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Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs [+ Video]

43 Reviews

These Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs fall off the bone as you eat them. They’re seasoned with a homemade dry rub and a sticky glaze that’s impossible to beat! 

Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs on tin foil

The Best Slow Cooker Ribs

We’ve had a  slow cooker for a few years now, and yet I really don’t ever use it for slow cooker baby back ribs. I use it for everything else though, like breakfast, meats, soups, casseroles, and even dessert, but I haven’t really played around with ribs too much. They always seem a little intimidating as I’ve eaten many a dry rib in my day, and no one wants to be chewing on meat for an hour. 

Cade does his fall off the bone ribs, but that recipe is made in the oven and it’s a little more of a process. Not too much, they are still awesome, but I wanted some good and sticky pork ribs that I didn’t have to think about. I feel like this Asian sticky slow cooker ribs recipe is one of those recipes I want to shout from the rooftops, it’s honestly that good. The sauce is just killer. I’m so excited to be working with McCormick to share this recipe!

Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs on tin foil being brushed with sauce

McCormick’s Flavor Forecast

One of the things that I get asked a lot is what ingredients do you buy, which brand is your favorite, and what ingredients do you stick with the most?

Well butter, cheese, and eggs for sure as those basics can totally change a recipe, but spices are another big one. Stop buying the cheapest ingredients at the store. If you want cheap long grain rice, go for it. I’m sure you’ll survive, but spices? You need good quality and a brand that is in it for their love of food. No really, they aren’t paying me to say that part, that’s all me.

You guys, one simple change can make your food taste better. Who wouldn’t want that? We also try mixing up the kinds of spices we use in our recipe. For example, this pork rib rub recipe uses smoked paprika instead of regular. It adds a new depth of flavor that totally transforms the dish. 

And have you heard of the Flavor Forecast? It’s this awesome way that McCormick shares the upcoming food trends, and I am actually totally agreeing with their “forecast” so I decided to go all in with the smoked spices, global blends, and flavor worth the wait. Yes, I combined all three, but in case you want to just click the flavor forecast link and try your own recipe tagging #flavorforecast. I’d love to see what you make!

And I added this picture for a reason. Sometimes recipes claim that they are “fall off the bone” good, but then I make it and they are dry and boring. So, I wanted to prove to any skeptics that this recipe literally falls off of the bone. Booyah!I hope you not only love it but that you pin it and share it with your friends and family. Just like we did for dinner that night. Good food is always better when shared with loved ones.

pulling Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs with pair of tongs

Slow Cooker Ribs Ingredients 

The ingredients list for this CrockPot ribs recipe is fairly simple, but there are quite a few herbs and spices on the list. 

Here’s what you’ll need to make the slow cooker ribs’ dry rub:

  • Light brown sugar
  • Smoked paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Kosher salt

And for the sticky sauce, you’ll need: 

  • Ground ginger
  • Ground pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic 
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Balsamic vinegar 
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Cornstarch 
  • Water

removing a bone from a pile of crockpot ribs

How to Make Slow Cooker Ribs

These slow cooker baby back ribs require some prep work, but once the ribs are in the CrockPot you can walk away! Here are the basic steps to making slow cooker pork ribs: 

  1. Whisk together the sticky sauce ingredients. Pour half the mixture into a saucepan and cook until thickened. 
  2. Trim the membrane off the ribs, then rub all over with the slow cooker rib dry rub. 
  3. Place the ribs into the slow cooker. Pour half the runny sticky sauce mixture over the ribs (the half that didn’t get cooked in the saucepan).
  4. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the ribs on low for 8 hours. 
  5. Once cooked, place ribs on a broiler pan and brush with reserved sticky sauce mixture. 
  6. Broil the ribs for a few minutes, until the top looks sticky. 

How to Remove the Membrane From Ribs

Never removed the membrane from ribs before? Don’t worry, it’s easy! Here’s how you should remove the membrane from pork ribs before putting them into the slow cooker: 

  1. At one end of the rack, slide a dinner knife under the membrane and over a bone.
  2. Lift and loosen the membrane until it tears.
  3. Grab the edge of the membrane with a paper towel and pull it off.
  4. The membrane may come off in one whole piece, or you may need to remove it in smaller pieces.

best slow cooker ribs on white plate

Can I Make Pork Ribs in an Instant Pot?

Absolutely! If you want to make these slow cooker ribs in an Instant Pot, follow the instructions for our Smoky BBQ Ribs but use the dry rub recipe listed in this post instead. 

