Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs
with sweet potato wedges / tangy cabbage and carrot slaw
Want to make tender fall-off-the-bone ribs at home? The secret is to cook them low and slow, making the slow-cooker a perfect tool. Brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce and finish them in the oven for ribs that will rival any restaurant version.
Smarts: The ribs could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group
- Paprika - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic powder - 2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Baby back pork ribs - 2 lbs (2 lbs ~ 1 rack / slab of ribs)
- Stock, any type - 1 cup
- Foil - for cooking
- BBQ sauce, paleo-friendly - 1/4 cup (plus more for serving)
- Sweet potatoes - 1 lb, sliced into wedges
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
- Shallots - 1 clove, diced
- Carrots - 6 oz, shredded with a box grater
- Cabbage, green - 10 oz, very thinly sliced (sub coleslaw mix)
- Cilantro - 1 Tbsp, chopped
- Vinegar, apple cider - 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 1/4 tsp
- Make dry rub - Combine paprika, garlic powder, coriander, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Sweet potatoes / Shallots / Carrots / Cabbage - Prep as directed. Store sweet potatoes in one container. Combine shallots, carrots, and cabbage in another container. (Note: If you’d like to shred the carrots and cabbage in a food processor, check out this video for carrots and this video for cabbage.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Prepare ribs - Set ribs on a cutting board. Remove and discard membrane. (Check out this link for step-by-step photos.) Rub ribs on all sides with dry rub. If needed, slice ribs into portions that will fit (stacked) in your slow cooker. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Slow cook ribs - Pour stock into the bowl of a slow cooker. Add ribs and cook until tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (If you prefer to use the oven, place the ribs in a single layer on a sheet pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake at 275F / 135C until tender, 3 to 4 hours.) (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Make slaw - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating and sweet potato wedges roasting while slaw is in the fridge.) Chop cilantro. Whisk together vinegar, oil (portion for slaw), and honey. Add shallots, carrots, cabbage, and cilantro. Toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
- Spread sweet potatoes out on a sheet pan. Toss with oil (portion for sweet potato wedges), paprika, and some salt.
- Transfer sweet potatoes to the oven and bake, shaking the pan a few times while they cook, until tender, ~30 minutes.
- When sweet potatoes are nearly finished, spread slow-cooked ribs out, meat side up, on a foil-lined sheet pan. Brush ribs with BBQ sauce.
- Bake ribs for 8 to 10 minutes to let the sauce flavor the meat.
- Season slaw with some salt and pepper and toss it to combine.
- Serve ribs over slaw. Enjoy sweet potato wedges with some extra BBQ sauce for dipping if you’d like!
Delicious!! I wish they would've said what kind of ribs because I made baby back and it was close to being pulled pork, it was too soft. The timings on here are probably for country ribs.0 Helpful
My husband loved this but I wasn't a fan. The slaw was really good and so was the corn, but maybe crumbled tempeh would have been better than lentils.0 Helpful
Easy, fast (you know, minus the slow cook part) and delicious!0 Helpful
Very easy, but kind of unimpressive. We liked the sides more than the sandwiches.0 Helpful
My toddler who is never interested in meat was really into both the ribs and corn! Very easy and delicious.0 Helpful
It was a winner! I added a bit of mayo to our slaw. Kids loved it - I thought I'd have leftovers for my lunch and no such luck! Super easy in the slow cooker.0 Helpful