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!
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!
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.
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
- Kosher salt
And for the sticky sauce, you’ll need:
- Ground ginger
- Ground pepper
- Onion powder
- Sweet chili sauce
- Reduced sodium soy sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Brown sugar
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:
- Whisk together the sticky sauce ingredients. Pour half the mixture into a saucepan and cook until thickened.
- Trim the membrane off the ribs, then rub all over with the slow cooker rib dry rub.
- 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).
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the ribs on low for 8 hours.
- Once cooked, place ribs on a broiler pan and brush with reserved sticky sauce mixture.
- 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:
- At one end of the rack, slide a dinner knife under the membrane and over a bone.
- Lift and loosen the membrane until it tears.
- Grab the edge of the membrane with a paper towel and pull it off.
- The membrane may come off in one whole piece, or you may need to remove it in smaller pieces.
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!
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.
More Crock Pot Recipes:
- Crock Pot Chicken and Rice
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili
- Crock Pot Cafe Rio Chicken
- Slow Cooker Smothered BBQ Beef
- Tender Crock Pot Whole Chicken
- Slow Cooker Pineapple Mexican Chicken
- Slow Cooker Potato Broccoli Corn Chowder with Bacon
- Sweet and Sour Meatballs in the Slow Cooker
- Chili Sauce and Grape Jelly Slow Cooker Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Korean BBQ Beef
- All our CROCKPOT and SLOW COOKER recipes here!
Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs
- 2 racks pork baby back ribs
- 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
- 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
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.