Crock Pot Dry Rub Spare Ribs

These crockpot spare ribs can honestly pass for ribs from the BBQ. My husband was shocked by this crockpot rib recipe!

Last week it was my turn to choose our Crock Pot Thursday recipe, and my husband surprised me by requesting ribs. He loves ribs, so that part wasn’t a shock, but he has a new Traeger grill, and if ribs were going to be made, I would imagine he would want to cook them on his new favorite toy.

I enthusiastically agreed, though, for two reasons.

One, he doesn’t want me near either of his grills, so this might have been my only chance to attempt ribs.

And two, one of his sisters hates eating meat off the bone, and I knew she would give me the stink-eye from Texas when she saw the recipe, and I truly love annoying people.

But slow cooker spare ribs? I was skeptical. Until I found this recipe that I modified from Fresh Slowcooking that called for a dry rub and NO LIQUID. Boom. Easy and delicious.

You will be shocked at how much these Crockpot Spare Ribs taste like they came off the BBQ! If you need an easy recipe for fall off the bone ribs, this is it!

The ribs came out like a dry-rubbed rack of ribs should, and I brushed it with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce, because that sauce really is the boss.

My sister-in-law who hates meat on the bone just cooked hers longer so the meat fell off of the bone. The graphic is her picture. If you don’t want yours falling apart, don’t cook it for 9 1/2 hours like she did.

I’m not saying these Crock Pot spare ribs are better than ribs on the smoker, but they are good. Very, very good. “Make again” good.

Crock Pot Spare Ribs

  • 4 lbs spare ribs
  • 1½ TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika (regular is fine if that’s what you have)
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • barbecue sauce (optional)
  1. Pat ribs dry, and cut them into sections so they’ll fit in the slow cooker.
  2. Combine seasonings in a bowl, and rub mixture all over ribs.
  3. Place ribs in the slow cooker, meat-side down.
  4. Cook for 8-10 hours on low, or for 4-5 hours on high.
  5. Before serving, brush with barbecue sauce if desired.

I used my 6.5-Quart Crock-Pot Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker to make these dry rub slow cooker ribs.

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57 thoughts on “Crock Pot Dry Rub Spare Ribs

  1. This is by far the most excited I've been about a crock pot recipe. Yummy!!! I need to make it!! For reals!

  2. I thought I left a comment, but it seems to have been eaten by Blogger. This sounds delish, and I think I will amp up the spices a little, too. Everyone in my house likes ribs, so it's already a winner with me-

  3. Amy, I’m just learning to use a slow cooker. I’m intrigued by this recipe because the ribs look juicy on the inside and have a crusty exterior. Did the crust come from the slow cooking or did you have to do something before or afterwards to create the crust?

    1. If I remember correctly, they came out like this, but if yours need a little crisping up, a few minutes under the broiler will do the trick!

  4. These were amazing!!! We did cook them the full 9.5 hours, and they were great! I have a second batch in the crockpot right now, changing the spice rub up a bit but following your cooking instructions. Thanks!

  5. I plan on making these on Saturday, my only question is do you need to baste them with any juices while they are cooking? I noticed your recipe didn’t call for anything. I just want to make sure I’m not missing anything. Other than that they look delicious and I cannot wait to try!

  6. …Awesome, will do them again. 1 Rack of baby backs. Cut in 4 sections. Bone side down, y own rub. 1 hr on high. 4hrs on low. Emptied the grease from the bottom of the pot and basted with bbq sauce. 1 more hr on high. Leftovers just this morning.

  7. Sounds amazing! How many servings? We’re a family of four, but only three of us would be enjoying the ribs. Thank you!

  8. How do you keep the ribs dry? I always have so much liquid from the fat laying under the ribs or chicken or whatever i’m cooking in the crock pot. It always come out with the meat falling off the bones.

  9. I modified it slightly. Put about a 1/2 cup of Coke or Pepsi on the bottom of the crock pot. Didn’t change anything to the rub. Placed the ribs in the crock pot and covered with about a half of thinly sliced onion. Yum

  10. I made this tonight, and it was awesome! I didn’t have any brown sugar, so I kept the rub the same, except added 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder and the drizzled a very tiny amount of maple syrup over the ribs after they were in the slow cooker. Didn’t have enough time to cook on low, so I cooked it on high for 5 hours, and it was really delicious with a caramelized crust! Also didn’t have any BBQ sauce on hand, and it was great without it. Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. These were fantastic!! I used 1/2 hot paprika and 1/2 regular (just enough zing). I started them at 1:30 pm on high for a couple hours, switched it to low until 6:00 pm – and then finished them off on the BBQ (with the Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, of course!) Awesome!!

  12. I have fixed ribs using this recipe several times. I don’t grill out much and must be on a low carb diet. These fit the bill. They don’t really need sauce either, they are that good.

  13. FYI this page is not mobile friendly. I’d love to see the directions & ingredients but the barilla pasta add is blocking it and no matter what i do it won go away.

    Sounds delish & easy enough to wing it. Thanks.

    1. I had that problem. If you look in the right hand corner of your computer down and in a bit you will see a faint x that will close the ad. Very sneaky placing of that x because it is not in the ad itself.

  14. I don’t eat pork myself but I made these for my daughter’s school Christmas party and she said they were a huge hit!

  15. It’s January 2018 trying these tonight made my own rub of garlic, pepper, brown sugar and onion put them in the crock pot on high cooked for about 2 hours and just added about 1/4 cup Dr pepper too the bottom we will see how they taste tonight. Ill update then

  16. We had a hog butchered, and my husband has never successfully made edible ribs, so I told him it was my turn to try. I made these last night, and they were devoured! I wouldn’t change a single thing, except to have a whole lot more and invite friends so so they can also enjoy it!

  17. Question: Do you lay the ribs in a single layer or will it be alright to have some on top of others? My crockpot is not that large…

  18. Modified rub just a bit, tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne. Used a BBQ sauce I like, hickory open pit, as I find sweet baby Ray’s too sweet. Also added 1/2 tbs apple cider vinegar.

  19. Made this tonight for the Possum. She loved them and the ribs are so good that you will slap your granny in the face if she tried to get between you and the crock pot.

  20. I made these last night in my Crock Pot. First time ever making something like this and they were Delish !!! I had a friend over and made these early while I ran errands ,came in the door and the smell alone was Incredible! I also made Street Corn to accompany this and we were getting ready to watch a long movie. He LOVED the ribs and is still talking about them and how he never would have expected the Crock Pot to make them taste as good as they did !! Thank You and this has been a frequent dish now that I have it down !! XOXO

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Marianne! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe is changing peoples’ minds about slow cooked ribs. I was a skeptic, too, but they really turn out great! I love the idea of serving it with street corn. YUM.

  21. I made these ribs just like your recipe and they are delicious! My hubby and I can take or leave ribs…we’ll take these every time!

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  25. I am making my own Father’s day dinner as both my children work at a hospital, and are either working or sleeping. These were easy to put together and my house smells wonderful! Thank you, for an easy and great recipe!

  26. Did you stand them up against the sides of the crockpot or lay them flat in the bottom? Thanks- excited to try!

  27. This recipe has been my go-to for a couple years now. Thank you it’s easy, and delicious!

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