Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (2024)

Jump to RecipePrint Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Readers agree these 15 minute prep Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs are “absolute perfection,” “flawless,” “fall right off the bone” and “are just so easy that’s there’s no excuse to not make ribs.” They receive rave reviews every time thanks to the paprika-chili spice rub and homemade barbecue sauce spiked with a few secret ingredients that elevate it to “INCREDIBLE!” So, I’ve if you’ve been intimidated or skeptical about crock pot ribs, follow this easy recipe full of tips and tricks for “THE BEST ribs [you’ve] ever had!”

How to cook BBQ Ribs in a Crockpot

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (2)

These Slow Cooker Ribs are deliciously mind blowing

  • LITERALLY FALL-OFF-THE-BONE TENDER. The slow cooker method ensures the ribs fall off the bone while still remaining incredibly juicy.
  • I COULD DRINK THE SAUCE.” The sauce is perfectly sweet, tangy and little spicy infused with some of the spice rub (no double work!), liquid smoke to imitate the grill and blackberry preserves for an exciting depth of YUM.
  • BETTER THAN GRILLED. “I think I need to put my grill for sale on Craigslist lol.”
  • MAKE ANY TIME OF YEAR. Rain or snow, these crockpot ribsare the answer to any potluck, get together or game day!
  • MAKE AHEAD FRIENDLY. For the stress-free win.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (3)

What you’ll need for Crockpot Ribs

This Crockpot baby back ribs recipe is so easy to make! It features a homemade rib rub and homemade BBQ sauce. Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need (measurements included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Baby back pork ribs: You’ll need roughly 4 pounds of ribs to make this recipe which you’ll cut into 6 sections. If the membrane is still attached on the back, you’ll need to remove it by using a knife to lift a corner, gripping it with a paper towel for better grip, then peel it off – hopefully in one piece!
  • Dried herbs and spices: The homemade rib rub is made up of paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, ground chipotle pepper, onion powder, dried thyme, cayenne, salt, and pepper. SO much flavor!

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (4)

What is Chipolte Chili Pepper?

You should be familiar with most of the rib rub spices, except perhaps chipotle chile pepper. This spice is made of jalapeno peppers that are smoked, dried and crushed -so it’s not just spicy but smoky too! It is easy to find at your grocery store under any of the following names: “chipotle chile pepper,” “ground chipotle chile,” or “chipotle powder.” If you don’t keep it stocked – you want to. I use it in all of myMexican recipes!

BBQ Ribs Sauce

This homemade BBQ Sauce recipe comes together very quickly with just a handful of ingredients. You will need:

  • Ketchup:Look for organic ketchup or one that isn’t sweetened by high-fructose corn syrup if possible.
  • Apple cider vinegar:This adds the balancing tang to offset the sweetness.
  • Molasses:This adds rich, thick smoky-sweet undertones and is a BBQ Sauce must! Make sure you are using unsulfured molasses and NOT blackstrap molasses. Unsulfuredmolasses is the finest quality and only a small amount of sugar has been removed from the first boiling.
  • Brown Sugar:This sweetens the sauce and helps deepen the molasses flavor.
  • Blackberry preserves: This secret ingredient adds sweetness with depth instead of using all brown sugar.
  • Liquid smoke:(it really isliquid smoke!) imparts a wonderfully smoky flavor that elevates the BBQ Sauce to an other realm. It is created by capturing smoke as it rises through a combustion chamber filled with wood chips to a condenser. In the condenser, the smoke cools and forms a liquid, thus liquid smoke. (thank youWikipedia). It is a very common ingredient and should be easy to find next to the barbecue sauces in your grocery store.
  • Seasonings:Smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, ground chipotle pepper, onion powder, ground mustard, dried thyme, salt, and pepper infuse the barbecue sauce with classic flavor with hints of smokiness and heat. You can use more or lesschipotle chili powderdepending on how spicy you like it.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (6)

BBQ Ribs Recipe substitutions

  • If you can’t find blackberry preserves, I’ve had readers comment they have also used strawberry preserves, raspberry preserves, fig preserves and apple jam with success.
  • You can use any brown sugar you have on hand – light, medium or dark.
  • You can use granulated sugar or honey if that’s all you have on hand but, in this case, I would reduce the sugar by a tablespoon or two and add extra molasses in its place. You can also use a blend of sweeteners.
  • If you’re out of ketchup, you could try substituting with tomato sauce, but you will need to add some extra vinegar and sugar to compensate for the flavor of the ketchup.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (7)

