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Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow cooker ribs

I think I’ve said it before but I’ve always been doubtful of slow cooker meals, especially batch cooking in slow cookers. I find that they are usually lacking in flavour and/or texture that can only be achieved by more ‘proper’ cooking methods. I mean, I’ve posted a slow cooker apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe before, but I will admit that I don’t make that recipe anymore. Now that my baby is old enough to play on her own and/or sit and watch me make breakfast for a decent amount of time, I prefer to make individual servings of my morning oatmeal on the stove. However, my sister recently shared with me that she makes ribs in her slow cooker. The secret to her recipe is that she makes her own dry rub for the ribs, and then does not add any additional liquids to the slow cooker – she lets the ribs release and cook in their own juices. If you look up other slow cooker rib recipes, you’ll find that almost all of them tell you to add some sort of liquid to the slow cooker (root beer, water, stock, etc). If you add liquid to the slow cooker, you’re going to get soggy ribs and diluted flavours!

Easy dry rub for the ribs

I gave this recipe a try, and I will admit that this is probably my favourite slow cooker recipe. I like the fact that I can put the ribs in the slow cooker and not worry about it for 6 whole hours. The meat literally falls off the bones, the flavour is strong, and when paired with a quick salad, it makes for a super easy meal. I’ve made this probably half a dozen times already, tweaking the dry rub recipe each and every time and I think I’ve finally got it perfect (thank god, because I think the husband was getting tired of ribs, Caesar salad and potatoes for supper every other day!). I buy the pork back ribs from Co-op and I can usually find a decent sized rack of ribs for around $20.

I haven’t found a wine pairing for these ribs yet. The ribs have a pretty strong flavour due to the dry rub, so I think your best bet will be a cold light beer with this one!

Slow cooker ribs

Slow Cooker Ribs

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-3 Cooking Time: 6 hours


  • 1 rack of pork back ribs
  • Your choice of barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp chipotle cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste



Mix together the dry rub spices in a small bowl and set aside.


Cut the rack into portions of six ribs.


Rub the dry rub on the ribs with your hands, evenly on both sides of the ribs.


Grease your slow cooker (I just use a little olive oil and coat the slow cooker with a paper towel), and arrange the ribs in the slow cooker standing up on their rib ends (the thicker end of the bone on the bottom) with the meaty side facing out. It's okay if the some of the racks overlap one another if you have a small slow cooker.


Cook on high for six hours.


After six hours, line a baking tray with aluminum foil and place the ribs with the meaty side facing up on the tray. Baste with your choice of BBQ sauce and broil in the oven until caramelized (about 5-7 minutes). Careful not to burn them!


Serve with a salad and some potatoes!