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Country Style Pork Ribs Slow Cooker

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Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs are smothered in a smoky sweet marinade and cooked low and slow in the slow cooker until they’re perfectly fork tender.

Country Style Ribs

These country style ribs are so tender that they just melt in your mouth. The sauce has a little bit of sweetness, a little bit of heat, and the smoky flavor just pops and rounds out the flavor of the marinade.

Heating the remaining BBQ sauce before you coat the ribs in it makes it a sticky mess that you’ll want in your life. On top of that, cooking it low and slow in the slow cooker really works magic on this cut of meat.

It’s so easy to throw together in the morning, and it’s awesome knowing you have all that deliciousness waiting for you later. Try serving it with your favorite pasta salad (like this chicken macaroni salad) or potato salad (like this loaded baked potato salad). Save the leftovers to use anywhere you would normally use pulled pork!

A close up image of fall apart tender country style ribs.

Ingredients

For the spice blend you’ll need brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. You’ll also need smoky BBQ sauce, country style ribs, and onions.

How To Make Boneless Country Style Ribs In Crock Pot

We’re going to start out by making our own spice blend for these boneless ribs. Mix that with half of the BBQ sauce to make a marinade to rub all over the ribs.

Grease the inside of the crock pot with spray oil, then layer the onions and the coated ribs. Cover and cook the ribs until they’re fork tender. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

A process collage showing greasing the slow cooker, adding onions, and what the country style ribs look like when they're finished cooking.

What Cut Of Meat Is Country Style Ribs?

Country-style ribs aren’t actually ribs! This cut of pork actually comes from the shoulder area of the pig. It’s a muscular part at the end of the loin that is fatty, which is what makes it a perfect candidate for cooking low and slow.

They’re thick and are normally about half a pound each. Another difference is that you wouldn’t normally eat them with your hands (like you would with other ribs).

A close up image of country style pork ribs.

Why Are They Called Country Style Ribs?

The name can be a little confusing, but they got their name because the flavor and consistency of this cut of meat is similar to standard ribs once it’s finished cooking. Depending on where you are, these can also be called Western ribs.

A plate filled with country style ribs.

Are Country Style Ribs Tough?

This is a cut of meat that really needs to be cooked low and slow. As long as you cook them that way, they’ll turn out tender. If you cook them quickly at a high heat, this cut of meat will be tough.

Does Cooking Ribs Longer Make Them More Tender?

Assuming you’re cooking them at a low temperature, yes, the longer you cook the ribs the more tender they will be.

An overhead image of country style pork ribs in the slow cooker.

Can You Slow Cook Ribs Too Long?

It’s technically possible, but you run very little risk of that. That’s what is so amazing about cooking these on low in the slow cooker – you can cook them for a very long time without them drying out or overcooking.

A side image of pull apart tender western style pork ribs.

Optional Adaptations

I like to use a smoky barbecue sauce in this recipe because it adds a little bit of the grilled flavor, but Sweet Baby Ray’s is another popular choice. Feel free to use your favorite BBQ sauce here.

Some people even like to make their own apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce for these ribs! You could also add some liquid smoke to really increase the smoky flavor, just keep in mind that it’s a potent ingredient and that it’s easy to overdo it.

You could also try cooking it with potatoes or sauerkraut, or you could go for a totally different flavor and use teriyaki sauce instead of BBQ sauce.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Click here to pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image of country style ribs with title text.

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Yield: 4 large or 6 small servings

BEST Country Style Pork Ribs Slow Cooker

The best country style pork ribs in the slow cooker recipe.

Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs are smothered in a smoky sweet marinade and cooked low and slow in the slow cooker until they’re perfectly fork tender.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder *
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup smoky BBQ sauce (divided, plus extra for dipping)
  • 4 pounds Country Style Ribs
  • 2 medium yellow onions (sliced)
  • Fresh diced parsley (option, for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 6 quart crock pot with cooking spray and add the onions to the bottom of the pot.
  2. In a medium bowl, add 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce to the spices. Mix together to make a glaze, and brush it evenly over the ribs covering them on all sides.
  3. Place the ribs over top of the onion bed and cover the slow cooker with a lid.
  4. Cook the ribs on LOW for 6 - 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 - 4 hours (the low setting is preferable for this cut of meat, and I would recommend cooking it on low if it’s at all possible with your available time). Check to see how they are doing at the lower time. Ribs should read an internal temperature of 170 F on an instant read meat thermometer, and should be pull apart tender.
  5. When the ribs are done, heat up the rest of the BBQ sauce in a skillet over medium-low heat and gently toss the ribs and onions in the sauce. Plate, then garnish with parsley and serve.

Notes

*This is a spice blend sold in the USA and Canada, it’s not the same thing as chili powder sold in the UK and other parts of the world (where it’s just pure ground chilis).

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/6

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 775Total Fat: 31.4gCarbohydrates: 29.7gFiber: 2gSugar: 21.7gProtein: 88.7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. This was calculated assuming 6 servings and assuming that visible fat was not eaten.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

This is the best recipe to make country style pork ribs super tender! The spice blend is perfectly smoky and sweet, and it’s guaranteed to be a family favorite.

The best country style pork ribs in the slow cooker recipe.

95 thoughts on “Country Style Pork Ribs Slow Cooker”

  1. I made this last night and received many compliments from dinner guests and hubby, who all went back for seconds. I omitted the red pepper flakes as I knew one of my guests didn’t care for spicy food. I cooked the 4+ pounds on low for 9 hours until all pieces were fork tender. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe, which will certainly be saved/used again.

    Reply
  2. Tues. Nov. 2021
    I saw the recipe and I’m currently cooking it right now in my slow cooker and I’m excited about how it’s going to taste. My kitchen is smelling so good with the spices in the air.

    Reply
  3. Made this recipe last night – my first time making boneless country-style ribs. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – ended up omitting the red pepper flakes and chili powder since I did not have either, and used sweet Hungarian paprika instead of smoked (also eyeballed and tasted rather than doing exact measurements – but that’s just how I roll when cooking LOL). Cooked in the crock pot on low for 8 hours. They turned out amazing! Will definitely be making them again. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    Reply
    • Hi Erika, So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe and that your adaptations worked well! Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback. -Alexa

      Reply
  4. I just put my boneless ribs in the Crock-Pot by your recipe, and I’m so excited to taste the finished product. Every time I make any kind of pork, it always comes out too dry and chewy. Reading these reviews though, I’ve got some great expectations! 🤗💖 Thanks

    Reply
    • I’m the same way honey. I’m anxious to try these when they’re done soon for dinner tonite! My concern is mine are bone-in, but not that much. Also, I’ve heard you can overcook them even in a crock pot. I pray they’re not tough/dry, my husband won’t eat them. 🙏❤️

      Reply
    • Hi Diane, I haven’t tested this recipe with only one pound of ribs, so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, please let me know what worked for you! -Alexa

      Reply
      • I’ve had 4lbs boneless ribs cooking on low for almost 6 hours they seem a little dry? Followed exact repice. My ribs aren’t real thick, any suggestions

        Reply
        • Hi Linda, I’d imagine that it was because your ribs were a little bit on the smaller side. Sorry to hear that your ribs turned out a little dry! Next time I’d look for a thicker cut, or cook them for a bit less time. -Alexa

          Reply
    • Me too. I didn’t notice it was boneless. Mine are country style with a small bone in each. I followed the recipe except I had no onion powder but I did have the onions. Been in one hour now and I put my special “mother’s seasoning”(aka love) into it so I’m sure they will be great!! Thanks for this recipe. I’ve only ever used just bbq sauce off shelf so this is a great change. Thanks!!!

      Reply
  5. I am making this for Mother’s Day. It smells delicious. I know that the family will enjoy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Reply
  6. What is the liquid in the crock pot featured in your photo? Recipe makes it sound like there is none. It is the rest of the bbq glaze that you coated the ribs with?