How to make Crock Pot Ribs

Let’s take a closer look at how to make Crock Pot Ribs with step-by-step photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  1. These baby back ribs are heads above the rest because they areslathered in the most incredible rub and barbecue sauce to create layers of restaurant (or better than restaurant says Patrick) flavor.
  2. After you spice rub your ribs, you bake them for 15 minutes on each side to seal in the juices and render some of the fat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk up your tantalizing barbecue sauce that is sweet and tangy and just right which is a simple mixture of ketchup, molasses, brown sugar and my secret ingredient, blackberry preserves which balances out the acidity with subtle sweetness.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (9)

How long to cook Ribs in Crock Pot

Cook the ribs in the slow cooker on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours or until they are fall apart tender. And they will be fall apart tender.
Slather your crock pot ribs in more of our luscious, tantalizing homemade barbecue sauce.

Serve these Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs with any or all of these sides:Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese, Moist Sweet Cornbread, Best Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Hawaiian Baked Beans and Outback’s Wedge Salad. Even if your team doesn’t win on Sunday, you can still have game winning Fall-Off-the-Bone Slow Cooker Ribs feast that everyone will cheer for! And repeatedly beg for.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (10)

How to prep Crockpot Ribs in advance

You can either make the entire recipe as written or simply make the homemade barbecue sauce in advance. If making the entire recipe, you’ll then want to refrigerate the ribs (in the slow cooker). Then, reheat them on LOW when ready to enjoy.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (11)

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (12)

BBQ Ribs Recipe Tips

  • Use all the spices: The slow cooker ribs dry rub recipe makes quite a bit but you are going to want to use all of the blend for perfect flavor packed ribs. Not too spicy, not too sweet, but just right — or so said my parents who dropped by and polished off the leftovers.
  • Coat thoroughly: I like to dip each rib piece in the spice mix, front and back, then rub the mix all over with my hands.
  • Use the HOMEMADE BBQ Sauce: Many readers have since commented that this is their favorite barbecue sauce ever — so whatever you do, don’t skip this barbecue sauce — it truly makes these ribs spectacular! I love it so much I have also used a version of it in my Crockpot BBQ Chicken and my BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwiches – you don’ want to miss it!
  • Simmer the sauce gently: This melds the flavors and slightly thickens the sauce – it does not need to be anything more than a gentle simmer. Simmer the sauce on low to reduce splattering as this sauce likes to sputter or use a splatter screen.
  • Cook until tender: If the ribs aren’t fall off-the-bone-tender, they simply need longer to cook. Even 30 minutes can make a difference between tender ribs and “fall off the bone” ribs.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (13)

Sauce Variations for Ribs in Crock Pot

The most important (and best!) part of making homemade barbecue sauce from scratch is how adaptable it is. You can adjust the homemade BBQ sauce in this Crockpot ribs recipe until it’s perfect for you. Here’s how:

  • Make it sweeter:add more brown sugar. I suggest you simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, taste and add additional sugar at this time if desired (and not right off the bat); continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Make it tangier: add additional apple cider vinegar at the end of simmering.
  • Make it smokier:add additional liquid smoke, ½ teaspoon at a time.
  • Make the seasonings your own:Like more garlic? Use more garlic. Like more mustard?Use more mustard.You can adjust all of the seasonings to suit your tastes and even add additional seasonings such as oregano or parsley.
  • Make it thicker:simmer the sauce for upwards of 15 minutes until it reaches your desired consistency, however, it is already gorgeously thick after 15 minutes so I don’t think you’ll find this necessary.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (15)

What to serve with BBQ Ribs

  • Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese
  • Award Winning Sweet Moist Cornbread
  • Kicked Up Classy Creamy Potato Salad
  • Company Mashed Potatoes
  • Baked Beans with Brown Sugar and Bacon
  • Baked Parmesan Fingerling Potato Fries
  • Cheesy Pull Apart Pesto Bread
  • Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
  • Greek Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pesto
  • Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch

How to store leftover Slow Cooker Ribs

Let the crock pot ribs cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (17)

How to freeze BBQ Ribs

Seal cooled ribs inside a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in fridge overnight and reheat as desired.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (18)

How to reheat Crock Pot Ribs

Larger servings of ribs can be reheated in the slow cooker. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave at 30-second intervals.

