Slow Cooker Lamb Ribs are sweet, juicy and melt in your mouth. Super easy to prepare with maximum flavour and minimal effort, everyone will love chowing down on these! Set and forget your dinner by starting these in the morning and delighting in crockpot lamb ribs falling off the bone by evening.
Recipes like my BBQ Lamb Ribs, Honey Soy Pork Ribs and Air Fryer Spare Ribs bring take out style food to the kitchen so you can eat in!
My Cumin Lamb Noodles and Air Fryer Lamb Chops give you alternate ways to cook this sensational protein.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Taste and texture: the dry rub and Worcestershire sauce bring the flavour and the meat falling off the bones enable the variety of texture in the dish.
- Super easy: it takes minutes to combine the ingredients for the dry rub and coat the ribs in them. Once done simply load them into the slow cooker, turn the heat on, pop the lid on and let it do its thing.
- Versatile: be it game day, a party, an appetizer, starter or main, these ribs lend them self to a variety of serving options.
- Low and slow: ribs are known for delivering the best results when they are cooked at low temperature for a long time. We can achieve this in 2 ways using the slow cooker with a choice of a 4 hr cook or a longer 8 hr cook time.
- Short prep time: preparing the ribs for cooking only takes about 5 mins, there is no need to marinate the ribs in the fridge overnight or for hours prior to cooking, cutting down the total effort involved in making the recipe.
- Alternative protein: it can be nice to switch things up a little and not always opt for chicken, beef or fish. Cooking lamb is a great alternative to other meats and is succulent, sweet and delicious 😍.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Lamb ribs: you will be able to get these from the butcher if you cannot find them at your local supermarket. Many stores will sell them already marinated. We are looking for plain lamb ribs so that we can add our own combination of flavours to them.
- Worcestershire sauce: this vinegar based condiment adds flavour to many meat based dishes. Unique in taste, it adds a lovely depth of taste to the recipe. You will find it in the supermarket with the other sauces.
- Garlic powder: one of the ingredients used to make the dry rub. This can have a tendency to dry out when stored over time so check your bottle before using to make sure it is fresh. Or grab some more from the herbs and spices section at the shops to avoid disappointment.
- Onion powder: similar to the garlic powder as I mention above, this powder can dry out and 'set' if the bottle has been opened but not used for a while. A fresh bottle may be needed for the recipe.
- Mustard powder: made from crushed mustard seeds, this is a fantastic flavoursome ingredient to use for ribs. Often this is used as a paste and paired with chicken or fish dishes as well.
- Paprika: this spice is used to add flavour to the dry rub which gets imparted into the ribs when they are cooked. It is made from dried ground red peppers. We only use a small amount for the recipe and it is unlikely that anyone would find the taste 'too hot' or 'spicy'.
- Salt and pepper: we only need a small amount of both of these. They are combined with the other spices to make the dry rub.
Tasty Tip: I often use and recommend dried onion (flakes) for my recipes. That is a similar product and will be found in the same section of the store as the spices. However, to create a rub with a consistently powdered texture, I recommend dried onion powder, not flakes for this recipe 😉👍.
Here at the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by making the dry rub and covering the ribs in that. A glass jug and mini whisk are handy to help with this process.
- Combine rub mixture (Photo 1)
- Rub into ribs (Photo 2)
- Flip and rub other side (Photo 3)
- Pour Worcestershire sauce into slow cooker (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Slow Cooker Lamb Ribs
To make the ribs, start by combining the garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small glass and whisk to consistently combine.
When working with the spices for the rub mixture dry and keep them away from any moisture or liquids. It will stick more to the meat than your fingers if you do this. Be liberal when applying and coating the ribs. You will find that it won't stick to any exposed bones but will stick to the raw meat.
- Place ribs into slow cooker (Photo 5)
- Cook ribs for 4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low (Photo 6)
- Remove ribs and place on baking rack (Photo 7)
- Grill (broil) for 10 to 12 mins to crisp up the ribs (Photo 8)
When you remove the cooked ribs from the slow cooker, use a slotted silicon turner as it will allow you to move them without the meat falling off the bone. Using only tongs will see them split and fall back into the slow cooker. Transfer them to the baking tray and grill for caramelising.
