Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs


Tangy, tender and fall-off-the-bone delicious! All you need are 3 ingredients, plus salt and pepper, for these finger licking good barbecue ribs made easily in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs - Tangy, tender and fall-off-the-bone good! Just 3 ingredients and made easily in your slow cooker.

Here in Austin, you can throw a stone in any direction and hit a good barbecue joint. However, as easy as bought barbecue is to come by, my method of making ridiculously tender, sticky ribs the homemade way is even easier… and absolutely fool-proof!

I have some friends who swear by a day-long smoking process, and others who oven-bake them slow and low, then finish on the grill. Let me just put it this way, I’ve never had a BAD rib. Each method produces fantastic results! But, this mama needs to keep it simple when the hankering for good homemade barbecue strikes.

Enter 3 simple ingredients and your slow cooker!

Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs - Tangy, tender and fall-off-the-bone good! Just 3 ingredients and made easily in your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs - Tangy, tender and fall-off-the-bone good! Just 3 ingredients and made easily in your slow cooker.

The addition of root beer gives these ribs a slight vanilla-molasses infusion, which is all the more enhanced with a sticky, spicy barbecue sauce! I love to serve these ribs with corn on the cob and my Southern potato salad… and a thick pile of napkins, of course.

In my experience, barbecue sauce is best added after the ribs are mostly cooked. Otherwise, the sugar in the sauce will burn and you’ll end up with a difficult cleaning job. In this method, simply add a bottle of good-quality root beer to your slow cooker and lay your ribs on top. You can cook them on low (which I recommend) or high, but either way, they come out delicious and tender.

When the ribs are cooked, place them on a large baking sheet and slather with barbecue sauce. Into the oven they go, so the sauce can caramelize and stick to yer ribs (like these ribs will). And then, you’re ready to dig in!

Serve these awesome, easy root beer ribs for your next barbecue or casual summer get-together!

Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs - Tangy, tender and fall-off-the-bone good! Just 3 ingredients and made easily in your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs - Tangy, tender and fall-off-the-bone good! Just 3 ingredients and made easily in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Root Beer Baby Back Ribs


  • 3 pounds baby back ribs thawed and trimmed
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 1 18 ounce bottle barbecue sauce


  • Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Pour root beer into slow cooker, then place ribs on top. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Transfer ribs to sheet. Coat ribs with barbecue sauce (more or less, to your taste). Bake until sauce caramelizes and sticks to the meat, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and brush on more sauce, if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Join the Conversation

  1. Oh my goshhh. I totally want these for breakfast!!

  2. This looks SOOOOO good! Perfect for summer time!

  3. I love the idea of ribs with rootbeer! This looks delicious – perfectly sticky and tender.

  4. My slow cooker died :-(
    Do you think I could do this on a low temp in the oven?

  5. I suggest you try this oven-baked ribs recipe here, instead

  6. These look delicious. Do you really only use 1/2 cup of the root beer? Does it last through the four hours of cooking time? You always have such wonderful recipes. Thank you so much!

  7. Oh these ribs look amazing, really interesting what the root beer does to the flavor, will definitely try this recipe. My husband would love this!!!

  8. Oops, should be 1 cup! The recipe has been updated.

  9. Gosh, how I love ribs. My Dad just made the most amazing smoked ribs for Sunday dinner the other night, the only problem?? They take 18hours and actually have to be monitored pretty frequently during that time, these are perfect when you jut want to prep it and then forget about it! Looks delicious!

  10. I would love to make these but I have one problem, my husband and son don’t like root beer. Do the ribs end up tasting like it?

  11. Autumn Ferguson says:

    I would love to make these but it is just two of us and 3lbs of ribs seems like alot, if i do 1 1/2lbs and cut everything in half will it turn out the same?


  12. Yes, you can definitely halve this recipe with good results!

  13. The ribs do not have a strong taste of root beer, but you can use beef broth instead, if you prefer.

  14. Laura Cunningham says:

    Just want to let you know that I made these for Father’s Day and they were a big hit! Thanks Georgia!

  15. Hi Georgia, love all your recipes! Just wondering if there is a specific barbecue sauce you would recommend for this recipe? Thanks!

  16. Any will do, but I believe I used Bullseye brand for this recipe.

  17. Hey, Georgia!

    I am planning to make this recipe for supper tonight or tomorrow night, but I just have a few questions 1st.

    I have 1.662 kg (3.66 lbs I think) of pork side ribs. Will this recipe still work if I cut the ribs up? How much root beer & bbq sauce should I use since it’s more than 3 lbs?
    Also, I only have a BBQ sauce called Chicken n’ Rib. Would this taste good or is it too sweet? I don’t want to make it if it’s not gonna taste good!


  18. The ribs might over-cook if cut up, but if you need to cut them up, just cook on low and keep an eye on them to avoid drying them out. I would stick with the same measurements of root beer and BBQ sauce. I’m not familiar with that BBQ sauce, so I would say just use your best judgement and don’t use a sauce you don’t like. Enjoy!

  19. Natalie Atkison says:

    Could you make these with real beer instead of root beer?

  20. That should work fine!

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