towel to loosen one end of the membrane, then grab it with the paper towel and pull it off in one piece.

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