Crockpot Barbecue Ribs

Enjoy tender, flavorful ribs with minimal effort using this crockpot barbecue ribs recipe. Perfect for busy days or when you want a fuss-free meal, these ribs cook slowly in a savory barbecue sauce until they’re fall-off-the-bone delicious. Whether you’re hosting a gathering or simply craving comfort food, this recipe promises to satisfy with its simplicity and rich flavors.


  • 2 cups your favorite Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, freshly minced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 4 to 5 pounds baby back ribs



In a zip lock bag, pour in the Barbecue Sauce. Add in the brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne if chosen.


Zip the bag closed and, using your hands to knead the bag, mix the sauce ingredients together well. Open the bag and stick the ribs inside.


Close the bag and shake it to coat the ribs completely. Spray the inside of the crock pot.


Open the bag and place the ribs into the crock pot. Pour ¾ of the sauce from the bag into the crock pot, making sure to cover the ribs with the sauce.


Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours for fall-off-the-bone meat, or on low for 9 hours for fall-off-the-bone meat. If you prefer the meat super soft but staying on the bone, cook on low for 7 hours to achieve fall-off-the-bone meat.


Have some of the sauce available on the table, then each person can choose if they want more or not. Enjoy!

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  • Serve these tender ribs hot, straight from the crockpot for maximum flavor.
  • Pair with classic sides like coleslaw, cornbread, or baked beans for a complete meal.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley or green onions for a pop of color and freshness.

Storage Tips:

  • Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To freeze, wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil or place in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months.
  • Reheat gently in the microwave or oven to maintain their juicy texture and flavors.


  1. Explore these creative variations to add a personal touch to your Crockpot Barbecue Ribs recipe:
    1. Spicy Kick: For heat enthusiasts, increase the amount of cayenne pepper in the barbecue sauce mixture. Alternatively, add a few dashes of hot sauce or diced jalapeños for an extra kick.
    2. Sweet Twist: Balance the savory flavors with extra brown sugar or honey in the barbecue sauce. This enhances the sweetness, perfect for those who prefer a sweeter profile.
    3. Smoky Flavor: Incorporate smoked paprika or a splash of liquid smoke into the barbecue sauce for a robust smoky taste. This adds depth to the dish, mimicking the flavors of traditional smoked ribs.
    4. Asian Fusion: Replace some of the barbecue sauce with hoisin sauce and soy sauce. Add minced ginger and a touch of sesame oil for an Asian-inspired twist that pairs beautifully with pork.
    5. Apple Cider Glaze: Substitute part of the barbecue sauce with apple cider vinegar and apple juice. This creates a tangy-sweet glaze that complements the pork ribs exceptionally well.
    6. Herb Infusion: Mix fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano into the barbecue sauce mixture. The herbs impart a refreshing herbal aroma and flavor to the ribs.
    7. Fruit Infusion: Experiment with fruit preserves or marmalade (such as peach or apricot) blended into the barbecue sauce. This adds a fruity dimension that contrasts nicely with the savory pork.
    8. Beer Braised: Replace some or all of the barbecue sauce with your favorite beer (such as lager or stout). The beer adds depth and richness to the sauce, resulting in tender and flavorful ribs.
    9. Dry Rub: Before applying the barbecue sauce, rub the ribs with a dry spice rub of your choice. Use ingredients like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and brown sugar for added flavor complexity.
    10. Tex-Mex Fusion: Incorporate flavors from Tex-Mex cuisine by adding chili powder, cumin, and a squeeze of lime juice to the barbecue sauce. Serve with tortillas, guacamole, and salsa for a unique twist.
    11. Coffee Infused: Add a shot of espresso or a tablespoon of finely ground coffee to the barbecue sauce for a rich, slightly bitter undertone that complements the sweetness.
    12. Pineapple Glazed: Mix crushed pineapple or pineapple juice into the barbecue sauce for a tropical twist. Garnish with fresh pineapple chunks before serving.
    13. Mustard-Based: Use a mustard-based barbecue sauce (like Carolina-style) instead of traditional tomato-based sauce for a tangy and slightly spicy flavor profile.
    14. Maple Bourbon: Replace part of the barbecue sauce with maple syrup and a splash of bourbon. This combination adds sweetness and depth to the ribs.
    15. Honey Garlic: Incorporate honey and minced garlic into the barbecue sauce for a sweet and savory flavor that’s irresistible.
    16. Chipotle Lime: Blend chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with lime juice and zest into the barbecue sauce for a smoky, citrusy kick.
    17. Mango Habanero: Combine mango puree or diced mango with minced habanero peppers in the barbecue sauce for a sweet and spicy fusion.
    18. Italian Herb: Mix dried Italian herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme into the barbecue sauce for a Mediterranean-inspired flavor profile.

By trying out these variations, you can create diverse and delicious Crockpot Barbecue Ribs that cater to different tastes and preferences, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all.


  1. Can I use spare ribs instead of baby back ribs? Yes, spare ribs can be used instead of baby back ribs. Adjust cooking times as needed.
  2. Can I use homemade barbecue sauce? Absolutely! Homemade barbecue sauce can add a unique flavor to the ribs.
  3. Do I need to brown the ribs before placing them in the crockpot? No, browning is not necessary for this recipe. The slow cooking process will tenderize the meat perfectly.
  4. Can I cook the ribs on high for a shorter time? Yes, cooking on high for 3-4 hours can still yield deliciously tender ribs.
  5. How do I prevent the ribs from drying out? Ensure that the ribs are coated well with sauce and consider adding a bit of water or broth if cooking for an extended period.
  6. Can I prepare the ribs ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the ribs up to the point of placing them in the crockpot and refrigerate overnight. Cook as directed the next day.
  7. Can I freeze the cooked ribs? Yes, allow the ribs to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw and reheat as needed.
  8. What sides pair well with crockpot barbecue ribs? Coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetables are great accompaniments.
  9. Can I double the recipe for a larger crowd? Yes, you can double all ingredients and cook in a larger crockpot or in batches.
  10. Can I use a different type of meat for this recipe? While this recipe is tailored for pork ribs, you can experiment with beef ribs or even chicken thighs, adjusting cooking times accordingly.

These FAQs should help clarify any questions you have about preparing and serving crockpot barbecue ribs!

With these easy steps, you can create mouthwatering crockpot barbecue ribs that are sure to impress. Whether for a family dinner or a casual gathering, this recipe delivers tender, flavorful ribs that everyone will love. Enjoy the convenience of slow cooking and the delicious results that come with it. Happy cooking!