Slow Cooker Ribs

June 29, 2014  |  BBQ, Dinner, Easy, Pork, Savory, Slow Cook

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Farmland/Smithfield, but all my opinions are my own. #weavemade #ReadySetRibs

It’s hard to believe we are more than halfway through 2014 already. Where has the first half gone?? Before you know it, we will all be in full holiday shopping mode, which we love. Slow down, Matt. I know, I know. I get like that though. I should say, “we” get like that. Anxious for special moments and memories. Naomi and I love being parents and enjoy making every moment special with and for our boys. And this weekend was no different.

Slow-Cooker Ribs from Real Food by Dad

Two baseball tournaments for the boys, 25 miles apart, but thanks to our awesome friends (& neighbors), we made it work. While the tournaments haven’t been a big success so far, we make sure our boys play “in the moment” and look at the big picture. While we love to win, it’s not always about that. I am a coach, but I am first and foremost a dad, and it’s important for the boys to learn that life has its up and downs, lots of both in fact. It’s how they deal with both, especially adversity, that will build character and help them develop a good attitude. Which is what we always tell the boys – a good attitude will get you far in life. Am I right?

Slow-Cooker Ribs via Real Food by Dad

So knowing that we had no time whatsoever this weekend to spend in the kitchen, and having a serious craving for some good ol’ ribs, I ran to Wal-Mart late last night and grabbed some Farmland “All Natural” Ribs. All Farmland pork is proudly raised in the U.S.A. and their fresh cuts are free from artificial ingredients and preservatives and minimally processed. That is super important to us when choosing our foods.

I threw the ribs in the slow cooker this morning, along with an incredible sauce I put together, made of Kraft Original BBQ sauce, paprika, chili powder and brown sugar (an awesome combination).  And yeah, the losses were tough today, really tough, but walking into our home, seeing Naomi and our baby, and then being completely surrounded by the smell of ribs, my mood changed for the better in an instant. I pulled them out of the slow cooker and transferred them to the broiler and gave them one last brushing of sauce. This gave them a crisp, caramelized coating.

Slow-Cooker Ribs by Real Food by Dad

The 4 of us sat at the table and were blown away by these ribs! Cole is not a big fan of meat on the bone. No worries there, I had that covered. The meat from these ribs literally slid off the bone with the slightest touch and both of us could not stop devouring one after the next. Our fingers were covered in sauce, and it was hilarious watching Cole lick his clean. He’s such a neat freak and couldn’t believe we didn’t mind him doing that. It made it so fun for him!

And guess what? I actually found an hour over the weekend to actually clean my grill! So you can expect several grilling posts over the next couple of months. Count on that. And definitely on my list soon is the Farmland “All Natural” Tenderloin. How perfect does that sound for a warm, summer weekend evening after a day at the pool with the kids? And by the way, if you’re looking for some grilling inspiration as we head into the 4th of July holiday weekend, head on over to, where the BBQ Pitmasters there share some awesome grilling tips.


Then, before your trip to Wal-Mart to pick up some of these Farmland ribs, be sure to go to, where you’ll find a coupon for $1 off Farmland/Smithfield “All Natural” Ribs (while supplies last).


Slow-Cooker Ribs

Slow-Cooker Ribs from Real Food by Dad

By Published:

  • Yield: 6 Servings

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Farmland/Smithfield, but all my …


  • 4.5 lbs Farmland Pork Spareribs
  • 2 18 oz Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper


  1. In a bowl combine sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper until well blended. Rub mixture all over ribs. Place ribs standing up in a slow cooker, with the meaty side facing the walls of the crock pot. Pour barbecue sauce over ribs. Turn on slow cooker and set at low for 6 hours.
  2. Cover a wire rack with non-stick spray and set it over a bakesheet. Carefully remove ribs and transfer them to the wire rack. Pour sauce into a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about ten minutes. Brush reduced sauce over ribs. Transfer ribs to oven set on broil. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until exterior of ribs are crisp.

  • Bri | Bites of Bri

    Great timing Matt! My husband just asked for ribs and I drew a blank. These will be on our 4th menu for sure!

    • realfoodbydad

      That’s awesome Bri! This turned out WAY better than I expected too, loved the flavors!

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    Pretty much in love with the fact that I don’t need a grill for this…considering we aren’t allowed to grill in our apartment (yes, we’re moving because of that. No, that’s not over dramatic) I want these. For breakfast. Pinned!

    • realfoodbydad

      Not over-dramatic at all Taylor! :) Hilarious. Thanks so much!

  • Savory Simple

    My gawd those look good

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Jennifer!!

