Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow cooker ribs are the perfect main dish for a Super Bowl party.  Cook the ribs in the slow cooker, while you do other things, then simply grill or broil with barbecue sauce for 15 minutes and the ribs are ready to serve!

Slow Cooker Ribs


You will need:

  • 3 1/2 pounds pork spare ribs
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • Barbecue sauce (my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipe

In a small bowl prepare a rub by mixing together the brown sugar, pepper, salt, liquid smoke and garlic.

Farmer John's Spareribs

Remove ribs from package or wrapping  I bought a package of Farmer John’s Spareribs at Smart & Final that was over 8 pounds and contained 2 racks of ribs.

Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel

I cooked up one rack, as seen above, which was right around 4 pounds, and froze the other rack for later. For a party, I’d use 2 slow cookers and cook them all.

Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel

Cut racks of ribs in to 4 equal parts – or however many pieces you need to fit them in to your slow cooker. I use a rather large slow cooker – this Hamilton Beach slow cooker  is my work horse! But just a basic Crock Pot works, too.   I cut this rack in to 3 pieces because there was a large bone on the top of 1/3 of the rack. Whatever works!

Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel

Place half the ribs in the crock of a slow cooker. Rub half of the brown sugar mixture on to the ribs. Layer half the onions over the ribs.  Repeat the process with remaining ribs and onions. Pour the soda over the ribs. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low while you sleep or do something else fun!

Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel


Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker on to a platter. They will literally be falling off the bone so this can be tricky.  Just go slow!

Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipe


Heat your gill to medium high heat.  Put the ribs on the grill on indirect heat.  Brush with your favorite barbecue sauce (mine is Sweet Baby Rays!).  Cook for 15 minutes. If you are under a foot of snow and don’t want to brave the weather, just broil the ribs until the are nice and browned.


Slow Cooker Ribs from Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipe

Carefully remove ribs to platter to serve to your hungry football fans!  So easy to make and you won’t believe how good the taste. Just make sure to have lots of napkins ready for your fans.  You can make that cute no sew football field table runner for serving, too.


Slow Cooker Barbecue Spare Ribs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3½ pounds pork spare ribs
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ½ cup cola
  • Barbecue sauce
  1. In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, salt, pepper, liquid smoke and garlic.
  2. Cut ribs in to 4" pieces - about 4 ribs per piece. I usually try to break it in to 4 pieces.
  3. Place a layer of ribs in the crock of a slow cooker.
  4. Rub ½ the brown sugar mixture into the ribs.
  5. Put a layer of onions on top of the ribs.
  6. Put the rest of the ribs on top of the onions and rub with remaining mixture.
  7. Layer remaining onions on top of ribs.
  8. Pour cola over ribs.
  9. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.
  10. Carefully remove ribs to a platter - they will want to fall apart! Just go slow and be gentle.
  11. Heat barbecue grill to a medium high heat. Place ribs on grill, 4-6 inches off heat. Cover with barbecue sauce and grill for 15 minutes.


Don’t forget to check out my post containing 30 Super Bowl Recipes!


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60 comments on “Slow Cooker Ribs

  1. I have a question about your recipe. There appears to be a fair amount of liquid in your “rub” mixture bowl. Am I missing somthing as all of the ingrediants are basically dry.


    • That’s actually a very small bowl so it’s not really a marinade, it’s more of a liquid rub. If you poured it over, it wouldn’t get in to all the meat so you need to rub it in.

  2. I need to utilize my slow cooker more often! Who knew? Ribs? Thank you for sharing on Show Me Saturday!
    Lindsay Eidahl recently posted..Show Me Saturday {#15}My Profile

  3. I have never been able to master ribs, but this sounds like a recipe for ribs that I could actually handle! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Those look out of this world!
    Liza recently posted..Homemade Breakfast BurritosMy Profile

  5. yummy, one of our fav things too. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. xo P.S. did you see my new giveaways?
    Katherines Corner recently posted..Room Design Giveaway and Interview with Deborah DiMare RosenbergMy Profile

  6. These look divine! On my list to make. Pinned.

  7. Dynamo of Dixie on said:

    They look wonderful, but how would they taste straight from the Crock Pot if we live where we can’t use a grill?

    • Actually they are fine straight out of the crock pot. I’d just put some barbecue sauce on them and serve. But you can also put them on a cookie sheet, brush on some barbecue sauce and then put them under the broiler a little bit to cook on the sauce.

