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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.

barbecue sauce slathered country style ribs on a white platter garnished with parsley.

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!

Pulled chicken basically falls apart when slow cooked and the Instant Pot makes my Red Beans and Rice taste like it’s been simmering all day long!

a plate with country style ribs ready to be cooked.

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.
dried spices on a shallow plate with a wooden spoon: salt, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.
  • 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.

tips

  • Make your own spice rub with pantry spices (see recipe below) 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.

How to make slow cooker country style ribs?

process steps for slow cooking country style ribs: layer onions and ribs in crockpot; sprinkle with spice rub.

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.

slow cooked country style ribs on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet being basted with BBQ sauce.

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.

tip

  • 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

Can I make a larger amount?

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.

What’s the best way to save leftovers?

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.

Can I reheat country ribs in the crockpot?

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.

barbecue sauce slathered country style ribs on a white platter garnished with parsley.

Serving suggestions

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!

If you’ll be serving guests, whip up your favorite version of potatoes whether they are roasted, mashed, or mixed into a creamy salad. Add a simple salad or some green veggies and enjoy!

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!

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close up shot of barbecue sauce slathered country style ribs on a white platter garnished with parsley.

Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs

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!
3.88 from 31 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs 5 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 428 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 428kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 34gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 1250mgPotassium: 726mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 299IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 2mg
Keyword barbecue sauce, pork, ribs, slow-cooker
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

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.

10 Comments

  1. Oh My WORD! These ribs are amazing, they’ve been in the crockpot all day and the smell is making me drool! Perfect for a snowy weather day!

  2. 5 stars
    These ribs were incredible and so tender, they fell off the bone! We couldn’t get enough and I’ll be adding this to our rotation! Thank you so much for a delicious and easy recipe!

  3. Just lucked up on this recipe. Got ribs and crockpot . Gonna put the on for Sunday dinner. Will let you know how they come out. Thanks for sharing.

  4. 5 stars
    I have always loved country style ribs so I decided to try this recipe. WOW. Absolutely delish. Hubby said this is in his top 3 favorites now. They were easy and came out perfect. melt in your mouth yummy. Sending to my daughter to try also.

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