BBQ Country-Style Pork Ribs in the Slow Cooker

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 11, 2010

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Two things: I am  a huge fan of the slow cooker, and I am bossy, so hear me loud and clear: Go get your 25-year-old slow cooker out from the back of the cabinet, wash it off and and I will help you make it your friend. (Go ahead…I’ll wait while you try to remember where you stashed it after you got married.)

First off, we will make the easiest pork ribs you ever had. You may thank me later for saving your arse when there was nothing for dinner, and you produced this magnificent feast out of seemingly nothing, with no extra time in your life.

I’m jes’ sayin’…the slow cooker will be your best friend, if only you let me introduce you.


Recipe: BBQ Country-Style Ribs in the Slow Cooker

Whip dinner out of cheap country-style boneless pork ribs and some barbecue sauce. Get your slow cooker or Crock-Pot out of the cupboard and put it to good use. Dinner was never so easy, or so delicious! Serve with mashed potatoes and cole slaw or broccoli or a salad.

  • 1 small onion, peeled, cut in half, and sliced into half-moon rings
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pounds country-style boneless pork ribs (about 8 ribs)
  • 1/2 an 18-ounce bottle prepared barbecue sauce (Bull’s Eye brand preferred, but choose your favorite)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch dried ground chipotle powder (or squirt of hot pepper sauce)

Spray inside of slow cooker crock with nonstick spray. Place sliced onion in bottom, and sprinkle garlic on top. Rinse and pat ribs dry, and place them on onion. Pour barbecue sauce over top, sprinkle with oregano, cumin and chipotle, put lid on and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

(Confession: I was gone most of the day, so I came back at the 6-hour point and they were not done. When I returned at the 10-hour point, they were done, so I am guessing that anywhere between 8-10 hours will be perfect.)

Remove ribs from sauce and set aside. Place sauce in small saucepan and boil for 3-8 -ish minutes, until sauce thickens (from evaporation).  Serve ribs in wide bowl and pass sauce in a gravy boat for diners to serve themselves.

Serve 4-6.


The rule of thumb for slow cookers is 1 hour on HIGH = 2 hours on low, so if you wanted to make these twice as fast, you would cook them for 4-5 hours on HIGH. Since all slow cookers cook at different temperatures and different efficiencies, it pays to “stick a fork in it” an hour or two ahead of time and see if it is done!

Old Crock-Pot

My favorite Crock-Pot is this, circa 1970s. Thanks, Mom!




{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Suzanne August 20, 2013 at 8:49 am

Do you place the whole rack of ribs in the crockpot or slice them individually before placing in the crockpot?


Dorothy Reinhold August 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I usually cut them with a kitchen shears in to portion sizes, such as 3 ribs for each portion (maybe 4 if they are really small). You could cut them into individual ribs if you like, but I like the convenience of a portion size like 2-3 ribs (depending on size).


Judy W. August 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

The last time I used my crockpot to cook boneless ribs, they were great, but a little dry. How can I avoid that? I put liquid in the pot and cooked for 6 hours on high.


Dorothy Reinhold August 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Two things:
1. It’s not so much about the liquid. Crock-Pots don’t need a lot of liquid because they don’t evaporate the same way stovetop or oven cooking does. Sometimes it’s more about the cut of meat. If you use a more marbled cut (with a bit more fat), that will help.
2. And 6 hours on high sounds like a lot to me. I do these ribs on low, and I would suggest trying your ribs on low.
Hope those ideas help!


kaitlyn August 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Im definitely not a pro so my question might sound silly but do you add water to this recipe? Or is the bbq sauce and natural juice enough?


Dorothy Reinhold August 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

No water! BBQ sauce and natural juices will be fine!


Ushara July 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I LOVE my 1970s crockpot. It’s the beige version of yours in the picture. You don’t show the lid. Was it plastic and is it possible to get more lids? I sure can’t find any. I’ve purchased newer crockpots since, and have given them away as my old one works best.

I’ll try that recipe too!


Dorothy Reinhold July 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

I *think* my original lid was plastic, and it broke. I called the company and figured out how to order a glass replacement. Works perfectly!


Ahna L June 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Loved it! I rarely eat meat because it gets chewy and hard, but these ribs were so tender and tasty! Yum! Definitely going to use this recipe from now on!!


Dorothy Reinhold June 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

So glad you liked this method!


Leslie June 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

This was amazing. I used my own home-made bbq sauce so I just put the onion and garlic on the bottom of the slow-cooker topping it with the ribs then i poured over my bbq sauce. I didn’t add any additional seasoning because most of the seasoning was already in the sauce. Here’s my bbq sauce suggestion:
Saute 3 tbsp olive oil with 2 cloves garlic minced until lightly brown. Add in 3/4-1cup ketchup, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3-4 tsp hot hungarian paprika (or use regular paprika and a touch of cayenne), along with 1 tsp worsteshire sauce. I usually simmer it but you could probably just add it into the crock pot and allow it to cook with the meat. Just made this tonight and it was amazing! Thanks for the help with this recipe!