At high heat the ribs will need only around 10 mins of grilling. This process browns them and makes the edges golden brown and somewhat crispy. Keep an eye on them during this time as they grill very quickly and you don't want to over do them 😉👍.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Everyone loves sauce when it comes to ribs and you can have a look through my homemade sauces if you want a low sugar one for pairing. Store bought BBQ sauce is a popular choice and you can purchase reduced sugar or keto friendly sauces that might appeal to you more than their high sugar counter parts 😁.
Sides like the Ciabatta Garlic Bread, Garlic Pizza Bread, Creamy Garlic Potatoes or Garlic Butter Potatoes all work well.
For a lighter side the Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad is a great choice or if you are hungry for fries the Gravy Fries or Air Fryer Chips.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
You can store leftovers of the ribs in a sealed air tight container for 2 days. Reheat prior to consuming.
How to Freeze
You can freeze the purchased ribs (raw) for later use for up to 2 months. To thaw, remove them from the freezer and place on a plate in the fridge overnight or the day ahead of using. I do not recommend freezing leftover cooked ribs and reheating as you loose the fall off the bone texture and experience of the dish.
How to Reheat
You can reheat the ribs in the oven or microwave. The microwave will give the fastest results and only need 1 to 2 mins. The oven will produce more succulent results and the ribs will take 5 to 10 mins to reheat.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- Celery salt can be used in place of the cooking salt if you want to make this change (equivalent amount).
- You can use ½ teaspoon of paprika if you are worried about the spice factor and use an extra ½ teaspoon of mustard powder.
- Or if you want to you can omit the paprika and instead use 1 additional teaspoon of mustard powder to ensure that the rub quantity will be enough to cover the ribs.
- Rosemary is a popular herb to use for lamb recipes. If you want to you can sprinkle ½ teaspoon of this into the slow cooker just prior to placing the lid on.
- If you cannot conceive of the recipe without adding brown sugar, you can add a teaspoon to the dry rub.
- You can use this rub on other types of ribs be they pork spare ribs, pork baby back ribs or St Louis Ribs.
- For garnish chopped chives, green onions or parsley all work well.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- A mini whisk, fork or spoon is very handy to combine the ingredients for the rub. A small glass jar is a great vessel to use for this purpose.
- Try and keep all of the dry ingredients away from any moisture or liquids. This will keep it dry for rubbing into the meat.
- Use kitchen tongs when handling the raw meat.
- When adding the rub coat as much of the ribs as you can, ie the sides, top and bottom. Any wet meat part. The rub won't stick to the bone part though 👍😉.
- The remaining liquid in the slow cooker bowl will be a combination of oil and sauce, this needs to be discarded.
- To minimise the clean up of the baking tray, use a silicon mat or tin foil so that you can discard this and not have to scrub the pan for hours.
- When the ribs are cooked, the meat will be starting to fall off the bone. To avoid it falling off as you remove the ribs from the crockpot, use a slotted silicon turner under the ribs to help remove them in one piece.
- When broiling (grilling) the ribs, ensure that the oven has reached the right temperature before putting the baking tray into the oven.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Can you overcook lamb in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can overcook lamb in a slow cooker. To avoid this happening don't go over the maximum cook time of 8 hrs as listed in the recipe.
Can you cook lamb in a slow cooker without liquid?
Yes, you can cook lamb in a slow cooker without liquid, simply by using a dry rub. You may however, still want to give the bowl a quick spray with olive oil to ensure that the meat does not stick as it cooks.
Can you put raw lamb in a slow cooker?
Yes! You can put raw lamb into the slow cooker without browning it to start with.
Is it better to cook meat on high or low in a slow cooker?
Both cooking temperatures of low and high will produce good results when slow cooking. Use the temperature that you have time for. If you only have 4 hours then using high heat will still produce fall off the bone meat.
Do you need to brown lamb before slow cooking?
No, it is not necessary to brown lamb before slow cooking. The raw meat can simply be added to the crockpot.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you love to cook the kinds of food that saves you eating out and allows you to get comfy at home, then I have some more ideas that I think you will love.
- Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
- Marinated Lamb Ribs
- Bruschetta Pizza
- Ciabatta Pizza
- Lamb Bolognese
- Beef Yaki Udon
- Pork Udon
- Pork Mince Noodles
- Curry Beef Mince
Its time to set and forget my friend! You can also find all of my homemade take out recipes in the one spot. xx
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Slow Cooker Lamb Ribs
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Slow Cooker 5 litre, 6-quart
- 1 Kitchen Tongs
- 1 Slotted silicon flexible turner
- 1 Baking rack
- 1 Baking tray
- 1 Silicon Baking Mat
- 1 Small glass to combine the rub ingredients
- 1 Mini whisk to stir the dry rub together
- 1kg/2 pounds lamb ribs Note 1
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder Note 2
- 2 teaspoon onion powder Note 3
- 2 teaspoon mustard powder Note 4
- 1 teaspoon paprika Note 5
- ¼ teaspoon salt Note 6
- ¼ teaspoon pepper also Note 6
- ¼ cup/60ml Worcestershire sauce Note 7
- olive oil spray optional, Note 8
- Dry rub: add the garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper to a small glass and use a mini wish to stir and combine.
- Ribs: use kitchen tongs to lay the ribs out flat in one layer on a chopping board.
- Rub onto ribs: coat the ribs all over with the dry rub, rubbing it into the meat as you go. Use tongs to flip the rubs and repeat for the other side, top and bottom.
- Olive oil: lightly spray the base and sides of the slow cooker with olive oil.
- Worcestershire sauce: pour the sauce into the base of the slow cooker.
- Ribs into slow cooker: use kitchen tongs to place ribs into slow cooker side by side. They can overlap if there is not enough room.
- Cook: place the lid on the slow cooker and set the temperature to high for 4 hours (or low for 8 hours).
- Remove: once cooked, remove the lid and use a slotted silicon turner slid under the ribs to transfer them to a baking rack.
- Grill: place the ribs onto the top shelf of the oven and grill for 12 mins at 200°C 392° F6 till lightly browned around the edges.
- Serve and enjoy: use oven mits to remove the baking tray from the oven and rest on a heat proof surface. Rest for 1 to 2 mins before plating and serving.
- Note 1 - Lamb ribs: you will be able to get these from the butcher if you cannot find them at your local supermarket. Many stores will sell them already marinated. We are looking for plain lamb ribs so that we can add our own combination of flavours to them.
- Note 2 - Garlic powder: one of the ingredients used to make the dry rub. This can have a tendency to dry out when stored over time so check your bottle before using to make sure it is fresh and ready to go or grab some more from the herbs and spices section at the shops.
- Note 3 - Onion powder: similar to the garlic powder as I mention above, this powder can dry out and 'set' if the bottle has been opened but not used for a while. A fresh bottle may be needed for the recipe.
- Not 4 - Mustard powder: made from crushed mustard seeds, this is a fantastic flavoursome ingredient to use for ribs. Often this is used as a paste and paired with chicken or fish dishes as well.
- Note 5 - Paprika: this spice is used to add flavour to the dry rub which gets imparted into the ribs when they are cooked. It is made from dried ground red peppers. We only use a small amount for the recipe and it is unlikely that anyone would find the taste 'too hot' or 'spicy'.
- Note 6 Salt and pepper: we only need a small amount of both of these. They are combined with the other spices to make the dry rub.
- Note 7 - Worcestershire sauce: this vinegar based condiment adds flavour to many meat based dishes. Unique in taste, it adds a lovely depth of taste to the recipe. You will find it in the supermarket with the other sauces.
- Note 8 - Olive oil spray: this is optional, but handy to spray the base and sides of the slow cooker so that any meat that sits next to it as it cooks doesn't stick or burn. A light spray is all that is needed.
I have a rack of ribs as one whole piece. Could I cook it as a whole piece and then cut up once cooked or would it be best to cut them up before cooking? Thanks
Hi Anna, you could do both. It will be easier to flip it to the back side and cut from there as you can see the line of the bones. However, one problem you may run into with a whole rack in the slow cooker is that you have to cut in half at least as it won't fit as one long slab of ribs. I have 3 pork ribs recipes also on the blog where I cook full racks if you want to look at those as a guide. I hope that you enjoy them!!
Sorry, one more thing that I wanted to say was that a rack of lamb is slightly different from lamb ribs. They will have more meat and be more like a lamb cutlet not individual spare ribs. Pork ribs are commonly sold as a rack, but lamb individual, so I am wondering if you have a rack of lamb (which would cook much faster) than lamb ribs. Extra info just in case so we are on the same page. Thanks and enjoy :).