Prep these in just a few minutes, then let your crockpot do the rest!
Slow cooker country style ribs are incredibly tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Broil them before serving for extra caramelization.
Classic bone-in ribs are known for their flavor, but this recipe might give them a run for their money! Each bite is coated in tangy barbecue sauce and the perfect blend of spices. A dash of liquid smoke really puts them over the top.
The best part? Rain or shine, you can make country ribs in the crock pot whenever you get a craving. Prepare this recipe for an easy Sunday dinner or enjoy it after a long day at work.
I love using countertop appliances to make some of my favorite recipes, and they turn out just as delicious!
Key ingredients & substitutions for Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs
- Country style ribs — These come from the shoulder area of the pig, so they aren’t technically “ribs.” However, there’s a lot more meat on the bones compared to short or spare ribs and they are eaten the same way.
- Yellow onion — This goes on the bottom of your crockpot so the meat isn’t directly touching the hot stoneware. Plus, they get nice and caramelized!
- BBQ sauce — Use your favorite blend and get creative with flavors. Traditional versions are delicious or try one with honey or brown sugar for extra sweetness.
- Spices — Start with a base of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cumin and chili powder add heat, while dried oregano adds sweetness and an earthy flavor.
- Liquid smoke — This is completely optional, but a little bit of this makes the meat taste like it came off the smoker or grill.
How to make slow cooker country style ribs?
STEP 1 | Layer the meat and onions
Add a thin coat of cooking spray to your slow cooker, then arrange the onion wedges along the bottom. Place the country ribs in the crock pot, keeping them in a single layer.
STEP 2 | Add the spices
Combine the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the pork, spreading it out with your fingers as needed.
STEP 3 | Top with BBQ sauce
If you will be using liquid smoke, whisk it into the sauce first. Pour over the meat before covering with the lid.
STEP 4 | Cook
Cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours (or High for 4 to 5 hours) until the meat is tender but not quite falling off the bone. Serve immediately or broil for extra caramelization.
STEP 5 | Broil
Remove the ribs onto a foil-lined baking sheet and baste with the reserved BBQ sauce. Broil for about 5 minutes, just until the sauce thickens and the meat is caramelized.
- Be sure to use a large crockpot — at least 5-quart capacity — so there’s plenty of room for these slow cooker country style ribs.
Frequently asked questions
You can increase the ingredients to accommodate as much as will fit in your crockpot. That said, the meat needs to be in a single layer so I wouldn’t try to make more than 4 pounds at a time.
Once cool, transfer the meat to an airtight container or wrap tightly with foil. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
It depends. Individual portions are best reheated in the oven or microwave. However, larger amounts can be placed back in the slow cooker and warmed on Low until heated through.
Pair these slow cooker country style ribs with all of your favorite comfort food sides! Spend some extra time making baked beans and these incredible Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Or, throw together a simple coleslaw and call it good!
Welcome to our #NationalSlowCookerMonth Celebration!
January is National Slow Cooker Month and this week we are celebrating all things slow cooker! We have delicious recipes from across the country to fill your meal plans with delicious slow cooker recipes!
- Slow Cooker Taco Noodle Soup from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Slow Cooker Sago Kheerfrom Magical Ingredients
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken from Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog
- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Fajitas from Blogghetti
- Overnight, Slow Cooker Eggnog Cranberry Steel-Cut Oatmeal from The Spiffy Cookie
- Slow Cooker Brazilian Feijoada from Palatable Pastime
- Italian Sausage Soup from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Crockpot Ranch Chicken from The Fresh Cooky
- Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs from Life Love and Good Food
- Hot Creamy Sausage Dip from Devour Dinner
- Beef Tips from Art of Natural Living
Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 lbs. country style ribs
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce divided
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- cooking spray
- Lightly coat the bottom of the slow cooker crock with cooking spray. Cut the onion into thick wedges and add to the slow cooker, then lay the ribs on top.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, black pepper, salt, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the ribs.
- Whisk the liquid smoke into 1 cup of the barbecue sauce and pour over the other ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Cover with the lid and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours (HIGH 4 to 5 hours), until the ribs are tender, but not quite falling apart.
- Once the ribs are done, preheat the broiler. Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and discard the cooking liquid.
- Baste the remaining barbecue sauce over the ribs, then broil for about 5 minutes, watching carefully, until the ribs are caramelized.
- Make your own spice rub with pantry spices (see recipe) or use a quality pre-mixed BBQ rub — we’re big fans of Jeff’s Original Rub Barbecue Seasoning.
- Likewise, use a bottled barbecue sauce for convenience or make a batch of my easy homemade BBQ sauce and use the extra for serving tableside.
About Sheila Thigpen
Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer
Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.