    Reply
    • Hi Laura, I haven’t tested this recipe with potatoes, so I can’t say for sure how that would turn out/when they should be added. If you try it, please let me know how it goes! -Alexa

      Reply
    • Hi Paula, I haven’t tested this recipe with beef ribs. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out! -Alexa

      Reply
    • I’ve only ever made this recipe laying onions across the bottom first. Other people have left feedback that it worked for them without the onions though. Hope that helps! -Alexa

      Reply
  7. I made these yesterday with bone in ribs and used what I had on hand. No onions, or onion powder. Left out the salt and black pepper. Used 1/4 t gr red pepper, maple sugar instead of brown sugar, and harissa bbq sauce. I let them chill over night before shredding. Pretty pleased with the results. My onions had gone off so I had to leave them out. I will try it again when the onions come in the CSA. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
    • Hi Anthony, Thanks for sharing which adaptations worked for you. Happy to hear you liked how these country style ribs turned out! -Alexa

      Reply
  8. Hawaiian Style… Onions, Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet and Spicy sauce, 12 oz. can of crushed pineapple, habanero sauce, and 2 slices of thick bacon. 6-8 hours on low. Garnish with homemade cornbread and baked beans!

    Reply
  9. This is in my crockpot now for Sunday night supper. I liked the idea of adding the seasonings to bottled bbq sauce. I am using G Hughes sugar free original. I skipped the smoked paprika because I don’t care for it and the salt to lower the sodium content. I am hoping the salt won’t be missed with all of the other seasoning. The recipe is quick and easy.

    Reply
  10. I am new to crock pot cooking and to country ribs (I’m English) so this was unknown territory to me. Oh my, this was a wonderful meal! I made a smaller version for two in my 4 qt crock pot, halving most ingredients, and it was so flavorful, melt in the mouth and exciting to eat! We loved it and it is now on our list of favorite meals.
    As it was over 90 degrees on the day we made it (I just couldn’t resist), we plugged the crock pot out on the back porch and let the aroma waft around the neighborhood. It was truly a great new experience. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Christine, So happy to hear that the recipe worked with ingredients halved and in a smaller slow cooker. Also so happy to hear that you enjoyed the flavor and your experience cooking with a slow cooker! Thanks for sharing. -Alexa

      Reply
  11. Has anyone made this as a freezer meal? If so did you make any changes or just freeze as a dump and go for the slow cooker?
    Thanks!!
    Beth

    Reply
  12. This one is a winner! Followed the recipe as written and served with roasted smashed potatoes. Plenty fork-tender and juicy; hubby went back for seconds and said how good it was! Thanks for this keeper.

    Reply
  13. To all those asking how long to cook with smaller quantity, the key is temperature. Not all crocks are made alike. Cook it until it measures 170F or 77C. You don’t want to overheat them. Get a good thermometer.

    Reply
  14. Also don’t use low sugar bbq sauce since sugar is needed from caramelization and don’t be removing the lid until you think it’s done. In a low temp setting it takes quite a bit of time to build heat so don’t let out.

    Reply
  15. So I have an answer for those that used 2 pounds. I did them for 5 hours instead and they were fine. I did add 3/4 cup of apple juice and a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to the crockpot. I sautéed the onions with minced garlic then tossed in the sauce blending together and smothered the ribs after I took them out of the crockpot and broiled for 7 minutes. Nice glaze and taste

    Reply
  16. I just threw this in the crock pot, with a few of my own adjustments, I corked two apples sliced them in rings, laid them on top of the onions and before I added the bbq sauce to to seasoning mix I sprinkled a little of the on top of the apples. Very excited to see how it turns out! Recipe looks delicious 😋

    Reply
  17. I’m so glad I came across this recipe! I have it saved in my notes now👍We love all the ingredients in it already so we know it’ll be awesome! They are cooking as I text this! Can’t wait to have them later! We’re watching our weight so we use sugar free hickory smoked bbq sauce and will have baked potato on the side with fat free plain yogurt ( not sour cream but just as yummy) and corn. Thank you for posting this recipe! Audrey

    Reply
  18. This sounds like a great recipe. I changed it a little bit, added sauerkraut and a diced apple, along with BBQ sauce and a mixture of other ingredients to the sauce, using most of the seasonings you mentioned, changed a few of those too. I only have 1 1/2 pounds of ribs, so I am cooking on low not as long as for larger recipe. Thank you for your recipe.

