These Slow Cooker Ribs are perfect for when you don’t feel like grilling and are laced with great Asian flavors for a fun taste. Perfect braised baby back ribs are smothered in a rich, sweet, tangy, spicy, and salty sauce.

Pork ribs on a cutting board, with a knife. one rib cut to show tenderness

Okay, pitmasters. Drop the judgment before reading any further. Today, we’re discussing ribs. Particularly ribs in the slow cooker. 

I know. I hear the barbeque purists clicking their tongues as they scroll past the recipe to read the hate-filled comments. Their loss. This is for those who really want an easy ribs recipe!

Best Crockpot Ribs Recipe

For those of you intrigued by the slow cooker ribs method, get ready for your mind to be blown.

This easy pork recipe may become one of your favorite ways to cook ribs when you don’t want to grill in the winter. Not because you can’t, but because it’s cozy inside and your fluffy slippers are way more comfortable than snow boots.

It’s hard to imagine just how tasty slow cooked ribs can be! This crock pot alternative makes ribs a weeknight or any night meal without a perfect 3-2-1 method and hours at the grill. Easy crock pot ribs are a good way to cook because they are hands-off and simple. Slow cooking the meat until it’s fall off the bone tender and juicy.

Crock pot ribs are an absolute winner. They’ll be devoured by everyone.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Pork Ribs

Ingredients needed:

  • Hoisin Sauce, Sugar, Soy Sauce, and Dry Sherry – makes up a sweet, tangy, and salty base for the Asian sauce (alternatively, just use BBQ sauce).
  • Cilantro and Scallions – adds freshness.
  • Ginger and Cloves – use freshly minced for the best flavor.
  • Orange – you’ll need four 3-4” strips of zest from an orange to add a hint of citrus flavor to the sauce.
  • Cayenne Pepper – you can omit the cayenne if you don’t like spice.
  • Baby Back Pork Ribs – I use 6 pounds in this recipe.
  • Salt and Pepper – a simple way to season the ribs before cooking.
  • Hot Pepper Jelly and Apple Cider Vinegar – added to the cooking liquid to create a glaze for the meat.

How to make ribs in the slow cooker

First, you’ll make your sauce by whisking together hoisin, sugar, soy, sherry, cilantro, scallions, ginger, garlic, orange zest, and cayenne.

Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. 

Grease your slow cooker, then add in the ribs. Arrange them standing and wrapping around the rim of the cooker with the meaty side facing out. Pour the sauce over the ribs, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Preheat your broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Place an oven-safe rack onto the baking sheet and coat with vegetable oil. Place the cooked ribs, meat side down, onto the rack. 

Strain 3 cups of cooking liquid into a saucepan, then whisk in the hot pepper jelly, vinegar, additional cilantro, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. 

Once thickened, brush the ribs with the sauce and broil for 2-4 minutes. Flip the ribs over, brush with additional sauce and broil for another 8-10 minutes. Brush with liquid every 2 minutes.

Tent the ribs with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving!

What ribs to use

My favorite ribs to use are baby back ribs, also known as pork short ribs. Babyback ribs are the part of the rib cage that is right up next to the spine. So pretty much where the meat is going to be the most tender and succulent. Baby back ribs offer plenty of meat, don’t skimp on flavor, and are almost always on sale. 

If you want to use a meatier rib, then use the St. Louis style ribs. These are just a little longer, have more meat, and contain more fat. 

Stack of slow cooker pork ribs, finished with bbq glaze

Recipe FAQs

Should I sear pork ribs before slow cooking?

No need! We’re slow cooking the ribs first and then broiling them after to give them that crispy crust.

Do you need liquid in a slow cooker for ribs?

Yes! The liquid, or in this case the sauce, is what helps create a super moist texture as you braise the meat in the slow cooker. Without it, the ribs wouldn’t be nearly as tender or flavorful. 

Can you slow cook ribs too long?