  8. Love that you cooked these gorgeous ribs in the crockpot! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
    Karly recently posted..Peanut Butter Frosted BrowniesMy Profile

  9. Pingback:30 Game Day Recipes

  10. I love using the Crock Pot for slow cooked beef ribs, I made them last month. Thank you for linking up with us at the #WWDParty, I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.
    Antionette Blake recently posted..Weekend Wind-Down with Slow Cooked Spinach ZitiMy Profile

  11. These look so yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    jenny recently posted..Being a Better Blog ReaderMy Profile

  12. Hi Camille,
    These are melt in your mouth ribs, great for our upcoming parties! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted..Full Plate Thursday 1-9-14My Profile

  13. Cooking ribs in the slow cooker is a great idea!! The slow cooker does all of the work. This is a great option for game day weekends! Thank you for linking up to wake up wednesdays! Pinned!!
    Meghan recently posted..5 Alarm Beef ChiliMy Profile

  14. Pingback:Top 13 Posts of 2013 - Growing Up Gabel

  15. Pingback:75+ Slow Cooker Recipes

  16. Thank you Camille for all the nice recipes. Have a great weekend!

  17. Pingback:Koren Barbecue Pork Ribs - Growing Up Gabel

  18. Pingback:Homemade Barbecue Sauce - Growing Up Gabel

  19. Mikey on said:

    Isn’t this recipe from Betty Crocker? I saw the exact recipe on the Betty Crocker website, except for the tip at the end about grilling them. Just curious.

    • Really? No, this recipe was given to me by a friend from Kansas City about 10 years ago. Her husband is a KC native and he loved these ribs – said they were as good as any KC barbecue! So she sent me the recipe. Whenever I adapt or make a recipe from a source, I always give credit! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Came across your ribs recipe at the Crockpot Recipe Link Party. These look fantastic! Pinned 😉 Thanks for sharing!!
    Brenda recently posted..Saucilicious Slow Cooker Pork ChopsMy Profile

  21. Pingback:66 Amazing Crock Pot Recipes!

  22. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is a Readers Top 10 Pick for this week on Full Plate Thursday. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted..Full Plate Thursday 2-7-13My Profile

  23. Pingback:Inspiration Spotlight #LINKUP 27 { Crafts, DIY, Decor, Recipes, Blog Tips}

  24. Oh my goodness those look so yummy! I hardly ever get to make ribs, but I sure want to this spring or summer. Thanks for sharing how to make them. Visiting from Hope you enjoyed game day. Our hometown team lost, maybe next time right?
    Theresa recently posted..CrockPot Chicken Tacos #Recipe “A Crowd Pleaser”My Profile

  25. Pingback:Teach Me Tuesday #3 - Someday I'll Learn

  26. I am in love with ribs! I can barely leave a piece left for my hubby when I make them! I had no clue I could also make them in the slow cooker! Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza – see you there again this week with more deliciousness 🙂
    HungryLittleGirl recently posted..Valentines Day – Guest Post by Spatulas On Parade My Profile

  27. Thanks for linking up with us this week at FFF.
    Dawn host
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade recently posted..Buffalo Chicken Potato CasseroleMy Profile

  28. Hi Camille,
    These Ribs look delicious, I can almost taste them. Your recipe is awesome and thank you so much for sharing it with Full Plate Thursday.
    Have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted..Whats For Dinner Next Week 2-3-13My Profile

  29. Your Golden Ticket Blog on said:

    This is making my mouth water. I have never tried ribs in the crock pot. Can’t wait to try it out!
    Your Golden Ticket Blog recently posted..“Show Them Your Love” Valentine’s Day Photo Contest (Ends 2/2)My Profile

  30. What a wonderful treat for Superbowl Sunday. I am pinning!

    hugs x
    Crystelle Boutique recently posted..Love At Home {Mixed Media}My Profile

  31. Yep,…I’ll be trying this recipe. BTW, love the tagline on your website!
    Toni Spilsbury recently posted..4 Ways to Show Your Family Love on Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  32. Gosh, Camille! Pork spareribs are usually not my favorite, but these look quite amazing!
    Brandie ( recently posted..Easy Dinner Idea: Arugula PizzaMy Profile

  33. These ribs look so delicious. Great pictures. Cannot wait to make these.

  34. These look soooooo good! I want! We would love it if you would link up at our new linky party: Two Girls and a Party Hosted by:
    Dana @ This Silly Girl’s Life
    Parrish @ Life with the Crust Cut Off
    We hope to see you there!

  35. These ribs look delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  36. Pingback:Super Bowl Recipe Roundup!

  37. Mmmmm…there’s is NOTHING like the taste of slow-cooked ribs. I’d love to have you come link this up to Teach Me Tuesday!
    Chelsea recently posted..Homemade Hot Pockets: Perfect for Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  38. Looks delicious! I would love for you to share this or any of your great ideas at the link party going on now (and every Saturday through Tuesday) at ‘Or so she says …’ Hope to see you there!
    Mariel recently posted..Forever My Valentine ~ A Glimpse Into My Love Life (she: Ashley)My Profile

  39. These look just wonderfule. Great pictures. I like the idea of finishing them on the grill.

    Thanks for bringing these to the Super Bowl Party!
    The Contessa (Linda) recently posted..Drop-Down Navigation buttons get obscured behind a picture.My Profile

  40. These look great, perfect for game day! Thanks for sharing!
    Sara recently posted..The Clever Experience: Running The Color Run In The RainMy Profile

  41. I love ribs and these look fabulous!

  42. Looks delish!! Can’t wait to try!!

    Angela Peters recently posted..7 Deadly Sins Of BeautyMy Profile