Slow Cooker Teriyaki Ribs


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Just six ingredients come together to create flavorful, Asian-inspired slow cooker teriyaki ribs that are fall-off-the-bone tender and tangy smooth. This low-prep recipe allows you to set it and forget about it until mealtime, making it ideal for busy weekends or weeknights.

done cooking teriyaki ribs in crockpot.

Pork ribs have long been a classic American food, which is why you can find so many recipe combinations for them. Using a sweet and tangy sauce like teriyaki, these teriyaki pork ribs do not disappoint. Not to mention, all the ingredients are easy to find and most likely already in your pantry.

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for teriyaki ribs on table.
  • Pork Ribs: baby back ribs are smaller and can easily fit into the crockpot (when cut in half); they are also leaner and more tender than other cuts.
  • Teriyaki Sauce: the highlight of the recipe, this sauce is a combination of sweet and tangy thanks to its soy sauce and mirin base. I use Kikkoman Original Teriyaki Sauce.
  • Barbecue Sauce: adds a smokey barbecue flavor that blends well with the teriyaki sauce.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: an acidic base that levels all combined flavors.
  • Garlic: minced to add the perfect touch of flavor.
  • Seasoning: salt and pepper top off the overall dish adding the perfect balance of taste.

Step-by-Step Directions

collage on how to make teriyaki ribs in a crockpot.

Step One – Remove the thin membrane from the back of the pork ribs.

Step Two – Add the ribs (cut in half) to the crockpot. Brush with half of the teriyaki sauce (saving the other half for later). Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.

Step Three – After 7 hours, add the remaining teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic, and red wine vinegar to the sauce that is still in the slow cooker. Cook for an hour longer.

Step Four – Before serving, brush with the teriyaki sauce that is in the crockpot and top with chopped green onion (optional).

pork ribs with teriyaki sauce and green onions in slow cooker.

How to Serve

  • Sides: Coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and/or salad (fresh greens, macaroni, or pasta) are all great side ideas for pairing with slow cooker ribs.
  • Toppings: In addition to the chives or chopped green onion, sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, extra teriyaki glaze, or even a drizzle of honey.
  • On the Bone: This is the most traditional way to eat ribs but can sometimes get a little messy.
  • Off the Bone: Forking the meat off the bone can make the ribs easier to eat and give you meat to make a sandwich.
side view of teriyaki ribs in slow cooker.

Variations

  • Substitute teriyaki sauce: You can use your favorite sauce in replacement of the teriyaki sauce but it will yield a different flavor.
  • Use a different vinegar: Instead of red wine vinegar, try balsamic vinegar.
  • Try a different barbeque sauce: With there being a variety of flavors, try something other than the regular BBQ flavor.
2 ribs pieces on plate with coleslaw.

Recipe FAQs

Do you need to sear the ribs before cooking?

This is not necessary when cooking them in the slow cooker. The long cook time will aid in breaking down the toughness of the ribs and result in fall-off-the-bone ribs when done.

Why is there not much liquid added before the cooking process?

Ribs typically soak up any seasoning and will create their own juice during the cooking process. Also, to keep the flavors of the other ingredients, it’s best to add them after most of the cooking has been done.

How do you store leftover teriyaki ribs?

Add any remaining ribs into an airtight container (along with the sauce/juice). Store in the refrigerator for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to five months.

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close up of teriyaki ribs with green onion on top

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Ribs Recipe

4.34 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Baby back ribs slow cooker to perfection in teriyaki sauce! You will love this change from the regular barbecue version!

Ingredients 
 

  • 3 1/2 lbs. baby back pork ribs, extra meaty if you can find it
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce, divided (I use Kikkoman Original Teriyaki Sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions 

  • Remove the membrane from the back of the rack of ribs. Use paper towel to give you a good grip as it can be tricky to keep hold of.
  • Cut the ribs in half so that they will fit in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper and add them to the slow cooker
  • Brush the ribs with a 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce. Reserve a half-cup of teriyaki sauce for later.
  • Turn the slow cooker to low and allow to cook for 7 hours.
  • After the 7 hours, remove the ribs on to plate. Add the remaining teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic, and red wine vinegar to the sauce that is still in the slow cooker. Add the ribs into this sauce and brush this over the ribs in the slow cooker.
  • Cook for one more hour. Before serving, brush the sauce from the slow cooker on the ribs again.
  • Cut the ribs along the bone and serve.

Notes

Do I need to sear first?
This is not necessary when cooking them in the slow cooker. The long cook time will aid in breaking down the toughness of the ribs and result in fall-off-the-bone ribs when done.
Why don’t I add a lot of liquid to this?
Ribs typically soak up any seasoning and will create their own juice during the cooking process. Also, to keep the flavors of the other ingredients, it’s best to add them after most of the cooking has been done.
How to store:
Add any remaining ribs into an airtight container (along with the sauce/juice). Store in the refrigerator for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to five months.

Nutrition

Calories: 670kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 3512mg | Potassium: 849mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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10 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    5 stars
    I could not believe how great these ribs turned out. Tender and moist with great flavor. Thanks for a simple recipe with outstanding results . I will definitely be trying more of your recipes. Thanks

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I’m so glad you tried these Phil!

  2. Stacy says:

    3 stars
    Ribs didn’t seem to pick up the flavor of the sauce very well.

  3. Lisa says:

    Can you leave out the red wine vinegar or use something else? Turns out I don’t I have any.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      You can use any vinegar or Worcestershire sauce would be good.

  4. linda says:

    3 stars
    I think I must have done something wrong — because I have loved every recipe you have posted – any secrets you can share? I plan to try this again

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      What didn’t you like? Maybe you would like a different teriyaki sauce?

  5. Walt says:

    I love to use my slow cooker. Your recipes are great and easy to make.

  6. Amanda says:

    Can I use beef ribs instead of pork?

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      Yes, beef ribs will work great.