Easy, tender, fall-off-the-bone BBQ baby back ribs made in the crockpot are the perfect game day food! (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free)
One of my favorite places where food memories were made for me was our family lake house, Casa de los Sueños, as we called it. As I've mentioned before, my family would go to the lake almost every weekend when I was young, water skiing, fishing, raking leaves (womp), and cooking up a storm.
My dad would fire up his smoker every weekend for either brisket, ribs, or sometimes both, and it was always a huge ordeal - marinating overnight, a low-and-slow cook in the oven in the wee hours of the morning, followed by a long smoke period on the smoker with my dad attending the fire in between chores while the girls made beans, potato salad and pies inside.
Our lake house just sold to another family, and I don't have a big smoker like my dad did, but Mr. Table is a huge fan of ribs, so he figured out how to make some really good crockpot ribs at home without a smoker or a big production.
These BBQ baby back ribs in the crockpot are super easy, you don't need a smoker, they always turn out great, and if you want still want a smoky flavor, you can finish them off with some wood chips on the grill at the end.
Another cool thing about finishing these crockpot ribs on the grill is the delicious crispy ends and char you get on the top of the ribs. It's like they've been on the smoker all day getting that perfect crispy finish, but you don't have to spend hours babysitting them or worrying that they will get dry. They turn out super tender every time and come right off of the bone. These crockpot ribs are one of our favorite game days treats at Lively Table headquarters!
What's your favorite game day food?
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Easy Crock Pot Ribs
Easy, tender, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs made in the crockpot are the perfect game day food! (gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 ribs 1x
- Category: main dish
- Method: crockpot
- Cuisine: American
- 1 rack baby back ribs
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp chipotle powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, divided
- ½ cup barbecue sauce of choice, divided (gluten-free, if necessary)
- Wood chips (optional)
- Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs. Cut rack in half.
- Mix together salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, chipotle, paprika and brown sugar. Rub all over ribs. Drizzle with ¼ cup of the barbecue sauce.
- Pour 1 tbsp of the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the crock pot. Add ribs, meat side up and cover. Cook on high 4 hours.
- Mix remaining sauce with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp meat drippings from the slow cooker and brush on ribs.
- Finish on the grill (optional): Soak wood chips 5-10 minutes and place on a foil boat at the edge of your grill grates.
- For charcoal grill: Build fire and once it is ready (about 300°F), place ribs over direct heat for 10 minutes. Brush with sauce mixture and then move to the edge over indirect heat and continue to smoke for 20 minutes.
- For gas grill: Heat grill to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes over direct heat. Brush with sauce mixture, turn grill to low, and continue to smoke 5-10 minutes.
- Remove ribs from grill, slice, and serve hot with barbecue sauce.
Keywords: crock pot ribs, slow cooker ribs, easy BBQ ribs