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (20)

More Slow Cooker Dinners:

Beef Barbacoa
French Dip Sandwich
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket
Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Ribs

Crockpot Sloppy Joes
Mississippi Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Honey Buffalo Meatballs
All of my slow cooker recipes!

WANT TO TRY THIS Slow Cooker Ribs Recipe?



©Carlsbad Cravingsby CarlsbadCravings.com

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (27)

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

15 minute prep Fall-Off-the-Bone Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs that everyone will go crazy for! These Slow Cooker Ribs are SUPEReasy, flavorful, and so touchdown tender you will be making them again and again! They have tons of rave reviews claiming these Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs are better than any restaurantwith the best homemade barbecue sauce ever!

Servings: 6 -8 servings

Total Time: 5 hours hrs 15 minutes mins

Prep Time: 15 minutes mins

Cook Time: 5 hours hrs

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!

Print RecipePin RecipeSave Recipe


  • 4 pounds baby back pork ribs

Spice Rub

Barbecue Sauce


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • Cut ribs into 6 sections then rinse and pat dry.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together Spice Rub ingredients. Remove 1 tablespoon Spice Rub to use in your barbecue sauce. Rub all remaining Spice Rub evenly all over the meat then place ribs on prepared baking sheet. Bake ribs for 15 minutes ON EACH SIDE (30 minutes total) to sear meat.

  • Meanwhile, add all of the Barbecue Sauce ingredients to a medium saucepan and gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove 1 ½ cups barbecue sauce and refrigerate to use after ribs are cooked.

  • Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray then add a thin layer of remaining barbecue sauce, followed by ribs. Layer sauce then ribs until complete, tossing to coat as needed to ensure ribs are evenly coated in barbecue sauce.

  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 7-9 hours OR cook until ribs are fall apart tender. Rotate ribs once during cooking so they cook evenly. Cooking time may vary between slow cookers.

  • When ribs are tender, remove from slow cooker and brush with some Reserved Barbecue Sauce if desired or use sauce for dipping. Enjoy!



  • It might like seem like a lot of seasoning, but you should use all of the Spice Rub for 4 pounds of meat for optimal flavor.
  • Liquid smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauce in most grocery stores. It adds a wonderfully smoky flavor.
  • I like to dip each rib piece in the spice mix, front and back, then rub the mix all over with my hands.
  • Storage: Let the crock pot ribs cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze, seal cooled ribs in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in fridge overnight and reheat as desired. Reheat over low in the slow cooker or in the microwave at 30-second intervals.

Never Miss a Craving

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (29)

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings© Original

You Might Also Like

Panang Chicken Curry

BBQ Chicken Chili

Taco Spaghetti Recipe

Best Pierogi Recipe

Best Black Bean Soup Recipe

Lasagna Roll-Ups

See More Recipes

Reader Interactions

leave a review


  1. Dawn says

    Hi Jen,

    We’ve added this as another favorite recipe of yours! So yummy! My son is coming home to visit so I’m
    Making extra because he loved it the first time around! Quick question about ribs with bones vs without bones. I thought I’d try the boneless but I wonder if I should adjust the cook time. Do you have any thoughts on this!

    Thanks so much!



    • Jen says

      Hi Dawn, I’m so pleased these Barbecue Ribs are a favorite! I honestly have never made boneless ribs, so I would just make sure to check them. Another recipe I just googled says to cook boneless ribs: “Cover and cook for 5-6 on high or 6-8 on low, depending on your slow cooker, until fork tender.” Good luck!


  2. Michelle says

    Hello! Your recipe calls for “ground chipotle pepper.” Is that the same as chipotle chili pepper? You have introduced me to so many great spices! Thank you for your wonderful recipes!


    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Michelle, I’m honored you’re enjoying my recipes! Yes ground chipotle pepper and chipotle chili pepper are the same as long as it is a powder in a jar. Enjoy!


  3. Sam says

    I’ve been making this recipe for months now, and it’s fantastic- The past few runs of this, I’ve swapped out the ribs for Boneless Pork Butt, and turned it into pulled pork- it works -fantastically-. I butterfly the pork butt, apply the spices and bake them on 15 mins a side like the ribs would be, then slow cook for 8 hours on low. Then I just take a fork to the meat to shred it, when I add the other half of the sauce.

    My only other alteration is the jam in the sauce – I experimented a bit with different ones but stumbled across apricot preserves and it throws it to a whole nother level!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!!


