If you don't have a smoker, but want to create that smoky flavor, you can make that happen in your slow cooker with soaked mesquite wood chips and a little liquid smoke! This Smoky Mesquite BBQ Slow Cooker Beer Ribs Recipe is the perfect Father's Day recipe- smoky mesquite BBQ flavor, beer and baby back ribs... what more could Dad possibly want?!
And you don't have to heat up your house or grill anything, as you would with traditional ribs- the slow cooker does all the work for you! You won't believe how easy this crockpot ribs recipe is! These beer ribs also makes a great easy dinner recipe for busy weeknights.
- 🥘 Ingredients
- 📖Variations & Subsitutions
- 🔪 Instructions
- 💭 Top Tip
- 🌶️Can these ribs be made spicy?
- 👪Serving Size
- 🍽 Can this recipe be made ahead?
- 🥗 Side Dishes to go with slow cooker ribs
- 📋Smoky Mesquite BBQ Slow Cooker Beer Ribs Recipe
- 🍲And be sure to check out my other Slow Cooker Recipes!
Obviously there is no actual smoke involved in these slow cooker BBQ ribs, so they're not going to taste exactly the same as making ribs in a smoker, but it's a close second! Is there anything a slow cooker can't do?! You've heard me say it before.... it's my fave small appliance, along with my Bread Machine, of course. What's not to love about a small appliance that does the work for you while you go about your day?
For this slow cooker baby back ribs recipe, you'll only need a handful of simple ingredients
- pork short ribs (back ribs) *baby back are best!
- beer (your favorite)
- liquid smoke
- Bbq Sauce (you can use any kind)
- seasoning salt
- Cajun seasoning
📖Variations & Subsitutions
- Ribs - They are several different types of ribs, but if you want the best ribs for this recipe, I recommend using pork Baby back ribs (short ribs). They are tender ribs and leaner than spare ribs. However, they are more costly. So, if that is an issue, don't worry, you can use spare ribs, as they will be a little more tender than usual (because they are slow cooked) but they won't be as tender as baby back ribs. You can also use beef ribs, if you prefer, although they are usually even more expensive than pork ribs.
- Beer- I use Coors Light, but you could use any beer. I don't recommend using a craft beer.
- Spice Mixture - you can use any brand or type of seasoning salt (I use Hy's, but you could use Lawry's etc.)
- Barbecue Sauce- you could use store-bought (I like President's Choice, personally) or a homemade BBQ sauce
- Wood Chips- use any brand, but I recommend Mesquite or Hickory flavor, although you could use a different flavor of wood chip
- Make a wood chip packet by soaking the wood chips in water
- Them place them on the parchment paper
- Then wrap them in parchment paper
- And poke holes in the packet before laying the seasoned pork ribs on top
*see even more detailed instructions in the recipe card
- Lastly, you add the seasoned ribs to the slow cooker (on top of the wood chip packet) pour beer over them, add liquid smoke, then add your favorite BBQ sauce! Then you let the slow cooker do the rest!
💭 Top Tip
- You will want to use Mesquite or Hickory Smoking Wood Chips for this recipe. You can buy them anywhere you buy BBQ or smoker supplies. These are the ones I used (bought from Canadian Tire):
For these crock pot ribs with beer recipe you will need a 6 quart slow cooker (affiliate link), smoking wood chips (affiliate link), which you can buy at almost any hardware store, and parchment paper.
🌶️Can these ribs be made spicy?
If you love spice, you can make this a little spicier by adding a little Tabasco sauce or crushed red pepper/chili flakes (depending on your taste preference).
These pork ribs with beer recipe makes 8 servings. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings if you'd like additional servings. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
Cooked pork ribs will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. To further extend the shelf life of these leftover short ribs, freeze them; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
🍽 Can this recipe be made ahead?
This slow cooker beer short ribs recipe can be made a day or two in advance and reheated, but it's best to make it the day of. It's great anytime, but ideal for Father's Day or for the birthday boy!
🥗 Side Dishes to go with slow cooker ribs
If you're looking for a great side dish to go with these ribs, a cold salad (like potato, pasta, bean or coleslaw) is always a great choice, as are baked potatoes. Here are some of my favorites!
- Perogy Potato Salad (Gluten-free) (shown below)
- Easy 3 Ingredient Onion Baked Potatoes in Foil
- Easy Bean Salad in 5 minutes
- Healthy Classic Potato Salad - WW friendly (shown)
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad Recipe
- Healthy Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Coleslaw
- Macaroni Salad with Tuna - 4 Ingredients
Need an easy dessert to go with this meal? Dad is sure to love this No Bake Skor Bar Dessert!
I've had a lot of slow cooker pork rib recipes in my life and none even come close to this one in terms of taste and flavor depth! Soaking the wood chips, then placing them in the slow cooker, with the addition of beer, BBQ sauce and smoke flavor, creates a rich and scrumptious pork rib that Dad is sure to love!
And if you love ribs, be sure to try my Grilled Greek Ribs!
📋Smoky Mesquite BBQ Slow Cooker Beer Ribs Recipe
- 5 lbs -of pork back ribs (baby back ribs) *approximately - about 2 racks
- ½ cup beer any kind (I used Coors light)
- 1 cup fave BBQ sauce *I use President's Choice Gourmet or my Homemade BBQ Sauce: https://foodmeanderings.com/bbq-sauce-with-ketchup/
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke * mesquite flavor
- 3 tablespoon seasoning salt I use Hy's
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
Mesquite Wood Chips Packet
- 2 cups mesquite or hickory wood chips
- water to cover wood chips
- additional BBQ sauce (to your liking) * I used about another ⅔ cup
Mesquite Wood Chips Packet
- Soak your wood chips in a bowl with water for at least 30 minutes. Then drain the water.
- Spread out a good-sized length of parchment paper (15x20 inches approx) on the counter.
- Put the wood chips in the middle of the parchment paper.
- Fold over the edges of the parchment paper (long way)
- Fold over the other side- similar to the way you'd make a foil packet for your BBQ.
- Staple the ends, ensuring it will fit inside your slow cooker.
- With scissors, cut teeny tiny holes here and there in the top level of the parchment paper to let smoky steam escape.
- Place packet in the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Mix seasoning salt and cajun seasoning together.
- Rub all sides of your meat with spice/dry rub. Put it in the crockpot, directly on top of the parchment paper packet
- Cover with beer and add liquid smoke.
- The last step is to add ½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce and put the lid on the slow cooker. Set on the low setting with a cooking time of approximately 8-9 hours. ** For bolder BBQ flavor, I added the additional ½ cup of BBQ sauce towards the end of the cooking process - about 6.5 hrs, but you could add it at the beginning or earlier, if that is your preference.
- The meat is done when it is cooked through and has reached desired tenderness.
- Brush ribs with additional BBQ sauce to your liking.