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barbecue pork ribs in hand

Barbecue Slow Cooker Ribs

Julia | The Yummy Bowl
Learn how to make these foolproof slow cooker ribs that come out fall-apart-tender each time. The secret to perfect ribs is to cook them in a slow cooker first, baste generously with the sauce and transfer to the oven just for a couple of minutes until the sauce has caramelized and the ribs charred beautifully.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Total Time 13 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 pounds pork ribs
  • 2 cups Barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves optional, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for cooking


  • Spray the bottom of a 4.5 quart (or bigger) slow cooker with vegetable oil.
  • Wash, dry, and remove the skin from ribs and transfer to slow cooker folding the ribs gently. You can also cut the ribs so it will be easier to take them out later. (see notes) Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl combine barbecue sauce, brown sugar, garlic, cayenne. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs in the slow cooker. Reserve the remaining sauce for later to brush the ribs.
  • Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 7 hours until fork-tender. (See notes)
  • When cooked, carefully transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Pour the juices from the slow cooker into the bowl with barbecue sauce. Stir to combine and baste the ribs generously with the sauce (you may not need to use the whole sauce, reserve for later). Broil in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 Fahrenheit until charred and crisp on the outside.
  • Serve with remaining sauce.


  • Slow Cooker I used for this.
  • Cooking time. HIGH for 3 hours or LOW 7 hours. This is my preferred cooking time as the ribs become tender and stay on the bone without creating a mess. You can also cook these on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW 8-9 hours which will result in very tender and easily fall off the bone ribs.
  • Removing the membrane/skin from the ribs is optional. Some butchers can do that for you or sell ribs that the skin is already removed. The skin can be a little tough sometimes and adds some ‘’chewiness’’ to ribs which in fact is not a bad thing. It is a personal preference how you’d like to do it. By removing the membrane it will guarantee the most tender ribs. How to do it: to remove you’ll need a sharp knife. Slide the knife gently between the ribs and the membrane, pull gently, it should come out easily. 


Keyword bbq slow cooker ribs, slow cooker ribs
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