    • Jen says

      Thank you for your awesome comment Sam and for sharing your expertise with using this recipe for pork butt – sounds fantastic!


  4. Katherine says

    Love your recipes
    Can you use apricot preserves in the BBQ Sauce?


    • Jen says

      Hi Katherine, yes, it should work great. I haven’t personally tried it but other readers have used it with success.


    • Wendy says

      Wouldn’t the ribs be sitting in the fat while cooking?


      • Jen says

        I would follow the recipe as written – they turn out perfectly!


  5. Peggy says

    Hi Jen. Love your recipes! I have made these ribs at least 5 times this year. I was wondering what size crock pot you would recommend if I increase the amount of ribs to 6lbs? I don’t want to overstuff the pan.


    • Jen says

      That is awesome Peggy, I’m so pleased they are a favorite! I don’t know if 6 lbs of ribs will fit comfortably into a crockpot. I use a 7 qt. could probably stuff them but it would be tight. You are probably better off to use two crockpots and then they will also cook more evenly. Good luck!


  6. Nancy says

    Just had these bbq ribs for dinner and once again your recipe didn’t disappoint. Outstanding recipe and very easy. I loved the bbq. I made it exact to recipe but can see from your comments that it would be so easy to tweek if you wanted a different taste. Thank you again for another keeper recipes!!!!


    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Nancy, I’m so pleased it was another winner! The barbecue sauce is amazing on everything!


  7. Jenna says

    I have made these ribs a few times now and they are just absolute perfection. They are so delicious, they fall right off the bone and they are just so easy that’s there’s no excuse to not make ribs. I have gotten rave reviews from everyone who has tried them and I will never look for another recipe again. They are just flawless.


    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a glowing review! I’m thrilled you’ve found the perfect ribs recipe!


  8. Robyn says

    I am trying to figure out a way to freeze these for my son who is away at college. He L.O.V.E.S. This recipe! Do you think it would work if I prep them with the rub and sear them in the oven, then freeze, and then he could toss them in his crockpot to finish cooking? And I could freeze a package of the sauce as well.


    • Jen says

      You are the sweetest Mom! Yes, I think that method would work perfectly!


      • Melissa says

        Can you explain is it better to sear them before freezing or is it better to sear after freezing? I’m fairly new to this process.


        • Jen says

          Hi Melissa, it is better to sear before freezing, otherwise, you are just freezing raw meat 😉


  9. Leslie says

    If I want to use one of my favorite bbq sauces instead of yours, how many cups would say your bbq sauce makes for the recipe? I might make yours but I also might want to make it quicker.


    • Jen says

      About 3 cups, enjoy!


  10. Jan Boland says

    I have never made ribs before. Are these known as ‘country style’ pork ribs or how will they be labeled at the grocery store? Thanks!


    • Jen says

      No they are not the same. They will be labeled: spareribs or baby back ribs
      If you aren’t sure, I would ask the butcher at the grocery store. Good luck, you got this!


  11. Lori Miller says

    Love your website. The recipes are out of this world! Thank you so much.


    • Jen says

      You’re so kind to take the time to make my day, thanks Lori!


  12. Peggy says

    I don’t have black berry preserves. Can I used homemade black berry freezer jam?


    • Jen says

      That jam sounds delicious! I haven’t tried it with jam, but you could experiment!


  13. Kurt Kopsa says

    I would like to make this using an instant pot. Any idea on what setting and how long to cook it?


  14. Dana says

    Your recipe sounds delicious, and I can’t wait to try it!! It’s just me and my husband, and we wouldn’t usually use that many ribs. Would I adjust the cooking time if I have fewer ribs?


    • Jen says

      Thanks Dana, I hope you love it! The cooking time should be close to the same, maybe check an hour or so earlier. Enjoy!


  15. Lori K. says

    Fabulous recipe! The sauce is lip smackingly good… it was a little sweeter than I prefer, so next time I’ll simply back on the brown sugar, but I loved the balance and depth of flavors. Can’t wait to make it again!


    • Jen says

      I’m so glad this will be a repeat! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!


See More Comments

Fall Off The Bone Ribs in Crock Pot (2024)


How long does it take to cook fall off the bone ribs? ›

Cover the ribs with aluminum foil. Bake the ribs at a low temperature (275°F) for 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours or until they are tender. Slather the baked ribs with barbecue sauce, and then broil (or grill) the ribs for a few minutes until the sauce is caramelized.

