Loading Video...

Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs

Yes, you can cook ribs in a slow cooker! In this easy recipe, the seasoning paste transforms into a savory dipping sauce. Slather it on the ribs and pop them on the grill just before serving for a final char.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 40 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Save Recipe

Ingredients

One 6-ounce can tomato paste

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground mustard seeds

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 racks baby back ribs (about 3 pounds)

Oil, for grilling

Directions

  1. Whisk the tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, chili powder, mustard, garlic, paprika, Worcestershire, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Cut each rack of ribs in half and add to the slow cooker. Use your hands to rub the sauce on to the ribs. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat until tender, about 4 hours.
  2. Gently transfer the ribs to a baking sheet and cool for at least 20 minutes; this will help maintain the shape of the ribs as they grill. Whisk the sauce at the bottom of the slow cooker until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce to brush on to the ribs and save any remaining sauce to serve on the side (it will thicken as it cools).
  3. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grates. Grill the ribs, top-side down, until lightly charred in parts, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, brush the top side of the ribs with the reserved barbecue sauce and grill until the underside of the ribs are lightly charred in parts, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to a platter and serve immediately with the extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Cook’s Note

Alternatively, broil the ribs to char. Preheat the broiler with a rack set 4-inches from the heat source. Transfer the cooked ribs to a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the top of the ribs with the reserved sauce and broil top-side up, until browned and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes.

Get the Recipe

Perfect Cranberry Sauce

This ruby-hued sauce is a breeze to make with either fresh or frozen fruit.

Best Barbecue Ribs Ever

Easy BBQ Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Slow Cooker Georgia Pulled Pork Barbeque

Prime Rib

Baby Back Ribs

Sunday Rib Roast