Crockpot Country Style Ribs are so flavorful. Cooked for hours in a slow cooker, these boneless country-style pork ribs are fork-tender and so easy to make. Your whole family will enjoy these deliciously simple pork ribs.

Ribs are a summertime staple, but sometimes it rains, and sometimes it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. (If this doesn’t make sense to you, come to my house, and it will make sense very quickly. Once we heat up the kitchen, it takes hours to cool the whole house back down.)

And honestly, cooking boneless ribs in a crockpot is just so easy. This is one of our favorite recipes because these ribs take seconds to get started – literally just slice up an onion, mix some seasoning with barbecue sauce, and rub it on the ribs – the rest of the long slow cooking time is hands-free. This honestly might be one of the easiest slow cooker recipes that we make.

❓What are Country Style Ribs?

They are a cut of pork that comes from the shoulder end of the loin. Since it is a tougher cut, it has to be slow-cooked for a while and ends up with a texture similar to pulled pork. Bone-in “ribs” look like individually cut pork ribs, but I like to use the boneless ribs to be able to shred up the meat.

A bowl of slow cooker boneless country style ribs with onions.
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🥘 Ingredients Needed

The ingredients in slow cooker country style ribs, laid out and labeled.
  • Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs
  • A Sliced Onion
  • Cajun Seasoning or Your Favorite BBQ Dry Rub
  • Brown Sugar
  • Barbeque Sauce – You can use whatever your favorite BBQ Sauce is. We like to use Sweet Baby Ray’s.

❓What cut of meat is Country Style Ribs?

Surprisingly, country-style ribs aren’t actually ribs at all. They are a cut of pork that comes from the shoulder area of the pig. It’s a muscular part at the end of the loin that is fatty, which is what makes it a perfect candidate for cooking low and slow.
Country-Style Ribs are thick and are normally about half a pound each. They look a lot like gigantic St. Louis Pork ribs, but you generally can’t eat these “ribs” with your hands because they are so tender that they just fall apart.

❓Why are they called Country-style Ribs?

The name can be kind of confusing, but the “ribs” got their name because the flavor and consistency of the cut of meat are similar to actual ribs once it’s done cooking. (These are sometimes also called Western ribs.)

🧂How do you Season Country Ribs?

Like anything good in life, country-style ribs need to be seasoned in layers and cooked for hours – they cook with a brown sugar dry rub that is mixed with sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. The pork is then shredded and tossed in a little more sauce. You can use a sweet or smoky sauce, depending on your family’s preferences. Sometimes I get so crazy that I even make homemade barbecue sauce for my ribs.

For our dry rub, I love to use Homemade Cajun Seasoning – it is a combination of garlic powder, thyme, paprika, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, chili powder, and black pepper. The flavors complement the pork so well.

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A 6-quart Crockpot
  • A Small Bowl & a Whisk
  • A Pastry/Basting Brush

🥣 How to Make Them

Country Style Ribs could not be easier to make.

Begin by slicing the onion into large thick slices, then line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onion slices. (Picture 1)

In a small bowl, combine the Cajun Seasoning with the brown sugar. (Picture 2)

Combine this mixture with ½ cup of barbecue sauce. (Picture 3)

Coat the ribs on all sides with this seasoning mixture, then lay the ribs on top of the onions. (Pictures 4 – 5) I find it is easiest to use a basting brush to paint the barbecue sauce onto all of the exposed sides of the ribs, then lay them on top of the onions with the barbecue sauce side down. Then you can paint the bare side of the ribs with sauce so that they are completely covered. (Picture 6)

A collage of images showing how to make slow cooker country style ribs, steps 1 - 5.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or High for 3 to 4 hours, or until the ribs are fork-tender. (Picture 7 – 9) (If the ribs don’t fall apart when you try to pick them up with a fork, they need to cook for longer.) I prefer the slower & lower cooking time, but if you don’t have time, you can cook the ribs on high.

When the ribs are done cooking, shred them up and move the onions and ribs to a bowl. You can serve them in big chunks or really tear them apart with a fork.

I like to leave some big chunks unless we are making sandwiches or wraps.

A collage of images showing how to make crock pot country style ribs, steps 6 - 10.

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Mix some of the juices from the crockpot with the barbecue sauce and coat the ribs with it. I like to only use a small amount and then serve the remainder on the table for people to use as they please.

A bowl of crock pot country style ribs with onions.

Serve & enjoy!

Note: There is no need for any extra liquid in this recipe (though there is when you make country-style ribs in an Instant Pot) as the ribs are very juicy.

⏲️ How long do Pork Ribs cook in the Crock Pot?

Cook ribs in the slow cooker on Low for 6 to 8 hours or High for 3 to 4 hours – until the ribs are fall-apart tender.

🍍Recipe Variations

  • Use your Favorite Barbecue Sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s is one of our all-time favorite sauces if we aren’t making barbecue sauce from scratch, but you can use a smoky sauce if that is what you prefer. (You can also add some liquid smoke to really increase the smoky flavor but be careful because that can spiral quickly and ruin the taste!)
  • Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut – A common thing to serve with country-style ribs is sauerkraut. After the meat cooks for 3 – 4 hours, add sauerkraut and diced red potatoes to the crockpot and let the tangy sauerkraut and potatoes cook in all the fatty juices. Yum!
  • Make Sweet Teriyaki Pork Ribs – Slather those ribs in teriyaki sauce instead of barbecue sauce and add a jar of diced pineapples with their juice. Let that cook, then serve with extra teriyaki sauce for dipping and a side of plain or coconut rice.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use frozen ribs for this recipe?

