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🗝️ Key takeaways
- Addictive, sticky, tangy barbeque sauce cooks right in the crockpot and just needs 4 main ingredients.
- Perfect for the hottest summer days when it's even too hot to grill, tailgating, football Saturdays, and busy weeknights.
- Did you know that country-style pork ribs aren't actually ribs at all? Find out more in the FAQs section.
Good news! Delicious country ribs aren't just for grilling in the summer months anymore.
With this slow cooker country-style ribs recipe, you can enjoy fork-tender BBQ ribs any time of the year—why not try 'em for dinner tonight?
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
- You can use the flavors in this recipe with any cut of pork that you like! The sauce would be delicious for traditional ribs, a small pork butt, and pork chops, too. Just make sure to temp-check the meat as different cuts might require different lengths of cook time.
- Switch up the recipe by using your favorite BBQ sauce, or make a homemade version.
- Instead of Dr Pepper, you can use Coca-Cola, root beer, or ginger ale.
- For a different flavor, add some garlic powder or onion powder to the dry rub.
- What's a mess of ribs without a touch of smoky flavor? Stir in a little bit of liquid smoke to imitate that straight-off-the-grill taste!
- Some people like to add a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce instead of salt.
- Is dinner time rapidly approaching? You can speed up the process by adjusting the cooking time from 8-10 hours to 4-5 hours on the high setting. However, slow cooker ribs are the most tender when cooked on the low setting for a longer period of time.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Lay the ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Cover with the seasonings.
- Pour the sauce on top.
- Add half the can of Dr. Pepper.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Brush tops of country-style ribs with the sauce from the crockpot before serving.
Crockpot country ribs are not only one of the easiest slow cooker recipes to make, but they're also super simple to store, prep ahead of time, or prepare as a freezer meal!
Make in Advance: Mix all of the ingredients together and refrigerate for up to a day. If you leave the Dr Pepper out, you can freeze the seasoned, sauced ribs for up to three months.
Thaw the frozen pork in the refrigerator. Then, put everything in the crock pot (add the Dr Pepper if omitted) and cook!
Storing Leftovers: Crockpot country ribs will keep in the refrigerator for four days, or in the freezer for three months.
To store, place ribs into an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. The best way to prevent freezer burn is to use a vacuum sealer if you have one.
Country ribs made in the crock pot are easy to rewarm—simply microwave portions until hot! However, don't overheat them or the meat can dry out.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Country ribs made in the crockpot taste best when the flavors are added layer by layer. First, carefully massage the seasonings into the pork. Then, add the sauce. After the meat is cooked, finish them off with more sauce from the bottom of your slow cooker.
- The sweet sauce can get a bit sticky, so be sure to use non-stick cooking spray for easy clean-up.
- Boneless pork ribs turn out best when cooked in a single layer, so, if you can, use a crock pot large enough that they aren't too crowded.
- I use a specialty New Mexico Chile powder from Santa Fe. You can use any type of chile powder, but since it varies in heat and flavor, be cautious about how much you use the first time making these ribs!
- For an easy meal on game day, pile the boneless country-style ribs on buns and serve with some chopped onions or coleslaw!
- Use up the rest of a 2-liter soda bottle and make Dr Pepper BBQ sauce or Dr Pepper cherry cake.
Country-style ribs are sometimes labeled at the grocery store as pork shoulder ribs. They aren't actually from the rib cage at all, but come from the shoulder area of the pig, instead. It's actually a sliced up shoulder roast. Unlike bone-in ribs, this cut of meat is great for easier fork-and-knife eating.
Not if you cook 'em properly! It's all about the proper slow-cooking techinque. We call that "low and slow". Boneless country-style pork ribs are tough if they're cooked too quickly and at too high of a temperature. That's why this Crockpot country-style pork ribs recipe has you simmer them all day on low for buttery, falling-apart perfection.
Pork shoulder has a lot of connective tissue that breaks down during the long, slow cooking time. It's important to let the meat cook on low heat, and as slowly as possible. Don't rush it, and don't try to adapt this recipe for a grill. As a result, you'll get the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth BBQ country-style ribs!
📚 Related recipes
- Tender and moist, Crockpot Honey Garlic Pork Chops simmer all day in a sweet sauce that is so good you'll want to spoon out every last drop!
- Dr Pepper Baked Chicken is a mouth-watering dish, with perfectly tender chicken and a spicy, sticky sauce made from the cravable soda.
- A nod to your favorite childhood meal, Braised Pork and Red Cabbage slow cooks with apples, bacon, and red wine for a hearty, filling dinner.
🍽️ Serve with...
If you end up with leftovers shred 'em and pile in sandwich rolls with a mound of cole slaw on top!
Get 62 more great side dish ideas in this list of what to serve with Salisbury steak. Many of the dishes work well with these saucy ribs, too.
📓 Meal plans in minutes
📞 The last word
Crock pot Dr Pepper ribs.... mmmm.... now that's the way to make the house smell delicious on game day or any other day of the week!
This is one of those meals everyone loves. It has the best flavor, and you can toss it together with very little effort.
That's a win all the way around!
Perfect for tailgating and those gameday parties!
It's one of those crock pot recipes that's perfect for those long summer days when you don't feel like cooking, driving, or even ordering delivery!
Trust me - these are the best ribs ever. Be sure to put additional barbecue sauce on the table along with plenty of paper towels - they're messy!
If you like sweet-saucy bbq try this root beer chicken, too.
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Crockpot Country RibsPrint Pin Recipe Save Recipe
- 4 pounds country style ribs
- 1 ½ cups bbq sauce
- 6 ounces Dr Pepper
- 1 tablespoon chile powder, You may need less!!! I used New Mexico Chile powder ... see tips
- salt and pepper
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- Spray inside of crock with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add the country style pork ribs.
- Rub in the salt, pepper, and chile powder.
- Pour on the bbq sauce and the Dr Pepper.
- Set on low and cook for 8 hours.
- For best results add layers of flavor. Rub the seasonings into the meat, then add the sauces. After the meat is done brush on some of the sauce from the slow cooker before serving.
- Use Coke, root beer, or ginger ale instead of Dr Pepper.
- Always spray the crock with nonstick spray for easy clean up.
- You can cook this for 4 to 6 hours on high if you are in a hurry but they are really better for 8 to 10 hours on low.
- These make great sandwiches for game day - just put one in a hoagie roll and add a topping of grilled onions and peppers and/or coleslaw.
- For even more Dr Pepper flavor use Dr Pepper BBQ sauce.
- I use New Mexico Chile powder that I got in Santa Fe. It's a specialty product. Chile powder can vary in heat and flavor so be cautious in how much you use.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
First published September 23, 2021. Last updated July 25, 2023 for editorial improvements.