Slow Cooker Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Enjoy ribs at any time of the year with this recipe for slow cooker ribs with homemade BBQ sauce! Slathered with this special homemade bbq sauce and slow cooked for hours, no one will be able to resist these ribs! And more than anything, it is so cool that one can make ribs in a slow cooker/crock pot and just do it ‘set-it-forget- it style! #ad
Slow cooker ribs with homemade bbq sauce

‘I want my baby back, baby back, baby back….’ I’m pretty sure you can finish that jingle! BABY BACK RIBS! Everyone wants their baby back ribs, right?

But what happens with you don’t feel like dealing with lugging out and setting up the grill but still want ribs? Bust out the slow cooker my friends (and if you read my last post on 5 ingredient green beans and beef, you’ll know that my slow cooker/crock pot just broke, so I purchased this one so I could make this recipe again!)


It’s confession time…I’ve never made ribs before! Have I enjoyed eating ribs? Heck yeah! But have I ever ventured into the ‘making ribs’ world? No sirry! I always thought it was something I needed to leave to the masters.

Last year my husband went through a phase where he watched hours of this show called BBQ Pitmasters on Destination America. I’d come home and there would conveniently be a marathon on, so of course I had to watch too! I saw as all the pit masters try to find the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, savory, juicy, and create award winning bbq. It was fascinating! The passion they all shared for cooking meat was remarkable.

Slow cooker baby back ribs with homemade bbq sauce from @sweetphi

So when I received baby back ribs from Omaha Steaks to work with, I channeled my inner pit boss and came up with a recipe. I’m pleased to say I think this recipe will knock your socks off.  Not knock your socks off in an ‘omg that’s so spicy’ way, but in an ‘omg this is bbq I can make at home?’ way.

All you do is make your homemade bbq sauce that you’ll slather on the ribs (this homemade bbq sauce is the bomb, it would be perfect over chicken or any other kind of pork), then you’ll line your slow cooker with aluminum foil and place your ribs in and let them cook.  Come back in 6 hours, and you’ll have irresistible, delicious, fall off the bone ribs! The best part is the sauce can be made any time ahead of time, so if you have a few extra moments on the weekend and want to make the bbq sauce, all you then have to do is remove the sauce from the fridge, brush it on to the ribs, and you’re ready to go.

Ribs made in a slow cooker

Slow Cooker Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 (1lb package) baby back ribs
  • For the bbq sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses or maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the bbq sauce and whisk until well combined.
  3. With a brush slather the ribs generously with the sauce and place in the slow cooker. Turn heat to low, cook for 6 hours, coming back every 2 hours to brush on more sauce (I store the sauce in the refrigerator in between brushings. The meat should fall off the bone with poked with a fork. If it needs a little extra time, keep in the slow cooker for another ½ hour or until it falls apart.
  4. Remove from slow cooker and serve.
These ribs are just super scrumptious and can be made ‘set-it-forget’ it style to be ready in the evening after a long day.

Slow cooker ribs with homemade bbq sauceThis post has been sponsored by Omaha Steaks. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting the brands that make the SweetPhi blog. This post contains an affiliate link, if you purchase amazon products through my store at no cost to you,  I will earn a few pennies. All thoughts and opinions are as always mine alone. Happy cooking!

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Showing 29 comments
  • Little Cooking Tips

    This is a great recipe Philia!! We love the fact of the homemade bbq sauce. Can we use another way to cook these ribs, since we don’t have slow cooker? Can we grill them? Have a beautiful day! 🙂
    Panos & Mirella

    • Sweetphi

      Hi Panos and Mirella, you most certainly can cook this a few other ways, grilling is one (always good), but you could also bake them in the oven (low and slow, I’d say 250 in a foil lined pan for 4-6 hours). Enjoy!

  • Shawnna

    Yummy!! This looks so good!!

    • Sweetphi

      Thank you so much for the comment Shawnna!

  • Reply

    These ribs are seriously making me so happy! YES!!!!

    • Sweetphi

      Thank you so much girl, ribs are the best, aren’t they?

  • whatjessicabakednext

    These look so good! Loving the flavours!

    • Sweetphi

      Thank you so much, homemade bbq sauce on ribs (or anything for that matter) is such a favorite 🙂

  • Rebecca@Figs and Pigs

    Gosh now I’m super hungry looks too good.

  • wearenotmartha

    Wow. These photos are glorious and make me want to sit down at my work desk with a big platter of ribs right this second… Who cares what my co-workers think! 🙂


    • Sweetphi

      I bet your coworkers wouldn’t mind if you brought enough to share 🙂 Thanks for the comment Sues!

  • Ashley

    haha and now you have that jingle totally stuck in my head! I LOVE making ribs in the crockpot – these look fantastic!

    • Sweetphi

      Aren’t ribs in the crockpot so amazing and easy? Hope that jingle didn’t get stuck in your head too long 😉

  • manda2177

    These ribs look amazing!!!

    • Sweetphi

      Ribs are just so amazing, aren’t they? Thanks for the comment!

  • annie

    Yum! It’s been awhile since I’ve made ribs…now I know what I’m gonna make for dinner tonight 😉

    • Sweetphi

      Ribs are always such a winner, this was the first time I’d made them at home, and now I’m hooked, I’m going to be making them in the crockpot from now on. I’d love to know how you like them 🙂

  • caroleanne

    Your ribs look fantastic. I will use your sauce the next time I make crock pot ribs which I make ALL the time. Instead of lining your crock pot with foil put 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the crock pot. Then put a rack of some type in the water. Put the ribs on the rack. Cook for 4 – 5 hours on low. (This way the fat from the ribs drips down into the water). Brush on the sauce and continue to cook for 30 minutes. Brush on more sauce and cook for another 15 minutes. Serve.

    • Sweetphi

      Thank you for your comment Caroleanne, I definitely think you’ll love the homemade bbq sauce 🙂 Your method sounds interesting, I’ve never thought of steaming the ribs but I just might have to try that 🙂

  • Anita

    I was wondering if this could be made using the Reynolds Slow Cooker liners. Can you please explain the reason the slow cooker is lined with foil?

    • Sweetphi

      Hi Anita, great question. Definitely o to use slow cooker liners. I’ve never used them but I assume they will work just as well – the reason for the foil is because that’s what I always have on hand 🙂

  • Don

    I Use this recipe many times, with a little deviation, I set my cooker on warm and depending on the amount of ribs cook them on warm for 20-24 hours…… Also Smithfield has “brisket ribs” which are mostly meat and I buy them at Walmart.

  • Sue Ellen

    How much worcestershire is 2 T. cup?

    • Sweetphi

      Hi Sue – thank you SO much for pointing that out, I have updated it now. The company I was working with wanted the recipe formatted in a really weird way, but I went and changed it to read normally now. The correct amount is 2 tablespoons. Sorry about the confusion, and again, I really appreciate the comment.

  • Gabby

    Is it ok to slow cook on high for four hours?

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