Can I Use Boneless Ribs Instead of Bone-In?

You likely can, but boneless ribs won’t need to be cooked as long as bone-in. Also, boneless ribs tend to be less juicy and tender than bone-in. 

Can I Use A Different Rib Rub? 

Yes, but we really love how this homemade rib rub pairs with the Asian sticky slow cooker ribs. Homemade is always better than store-bought! 

slow cooker baby back ribs on tin foil

Tips for Making the Best Slow Cooker Ribs

We prefer cooking our slow cooker ribs low and slow for 8 hours, but technically you can cook them on high for less time. We’ve found that patience is a virtue when cooking ribs though — nobody wants to eat tough meat! 

Note that you’ll have leftover sticky sauce after broiling the ribs. Our family likes slathering the ribs with more sauce as we eat them, which is why the sticky sauce recipe makes extra. 

Slow cooker pork ribs reheat well the next day and can easily be pulled off the bone and made into sandwiches, thrown atop salads, and more.  

slow cooker ribs on tin foil

More Crock Pot Recipes:

Oh my goodness, you have to make this Asian sticky slow cooker ribs recipe! These ribs will literally fall off the bone when you are ready to eat! crock-pot, insta-pot, pressure-cooker

Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs

4.8 from 43 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
These Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs fall off the bone as you eat them. They’re seasoned with a homemade dry rub and a sticky glaze that’s impossible to beat! 

Ingredients

  • 2 racks pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Sticky Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (found in the international section of the grocery store)
  • 2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

Make the Sticky Sauce

  • In a dish, whisk together the ginger, pepper, and onion powder.
  • Add the garlic and mix again.
  • Add the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Whisk to combine.
  • Pour half the sticky sauce mixture into a separate bowl. Set aside. (This will be the portion of sauce that gets poured over the ribs when they're in the slow cooker).
  • Add the remaining half of the sticky sauce mixture to a saucepan. Heat the saucepan to medium heat and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Once the sauce starts boiling, whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small dish and add 1 tablespoon of the hot liquid. While whisking the sauce continuously, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch mixture. Whisk until it comes back to a boil.
  • Turn to medium-low and allow it to simmer until it begins to reduce and thicken. This can take up to 10 minutes, or as little as 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Make the Slow Cooker Ribs

  • Place the dry rub ingredients into a small dish and mix together.
  • Make sure the membrane has been removed from the underside of the ribs, then massage the dry rub onto both sides.
  • Curl the ribs into the slow cooker, going around the sides.
  • Pour the uncooked half of the sticky sauce mixture over the ribs.
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook at low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender (we always do 8 hours).
  • Remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place them on a tin foil-lined broil pan, meaty side up.
  • Brush on some of the sauce from the saucepan and leave the rest for serving.
  • Place the meat under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes, or until they look sticky and broiled.
  • Allow to rest, tented with foil, for 3-5 minutes and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 1092
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 246.3mg82%
Carbohydrates 71.7g24%
Fiber 1.8g8%
Sugar 63.3g70%
Protein 72g144%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 

slow cooker ribs recipe

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

106 comments

  • Can’t wait to try these ribs, they sound so good ! Can these be marinated overnight with the dry rub and liquid or will it take away the flavor of the dry rub spices ? 

    • Reply
    • Hi Amanda! You can marinate if overnight in the dry rub, but don’t marinate it in the sauce. Just add the sauce right before cooking. Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • Hello! I’m hoping to serve these individually as ribs for a large group, instead of as a rack — Do you have a time/method that you recommend cutting them into individual pieces? Before slow-cooking? Before broiling?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Jessica! You can cut them when they are completely done and after resting. Use a sharp knife and between each rib. Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • I looked around and didn’t see an answer, could these be cooked in a casserole style crock pot? I have one and it would seem like an easier way to cook ribs. Do you think there would have to be changes to cooking time or preparation? Thanks

    • Reply
  • If I want to use an instapot what would i use as the liquid for the bottom….the sticky sauce before the cornstarch or use apple cider, apple cider vinegar as ur other receipe for ribs uses?

    • Reply
    • Hi Rocky! I would use either apple cider or apple cider vinegar!

      • Reply
  • Do you think you can do these ribs in an instant pot? If so, how long?

    • Reply
  • Hi, 

    I accidentally misread this and bought spare ribs instead of baby back. It’s a tight fit in the pot, and I would just have to increase cooking time right?

