Main Course/ Recipes

Sweet & Spicy Crock Pot Ribs

Hello, lovelies.

Happy Friday! Please don’t tell me what happened on Grey’s last night….I’m catching up tonight and already know I’ll need an entire box of Kleenex and chocolate just to get through it. Why do I keep letting Shonda do this to me? Why, why, why?

So instead of talking about something sad and depressing like how I actually consider the cast of Grey’s Anatomy to be my real-life friends, let’s cut to the chase and change the subject completely.

RIBS. I loved them when I was seven and I loved them when I’m twenty seven (well, almost). Doesn’t matter how old I get, some things never change….

See that expression on my face, friends? That’s joy. Pure joy and barbecue sauce, right there. And those are my two friends, Helen and John! I lived with Helen in culinary school and she’s one of the main characters in my book. We are still total dorks and I’m still usually covered in food.

Like I said, some things never change.

So yes….I really love ribs. Sweet, fall-off-the-bone-finger-lickin’-barbecue-sauce-on-yo-face ribs. And these totally fit the bill. I’m doing some recipe development work with Stubb’s (heya!) and I’m just so pumped about it because I really love their line of yummy barbecue sauces and spicy dry rubs. Plus, they’re from Austin and I LOVE Austin. I’m pretty sure it would be the one city that would make me trade in my Northern California home forever.

(sidenote: one time, I threw a cocktails and tacos party in Austin, you all came and it was amazing!)

I like my barbecue sauce to be a little spicy and sweet, and that’s where this Sweet Heat comes into play. It has molasses, brown sugar and chipotle pepper in it.  I use a cup of it to make these ribs, as well as this pork spice rub for insane flavor and fall-off-the-bone goodness.

I made these ribs a couple days ago, as well as The Pioneer Woman’s macaroni and cheese. Then I called Adam and asked him to come over for dinner. We usually don’t see each other much during the week (live in different cities), but I KNEW this dinner would be worth the drive! And it was. It totally was. We both loved the ribs, which after slowly cooking in the crock pot all day fell off the bone completely. Oh and those beans on the plate? Those are Amy’s but what really would have made this meal completely are these.

So yes….just FIVE ingredients and one crock pot. You can totally do this!

If these aren’t the best baby back ribs you’ve ever tasted, I’ll give you your money back.

(I don’t even know what that means except I stand behind this pig completely)

In case you’re wondering about that gorgeous blue plate in my photos, Gaby gave it to me! It’s from her mom’s line of ceramics and I’m in love with it.

Sweet & Spicy Crock Pot Ribs

serves 3 (recipe can be doubled easily)

Print this recipe!


2 1/2 lbs baby back ribs

1 large yellow onion, small diced

1 cup Stubb’s Sweet Heat barbecue sauce

1 tbsp Stubb’s dry Pork rub (optional but recommended)

1 tsp minced garlic

special equipment: 5 qt Slow Cooker


Using a sharp knife, slice rack of ribs in half so you have two small racks. Generously sprinkle and rub the Stubb’s dry pork rub all over ribs. If you don’t use the dry rub (which I recommend because it’s delicious!), rub your ribs down with a tsp of salt and pepper.

Place both racks at the bottom of your Crock Pot.

Place diced onions on top of ribs in the pot, followed by minced garlic. Finally, pour barbecue sauce over everything.

Place lid on Crock Pot and turn heat to low. Cook for 7 hours—meat should be definitely falling off the bone at this point!


7 hours and 15 minutes

You Might Also Like

  • Blog is the New Black
    May 18, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Ribs are my fiance’s favorite foods… or one of them! Somehow, I’ve never made them at home for him! That has to change….

  • Marci
    May 18, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Good thing we just got a crock pot to help me with meals while having a new baby! And good thing Stubbs is sold in Houston grocery stores. Looks like a husband pleaser!

  • Kris @
    May 18, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I’ve never made ribs in a crockpot before. I figured they would turn out more soggy than juicy but these ribs look so yummy! Excited to try them.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    May 18, 2012 at 4:21 am

    This may have put me over the edge to pre-order your book!

  • mom
    May 18, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Love the memories that come with the pic of you , Helen and John 🙂 I will make these for your father tomorrow !!