You can – but if you have the time, I would let the ribs defrost. Frozen ribs will take a lot longer to cook, and the seasoning won’t penetrate the ribs as much. If you absolutely have to, give yourself a lot of time and don’t rush it – if the temperature is too high, you will just end up with tough meat, so the ribs still have to be cooked low and slow. If you are in a rush and your meat is frozen, I would cook the ribs in an Instant Pot instead and sear the outside of the ribs to lock in more flavor.

Are country-style ribs tough?

Country-style ribs are a cut of meat that can definitely be tough if they are not cooked properly, similar to a chuck roast, pork butt, or stew beef. They either need to be cooked for a long time at a low temperature or under pressure using a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot. They will be melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly delicious if cooked properly. (If you cook them using high heat for a short amount of time, they will be like chewing through leather.)

Does cooking ribs longer make them more tender?

Yes. For best results, boneless (and bone-in) ribs should be cooked at a low temperature – or they can be pressure cooked. The longer you cook pork ribs, the more tender they will become and the better they will be. Muscle and collagen in meat start to “break down” or denature when it hits 160°F, and the longer it cooks, the softer and more tender it will get. When the meat hits around 190°F to 200°F, it will be so tender that it just melts in your mouth.

Can you slow cook ribs for too long?

I suppose you could, but you’re more likely to cook the ribs for so long that they start to disintegrate than anything else. That’s what is so amazing about cooking these on low in the slow cooker – you can cook them for a very long time without them drying out or overcooking.

At what temperature are ribs cooked?

The safe internal temperature for pork is 145°F, but for ribs to be “fall-off-the-bone” or “melt-in-your-mouth” tender, they need to cook slow and low for a long time to gradually reach an internal temperature of around 185/190°F. (Collagen is what makes meat tough, and the collagen in the ribs will begin breaking down at around 160°F but needs to get to around 185/190°F to really tenderize.)

A bowl of country style ribs with a dish of cornbread behind it.

🫙 How Do You Store Leftover Cooked Ribs?

Once cooled, leftover cooked ribs need to be refrigerated in an airtight container. We like to store the meat in the broth from the slow cooker to help keep the meat from drying out. (We reheat the meat in the broth as well.)

The ribs will be good for 5 – 7 days or the meat can be frozen in the broth for an easy freezer meal for a busy night.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Do not cook the ribs at too high of a heat. Low and slow is the way here, or the pork will get tough.
  • Store leftover ribs (and reheat) in the cooking broth to keep them from drying out.
  • Use leftover country-style ribs as you would use carnitas – yum!

🥩 What to Serve with BBQ Country Style Ribs

🦴 What can you do with Leftover Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs?

This delicious recipe is a gateway dinner to so many other tasty meals. Use it as you would use pulled pork, pork shoulder, or carnitas.

  • Burritos
  • Frittatas
  • Salads
  • Quesadillas
  • Nachos or Loaded Fries
  • Or toss leftovers in the freezer for an easy meal when you have a busy night!

Have You Tried This Recipe?

Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

A bowl of crock pot boneless country style ribs with onions.

Crock Pot Country Style Ribs

4.91 from 20 votes
Crockpot Country Style Ribs are so flavorful. Cooked for hours in a slow cooker, these boneless country-style pork ribs are fork-tender and so easy to make. Your whole family will enjoy these deliciously simple pork ribs.
Author: Kari
Servings: 10
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Cajun seasoning linked here & below
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce for cooking
  • 3 lbs boneless country style pork ribs
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce for serving

Instructions 

  • Slice the onion into large thick slices, then line the bottom of the slow cooker with the onion slices.
    1 onion
  • In a small bowl, combine the Cajun seasoning with the brown sugar.
    1/2 cup Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Combine this mixture with ½ cup of barbecue sauce.
    ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • Coat the ribs on all sides with this seasoning mixture, then lay the ribs on top of the onions. (I find it is easiest to use a basting brush to paint the barbecue sauce onto all of the exposed sides of the ribs, then lay them on top of the onions with the barbecue sauce side down – then paint what is left of the ribs with sauce so that they are completely covered.)
    3 lbs boneless country style pork ribs
  • Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on Low for 6 – 8 hours, or High for 3 – 4 hours, or until ribs are fork-tender.
  • When the ribs are done cooking, shred them up and move the onions and ribs to a bowl. You can serve them in big chunks or really tear them apart with a fork.
  • Mix some of the juices from the crockpot with the barbecue sauce and coat the ribs with it. I like to only use a small amount and then serve the remainder in a bowl on the table for people to use as they please.
    ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • Serve & enjoy!

Video

Notes

Note: There is no need for any extra liquid in this recipe (though there is when you make country-style ribs in an Instant Pot) as the ribs are very juicy.

Helpful Tips

  • Do not cook the meat at too high of a heat. Low and slow is the way here.
  • Store leftovers (and reheat) in the cooking broth to keep them from drying out.
  • Use leftover country-style ribs as you would use carnitas – yum!
Cajun Seasoning – Use ½ Cup for this recipe and check out this cajun seasoning post for ways to use the leftover seasoning!
  • 2.5 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 23gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 386mgPotassium: 544mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 2731IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: country-style ribs, crockpot country style ribs, slow cooker country style ribs
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe!!! Turned out perfectly and the seasoning and flavor the ribs had was perfect! Highly recommend this recipe! Oh and SUPER EASY!