  • Lemons for Lulu

    We are just starting our baseball tourney and it’s not looking good! Sometimes I think the kids handle disappointment better than the coaches on our team. I love ribs, but don’t make them very often. I sort of forget to cook them in the slow cooker. I have to change that. Good luck with baseball!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Tanya! You are so right about baseball. These ribs made my mood so much better, seriously!

  • HalfBakedHarvest

    Slow cooker ribs is something I have been dying to try, but now that I see these I have to make it happen soon! These look awesome! Oh and good luck with all the baseball games this summer!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Tieghan!!

  • CrunchyCreamySw

    These ribs look amazing, Matt! I need to bust out my slow cooker and make them!

    • realfoodbydad

      Yes you do, Anna!

  • ITheeCook

    I have yet to try making ribs in the slow cooker. This looks super easy and super delicious!

    • realfoodbydad

      Time to try these Rina! Seriously, they were the best ribs I have ever made:)

      • ITheeCook

        I’m on it! I have a rack of baby backs in the fridge!

  • Tutti Dolci

    These ribs look killer! And what great life lessons for the boys – you are so right, attitude is everything!

    • realfoodbydad

      It’s everything, no matter what we do, right? Thanks Laura!

  • Courtney @ Neighborfood

    I love the idea of broiling the ribs after cooking them in the slow cooker. I’m definitely going to try that next time. I was just thinking it’s going to be Christmas before we know it. YIKES! I’d like to enjoy summer for a few more months first. :)

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Courtney! Yes, let’s enjoy summer first. Can we minus the extreme heat though? That would be perfect:)

  • Beth @ bethcakes

    Ribs in the slow-cooker!? Why has it never occurred to me to do that? I don’t really like stuff on the bone either, so love that it just slides right off! This is definitely a recipe I’ll have to try when I don’t have a lot of time to cook!

    • realfoodbydad

      It’s a total time-saver Beth, you’re right. And the house smells so good throughout too. I really loved these.

  • Alice Choi

    yes, your outlook and attitude is key. so important. . I’ve always wanted to try slow cooking ribs in my crock pot!! love this. . these ribs look SO good! Pinning this, Matt!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Alice! Let me know if you try this over the summer, they were amazing!

  • Mike @TheIronYou

    Oh man, those ribs look divine. Great idea of cooking them in the Crock-pot and then broiling at the end. I have to try this!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Mike, I think the key to the texture was broiling them at the end, they were awesome!

  • Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    I am with you, where has the first half of 2014 gone? Geez that flew by!
    These ribs look amazing and I love that they are made in the slow cooker. Summer perfection!! Great recipe.

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Beth! Right? I swear, the older we get, the faster the time goes by. Not fair!

  • Ashley | The Recipe Rebel

    They look so incredibly caramelized on the outside — the slow cooker/broiler combination must be a winner! Perfect after a long day at the baseball diamond!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thank you Ashley! They taste as good as they look too:)

  • Rachel Cooks

    This is exactly how I do ribs — those couple minutes under the broiler are KEY! The look wonderful!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Rachel! Totally agree:)

  • azestybite

    This whole year has flown by incredibly fast!

    Ribs will never get old and I can eat a whole rack just by myself. Love these ribs.

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much Meagan!

  • the wicked noodle

    Oh Matt…why must you do this to me with every single recipe?? Now I’m craving ribs and I’m going to have to go to the store. And those photos are perfection. I’ve already pinned it, I just couldn’t help myself!!

    • realfoodbydad

      Haha, thanks Kristy!!

  • Danae | Recipe Runner

    A good attitude will definitely get you far in life, glad to hear there are still parent’s like you and Naomi out there. These ribs look fantastic and so easy too. I’ve been wanting to try ribs in the crockpot, glad I have a recipe now!

    • realfoodbydad

      It’s so true, Danae, right? Not always the easiest thing to do, but if they know that, it will help them throughout life:)

  • Kayley McCabe

    These look so fantastic! I love that their done in the crock pot and finished in the oven for that gorgeous caramelization. And such a sweet post, I love the image you gave us of walking in the house to your wife and baby, with the rib smell in the air. Love it!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Kayley! I had a seriously bad day baseball-wise, and my mood changed for the better in an instant:)

  • Paula

    So many life lessons to be learned playing sports, you’re setting a great example, Matt. I love that you made these in the slow cooker and that sauce! Smokey paprika makes everything better! I’m also so glad I signed up for email, I saw this on social media late last night but didn’t have time to come over. I would have forgotten about it had it not been for that email!

    • realfoodbydad

      That’s awesome Paula, so glad you subscribed!!

  • Allie|Baking a Moment

    Awesome recipe Matt! My family loves eating barbecue ribs too… looking forward to seeing more grill recipes from you, now that you are ready for it!

    • realfoodbydad

      I’m ready and can’t wait Allie!