  • Carryn
    May 18, 2012 at 4:28 am

    These look amazing!!! And so easy!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Jenn
    May 18, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Your moms comment is so sweet above!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    May 18, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I’ve never heard of Stubbs before (not even sure if we can get it up here) but it sounds fantastic! I also like my bbq sauce spicy and slightly sweet, and like you, it usually ends up all over my face. Happy Friday!

  • Lisa
    May 18, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I love bbq!!! I have also made some very terrible ribs in my lifetime (tough…overcooked, not cooked enough…yes I have no problem owning up to cooking mistakes! lol) so I am very excited to try this!!! Thanks Jenna, we were so meant to be buds 🙂

  • jenna
    May 18, 2012 at 5:36 am

    i seriously need a crockpot!

  • Amanda at the red table
    May 18, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Ugh. Grey’s! I have to say even though that show gets more far-fetched by the season, I watched intensely!

    I’ve never made ribs, but if these are easy — it might be a recipe to try!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    May 18, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Oh Jenna…ribs are my weakness. Why don’t I own a BBQ yet?!

  • Jennifer
    May 18, 2012 at 6:56 am

    As a Memphis girl it’s real difficult for me to think of ribs as something other than slow smoked on a grill but I’m willing to give these a shot. Especially on those 100+ degree summer days when the thought of standing by a grill for hours is just unbearable. Thanks!

  • Urban Wife {Live Faithfully}
    May 18, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Husband would go crazy over these!
    p.s. I love that old school pic of you, Jenna. It’s actually a good reminder to try and capture that joyful childhood that is easily forgotten in adulthood. Thanks. And sorry for the deep thoughts on a Friday. 😉

  • Pristine
    May 18, 2012 at 6:58 am

    These look delicious and I LOVE crock pot recipes. I’ll definitely be making these for my boyfriend next week!

  • Em (Wine and Butter)
    May 18, 2012 at 7:02 am

    My husband is on the most major ribs kick at the moment & thinks – when we get back to London – he’s on going to set up a ribs pop up food cart (his new BF is from South Carolina…). I’ll be sure to send this idea his way – or I might keep it and suggest a ribs off!

  • Lauren
    May 18, 2012 at 7:04 am

    You didn’t call me to come over for dinner? Aww shucks. If only I weren’t 2000 mile away…

  • Yum Yucky
    May 18, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Ahhh. YES! Making this for dinner tomorrow. Will add collard greens and mac & cheese as side dishes. My husband will love me extra for this. #win

  • marla
    May 18, 2012 at 7:13 am

    OMG do these ribs look great! Love that photo of you as a little 🙂

  • Cait's Plate
    May 18, 2012 at 7:15 am

    You can’t go wrong with Stubb’s! Love how easy this recipe is!

    And I absolutely love that photo of you – that really is a look of pure joy 🙂

  • Maria
    May 18, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I watched Grey’s this morning. My lips are sealed, but hurry and watch!!! Oh that show!

  • Melissa @ SquatsandSquash
    May 18, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I’m a Texas girl, and ribs are right up my alley!!! this recipe looks delicious!!

    I stopped watching Grey’s after the musical episode…I didn’t know it redeemed itself!!! is this a season worth watching?!?!?

  • Hayley
    May 18, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Ohhhh these ribs look delicious! Now I’m craving them and must have some!! Great recipe!

  • TiffanyS
    May 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Ugh, I stayed up til midnight catching up on the last two episodes of Grey’s! I couldn’t go to bed without knowing what happened. I hate season finales! Watch it soon…

    I love easy crockpot recipes. I’m going to look for this sauce. My hubby love ribs and brisket, but making either scares me!

  • Heather
    May 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

    i’m ALL about the crock pot recipes these days with a baby…love these!

  • Rachel
    May 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Yum! We ALMOST had Stubb’s cater our wedding in Austin but had to move everything to Houston. I think everyone would have freaked over how good it is!

  • Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk
    May 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I love my slow cooker and my husband and I both will be so happy to come home from work for some ribs. Also, love Stubbs BBQ sauce!

  • LisaG
    May 18, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Oh Lord these look devine!!

    • LisaG
      May 18, 2012 at 7:51 am

      And peach cobbler for dessert. Can you tell I’m from the south; our peach festival is this weekend.

      • Cate
        August 12, 2012 at 7:47 am

        Ha! I have the ribs in the slow cooker now and the bourbon peach cobbler is in the oven. I want to make mac ‘n cheese later, but that all depends on if I can get in a workout to justify! 🙂 It can’t wait for dinner!