Dorothy Reinhold June 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Your sauce sounds amazing! I bet you’re right that it would do just fine with everything added right to the Crock-Pot and allowed to cook. I must try your sauce now! Thank you for sharing the formula!


Liz Hampton August 3, 2013 at 11:33 am

Thanks for the quick/simple sauce recipe. We live 23 miles from town so running to the store for a bottle of bbq sauce isn’t going to happen! I’ll be making it without the paprika/cayenne because we HATE hot spices but am looking forward to smelling the aroma all afternoon and having leftover ribs for tomorrow after my hike! I can’t believe people were silly enough to hide away their crock pots. My have been in constant use since I was still living with my mom before I got married 31 years ago! There’s nothing quite like coming into the house after a day of work and knowing that dinner is already ready. 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold August 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I agree about not hiding the Crock-Pot. I know so many people who never use theirs. Mine is always either being used, or being washed!


Amy Kay February 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

We buy these “country style” boneless ribs all the time. Usually we just garlic salt them and grill them. But, my husband is in the Navy and he is going out to sea tomorrow for a while, and I wanted for him to not have to make dinner tonight. So, I’ve got these going in my crock pot right now, with a few hours left, still, but they smell delightful! I was surprised to find that I actually had cumin and oregano in my spice cabinet! Score. 🙂


Dorothy February 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I am flattered you chose these as his last home-cooked meal (for awhile anyway)!


Robyn February 2, 2013 at 6:48 am

Dorothy, As suspected, the ribs ROCKED! Thanks again! We had them last night and my husband said, “Ahhhhh. It tastes like summer.” My kids adored them too:-)


Dorothy February 2, 2013 at 7:04 am

Thank you for coming back to tell me! Love hearing that!


Robyn February 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

Dear Dorothy, I LOVE that you’re bossy! (Takes to love one:-) ). Anyway, these look delish and I have some ribs in the freezer to use up, so your recipe sounds AWESOME! Thanks!


Dorothy February 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

I yam what I yam!


Stephanie Pires January 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I have that same crock pot from my mom. I’ve loved it all these years until this summer, the lid broke! I tried to get another one, but no luck, so I bought, finally, after 30 some years, a new one. I love how flavorful everything is on your site. Everything I’ve cooked makes my daughter happy because of the interesting flavors. Thanks.


Dorothy February 1, 2013 at 8:12 am

This is my favorite Crock-Pot! I had to replace the lid about 4 years ago, and I got a new one from the company’s website. So glad you are having fun cooking from my site. That makes it all worth it!


Liz January 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm

If the garlic and onions are on the bottom, does the taste diffuse well to all the meat? I have 6 lbs of ribs I would like to prepare this way, and as the ribs will be double or triple layered, should i mix the garlic and onions into the sauce? (I always use frozen chopped onions because I hate cutting fresh and like them to mostly dissolve anyway.)


Dorothy January 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I have never noticed a lack of onion or garlic flavor, but you can certainly mix them all up in the crock, no problem!


Joyce January 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm



Dorothy January 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Ribs. That is all.


Ginny S December 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I’ve been preparing these ribs for several years before I found your recipe. They are easy and deslicious. Always used a full bottle of BBQ sauce and a large onion sliced. Sweet Baby Ray’s has one with Chipotle. Used it the last time and ribs came out spicy, but not too. Am going to try your recipe next time.


erin November 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Made this husband ate it directly from the pot!


Dorothy November 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Ha! I’ve been known to do that.


Martin D. Redmond July 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Wow! I have the exact same crockpot!


Dorothy July 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I love this Crock-Pot. Circa 1970s.

Reply March 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I made this last night and it was great. I used country style pork ribs with bones – as that was all the store had, and it worked just fine. What a super easy yummy recipe.


Stella R January 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Ran across this recipe and as I have all the ingredients, thought I’d try it. The only thing I’m doing differently is, I’m pan frying the ribs w/ a bit of olive oil and garlic before I put them in the crock. Smells yummy already! Thanks for the recipe.


Coleen August 19, 2011 at 6:15 am

All the local stores ’round here (Phoenix area, AZ) seem to have those boneless country-style pork ribs on sale on a rotaing basis lately. I’ve made your recipe and it was great (Our family loves it with Stubbs BBQ sauce)

I have also followed this recipe basically, and substituted a can of green enchilada sauce for the BBQ sauce. After it cooks, break up the meat (it is so tender that is easily done with a fork) and serve with tortillas making burritos or chimichangas. Delicious and different.


Dorothy August 22, 2011 at 6:13 am

I love your green enchilada sauce idea, and will try it this week (or the next week those ribs are on sale)! Thank you!


Kim May 30, 2011 at 9:29 am


Slow cookers are lifesavers! Now that we’re without a real working kitchen, I feel like the slow cooker may be the only tool we have to cook with. 🙂

If you get a chance, check out my good friend’s recipe blog – They also use the slow cooker fairly often, and love it so. Lots of good, delicious, hearty recipes on there! I think you’ll like. 🙂



Dorothy May 30, 2011 at 9:49 am

Thanks Kim,
I’ll head over and check it out!


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