You can easily overcook ribs. If meat actually falls out of the bones then this could be a result of overcooking meat. You want to bite into these with a gentle pressure (the bite). However, if you do cook them too long, shred the meat and make nachos, stir it into bbq hash, or make a bbq pizza with shredded rib meat!

Tips

  • Cook on low. The longer, slower cook time creates an irresistible tender texture.
  • Check the temp. I like to use a meat thermometer to verify that the internal temp of the pork is at least 145ºF before serving. With ribs, they will be way past that to get the tender bite you’re looking for.
  • Spice it up. A bit of pepper heat goes a long way during the cooking time but if you want a bit more spice, add hot sauce to the braising liquid.
Slow cooked ribs finished, brushed with sauce and placed on a cutting board for serving.

Serving suggestions

Serve these Asian pork ribs next to a pile of sesame stir fry, a serving of roasted veggies, egg rolls, and a scoop of Asian pork and cabbage salad

Dinner is served!

How to store

Leftover pork ribs will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen then warm at 250ºF in the oven until heated through.

More rib recipes you’ll love

If you’ve tried my Slow Cooker Asian Pork Ribs Recipe or any other recipe on GirlCarnivore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram @girlcarnivore as well as on  Twitter and Facebook.

Slow Cooker Asian Pork Ribs

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 6 hrs 30 mins
Resting Time: 5 mins
Servings: 7
Slow Cooker Asian Pork Ribs | Kita Roberts GirlCarnivore.com
Asian style slow cooker ribs seasoned in Hoisin sauce and cooked low and slow.

Recommended Equipment

  • crockpot or slow cooker

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • cilantro handful of fresh stems chopped and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 8 scallions whites chopped coarsely, greens minced thin, divided
  • 3 tbs ginger minced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 orange strips of zest from an orange about 3 to 4" long
  • 1 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 lbs baby back pork ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 10 oz hot pepper jelly full jar of pepper jelly
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Instructions 

  • Whisk the hoisin, sugar, soy, sherry, cilantro stems, scallion whites, ginger, garlic, orange zest and 1 1/2 teaspoon of the cayenne in a bowl.
  • Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grease your slow cooker with vegetable spray and arrange the ribs standing and wrapping around the rim of the cooker with the meaty side facing outwards.
  • Pour the sauce over the ribs, cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low.
  • Set up and preheat your broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven safe rack in it. Coat the rack with vegetable oil. Place the ribs meat side down on the rack.
  • Strain 3 cups of cooking liquid from the cooker into a sauce pan.
  • Whisk in the hot pepper jelly, vinegar, cilantro leaves, and remaining cayenne pepper to the liquid.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until thickened.
  • Brush the ribs with the sauce and broil 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the ribs over, brush with sauce and broil another 8 to 10 minutes, until ribs are sticky and browned, brushing with liquid every 2 minutes.
  • Tent the ribs with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with minced scallion greens and additional sauce if desired.

Notes

Slow Cooker Revolution
You can make a little dipping sauce for these with some of the pan juices, hot mustard, and a bit of ketchup.
The ribs are easy to cut into individual riblets after you cook them so you can serve that way or leave them altogether if you prefer. 
A bit of pepper heat goes a long way during the cooking time, but if you want a bit more spice then I recommend using some extra hot sauce in the braising liquid.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 915kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 1793mg | Potassium: 826mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 62g | Vitamin A: 323IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: barbeque
Author: Kita Roberts
Keyword: crock pot ribs, pork ribs, slow cooker ribs

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Comments

  1. Can you elaborate on just how this works “arrange the ribs standing and wrapping around the rim of the cooker with the meaty side facing outwards”? Standing how, on the edge of the rib bones or on the meat end? What wraps around the rim of the cooker and the meaty side faces outwards from what; are the rib bones on the bottom of the cooker and meat on top? A picture would be very helpful as just words are not doing it.

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