  • Mallory
    May 18, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Grey’s was so frustrating…so beware! These look amazing and I love ribs!

  • Val @ Tips on Healthy Living
    May 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Love Stubbs but it can be hard to find outside of the South/Southwest. Even better I came across a Stubbs cookbook awhile back and it has some awesome recipes including this one for this tangy mustard-y chicken (that actually doesn’t use any Stubbs products) that’s still one of my fave Stubbs recipes.

  • mary @ what's cookin with mary
    May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Hi! My husband and I are planning our camp menu over this weekend. We (by we, I mean he) secured a huge 15 quart dutch oven with the super cool lid with a lip so we can top the pot with hot coals from the fire to bake/ roast things. He’s doing the cooking as I am relinquishing my crown as head camp cook on account of the 400lb black bears that like to roam the camp sites as all the campers make dinner in the late afternoon. Long story short, I think we’re going to make these ribs! I’ll have to search around and find the stubs products, but I’m sure that shouldn’t be too hard. Hoping they take less than 7 hours in the dutch oven as I’m sure the smell will drive the bears mad!?

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    May 18, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Oh I love those little kid messy face grins! What an adorable picture. Yes, pure joy, you are so right about that 🙂

  • elizabeth @ chronic venture
    May 18, 2012 at 10:40 am

    LOVE ribs and i LOVE stubb’s. never made them in a crockpot though, will definitely have to try!!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    May 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

    LOVE ribs so so much. Worth the mess! And putting them in the slowcooker is the best way to go…so tender! Oh man, I want these bad right now!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    May 18, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I absolutely love the fact that this can be made in a slow-cooker – makes life so much easier!

  • Deanna B.
    May 18, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I love Stubbs. For years, my favorite snack was dipping Cheetos in their wing sauce. It was so good. And weird. But mostly good.

  • Margarita
    May 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I love how very few ingredients are required to make this fall off the bone deliciousness. One of the reasons why I don’t eat much meat is because it takes too much effort to chew, so if it’s cut in small pieces or if it just falls off of the bone and melts in your mouth, I’m all for it! Love this!

  • Traci
    May 18, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Sounds delish & since I’m cooking challenged & love my crock pot I’ll try it!

  • Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana
    May 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Those ribs look so good and your recipe is so simple!! Just gotta get my hands on some of that rub 🙂

    I’m watching Grey’s tonight too, so excited!

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    May 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Yum! My husband and I both really enjoy ribs. These will be made some time soon! 😉 Thanks!

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
    May 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    LOVE ribs! These look insanely tender and delicious! The flavors sound amazing!

  • Antonia @ healthinspirations
    May 19, 2012 at 3:31 am

    That looks just amazing. Just had breakfast but wouldn’t mind some ribs to wash the oatmeal down.
    Grey’s Anatomy. I love it too! I definitely needed my fair share of Kleenex. What did you think of the finale?

  • Amanda L.
    May 19, 2012 at 7:23 am

    This is the *only* way to cook ribs! So convenient! Also, a great way to use up leftovers (in the very unlikely chance there are any) is to shred the meat and stir it into shrimp and grits – I am Canadian and the first time I tasted shrimp and grits (not too long ago) I swooned…a bit of bbq pork makes a nice addition 🙂

  • Courtenay bickler
    May 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    So do you stack them in the crockpot? Or should they lay side by side?

  • Pam
    May 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Yummy! Could I make this recipe in a dutch oven? If so, what temperature and how long would I need to cook the ribs? My husband would love this! Love the picture:)

  • Sam @ Fit for My Fork
    May 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

    I LOVE RIBS. My boyfriend loves ribs. I wish we had this BBQ sauce and rub over here. I think you’ve inspired me to put ribs on the menu this weekend… yum!

  • Anna Jaye
    May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    That photo completely makes my day. Also, yum!

  • Things you need for Memorial Day | From the Little Yellow Kitchen
    May 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    […] Crock Pot Ribs by Jenna […]

  • JenE
    June 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    SUPER. DUPER. I had to improvise a bit on the sauce – they didn’t have the Stubbs brand and I also added a little ketchup, vinegar, and beer. I finished them off on the grill. OOOOO LA-LA!!
    Thanks Jenna

  • Four on the Fourth « Whisking Up Goodness in the River City
    July 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    […] I realized that this marks my fourth post on the fourth. My Fourth of July holiday involved using the crockpot for the first time (gasp) to make these […]

  • Donna
    July 11, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Shut up!! I made these yesterday and they turned out fab. We had Stubbs sauce here in Chicago but I could not find the rub. Made due with another rub I had. The flavors were amazing. Thanks!!!

