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Slow Cooker Classic BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

On the rare occasion that it's just too cold to smoke or grill, these slow cooker ribs are an easy way to feed a crowd with just 5 minutes of prep time and 8 servings. The juices from the ribs in this slow cooker ribs recipe are combined with our sauce to make a baste/glaze that is deeply flavorful and satisfying on frigid nights.

BBQ Basics


Baby back rib racks, 3 pounds (or 2-3 racks—can also be used for St. Louis-style spare ribs, 3 pounds or 1-2 racks)
Head Country Championship Seasoning in the flavor of your choice—Sweet & Spicy, High Plains Heat, or Original
Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce in the flavor of your choice—we love Original or our Apple Habanero on these ribs, and you can use our Sugar Free sauce, too

Cooking Instructions

Remove the membrane from the ribs

First, remove the membrane from the back (inside) of the ribs.

Here's our favorite way to do this: Make a small slice through the membrane along edge of the rack. The slice should run parallel with the bones. Next, work a butter knife between the membrane and one of the rib bones. Gently pull the handle of the knife upward. This separates the membrane from the bones. Do this to 3-4 of the rib bones.

Next, use a paper towel to grab the membrane where you sliced. Begin pulling the membrane off the ribs. The work you did to loosen the membrane from the bones using the butter knife will help to ensure you can remove the membrane all in one piece. Discard the membrane.

How to season slow cooker ribs

Coat the ribs in an even, generous layer of your choice of Head Country Championship Seasoning.

We like to start with a layer of Original, then top it off with a lighter layer of either High Plains Heat or Sweet & Spicy.

Remember, when seasoning ribs, hold the seasoning bottle about 8-10 inches from your ribs as you shake. This helps to ensure a nice, evening coating of seasoning on your ribs.

How to fit ribs into your slow cooker

Depending on the size of your slow cooker and your rack of ribs, your ribs might not fit whole into your slow cooker.

If this is the case, simply slice the rib rack into servings of 3-4 bones, then add them to the slow cooker.

Drizzle 1/2 a 20-oz bottle of your choice of Head Country Bar-B-Q sauce over the top of the ribs, reserving the remaining sauce for glazing (see below).

How long to cook ribs in the slow cooker

Cook ribs in your slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours.

Keep in mind, the larger your rack of ribs, and the more ribs that are cooking, the longer they need to stay in the cooker. Be sure to follow the guidelines that came with your slow cooker to prevent overfilling.

How to glaze slow cooker ribs in the oven

Set your oven to broil.

Carefully remove the slow cooker ribs and arrange them, meat side up, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Mix the remaining half of the bottle of Bar-B-Q sauce with an equal amount of the cooking liquid that's left in the slow cooker. Brush ribs on all sides with this mixture.

Broil the ribs under high heat for 3-5 minutes. Brush the ribs every few minutes with the Bar-B-Q sauce/cooking liquid mixture, until the ribs begin to caramelize and sizzle.

How to finish slow cooker ribs on the grill

Prepare your grill for direct heat. Preheat to 300 degrees F.

Add slow-cooked ribs directly to the grill grates. Brush ribs on all sides with the BBQ sauce/cooking liquid mixture. Close the lid of the grill and allow glaze to set for 5 minutes.

Continue adding layers of glaze, if you like, brushing the ribs with the glaze and then allowing the glaze to set in a covered grill for 5 minutes between each layer.

Transfer ribs to a cutting board. Slice between the bones or, if you're still working with a full rack, split into servings of 3-4 bones each. Serve with additional BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

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