    • Reply
    • Yes, I would plan on 8-10 hours and it will probably be closer to 10.

      • Reply
  • Happy New Year!  Made these last night for New Year’s Eve and they were a big hit!    Everyone thought they were amazing and full of flavor.  Followed recipe as is but added some extra honey and only cooked for 5 hours on low and they were done.  I was  concerned about the amount of pepper being used which is why I added the extra honey but it worked perfectly.  There’s such a good balance between the sweet & heat in this dish.  This is now my go to recipe for a barbecue type flavor ribs.  My brother said the sauce is so good he could almost drink it or dip chips in it.  It was that good!  Amazing so thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Reply
    • Yay! You just made my day Susan! We absolutely love the sauce too! Happy New Year to you and your family!

      • Reply
  • This recipe looks awesome! My husband has ill-fitting dentures, so 4 meals a week are made in the crockpot. I’ll have to get back to you to let you know how he likes them. At 1st when his teeth were pulled it was all soup, & that got old fast. Now that I have the crockpot it can be almost anything. Yay!

    • Reply
    • Crock pots are seriously the best! We definitely want to hear how it does when you make these! We just love them!

      • Reply
  • I can’t wait to make these but I did have 1 question about 1 of the directions. It says curl the ribs around the slow cooker, does that mean the rack needs to be turned on its side or how do they need to be placed?

    • Reply
    • Yes, turned on the side! There is a video right at the top of the post that shows how to do it.

      • Reply
  • “Serving Size: 1

    Amount Per Serving:

    Calories: 1092 Calories Total Fat: 58.8g Cholesterol: 246.3mg Carbohydrates: 71.7g Fiber: 1.8g Sugar: 63.3g Protein: 72g”

    • Reply
  • These sound fantastic, thanks for sharing! I do have a question. I realize they’re called Asian Sticky Ribs, but my husband really dislikes soy sauce. Any substitutions you might suggest?

    • Reply
    • Tamari is a good substitute for soy sauce. Thanks for stopping by and leaving us a comment!

      • Reply
  • I was terrified of the amount of black pepper in the recipe but I trusted you and it was spot on! I also goofed the sauce and added the water and cornstarch before pouring half over the ribs – still great! I even used some rub that I already had mixed up and guess what – still amazing! This recipe is a KEEPER and foolproof!

    • Reply
    • I’m so glad you mentioned that in case anyone else does the same and thank you so much!

      • Reply
  • These ribs were the best I ever had! The family ate them so fast this is a keeper

    • Reply
    • Jackie,

      We are so happy to hear that!

      • Reply
  • I’ve got some in my slow cooker now. Can’t wait to try them!

    • Reply
    • Hope you love them!

      • Reply
  • I do a lot of stuff in a smoker could these ribs be done in a smoker instead of a crockpot 

    • Reply
    • Hi Jim, absolutely! We recently did them in our traeger, we rubbed with the seasoning and smoked them all day then added the sauce at the end of smoking and right before serving.

      • Reply
  • I finally have a reason to use my Slow cooker, I made this on yesterday and it was an absolute hit. I’ve got a picky teenager and she fell in love with these ribs despite the fact that normally she hates ribs. I made two small adjustments (1) I cooked them for hour on high (2) I cooked them for 4 hours on low. They were falling off the bone by that point . I served them with Bao Buns and both my picky eater ( wife too ) were asking to make these again. Don’t let the initial smell concern you ( my wife hated the vinegar smell ) but loved the finished product. Thanks posting this!! 

    • Reply
    • YAY!! Thank you so much for such a great review!

      • Reply
  • Did for 7 hours on low and they fell apart… but were YUMMY!

    • Reply
    • mmmmm, glad you enjoyed them!

      • Reply
  • Careful with the salt. I used smoked and they were way too salty. Even if using kosher, I’d recommend cutting it by at least half. Mine too less than 5 hours to cook also. 

    • Reply
  • I tried this recipe in my inst-pot (which I call “My Pressure Cooker on steroids”). Awesome! I will be cooking my ribs this way from now on!

    • Reply
    • Yes!! We love our instant pot

      • Reply
    • How did you cook it in thr insta pot?

      • Reply
  • First time try: the sauce is great. 8 hr is way too long to cook them though–couldn’t even pick them up with tongs (used two 2 1/2 lb b.b—5lb total). Check them at 5 hr and consider pulling them out at 6 hr max.

