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Slow Cooker Coke Ribs

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These Slow Cooker Coke Ribs are sweet, tangy, tender, and so good you won’t even care how much sauce is on your face. Juicy, saucy, fall-off-the-bone ribs are made with a not-so-secret ingredient (it’s in the title!) and the slow cooker does all the work!

overhead shot of sliced ribs.

Fall-Apart Tender Crock Pot Ribs

Pork ribs seem so tedious that many people avoid cooking them. But you don’t have to be an experienced grill master to cook a party-pleasing rack of ribs. All you need is your slow cooker.

They are so easy to make, that they may just become one of your favorite slow cooker recipes

If you’re gonna be feeding a crowd, BBQ recipes are the way to go! You can make your own spicy BBQ sauce and serve these ribs with zesty coleslaw. Everyone will fight their way to the table to grab some of these delicious crock pot ribs! 

Why you’ll love Slow Cooker Coke Ribs

Easy – This recipe takes all the guesswork out of making tender ribs. Low and slow is the way to go no matter what, but with slow cooker ribs you don’t need to stand around waiting!  

Perfect texture – Using Coca-Cola in the marinade is what makes these ribs fall apart tender and taste incredible.

Simple Ingredients – Other than the ribs, you probably already have everything you need. It just takes some simple spices, barbecue sauce, and a can of Coke! There are a couple of soda variations you can make too, like Dr. Pepper or Root Beer!  

stack of bbq rib bones.

Equipment you’ll need

Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • PaprikaThis is what gives the ribs a smoky flavor.     
  • Onion PowderAn essential spice for enhancing the flavor of the meat.     
  • Garlic PowderAlways add garlic with onion; if you use garlic salt, omit the extra salt.    
  • SaltThis naturally enhances all the other flavors.     
  • Chili PowderUse carefully because it adds a lot of heat to the ribs. 
  • Black PepperThis rounds out the other spices.  
  • RibsFor best results, use pork baby back ribs. Remove the silver skin or ask your butcher to do it for you.
  • BBQ SauceUse your favorite kind from the store or make your own.   
  • Coca-ColaThe acid in Coke breaks down the protein and tenderizes the meat, but it also lends a distinct flavor that is just the right amount of sweetness.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make ribs.

How to make Slow Cooker Ribs with Coke

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Step One: Combine the spice rub and coat the ribs entirely. Use your hands (wear gloves if you want!) to make sure to season all the nooks and crannies.
dry rub on two slabs of ribs.
  1. Step Two: Layer ribs in the basin of the crockpot. Overlapping or stacking is fine. We’re not aiming for crispy ribs here, so there’s no need to save space. Pour 2 cups of the sauce and coke mixture overtop, reserving 1 cup for later on. 
sauce pouring over ribs in a crockpot.
  1. Step Three: Cover with a lid and cook on low for 9 hours. If you’re short on time, you can up the temperature to cook on high for 4 hours. 
  2. Step Four: Once the ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, transfer them to a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush with reserved sauce and broil on LOW for about 5 minutes, watching that they don’t burn. Serve warm with extra sauce for dipping, basting, and well…eating with a spoon!

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

overhead shot of a slab of coke ribs.

What to serve with Slow Cooker Coke Ribs

This is the perfect meal to make for a party or a fun family dinner. And there are so many different things that taste amazing with juicy BBQ ribs. 

Our favorite way is to eat them with some one hour dinner rolls. We love dipping the rolls into the leftover BBQ sauce. And creamy coleslaw is a no-brainer with all the BBQ fixings. 

If you’re feeding a bunch of people, then stick with classic side dishes like french fries, mashed potatoes and garlic green beans. Everyone will love them

Tips & Suggestions

  • Change the spice blend to suit your tastes. Smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar are a common rub mixture. Whichever you go with, you’ll need about 4-5 teaspoons.
  • Whether you buy or make the BBQ sauce, be sure to have enough for 3 cups. 1 of those cups is for basting to make sure they’re nice and saucy!
  • If you are taking the silver skin membrane off yourself, use a butter knife to get between the skin and the ribs just to loosen it. Then, use your hands to pull it off. Sometimes it’s helpful to use a paper towel for grip.
  • If your ribs have fatty skin at the end of the rack, cut it off. 
  • I recommend using low heat for these slow cooker coke ribs. About 7-9 hours should do it!