  • KirklandMom
    July 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I am making these now and they smell divine! I can’t wait to taste and watch the Olympics!

    • KirklanMom
      July 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Will make again!!!

  • Tammy
    August 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’m a Tennessee girl and we take our ribs serious. These look like they will pass the test. Looks great! Can’t wait to try them for the family.

  • Emily
    August 27, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I cooked these ribs yesterday and they were amazing! I had never cooked baby back ribs before by myself, and they were sooo easy. I will definitely be doing this again. Thanks for the great recipe. I am so happy I found your blog, because I have been wanting to try some new stuff 🙂

  • 135 Recipes for Football Season | How Sweet It Is
    September 1, 2012 at 6:17 am

    […] sweet and spicy crockpot ribs […]

  • Inside The Perimeter » Is It Monday Already?
    September 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

    […] the crockpot this morning. I’m using the crockpot ribs technique (minus the sauce) found on Eat, Live, Run. Come to think of it, I believe it was my Googling for “crockpot ribs” which introduced […]

  • Lindsey
    September 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I made these for dinner on Sunday night. So good, so good, so good.

  • Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs and Mashed Sweet Potatoes |
    October 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    […] from Jenna’s […]

  • beth evans
    June 28, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Hi Jenna! I’m thinking about making these for 4th of July but my crockpot is nowhere to be found since we moved. If I made these in the oven, do you have a suggestion of temperature and time? Please and Thanks!!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife
    July 9, 2013 at 11:23 am

    mmm nice looking ribs! Love that they are made in the crock pot! I also adore Gaby’s mom’s line of ceramics !!

  • Kristin
    July 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Yesssssssss! I LOVE ribs too and these look so good, especially for being cooked in the crock pot! I am totally going to make these soon. We just had some ribs over 4th weekend and I can’t wait to have them again. Awesome recipe – thanks for sharing!!

  • ELR’s crockpot ribs | foster & feed
    September 3, 2013 at 7:06 am

    […] contentedly agreed we could definitely make this recipe again and again and again…. Thank you Eat, Live, Run for […]

  • Meal Planning 101: The Beginning | Kohler Created
    November 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    […] – Holiday (we ate plenty of BBQ and grilled veggies) Tuesday/Wednesday – Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Ribs Thursday/Friday – Tacos/Taco Salad Saturday/Sunday – […]

  • Crock Pot Recipes For Your Slow Cooker | Gymrat Fitness
    November 26, 2014 at 9:32 am

    […] Live, Run Get the Sweet And Spicy Crock Pot Ribs recipe by Eat, Live, […]

  • Slow cooker recepies | Mayle Path
    December 30, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    […] Sweet And Spicy Crock Pot Ribs Eat, Live, Run Get the Sweet And Spicy Crock Pot Ribs recipe by Eat, Live, […]

  • Jon
    January 4, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for the recipe. But I think sweet baby rays sweet and spicy Bbq sauce is wayyyy better then Stubbs. Just saying. Stoked to try this today

  • Past Recipes | Slow Cooker Freezer Meals and Other Recipes
    January 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    […] & Spicy Ribs ( I can not say anything bad about this recipe. It was astounding and astoundingly simple. […]

  • Alex
    February 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I made these this weekend. Didn’t have Stubbs, used decent BBQ sauce out of a bottle and the mesquite McCormick rub. Absolutely fall off the bone. Thanks!

  • Corinne
    March 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Made these for my son, who is a picky eater. He loved them! And it was so easy!!
    Thank you 🙂

  • ¡Preparado para los dioses! Costillas dulces y picantes, a cocción lenta |
    March 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    […] Todas las fotografías pertenecen a comer, vivir, ejecute […]

  • ¡Preparado para los dioses! Costillas dulces y picantes, a cocción lenta - Perspira
    March 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    […] Todas las fotografías pertenecen a Eat, live, run […]

  • Crock-Pot BBQ Tofu Sliders with Broccoli Slaw - Meg Bollenback
    April 6, 2015 at 4:04 am

    […] first noticed it a couple years ago on Jenna’s blog (she has an amazing ribs recipe using it) and have been using it ever since. The Spicy version is the style […]