Can you put ribs in a slow cooker without liquid? ›

Don't worry that the ribs go into the slow cooker without liquid; the heat is gentle enough that the ribs do not burn, and the meat releases liquid as it cooks, so it braises in its own spiced juices.

Is it better to cook ribs in the oven or crock pot? ›

Crock Pot Ribs are the best, most tender, flavorful ribs you'll make! These are just about the easiest thing in the world and the meat just about falls off the bone!

Why are my ribs not tender in slow cooker? ›

For fall off the bone tender slow cooker ribs, you must remove the silverskin from the backside of each rack before cooking them. Not doing so will result in ribs that aren't as tender. Drench them in BBQ sauce. Make sure each and every surface of the ribs are covered in BBQ sauce before they start cooking.

What temp do you cook ribs to fall off the bone? ›

Fun fact- ribs are actually cooked when they reach 145 degrees, but the collagen and fat breaks down between 190 and 205 degrees, giving you that fall off the bone, delicious and juicy rib you want.

Do you cook ribs bone side down? ›

Remove the ribs from the marinade and add them to the grill over indirect heat, bone-side down. Cover the grill and cook, rotating once or twice, until the meat is tender and the internal temperature reaches somewhere between 180 and 195 degrees.

Should you flip ribs in slow cooker? ›

Layer sauce then ribs until complete, tossing to coat as needed to ensure ribs are evenly coated in barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or on LOW for 7-9 hours OR cook until ribs are fall apart tender. Rotate ribs once during cooking so they cook evenly.

What liquid is best for ribs? ›

You may, if desired, spritz or mop your ribs while smoking with a liquid of your choice. Apple juice or cider, butter, Dr. Pepper, apple cider vinegar, beer… there are plenty of options.

Can you cook ribs too long in a crockpot? ›

Yes. Believe it or not, you can overcook ribs in a slow cooker. That's why I recommend cooking them low and slow and keeping an eye on them towards the end. You're looking for meat that's tender and comes off the bone with light pressure.

Are ribs better in a crockpot or instant pot? ›

The pressure cooker: These cooked in a little over 30 minutes — kind of a win by any rib definition. And they were almost as tender as those that came out of the slow cooker, which was a nice surprise.

What happens if you slow cook ribs too long? ›

Cooking any kind of meat for too long will usually leave it dry, tough, and utterly unappealing. In all honesty, cooking BBQ ribs to perfection is something of an artform. It's not something the home chef does very often, and overcooking the ribs is a common way to disappoint yourself when you sit down to eat.

What is the secret to tender ribs? ›

Select a lean rib and cut off the visible fat. We like our ribs lean, tender, and beautiful. Cook them low and slow. Two pounds or less will take 4 1/2 hours at 225 degrees F.

Do ribs get more tender the more you cook them? ›

Your goal is to get good color and caramelization on the outside of the ribs, but also to cook them long enough that the tough collagen breaks down and the meat becomes tender. Generally, the ribs will be browned before the meat is done, which is where the balancing act comes in.

Do ribs get more tender the longer you boil them? ›

The longer simmering time helps break down the connective tissue and skin and brings out the tenderness and flavor. The key to this method is to simmer, not boil. If you boil the meat for an hour it can lead to prematurely cooking of the ribs and you'll end up with awful, tough meat.

How do you get your ribs to fall off the bone? ›

Drizzle the butter with honey and Vinegar Sauce. Place each rack of ribs over the butter meat side down. Season the bone side with additional rub and wrap the foil tightly around the ribs. Place the ribs back on the pit for an additional 2.5 hours or until the meat is “fall-off-the-bone” tender.

Should I bake ribs at 250 or 275? ›

Ribs are generally cooked between 225 – 275 degrees F. For this recipe, we are starting off low at 225 degrees F. and gradually increase the temperature until it ultimately gets to 275 degrees F.

How long do you cook ribs at 250 degrees? ›

Cover the ribs tightly with foil then bake for 3-1/2 hours at 250 degrees. If your rack of ribs is larger than 3lbs, add an additional 30 minutes baking time per additional 1/2 — 1lb ribs. For example, bake a 3 — 4lb rack of ribs for 4 hours.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Last Updated:

Views: 6656

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Birthday: 2001-01-17

Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

Phone: +813077629322

Job: Real-Estate Executive

Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.