Easy Slow Cooker Ribs

overhead view of sliced bbq ribs on a parchment lined rack with a spoon of bbq sauce.

No smoker? No problem! These easy slow cooker BBQ ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and made with just a few simple ingredients. An optional finish on the grill gives them a smoky flavor and crisp edge.  (gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free)


  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce of choice
  • Wood chips (optional for finishing on grill)


  1. Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs by sliding a dull knife (such as a butter knife) under the membrane along the first rib. Grab the membrane and pull back until you've removed it along the entire rack. Cut rack in half.
  2. Generously sprinkle ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over ribs.
  3. Pour apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add ribs, meat side up, and close the lid. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  4. Remove the ribs and brush with sauce.
  5. Finish on the grill (optional): Heat grill to medium heat. Place ribs over direct heat, meat side up, and cook for 10 minutes. Move to indirect heat and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Remove ribs from grill, slice, and serve.


  • You really don't have to measure the salt, pepper, garlic and oil. I just included measurements as a reference point.
  • If you're really committed to a wood smoke flavor, you can use wood chips to generate smoke when you finish the ribs on the grill. Soak wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and place on a piece of foil. At the edge of the grill while preheating to generate smoke. Keep the wood chips on the grill while finishing the ribs. These smoke packets are also really handy!
  • If necessary, check to make sure your BBQ sauce is gluten-free.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Keywords: crock pot ribs, slow cooker ribs, easy slow cooker BBQ ribs