    Reply
  19. Can I put the ribs in the crock pot frozen?
    Took them out last night but they didn’t thaw all the way. Would I cook them closer to 8 hours then?

    Reply
    • Hi Jessica, No, you can’t make this recipe with frozen ribs. As they thaw they’ll end up spending too long at room temperature, which makes them unsafe to eat. -Alexa

      Reply
  20. These are tender and delicious and you really do need to cook them on low for best results. I would suggest that the prep time be revised though as there is no way anyone is slicing onions, measuring, mixing and applying the spice mixture all in 5 minutes. I’d say prep time is 10-15 minutes to be honest. This is a keeper recipe however!

    Reply
  21. Making these delicious ribs tonight. AGAIN! Quickly comes together even after I make my own barbeque sauce. Using a crock pot liner makes clean up easy also. Thanks for the recipe

    Reply
  22. I’ve been cooking and “chef-ing” for 40 years. I had bone-in from my local butcher, high quality. About 3 lbs. Followed directions exactly. Took about 6 hours on low. These are absolutely Amazing!!! The best (non-Texan) BBQ country ribs I’ve ever come across. Will only use this method to make them from now on.

    Reply
  23. Super excited!!Just got done putting this together, unfortunately I have to cook it on high….I’ll let you know how it turns out!!

    Reply
  24. Made it for tonight dinner. I did put in 2 tbs of brown sugar for caramelize. Hope it is not to swee But omit the red pepper flakes we do not like them. I also added 1 tbs of liquid smoke hickory to give it a more hickory flavor. I did taste the bbq and seasoning mixer seem not to sweet. Can not wait till tonight dinner. I am serve it with rice and southern cook green beans.

    Reply
  25. Made this the other night. Followed directions exactly. I hade about 2lb bone in cooked it on low about 6hrs. Shredded it for pulled pork and it was awesome!!

    Reply
  26. Made this tonight. Was super tasty, a bit dry but I think that was my fault for cooking it too long. When the meat was done I took all the meat out. Added more bbq sauce,
    some Sriracha and a heaping table spoon of Dijon ground mustard to the sauce with the cooked onions. Then used an immersion blender. That made a wonderful sauce to have with the pork.

    Reply
  27. I have cooked this before with the BBQ sauce, but I have also made it with A-1 Steak sauce instead. It was delicious. (I cut the salt amount in half because the A1 has a lot in it.) I will use this again instead of barbeque.

    Reply
  28. Great recipe, I’ve used it many times. But use the high setting on the crockpot for 4 hours instead of the longer slow cook to avoid that dry taste and to get a much more satisfying meaty texture.

    Reply
  29. Trying this as-written, but I did have a flat can of Pepsi in my fridge, so I poured a little on the bottom with the onions just to see what would happen! I’m also using a weird Wolf slow-cooker that’s deeper, but less wide than most. Looking forward to it!

    Reply
  30. Absolutely delicious. I made this today and I loved it. I ran out of brown sugar and didn’t have enough and it was amazing. Next time I will make sure to have brown sugar.

    Reply
  31. Awesome recipe! My son-in-law said he loved it so much he could drink the sauce lol. To make this even better I found boneless pork ribs at 50% off bc it was the last day of the sale and the local supermarket sells them for a quick sale instead of rewrapping them. This is usually a managers special and they are dated to expire a day or two out. Great time to stock the freezer!

    Reply
  32. I made these over the weekend and they were amazing and not spicy as others thought they would be. I’d recommend this recipe 100%!!!! I also added 1-2 cups of water to the base of the crockpot bc I’ve ruin a crockpot by not putting water in it making a pork roast once. I didn’t do the last step of heating up the bbq sauce. I just served from the crockpot with bbq sauce on the side. Delicious!!!

    Reply

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