Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

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Boy, oh boy, do I have a recipe for you! This one really might just knock your socks off. Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs                          The Whole Foods in Venice was having a fantastic sale on boneless short ribs, so Travis and I knew we couldn’t go home without them. I thought they would be perfect to throw into the slow cooker on Sunday morning and leave to cook all day long. Since summer is in the air, I wanted to give these a BBQ flair as opposed to your typical winter beef slow cooker recipes.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Aside from the short ribs, I had all the remaining ingredients in my fridge and pantry, so hopefully you do, too! After seven hours of cooking at a low temperature, these short ribs melt in your mouth and are packed with incredible BBQ flavor. I regretted not buying double the beef because I know we would have enjoyed eating these again and again.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs

I served these BBQ Beef Short Ribs with spiced sweet potato fries. It was the perfect Sunday night dinner!


Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Short Ribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 2lbs boneless beef short ribs, fat trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add one Tablespoon of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add half of the short ribs to the pan. Brown on all sides (do not cook fully). Once browned, transfer to a plate. Add another Tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat until all short ribs are browned.
  2. Transfer the short ribs to a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix all remaining ingredients (ketchup through mustard). Add the ketchup mixture to the slow cooker with the ribs, making sure to coat all the pieces. Set the slow cooker to low for 7 hours. After 7 hours the ribs will be incredibly tender. Serve with extra sauce from the slow cooker.


  • Harriet
    June 10, 2014 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    My mouth is watering. You know that this is my favorite dish EVER and that I got hooked on these the first time we shared them at Abe & Louie’s. Sounds like this method of cooking them couldn’t be easier! I’m going to make this soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      June 10, 2014 - 9:26 am | Permalink

      Abe & Louie’s had the BEST short ribs, but I don’t think these are too far off 🙂

  • Christine @ Cooking with Cakes
    June 12, 2014 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    these look INCREDIBLE!!!! like fall-off-the-bone good, I’m seriously drooling. Pinned!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      June 12, 2014 - 8:57 am | Permalink

      I think you would love them!!

  • Caroline Kiritsy
    September 27, 2015 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Rach- these have been in my slow cooker for 5 hours so far and the apt smells so good! Can’t wait to taste them in just a little bit 🙂

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      September 28, 2015 - 7:20 am | Permalink

      Yay!!! So glad you made them – saw your post in Instagram and it looks like they turned out perfectly! xoxo

  • kate
    January 23, 2016 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I only have a few hours after work to make these could I cook them on low for 3-3 1/2 hrs and have them turn out just as good

    • kate
      January 23, 2016 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I meant on high for 3 3 1/2 hrs

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      January 24, 2016 - 9:56 am | Permalink

      Hi Kate, Yes, I think HIGH for 3.5 hours would work out okay!

  • Deb Haskins
    July 10, 2016 - 6:07 am | Permalink

    Can i skip the browning step n just throw into crock pot

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      July 10, 2016 - 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I don’t recommend it — the sear on the short ribs will give it great texture and flavor.

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