Slow cooker ribs are easy to make and cooks on the low setting so the spare ribs will just fall off the bone. Before we get into cooking, let talk about buying ribs. There are three different kinds of ribs that you might find; there is the St. Louise style ribs, a full spare ribs, and a baby back ribs. The first two are cut in the same part while baby back comes from the back and they have more bones, less meat and require yet a different cooking time. So, when you are shopping for your ribs, it’s important to know which kind you are buying.

Start by cutting your ribs right into a half then prepare your rub which contains two tablespoons of paprika, brown sugar, you can use either light or dark, a tablespoon of salt, two tablespoons of granulated garlic, onion powder and two tablespoons of black pepper. Mash that together to get any lumps out of the brown sugar, take a paper towel and blot your ribs dry because we want that spice rub to stick.

Start getting your spice rubs on the ribs, get it plenty on all sides then its time to put that on your slow cooker. Depending on how your ribs are, place the ribs with the wider end facing down on your slow cooker in aligning them on the edges of your cooker so they can cook more evenly.

Cover them with the lid without adding any liquid because as the meat starts to cook, they are going to give some of their liquid and they won’t have that washed out flavor. When you are using your slow cooker, cook it on high for five to six hours or you can go low and that is going to take about six to seven hours.

Once your ribs are done the cooking in the slow cooker, remove and put them on a wire rack and let them cool down for ten minutes. For the sauce, add your ketchup in a cooking pan together with apple juice, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire, yellow mustard, black pepper then whisk that together and bring it to a boil on low heat.

Once done, go ahead and brush your ribs with the sauce then place them in the oven for around four minutes. Coat the ribs with the rest of the sauce and let it sit for about 20 minutes before chopping them.


For the spice rub;

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

For the ribs;

  • 4-5 pounds pork spareribs, St. Louis-style, trimmed
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


  1. Combine all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Using paper towels, pat the ribs dry and then cover both sides with the spice rub.
  3. Be sure to massage the spices into the meaty side of the ribs.
  4. Cut the rack in half and place them in the slow-cooker vertically with the thick ends pointing down and the meaty side against the interior wall of the slow-cooker.
  5. If the ribs are too tall to fit against the wall, tilt them toward the sides of the slow-cooker.
  6. Ribs may overlap, this is okay. Cover and cook until ribs are just tender and the meat is pulling away from the bones, about 5 or 6 hours on high or 6 or 7 hours on low.
  7. Using two sets of tongs carefully remove the ribs to a baking sheet and allow them to rest about ten minutes.

To grill the ribs;

  1. While the ribs are resting, preheat the grill on high. Using two sets of tongs transfer ribs to the grill with the meaty side facing up.
  2. While the bottom of the ribs char, cover the top meaty part with the barbecue sauce.
  3. After five minutes, carefully turn the ribs with the sauce side facing down. Brush sauce on the other side.
  4. Grill the ribs, turning once more time adding more sauce until the ribs are well charred and the sauce is caramelized, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the grill, tent with foil and allow ribs to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Cut ribs in between the bones to separate. Serve with remaining sauce.