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Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

These are the best I've had, short of the actual grilling method of course! It's not rocket science, just ribs cooked in the slow cooker and finished in the oven. This is what I do when I want ribs during the week and have to work all day. Start it in the morning and eat them within a half-hour of getting home, and they turn out perfect every time! You can make this recipe even easier by using store-bought rub and bbq sauce!

What to drink with you ribs? Nothing pairs better with BBQ that Syrah! The tangy & spicy barbecue sauce is perfectly balanced by the rich, fruity notes of the wine. Yum!

Serves 3-4


  • One rack of pork baby back ribs (3-4 lbs)
  • Barbecue Rub (store bought or see recipe below)
  • Barbecue Sauce (store-bought or see recipe below)


  1. Prep the ribs by removing the silver membrane from the back. You can just slip a knife under it and pull (a piece of paper towel can help you grip it if it’s slippery). If you’re having trouble finding the membrane in this step, your ribs may already have it removed. Once in a while you’ll buy ribs that have it already removed.
  2. Cut the racks into manageable pieces that will fit into your slow cooker. I usually do halves or thirds depending on the size.
  3. In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients. Rub the mixture onto the ribs evenly (see recipe below or use a store bought rub) 
  4. Add the ribs to the slow cooker and spread the barbecue sauce over the ribs so that they are mostly covered (1-2 cups)
  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours
  6. Transfer ribs to a baking sheet. Coat with barbecue sauce from crock-pot
  7. Broil in oven until sauce caramelizes and sticks to meat (3-5 minutes). You may want to re-apply sauce once if it is thin.
  8. Enjoy! Don't forget the napkins!

    Rub Ingredients:

    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon celery salt
    • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

    Rub Method: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Use a fork to crush any clumps of sugar or seasonings. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.

    Sauce Ingredients:

    • 1 cup ketchup
    • cup cider vinegar
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
    • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 Tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper

    Sauce Method: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.


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