Easy Melt In Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs

by Julie Cohn
Melt In Your Mouth Crock Pot Ribs2

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For years, I didn’t have a good track record when it came to cooking ribs.  If I cooked them in the oven, they came out too greasy, and if I cooked them on the grill, I burned them beyond recognition.  It’s actually become a family joke, I gave “char-broiled” a whole new meaning!  Not anymore!  These Melt In Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs are cooked tender and moist in the slow cooker, with a zesty-sweet flavor.  They are fall-off-the-bone tasty! 

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I’ve made these crockpot pork ribs for several years now this way, and each time they’ve come out perfect.  In fact, my husband has declared them the best ribs he’s ever had!   Talk about easy, these Melt In The Mouth Crockpot Ribs are easy to make, easy to clean up, and with no risk of burning to a crisp like when you cook them on the grill.   They are so easy, I make them year-round, and don’t even bother grilling ribs at all anymore.  You just put them in the crockpot in the morning, go about your day, and by dinner, they are ready to eat!   

This is the original and best crockpot ribs recipe on the internet, all others are an imitation!  

Crockpot Ribs4


Melt In Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs

To get the best results from these ribs, I have a few secret tips so they come out perfectly.   

  • Trim the fat off the ribs before putting them into the crockpot but keep a little bit of fat as it keeps the ribs from drying out and adds flavor.
  • Before putting the ribs in the slow cooker, roll a few pieces of aluminum foil into balls and place them around the center of the crockpot to help the ribs stand on their end.  When the ribs are not lying in the fat drippings all day, they are more flavorful and a lot less greasy! 
  • Try to use fresh herbs and spices if you can to bring out the zesty flavors.  
  • To make these ribs a bit healthier, substitute the brown sugar in the dry rub for coconut sugar.  
  • Use a crockpot liner for easy cleanup.  You will thank me later.  
  • Use baby back ribs, they are the leanest and most tender. 
  • Ask your butcher to cut the ribs in St. Louis style for the most meat. 
  • Take the membrane off the bottom of the ribs before cooking because it is too chewy to eat. 
  • Wash the ribs right before putting the dry rub on and lightly pat dry.  The moisture will help the rub “melt” into the ribs. 
  • Serve with a fresh garden salad, homemade macaroni & cheese, and some fresh iced tea for a summertime picnic year-round!

Melt in Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs3


Melt in Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs6
Yield: 4

Melt In Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes


Delicious ribs made in the crockpot with a zesty brown sugar-spice dry rub!


  • 1 Rack of Baby Back Ribs
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Bottle BBQ Sauce (your favorite brand)
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey


    1. Wash and pat dry the ribs.
    2. Cut into sections so the ribs will fit in the crockpot standing up.
    3. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl.
    4. Rub the dry rub into the ribs, covering all the meat and bones.
    5. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
    6. Meanwhile, add a crockpot liner to your crockpot and put it on high.
    7. Ball up several pieces of aluminum foil and place in the bottom of the crockpot.
    8. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and place them in the crockpot on their ends, with the meat side of the ribs touching the outside wall of the crockpot.
    9. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, the ribs are done when the meat falls off the bone easily.
    10. When the ribs are almost done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
    11. Mix together your favorite BBQ sauce and the honey.
    12. Carefully place the ribs on the baking sheet, meat side up and brush with the BBQ sauce.
    13. Bake in the oven for five minutes to melt the BBQ sauce around the ribs. Do not cook longer than five minutes because the honey in the BBQ sauce will burn.
    14. Serve immediately.


If you have the time, you can also slow cook the ribs in the crockpot on low, but please watch that they do not get overdone because the meat will get chewy and the pieces will fall off into the drippings.

This recipe was originally featured on 2/2/12 but was updated on 1/7/2020 

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 473Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 66mgSodium 901mgCarbohydrates 62gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 1gSugar 58gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 19g

All nutrition information is approximate.

Need some amazing sides to go with these Melt In Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs?  

The Original Melt in Your Mouth Crockpot Ribs





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Amanda Beran 04/03/2019 at 12:05 pm

What setting do you cook them at? High or low?

Julie Cohn 04/03/2019 at 5:04 pm

I do the ribs on high. 🙂

christy mask 04/09/2019 at 6:12 pm

IIf i wasn’t going to be home for 8 hours, should I cook them on low?

Julie Cohn 04/09/2019 at 6:54 pm

Yes, if you are not going to be home all day, cook them on low so they do not dry out.

Krista Lee 07/30/2019 at 2:10 pm

So delish!!! Used to think the only way to make ribs and be delish was to make on the grill. I live in an apt so thats not an option. This is a great recipe for sure. I highly recommend.

Joelene Macnab 03/22/2020 at 9:39 am

Just to be clear, were cooking the ribs dry for 5 hour in the crockpot with no wet ingredients?

Julie Cohn 03/22/2020 at 11:55 am

Yes Joelene, that is correct. Only add the wet at the end.

Melody 04/04/2020 at 8:10 pm

I can’t get the recipe to print. I get a page, but it only says I am not permitted to print the recipe.

Julie Cohn 04/04/2020 at 8:57 pm

Let me check that Melody and try to fix it. Give me a few minutes!