  • Ema-Ontheflavorroad

    Matt, I definitely agree with you! doing sport is the best way to learn how life works! I had been a runner for 10 years and I have to say thank you to that if I am the competitive and

    • realfoodbydad

      Thank you Ema! You definitely need to get a slow cooker and yes, your boyfriend would be one happy man:)

  • Ema-Ontheflavorroad

    sorry…my computer is getting crazy! …
    I was saying that sport helped me to be competitive but humble at the same time! I’m sure your guys will be great men :)!
    Your ribs look so tasty! I should buy a slowcooker! I’m sure with your recipes I could make my boyfreid the happiest guy ever :)!
    Thank you so much!!!

  • Cooking Classy

    Holy YUM! Love that you did these in the slow cooker, I’m all about an easy meal like so!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much Jaclyn!

  • Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods

    I love how you prepared these. The last step of putting them under the broiler is so smart. I’m not a huge fan of meat on a bone just like your son. So, it is nice to know that they just fall off.

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Cindy! That last step sealed the deal for us, they were awesome after that!

  • Shared Appetite

    These ribs sound fantastic! I never would have thought to put them in the slow cooker! Such a fantastic option for busy days! And the broiler finish is absolutely key… that crispy sticky coating looks legit awesome!

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks so much, Chris!

  • Megan {Country Cleaver}

    My parents just informed me we are doing ribs for the 4th. I can only hope they are as decadent as these look!!

    • realfoodbydad

      Awesome parents Megan! :)

  • grandbabycakes

    You definitely know your way around ribs!

    • realfoodbydad

      Haha thanks Jocelyn!

  • Olivia Ribas

    can’t believe I’ve never considered making ribsin the slow cooker! What a heat idea for busy days!

    • realfoodbydad

      They turned out incredible too Olivia, thanks!

  • Regina

    My husband just saw me read this post and wants to make these ribs RIGHT away. He loves slow cooked meat. And I love to find all these recipes on your site that I can make him happy with 😀

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Regina, I love hearing that!!!

  • Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

    I never make ribs at home because sometimes it’s a big ‘ol mess and costs the same as ordering out! But these look perfectly, deliciously affordable, and my brood of dudes might just think am the coolest person ever if I served these up so, yeah. These ribs are totally happening.

    • realfoodbydad

      They will for sure, Heather! Thanks so much!

  • Becca Heflin

    Oh YUMMERS! I’ve never tried making ribs in a slow cooker before. It sounds too easy and delicious NOT to try!

    • realfoodbydad

      It’s so easy, Becca, you should definitely try it!

  • Natasha (@Natasha’s Kitchen)

    Wow those sound so good for tomorrow! Thanks for sharing! And the fact that they are slow cooker; how easy! Pinning!

    • realfoodbydad

      And they’re so easy to do too Natasha. Hope you have a great 4th!

  • Nancy

    Yay for grilling! I don’t know about where you guys live but in Vancouver, we get such a short period of good weather that we try ‘n grill as much as possible (before our 8 months of rain starts up in the fall!). As for this recipe – I looooooooove my slow cooker and I can’t wait to use it to make these! Lol, my husband LOVES summertime and I keep bugging him that soon it’ll be Christmas (my favourite time of year) to which he says “hush. Don’t even say it.” I totally hear ya on how quickly time is flying by.

    • realfoodbydad

      We live in Southern California, so we are pretty spoiled with the weather year round. And we literally count down the days to Christmas as soon as June 25 hits. Love that there are others like us Nancy!

  • Angela

    Did you cut the ribs in sections to fit in the crockpot?

    • realfoodbydad

      Exactly Angela!

  • Sam Bellaccomo

    You mention in the blog that there’s chili powder in the sauce but the list of ingredients lists cayenne, not chili powder. Are there really both chili powder and cayenne in the recipe? Is so, exactly how much of each? I want to make the sauce correctly. Thanks.

    • realfoodbydad

      Hi Sam, it should actually be just the cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon. Let me know how it turns out and thanks so much!

  • Ulf

    These look very yummy. I am however a little confused on how to place these in the slow cooker. You place all ribs with the meaty side against the wall of the slow cooker correct ? No slabs in the middle ? Mine is an oval shaped one, so not very tall. How would I manage that ? Thanks and great site btw.

    • realfoodbydad

      Hi Ulf, thanks so much. Yes, place the ribs with the meaty side against the wall, but if you have to place some in the middle, that’s ok too. We use an oval shaped slow cooker too. Let me know how they turn out!

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  • Regina Sayles

    Giving these a try for Christmas dinner. Thanks for sharing such a simple recipe. Wish me luck. :)

    • realfoodbydad

      Thanks Regina, how did they turn out?

      • Regina Sayles

        It was a hit and very easy to prepare so thank you. I’ll be visiting to your site often to lurk around for more recipes. :)

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