    Great recipe though/it’s a keeper.

    BTW, I subbed 1.4t of cayenne for the pepper (no black pepper used).

    • Reply
    • thats 1/4 t cayenne. I also sprinkled some sesame seeds and chopped green onions (didn’t have any shallots) on the rib portions when served.

      • Reply
    • on low heat or high? On high they will be done by 5 hours, though the recipe does say 6-8 hours so if yours were more lean and tender I could see 6 on low being perfection

      • Reply
  • I misread the steps and put the water and cornstarch into the sauce and poured it on the ribs in the crockpot…hope it still comes out good because this looks fantasticly yummy!

    • Reply
    • Let us know how it went in case anyone else does that. Hope it all went well!

      • Reply
  • These look amazing & cant wait to try!  Would it be possible to cook these ribs on high in the crockpot to reduce cook time or would that ruin it?  Thank you!!

    • Reply
    • Hi Mary Beth, unfortunately high doesn’t give the fibers enough time to relax and become fall off the bone good.

      • Reply
  • 2nd time in a week.  They cook up quick and soo tender in instant pot for 40 minutes. Then in oven to brown.  Thank-you!!

    • Reply
    • I just got an instant pot and can’t wait to use it!

      • Reply
  • Could you cook them standing up in the slow cooker

    • Reply
    • Yes, you definitely can.

      • Reply
      • The video AND instructions direct the cook to curl the ribs around the edge of the slow cooker…standing up.

  • Love this recipe. Im making them again today. Im going to add a jalapeno for a little more zip.

    • Reply
    • Oh love the jalapeno addition! Let us know how it goes!

      • Reply
  • Fixed this for a New Year’s Eve party. Words cannot describe the response. This is just an incredible dish. What a great change from barbecued ribs!

    • Reply
    • We are so thrilled to hear that! Thank you so much Greg!

      • Reply
  • Wow, tin foil dates back to world war 2, how old are you?

    • Reply
  • I am going to try it this weekend for a dinner party with some Asian vegetables looks yummy!

    • Reply
    • Sounds delicious! Thanks!

      • Reply
  • Has anyone tried this with country style boneless ribs?

    • Reply
    • Hi Gloria, we haven’t but I will tell you that boneless ribs will not need as much time and wont be as moist as bone in. 🙂

      • Reply
  • Omg! Just made these and ate them before i could get them in the oven lol! I’m trying this recipe with chicken wings! I did brush on real maple syrup for my husband. ..he doesn’t like vinegar. ..picky eater.

    • Reply
    • Chicken wings are an amazing idea!

      • Reply
  • This is my favorite and my husband even loves it more! He begs me at least once a week to have it again. Making it for the second time today! Thanks so much for all your great recipes!

    • Reply
    • So thrilled to hear that Meredith!

      • Reply
  • this is the second recipe I try for ribs in the slowcooker and it’s delicious! My kids gobbled up their plates! Will definitely be making this again! 🙂

    • Reply
    • So happy to hear that! When the kids like something it’s definitely a must make again recipe!

      • Reply
  • Just finished this for dinner and it was SPECTACULAR!!! Made it with garlic cheese mashed potatoes but we really only had eyes for the ribs. My kids gobbled it up

    • Reply
    • Those potatoes seriously sound amazing though! As soon as this baby can handle me eating garlic I’m all over that! Thanks so much!

      • Reply
  • A friend made this for us last night. So much deliciousness. Served with Asian Coleslaw and Jasmine Rice. Adding it to our family favorites.

    • Reply
    • Ohhh Asian coleslaw sounds delicious! Thank you!

      • Reply
  • just finished dinner .. The ribs were amazing!!! Family are very impressed, I served with coleslaw .. Worked well …saving this recipe for sure thanks

    • Reply
    • I’m so glad!! Thank you so much for the kind comment!

      • Reply
  • Love this recipe, my daughter has a severe allergy to tomatoes so we have been looking for something she can use as a BBQ sauce. The family loved it so much that we now use it as our main sauce on most bbq things.

    I did take out the balsamic vinegar because she is also allergic to grapes, and my family doesn’t seem to mind.

    There is a seven year old girl that thanks you for thinking this up.

    • Reply
    • That is awesome! I’m so glad that it worked out for you all! You could always try a little red wine vinegar or cooked down blackberries or raspberries in it too!

