Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs | Weeknight Meal Planning

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs

So I’ve been doing a lot of slow cooker meals… I love the slow cooker all year round.  It’s an essential tool in my ‘come-home-to-dinner-that’s-practically-done-itself’ arsenal, a regular need and more so now because I would rather be outside summering with the kids on the weekends than anywhere else.


  • Total time:  6 hours 20 minutes.  Hands on time for this is minimal.  The prep is maybe 5 – 10 minutes. Cooking time is 6 hours unattended and then to make the ribs look delicious and ‘browned’ invest the extra 10 minutes of broiler time.  Believe me… you will want to do this, even though it means getting another pan dirty.  You will need a large (i.e. 6 Quart) slow cooker for this recipe
  • Servings:  2 rib racks feed my family of four (2 grown ups, 2 small kids) 2 – 3 X (times), it depends how hungry your family members are.
  • Kid modifications:  See picture at the end– just cut the pork into small pieces.  If your kids are very spice sensitive, since the dry rub is on the ‘outside’ you can also cut off the skin.


  • 1/2 to 1/3 cup of dry rub (if using this recipe, you can double it).
  • 1 large onion – cut into 8 pieces (quartered and then half the quarters).
  • 2 racks of St. Louis Style pork ribs

Steps To Put This On Your Table:

Adapted from the Leite Culinaria version of this recipe, originally from Slow Cooker Revolution, by America’s Test Kitchen.

  • Generously sprinkle and then coat (using your hands is easiest) the racks of ribs with dry rub, to taste (about 1/2 cup per rib rack).  If you have time and inclination, it’s great to marinate them 1 or 2 days in advance (just keep the ribs refrigerated in an airtight container).
  • Place your onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Stand the ribs ‘up’ (yes, you saw that right) so that they’re half circles against the long vertical sides of your slow cooker.  They will stand up, sometimes you need to ‘balance’ they against each other.
  • Slow cook on low heat for about 6 hours – until the meat is tender and pulls away easily when tested with a fork.  Remove the onions and keep warm in a covered bowl (these are delicious on the side or mixed into a salad).
  • Place the cooked ribs (which will look somewhat grayish in color) onto an oiled roasting pan and broil on high heat for about 7 – 10 minutes.
Slow cooker BBQ pork ribs
Slow cooker BBQ pork ribs after the broiler step at the end.
  • You’ll notice in the Leite Culinaria recipe, he finishes his with BBQ sauce — I’ve done that from time to time, it’s also dreamy good but not required.

Enjoy the delicious ribs delivered from barbecue heaven. 🙂

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
Slow Cooker BBQ ribs, shown over a corn, tomato, zucchini & cilantro salad.
Kids plates for the Slow cooker BBQ ribs & corn salad
See my Kids’ plates for the Slow cooker BBQ ribs & corn salad. Easy to modify for kids, by cutting the pork into small pieces, putting salad veggies separately onto the plates.


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