These slow cooker country-style pork ribs are a family favorite pork recipe. They are full of simple and rustic flavors. The rich taste, the aroma of herbs and the beautiful amber color come together into a delicious and comforting dish. These melt-in-your-mouth tender ribs go very well with rice, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables or a bowl of pasta.
The secret to giving country-style ribs the most flavor
The most important part of this recipe is to brown the ribs and caramelize the onions until they are deep golden brown. That’s what adds most of the flavor and the beautiful color. The basic spices in this recipe only extend the natural flavor of the pork ribs sweetened by caramelized onions.
Best way to cook country-style pork ribs
Since country-style pork ribs are essentially a pork butt, the best way to cook them is on low. Low and slow cooking, about 4-5 hours, will make them fall-off-the-bone tender. If you are pressed for time, set your slow cooker to high and cook the ribs for 2-3 hours.
The spice mix in this recipe is something that took some experimenting until I landed on what I thought was absolutely perfect. But, as they say, tastes differ, so feel free to adjust the spices to your taste.
Rustic Slow Cooker Country-Style Pork Ribs Recipe
- 4 lbs country-style pork ribs
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 3 yellow onions (quartered and sliced about 1/4-inch thick)
- 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- A pinch of ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 3 cups water
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp cold water
- Trim excess fat from the ribs if necessary. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper and set aside.
- Heat cooking oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the ribs and sear for 4 minutes. Flip and continue searing for another 4 minutes, or until nicely browned. Transfer the browned ribs to the slow cooker and continue browning the other half of the ribs. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the onions to the same the skillet. There should be plenty of oil and fat left in the pan, but if not, add another tablespoon of oil. Saute until deep golden brown, constantly stirring, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds.
- Add the water, salt, pepper and the rest of the seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust for salt. The liquid should be salted just right.
- Pour the contents of the pan into the slow cooker over the ribs. Stir to distribute the ingredients evenly.
- Set the slow cooker to low and cook for about 4-5 hours or until the pork ribs are fork-tender. You can also cook the meat on high for 2-3 hours.
- Once the meat is tender, check for salt and seasonings again and adjust if needed.
- If you want the liquid thickened, now is the time to do it. Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and set aside. Dissolve three tablespoons of cornstarch in three tablespoons of cold water. Add the cornstarch to the slow cooker and stir well. Let simmer for about 20 minutes until desired thickness is achieved. If needed, add more cornstarch.
- Return the ribs to the slow cooker and keep on 'warm' until ready to serve.
- Serve with with rice, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, pasta or other favorite side dish.
Hands down the BEST slow cooker country style rib recipe we have ever eaten. Keeping this one in our recipe rotation. So happy it wasn’t the traditional BBQ slurry. Excellent flavors. Easy to do. Was going to skip the prep of browning ribs and onions and so happy I did not. Worth that extra bit of effort. I am sensitive o corn so didn’t use cornstarch as the thickener. I poured liquid out of slow cooker after removing ribs and placed it in my high powered blender with xanthum gum as the gravy thickener. Delish! Thank you for this most awesome recipe!
You are very welcome, Beth. Thank you for the kind words. Enjoy!
Tender and delicious. Thank you for the recipe.
You are welcome. Enjoy!
Haven’t even made ‘‘em yet when I scrolled thru Pinterest last, I saw them, but mistakenly blew passed it, and couldn’t find again. Will never it happen again, just based on the photo. Maybe I’m wrong.will make soon, promise.
Dawn M Robertson
This was one of the most delicious pork recipes I’ve ever made and I will definitely make it again.
After searching many recipes for these ribs, this one sounds like the one I want. I’m wondering though if anyone has tried ginger ale in place of the water?
Never tried that myself but sounds interesting.
Jane G Bradley
Will this go with creamy polenta?
The seasonings to die for!! I have made 4 times and I don’t even pre cook
This was delicious! I only changed a couple things. I didn’t have marjoram, so, I used a little oregano. I used beef broth in place of the water. I would use this same recipe for a pork loin or butt roast. Great flavors!
Can I make this same recipe with boneless ribs. Do I need to adjust cooking time?
Yes, you can make them boneless but the time should not be much different. You want the meat tender, not cooked to a specific temperature and pull, so that’s why timing shouldn’t matter much.
Made it for dinner tonight and my family absolutely loved it. My husband commented, one of the best dinner I have ever made. Only thing I added to it was couple of sprig of fresh rosemary two hours into the cook. Removed it just before taking the meat out to start the gravy.
This recipe will get a 5 in my book.
Can you just use bbq instead
I don’t see why not. It should work just as well, just a different flavor profile.
But if you use a BBQ, it will be like any other BBQ Spare rib recipe. I used this recipe and added some Chinese five spice. That’s what makes the difference.Creativity, not copy.
Could i use flour to thicken the sauce if I dont have cornstarch??
Yes. you absolutely can. I would create a roux first then add it in to prevent flour from clumping.
Made today, doubled the garlic and skipped the ginger and marjoram for Italian mix. Excellent
Sabrena R Schmitt
Made this today, was delicious. Definitely adding this recipe to my collection.
Omg!! So delicious!!
Absolutely delicious with simple yet rich flavors. My family loved it.
I’m sorry, but I think you left some zeros off the onion caramelizing time. It takes 30 – 50 minutes (minimum) to caramelize onions, not 3 – 5.
I think it depends on the temperature and the size of the pan. When not overly crowded and sauteed over high heat, they start to brown pretty quickly. Anyway, 3-5 minutes is enough to get a decent amount of flavor.
Yes 30 minutes they would be strings. . LOL. Your recipe says medium high…perfect.
You are not carmelizing the onions, merely browning them. They will render down in the crock pot.
I found this recipe when searching for how to cook country style pork ribs in a crock pot. After reading the recipe, I decided this was the one! Let me tell you— this one IS THE BEST!! I am so happy I found it and it’s definitely a keeper.
Glad to hear it. Enjoy!
I cooked this recipe for my family and it was simply delicious! Even my husband, who doesn’t like pork, loved it and ate his entire plateful.
Glad to hear that. Thank you for your feedback, Jamie.
This is a fantastic country-style rib recipe, thank you for sharing it. I served my ribs with mashed potatoes and they were amazing. I did not do any thickening this time but will try next time.
I really enjoyed your delicious country style pork ribs, they were very tasty. Looking forward to more recipes.
Glad to hear that. Thanks for your feedback.