How to reheat and store Slow Cooker Coke Ribs

How to store leftovers

Store the leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How long will cooked bbq ribs last in the fridge?

This easy slow cooker ribs recipe will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

Can I freeze pork ribs?

Sure, you can. Once ribs are cooled, store them in a freezer-safe bag like a Zip-lock bag. Keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Pour barbecue sauce in there too!

How to reheat them

It’s best to reheat the cooked ribs in the oven or air fryer, but they will heat up perfectly in the microwave, too. In the oven or air fryer, heat them at about 350° for about 10 minutes. 

basked of ribs & fries.

FAQs

Can I use beef ribs? 

Yes, you can use beef ribs instead of pork ribs. It won’t change the recipe at all.

Should ribs be covered in liquid in the slow cooker? 

There should be enough liquid (in this case coke, and sauce) to maintain moisture and ensure the ribs don’t dry out or start to burn. However, it shouldn’t be so much liquid that the ribs are submerged or swimming in liquid.

Do you flip the ribs when they are in the slow cooker?

No, there is no need to flip them over when you cook them in the slow cooker. For a crispier top, you can baste them and place them under the broiler at the end.

Need more easy slow cooker recipes? Try these:

Easy Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potatoes 

Slow Cooker Mississippi Chicken 

Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

saucy sliced ribs.
overhead shot of sliced ribs.

Slow Cooker Coke Ribs

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
These Slow Cooker Coke Ribs are sweet, tangy, tender, and so good you won't even care how much sauce is on your face. Juicy, saucy, fall-off-the-bone ribs are made with a not-so-secret ingredient (it's in the title!) and the slow cooker does all the work!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 276 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs
  • 18 ounces bbq sauce use your favorite
  • 6 ounces Coca Cola half a can

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix the spices together well. Set aside.
    1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • In a separate medium bowl, add the bbq sauce and Coke. Whisk together. Reserve one cup of the mixture and set aside.
    18 ounces bbq sauce, 6 ounces Coca Cola
  • Remove and discard the membrane from the back of the ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut in half so they'll fit in the slow cooker and lay onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
    1 rack baby back pork ribs
  • Sprinkle the spice mixture over the top of the ribs, rubbing in to fully coat.
  • Place the seasoned ribs inside, overlapping/stacking as needed, to at least a 6 quart slow cooker.
  • Pour two cups of the sauce over the ribs. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW up to 9 hours. The longer you cook them, the more tender they will be, but I don't recommend exceeding 9 hours.
  • Once the ribs are cooked, line a lipped baking sheet with foil and using tongs, remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the ribs with the reserved cup of sauce and broil on LOW for approximately 5 minutes, watching closely so they don't burn.
  • Remove from the oven and serve warm with any remaining sauce.

Notes

  • The included spice blend is optional. You can use 4-5 teaspoons of your favorite pre-made spice rub to coat the ribs.
  • Use your favorite bbq sauce or try a homemade bbq sauce. You should have approximately 3 cups total of sauce mixture (2 cups for cooking, 1 cup for basting/serving). 
  • To remove the rib membrane (silver skin) from the back of the ribs, use a butter knife to slide between the membrane and the rib bone to loosen, then use your fingers to pull it off. If there is a fatty skin piece at the end of the rack, cut it off.  
  • The longer you cook the ribs the more tender they will be and begin to fall off the bone.  If you cook on low heat, it will take about 7-9 hours.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 276kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 17gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 1561mgPotassium: 228mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 176IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Jacquie Brown says

    5 stars
    This recipe was easy & the meat literally fell off the bones… AMAZING recipe & will definitely make again!

Melissa Williams/Persnickety Plates is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. For more details, please see my Privacy Policy & Disclosures page.