You can’t beat ribs straight off the barbecue. These Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs are slow cooked in a spice rub and then finished off on the barbecue with a Homemade Barbecue Sauce. These can be prepared in advance and put in the slow cooker for easy barbecuing later on. Serve them with your favourite summer sides and you’re all set.
Okay, so I’m back today with yet another summer inspired recipe! Yes, for all the patio eating in the months to come. I’m beyond ready right about now. I know I just posted my Grilled Barbecue Chicken Skewers just last week, but we just can’t have too much barbecue right about now.
Friends, I have to tell you, these need to go on your must make summer list! Save them, pin them, remember them because they are fantastic. If you’re a long time follower of the Blog, you might remember my Dry Rub Oven Barbecue Ribs. Well, these are a slow cooker version of those and we all LOVE them.
And if you think it’s not slow cooker season, think again. It’s a great time to use that thing, Why? Well, you can just put food in there and forget about it. And, it doesn’t heat up your kitchen. A big bonus for warmer weather. Even dishes like my Slow Cooker Lemon Rosemary Chicken is great in warmer weather.
So, let’s dive into these ribs so you can enjoy them pronto!
Here’s What We Need To Make The slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
Okay, so shown here there are the two racks of ribs and the spice rub. Not shown is the Homemade Barbecue Sauce. I honestly think the Homemade Barbecue Sauce is the way to go for this recipe, but if you can use your favourite sauce no problem.
- Two racks of baby back ribs
- Spice rub
- Barbecue Sauce
REMEMBER, The full recipe and instructions is always found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
Preparing the Ribs
Okay, so one of the MOST IMPORTANT things about getting great ribs, is preparing them the right way. So, here’s what we need to do.
Remove the membrane
What is the membrane? The membrane is a piece of tissue that is attached to the underside of pork ribs. It need to be removed because it does not soften when cooking and will be chewy.
- Remove the Membrane, Lay the ribs out on a clean surface with the bone side up. Remove the membrane off the back of the ribs. Using a sharp knife, get just under the membrane and start lifting it off and pull until you pull it all off. You may need to pull it off it sections.
Add The spice Rub
- Cut the ribs in half, we’re just doing this so they fit easily into the slow cooker.
- Rub over the spice blend, rub it completely over both sides of the ribs.
- Wrap the ribs in foil, this can be done 30 minutes before cooking and up to 24 hours before cooking the ribs.
Slow Cook The Ribs
- Place the ribs in the slow cooker, you will stack them on top of each other and that’s just fine.
- Cover and slow cook on low for 8 hours, I cooked these on low in my slow cooker. You can choose to cook them on high for about 4 hours if you don’t have time.
- Baste while cooking, these ribs will release a lot of juice while cooking. Check on them a couple of times and spoon over the pan juices.
IMPORTANT, all slow cookers are different. So be sure to check your ribs periodically as your ribs may cook faster or slower.
Add The Barbecue Sauce and Finish on The Barbecue
- Completely coat the ribs in Barbecue Sauce, make sure to do both sides for full flavour.
- Finish cooking on the barbecue, I used a gas barbecue and finished these off over medium heat. Remember, the ribs already cooked. You and just adding the barbecue touch. You can use a charcoal barbecue as well.
- Cook for about 8-10 minutes per side, this will depend how charred you like them. We like them pretty charred as you will see in the pictures. If you like them more sauce, just grill them for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs Ready to Enjoy
Barbeuce charred and ready to dive in! Yes, these are char grilled. Like I just said, you can take them off quicker if you don’t like the char. It just comes down to personal taste. Make the summer salads, the Fluffy White Dinner Rolls and pour the Margaritas. This dish says summer ready!
Can I prepare and cook These in Advance
Yes and Yes! This is one of the most wonderful things about this recipe is that that they can be prepared the day before hand! This is great for summer entertaining and having free time when you have friends or family over.
The slow cooking can even be done the day before! Bonus, right.
What Would Go Great With These Barbecue Ribs
- Potatoes – The Crispy Garlic Potatoes with a Creamy Chive Dip or the Baby Potatoes in a Herb Vinaigrette are both great options.
- Rice – Tangy Vegetable Rice Salad or the Wild Rice & Black Bean Salad
- Pasta Salads – Why not try the Zucchini Pasta Salad in a Lemon Vinaigrette or the Bell Pepper Pasta Salad
- Leafy Green Salads – You can never go wrong with a Classic Caprice Salad or a Chopped Summer Salad
Well, that brings these “must make ribs” to a close for today. You want to make them, so save them for your summer grilling. Cheers to the start of summer cooking!
Here’s some More Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Dry Rub Oven Barbecue Ribs
- Traditional Style Barbecue Pork Tenderloin
- Barbecue Pork Loin Chops with Caramelized Onions
Get The Recipe!
Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs
- 2 racks baby back pork ribs
For The Spice Rub
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1 Teaspoon onion powder
- 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 Cup ketchup
- 1/4 Cup white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- 1/2 Onion finely chopped
- 1 Small dried chili finely chopped
Make Spice Rub
- Make the dry rub by combining the brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Give a good stir and set aside.
Prepare and Slow Cook Ribs
- Lay the ribs out on a clean surface with the bone side up. Remove the membrane off the back of the ribs. Using a sharp knife, get just under the membrane and start lifting it off and pull until you pull it all off. You may need to pull it off it sections.
- Cut the two racks on ribs in half and rub them with the spice rub on two sides. Wrap in foil and leave for 30 minutes.
- Place the ribs in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. They will release a lot of juice while cooking. Check on the ribs through cooking a few times and spoon juices over the meat.
Make Barbecue Sauce
- Make the sauce by putting all the ingredients in a small sauce pan over a medium to low heat. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spoon the barbecue sauce over the ribs on both sides. Cook over a medium heat barbecue (gas or charcoal) for about 10 minutes per side.
- Remove from barbecue and cut up the ribs. Serve with your favourite summer sides.
*A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
- Ribs can be marinated up to 24 hours before cooking.
- After the ribs are slow cooked, they can be tightly wrapped in foil and refrigerated up to 24 hours before finishing on the barbecue.
- This recipe uses a homemade Barbecue Sauce, but you can substitute your favourite store bought sauce.