      • Reply
  • I’m trying this recipe for the first time and did get a bit confused regarding how many ribs to use. Your list of ingredients says 2 baby back ribs but I assumed you meant 2 racks. So far they smell great but have 5 hours to go and can’t wait. Will send review when we have lift-off.

    • Reply
    • Oh! I’ll correct that right away.

      • Reply
  • You really should rework your business model if you have to slather 100 ads on the page. It’s a shame because I love this recipe, but I can’t peruse the site because each page takes 20+ seconds to load all the ads and mobile is worse.

    • Reply
    • Do you just look for something negative to point out? I would never think to criticize how someone does their website, but I’m no pro. I just love their recipes and if I have to love my finger to scroll through a couple ads I don’t care about, BIG FREAKIN DEAL!

      • Reply
  • Thank you for the great recipe! Can’t wait to try it! LOVE your pictures and detailed cooking instructions! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much!

      • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this recipe! It’s the very best, my family loved it!

    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it!

      • Reply
  • Super Bowl Sunday these are going on my table for game time! Right in front of me!!! , but I can’t wait to try these!
    Thanks for the recipe, one question. What do YOU serve with them? Any ideas?

    Vito B

    • Reply
    • We make our honey butter corn fritters, fries, or our cheesy potatoes. All three recipes are on the blog as well. 🙂 Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • will this recipe work with short ribs? I sure hope so. We don’t eat pork products. Thanks for your help.

    • Reply
    • Hi Selma,
      I haven’t tried it with short ribs, but I assume it would. I’d love to hear your results!

      • Reply
  • This was a perfect recipe for a busy day. It was so easy to do, and delicious. I served the ribs with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli, and got two thumbs up from my picky eaters! They came out just like your pictures showed. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Reply
    • Wooohoo!! So glad! I’m such a big fan of ribs that actually do fall off the bone like the pictures show. Just thrilled you liked it!

      • Reply
    • Hi Kristin, So, so happy you all enjoyed it! So sweet of you to let me know. Thanks for the heads up about the content. Hopefully it gets deleted. Thanks!

      • Reply
    • Of course, I had to look it up. Now, on the bottom, it says “adapted from Sweet Basil”. I was happy to see them giving credit where is rightly belongs. Every good recipe deserves that respect! (and I do very much enjoy making this recipe. Just don’t know what I would do without my slow cooker!

      • Reply
      • Yes, I see that as well. Thank you so much for your support. It means so much!

  • Wow. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Purchasing rib this week.

    • Reply
    • I’m so glad! We absolutely love it!

      • Reply
  • Wow these do look delicious! I had always felt a little skeptical of doing ribs in a crock pot because the meat gets so steamed but with an oven finish it all makes sense. I rarely make ribs because of the hassle and fuss. Saving on Pinterest and printing out to use soon! Thanks so much. I find something great every time I stop by.

    • Reply
    • Yay! I’m so glad. Thanks!

      • Reply
  • All that spice and sticky sauce is seriously making my mouth water.. these ribs look so delicious and I bet they tasted even better too!

    • Reply
  • Ribs in the crock pot! Who would’ve guessed!

    • Reply
    • And they are awesome!

      • Reply
  • I’ve always been skeptical about cooking ribs in a crockpot because crockpots don’t burn fat, it stays in there and I worry the flavor and sauce won’t stick. But you have convinced me and I will definitely try this. They look amazing and I love anything Asian! Thank you.

    • Reply
    • Yes!! The fat melts down and drips off and flavors the meat then finish in the oven for that stickiness!

      • Reply
  • Did you place the ribs on their sides or laying flat in the pot? Thanks, I will be trying this out this weekend.

    • Reply
    • If we do two racks I lay them on their sides, one I kind of put flat but they don’t lay down all the way.

      • Reply
      • I made these for the game on Saturday. They came out as described! I love the rub mixture and have enough left over to use for something else. Great recipe thanks for sharing.

  • Slow cooker ribs arethe way to go!I do the dry rub and add a can of cola. Cook on low 8-10hrs. Then onto foil lined pan, slather on favorite sauce & bake at 375 for 30-45min until sticky.I usually do this before I leave for work & have ribs when I get home!

    • Reply
    • Helene,
      We are totally trying this! Thank you!

      • Reply
  • These look so finger licking good!

    • Reply
    • Thanks girl! xoxo!

      • Reply
  • This is a fantastic recipe! Using the slow cooker for rib is genius!

    • Reply

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