Melody Stacey 04/08/2020 at 6:48 am

Hi Julie.

Just wondering if you found out what’s wrong with the print option? Thank you!

Julie Cohn 04/08/2020 at 10:45 am

You should now be able to print. If you are cannot, perhaps it is a problem on your end, as others are able to print this. Thanks.

Daniel 04/20/2020 at 9:27 am

Hi Julie,
I am probably overthinking this, but could you describe what you mean by “…on their ends, with the meat side of the ribs touching the outside wall of the crockpot”? Is that cutting and placing them in the crockpot in a way that matches the shape of the crockpot like an internal wall of ribs? Thanks you!

Julie Cohn 04/20/2020 at 11:15 am

Yes Daniel. Exactly. Although some ribs don’t need to be cut, they can just be placed around the wall.

Emma 05/18/2020 at 10:06 am

I don’t have any crock pot liners. Do you recommend spraying the crockpot or anything? I don’t want the ribs to stick. Thanks!

Julie Cohn 05/18/2020 at 10:21 am

Yes, spray the pan with nonstick spray generously if you do not have crockpot liners. But try to get crockpot liners for the future, they are life-changing! (The link is in the recipe to get the liners.)

Maggie Kline 05/19/2020 at 12:55 pm

I am excited to try this recipe – I mixed the dry ingredients together and they smell delicious! Unfortunately, I am running out of day to slow cook them 5-6 hours and have them ready at a reasonable time for dinner…(hazards of working from home with a 5-year-old during COVID-19!) I am assuming they’ll be okay, however I wanted an expert opinion…am I okay to leave my now dry-rubbed ribs in the fridge overnight until I can put them in the crockpot tomorrow? I haven’t worked with ribs outside of buying them already cooked (I don’t want to ruin them!)

Julie Cohn 05/19/2020 at 2:52 pm

Hi Maggie! Yes, they will be absolutely okay to sit in the fridge for 24 hours. In fact, they will be more flavorful! Just cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil so they do not dry out. Let me know how they come out!

Tg 05/30/2020 at 10:53 am

Could you throw them on the grill? Or does it have to be the oven

Julie Cohn 05/30/2020 at 6:41 pm

Hi! No, in this particular case you should put them in the oven because they will literally be falling off the bone. The only way I would say to put them on the grill is if you put them in aluminum foil to hold them together.

Lisa Lokken-Graf 06/27/2020 at 3:57 pm

Made this for dinner today. The ribs cooked up beautifully. Next time I make them however I think I will eliminate the cinnamon. It kind of overpowered the other flavors. Otherwise great recipe!

Julie Cohn 06/27/2020 at 4:02 pm

Thank you! The cinnamon is optional. 🙂

Kat 09/11/2020 at 11:37 am

Can I use boneless ribs with this recipe?

Julie Cohn 09/11/2020 at 11:48 am

Absolutely, but I would cut the cooking time by about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Curtis Simon 10/08/2020 at 2:37 pm

Have you ever tried this when slow cooking chicken? I have done this with ribs 6-7 times already this year. Love them! Just looking for another meat option. Thanks!

Julie Cohn 10/08/2020 at 4:14 pm

Thank you, I have! Boneless chicken makes an excellent substitute. I would not do bone-in chicken though, as it would fall apart too much in the crockpot and you don’t want broken chicken bones.

Kaela 10/13/2020 at 9:03 am

If we don’t have liners do we still put the ball of aluminum foil in?

Lindsay 06/14/2021 at 6:50 pm

I’m making these for 4 hungry people so I wanted to make 2 full racks so I have enough. Can I use my biggest crockpot and make 2 layers/walls of ribs around the crockpot, or do you recommend only layering one row around it and baking the second rack in another crockpot? I wasn’t sure if the two sets of ribs would stick to each other.

Julie Cohn 06/15/2021 at 10:55 am

Hi Lindsay! I believe layering two full racks in one crockpot would be difficult, so suggest you use two crockpots if you have another one. The reason the ribs come out so great is that they stand up, letting the fat drain to the bottom of the pan. They have to touch the wall of the crockpot to allow the dry rub to caramelize into the ribs. The ribs that do not touch the side do not get that full caramelization. Good luck and let me know how they turn out!

Terri Halpin 08/19/2021 at 9:51 am

Hi! I am a little confused about the aluminum balls. Put the balls under the crockpot liner, or under the crockpot dish, & the heating unit? I am in the middle of getting it all together, the rub. Thanks so much!

Julie Cohn 08/19/2021 at 6:08 pm


Hi! You put the crockpot liner in the dish, then the crumbled aluminum foil, then the ribs. The aluminum foil holds the ribs up so the grease can drip to the bottom and the ribs are not lying in the grease. Thanks!

Kelsey 06/01/2022 at 5:39 am

Can you use country style ribs and follow same recipe and steps?

Julie Cohn 06/01/2022 at 9:11 am

You could use country ribs but it will be more difficult to stack them on the side walls of the crock pot. Also, country ribs are usually fatter than baby back ribs so you will have more fat in the bottom of the crock pot. I recommend baby back ribs as your first choice.


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