Melt-in-your-mouth slow cooker country-style ribs; this is one of the simplest and most enticing ways of cooking pork ribs. One of the easiest slow cooker recipes for pork.
This crockpot or slow cooker country-style ribs recipe is rich and comforting; the meat is so tender it will fall off the bone. The pork is slow-cooked for hours in a sweet and spicy BBQ-style sauce, but the actual effort is minimal. All you have to do is mix some ingredients and let the slow cooker do its magic. This delicious recipe will make your whole family return for seconds.
Learn How to Cook Beef Ribs in the Oven or make Country-Style Pork Ribs in the Oven if you like tender ribs. Or have a look at more slow-cooked pork recipes: Pork Belly in the Slow Cooker, Slow Cooked Pork Hocks, or Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut.
- Country-style pork ribs with the bone in or boneless. I got those with the bones this time, but boneless will work just as well. You will need 3 lbs/1.3 kg for this recipe.
- Spice blend: Brown sugar, sweet paprika, smoked sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, fine sea salt or Kosher salt, and ground black pepper. If using hot smoked paprika, leave out the cayenne pepper.
- Alternatively, use your favorite dry rub, preferably something containing sugar; the rub should be a bit sweet.
- BBQ sauce: Ketchup, chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper.
- Alternatively, you can use about 1 cup/ 250 g of your favorite BBQ sauce.
- Equipment: A slow cooker or crockpot (7-8 quart/ 6 ½ – 7 ½ liter).
How to slow cook country-style ribs?
- Season ribs: Pat them dry with kitchen towels. Place ribs in the slow cooker pot. Rub them well with the mixed spices.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour them over the meat in the pot. Toss well to coat them with the sauce.
- Slow-cook the country-style pork ribs for 6-8 hours on LOW or 3-4 hours on HIGH; they should be fork tender, almost falling off the bone. The cooking time depends on the size of the pieces and whether they are bone-in or boneless ribs.
- Transfer the ribs to a serving platter. You can remove the bones before serving (just pull them out) or leave them. Spoon a bit of the sauce over the meat and serve.
What are country-style ribs?
- Despite the name, they are not precisely ribs, but a pork shoulder cut, which, once cooked, has a taste and texture similar to ribs. However, they have a considerable advantage over the spare or short ribs: there’s much more meat to enjoy.
- There are two kinds of cuts: pieces cut from the blade end near the shoulder (often with the bone in) or pieces cut from the shoulder area of the pig (which tend to be boneless but not necessarily). You can use any of these cuts for making slow cooker country-style ribs.
- Sauce: The sauce that builds in the crockpot during cooking is delicious but quite fatty. I always spoon some over the meat, but I don’t overdo it.
The first one is a kitchen appliance, typically a metal pot, while a crockpot has a stoneware pot surrounded by a heating element and refers to a particular type of slow cooker. The crockpot was the name of a brand developed in the USA about 50 years ago.
The recipe instructions apply to both machines.
Up to 4 lbs/1.8 kg of country ribs should be fine. They should lie comfortably in the pot (more or less in a single layer), but a bit of overlapping is ok.
Anything is possible, but it is very unlikely; slow cooking usually ensures you cannot overcook the meat.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Freeze leftovers in an airtight container or freezer bag for about 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
The best way to reheat country-style ribs is in the preheated oven at 300°F/150°C. Place them in a roasting dish of appropriate size, and add a few tablespoons of leftover sauce (if you still have any) or broth. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and reheat the pork pieces for about 20 minutes or until heated through; it should reach an internal temperature of about 140°F/60°C.
How to serve?
- Try this delicious dish with Roasted Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower and Potato Mash, Creamy Carrot and Swede Mash, or Air Fryer Baked Potatoes.
- Serve them with crusty bread, Easy Cornbread in the Cast-Iron Skillet, or a simple German Potato Salad.
- Vegetable side dishes: Buttered Peas, French-Style Green Beans, Buttered Vegetables, Whole Roasted Cauliflower, etc.
More slow cooker or crock pot recipes
Slow Cooker Country Style Ribs
- A slow cooker or crockpot 7-8 quart/ 6 ½ – 7 ½ liter
- 3 lbs country-style pork ribs 1.3 kg, Note 1
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar Note 2
- ¾ tablespoon sweet paprika powder
- ¼ tablespoon smoked sweet paprika powder Note 3
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper more to taste also Note 3
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
BBQ Sauce (Note 4):
- ¾ cup ketchup 200 g
- 1/3 cup chili sauce 75 g
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- fine sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Season country-style ribs: Pat them dry with kitchen towels and place them in the slow cooker. Mix the spices in a small bowl and rub the ribs with the mixture.2 tablespoons brown sugar + ¾ tablespoon sweet paprika powder + ¼ tablespoon smoked sweet paprika powder + ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper + 1 teaspoon onion powder + 1 teaspoon garlic powder + 1 teaspoon fine sea salt + 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- BBQ sauce: Mix all the sauce ingredients and pour them over the ribs in the pot. Toss well to coat.¾ cup ketchup (200 g) + 1/3 cup chili sauce (75 g) + 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar + 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce + 1 teaspoon oregano + fine sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Slow-cook the country-style pork ribs for 6-8 hours on LOW or 3-4 hours on HIGH; they should be fork tender and almost falling off the bone.
- Serve: Transfer the ribs to a serving platter. You can remove the bones before serving or leave them. Spoon a bit of the sauce over the meat and serve.
- You can cook up to 4 lbs/ 1.8 kg ribs if your slow cooker is large enough (7-8 quart/ 6 ½ – 7 ½ liter). The meat pieces should lie comfortably in the pot, but just a bit of overlapping is fine.
- You can choose another seasoning mixture if you like.
- If using smoked hot paprika powder, leave out the cayenne pepper.
- Alternatively, use 1 cup/ 250 g of your favorite BBQ sauce.