Recipe Details

Slow-Cooker Root Beer Ribs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 6


Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest


2 racks St. Louis spare ribs, (2 1/3 to 3 pounds each), cut into 3- or 4-rib sections
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cup (12-oz) can root beer, (not diet), divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

Cooking Directions

Combine sugar, chili powder, salt, onion powder and allspice in medium bowl. Set aside half the spice mixture (about 1/3 cup.); sprinkle the rest over both sides of ribs. Pour 1/2 cup root beer into slow cooker and add ribs. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or on high for 3 1/2-4 hours, until ribs are very tender.

With 10 minutes left on ribs, combine remaining root beer and reserved spice mixture in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce thickens, just a few seconds. Remove from heat; set aside.

Remove ribs to platter and cover. Strain the cooking liquid and pour off fat. Add 1/3 cup remaining liquid to sauce; stir until smooth.

Brush ribs with sauce, serve with remaining sauce on side.

Serves 6

Serving Suggestions

You can’t beat a refreshing slaw with ribs — one with a little sweetness from apples, oranges, or raisins would be nice with this recipe. It’d also be good with oven fries alongside. To make the dish your own, try using cola instead of root beer, or serve the ribs garnished with thin slivers of red onion.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 380 calories
Protein: 17 grams
Fat: 26 grams
Sodium: 1300 milligrams
Cholesterol: 85 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 8 grams
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fiber: 1 grams

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About the Cut: Spareribs

Spareribs come from the belly of the hog and are known for their delicious, meaty pork flavor.

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Buying, Handling & Storage Tips

These curved ribs are the least meaty variety of ribs, but the lean meat is still full of flavor. Spareribs are typically larger and heavier than back ribs.

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Butcher's Tips

Ribs are commonly prepared with either “wet” or “dry.” Ribs rubbed with a mixture of herbs and spices are called dry ribs. Such rubs can be applied just before barbecuing. Ribs basted with sauces during the barbecuing process are called wet ribs. For best results, brush ribs generously during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

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Slow-Cooker Root Beer Ribs
by anonymous 04/14/2014
Not the flavor I expected. It wasn't bad though but I probably wont make it again.

ribs bland
by anonymous 03/17/2014
I made this tonite and well do not bother...a lot of work and not so great bbq ribs,,I will not be making this again..way too much work...

Just okay
by anonymous 03/07/2014
Made these as directed, used baby back ribs though. Ribs were very tender, but the flavor was not what I expected, it needed something else or more of a "kick", sauce was pretty thick but the corn starch flavor to me was too raw, should have cooked it off longer. There was a LOT of extra porky juice or broth in the pot. I saved it and used it for Swedish meatballs, added some allspice, nutmeg and worstershire sauce, a can of cream of mushroom soup and two beef bouillon cubes (crockpot) and the meatballs, now that came out awesome! I have to make the ribs again just so I can make swedish meatballs!

Too much salt!!!
by anonymous 03/07/2014
Happy to see someone else left out the salt. So unnecessary!

A new Fav
by anonymous 02/27/2014
great flavor! We left out the salt completely and the ribs turned out great.

Great ribs
by Janis 02/27/2014
Tender, yummy and messy. Definitely a dish we will have frequently.