Barbecued Beef Ribs

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 5-1/2 hours


8 servings

Updated: Apr. 24, 2022
These tender, slow-cooked beef ribs with a tangy sauce are a cinch to make. They’re great for picnics and parties. —Erin Glass, White Hall, Maryland


  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 3/4 cup plum preserves or preserves of choice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Place onion and water in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown ribs in batches. Add to slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients; cook and stir over medium heat until heated through.
  3. Remove ribs from slow cooker; discard cooking juices. Return ribs to slow cooker. Pour sauce over top. Cook, covered, on high 25-30 minutes or until ribs are nicely coated.

Barbecued Beef Ribs Tips

Are beef ribs and short ribs the same?

Beef and short ribs are not exactly the same. Short ribs are cut much shorter and are from the lower part of the rib cage. Short ribs have a lot of meat on them but since they have more connective tissue, they need to be cooked low and for a longer period of time. Try our slow-cooked short rib recipe!

Why are my beef ribs chewy?

Your beef ribs may be chewy because they are undercooked or were cooked too quickly at a higher heat. Ribs need to be cooked at a lower temperature and for a longer time because they are a naturally tough meat. Another thing to check is that the back membrane is removed. This membrane does not get tender through the cooking process so it will remain chewy and stringy, making the ribs unpleasant to eat.

Can you overcook ribs in a slow cooker?

You can overcook ribs in a slow cooker. If you like a nice bite with tender meat, make sure to cook the ribs for the recommended cooking time, otherwise the meat will fall off the bone too easily and have a mushy texture. Check out our other ribs recipes, like peach-glazed ribs, Kansas City-style ribs and honey-chipotle ribs. Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 359 calories, 14g fat (5g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 860mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 0 fiber), 18g protein.