Crock-Pot Ribs Recipe with Balsamic & Sorghum

Crock-Pot Ribs Recipe with Balsamic & Sorghum

Cook up a batch of these Crock-Pot Ribs with Balsamic & Sorghum so you don’t have to give up a BBQ favorite just because the weather’s getting colder.

That’s because you slow cook ribs in a crock-pot instead of cooking them on the grill.

No need for a fancy smoker either! This easy slow cooker recipe makes ribs that are smoky and oh so tasty!

The marinade and the slow cooking makes your ribs fall-off-the-bone tender, too.

A plate of Crock-Pot Ribs with fork and floral napkin

Why these crock-pot ribs are amazing

To slow cook ribs in a crock-pot takes a little preparation the night before, but you’ll come home to a house that smells amazing.

Plus, you’ll have a meal on the table less than 30 minutes after arriving home.

Slow cooker pork ribs are much faster (let along cheaper and healthier) than hitting your favorite barbecue joint on the way home from work, too!

Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing the smoky flavor of barbecued ribs with these slow cooker ribs.

The smoked paprika in combination with the balsamic vinegar and Marsala cooking wine does the trick.

Crock-Pot Ribs with fork on white plate

How to make slow cooker ribs

Make the rub: This slow cooker ribs recipe uses a rub of minced garlic, thyme, sorghum, balsamic vinegar, chile pepper, paprika, salt and pepper along with sorghum syrup.

You apply this mixture to the ribs and let it sit in the crock overnight in the refrigerator to give the ribs that amazing flavor.

What’s sorghum syrup? Sorghum is a sweetener similar to brown rice syrup or molasses that’s very popular in the south for baking and cooking. You can buy sorghum online.

If you’re unable to find it or don’t want to buy sorghum just for this crock-pot ribs recipe, you can use real maple syrup, molasses, honey or agave nectar instead.

Marinate and cook: After marinating overnight, the slow cooker pork ribs are then slow cooked in balsamic vinegar and Marsala cooking wine.

(Make sure to use cooking wine and not Marsala wine.) You can find both in the vinegar section of the grocery store.

Crock-Pot Ribs and sweet potato with fork on white plate with floral napkin

Serving up the slow cooker pork ribs

I cooked up the crock-pot ribs with some nutritious sweet potatoes to make this a true one pot recipe!

You can turn them into sweet potato mash with the rest of the Marsala cooking wine.

Or serve the sweet potatoes a little smear of a buttery spread and a dash of sea salt.

However, my favorite way is to slice up the sweet potatoes and pour on some of the Balsamic & Sorghum Drizzling Sauce, since it’s not just for the ribs.

The Crock-Pot Ribs with Balsamic & Sorghum goes great with a side salad like Brussel Sprouts Salad with Cranberries or a side dish like Oven Roasted Vegetables.

Crock-Pot Ribs and sweet potato with fork on white plate with bottle of balsamic vinegar

Best slow cooker ribs for your party!

Crock-Pot Ribs also make a terrific party appetizer. Since you can fit two 3-pound slabs of pork loin ribs in a six quart slow cooker, just double the recipe and omit the sweet potatoes.

After about five to six hours, check to see if the pork ribs are cooked through, but not done so they’re falling apart. (The meat should stay on the bone.)

Cut the ribs apart, and place them back in the slow cooker on low for an hour before the party.

Serve the drizzling sauce as a dipping sauce. Your guests will love ‘em!

More easy slow cooker recipes

Looking for another slow cooker rib recipe? Try Crock-Pot Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Potatoes.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders are also terrific to serve at parties.

Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo Recipe with Quinoa and Zesty Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs are family favorite dinners.

This Slow Cooker Poached Pears Recipe is an amazing Valentine’s Day dessert.

Speaking of desserts, this Crockpot Pumpkin Dump Cake Recipe is a foolproof fall time dessert that’s gluten free.


Crock-Pot Ribs Recipe with Balsamic & Sorghum

Crock-Pot Ribs Recipe with Balsamic & Sorghum

Crock-Pot Ribs with Balsamic & Sorghum taste like ribs cooked on the grill. These slow cooker pork ribs will be a hit with your family!

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours


  • 1 3-pounds rack pork loin back ribs

For the rub

  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sorghum syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

In the slow cooker

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Marsala cooking wine
  • 8 small sweet potatoes, wrapped in aluminum foil

For the drizzling sauce

  • 1/2 cup “drippings” from slow cooker with the fat skimmed off
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sorghum syrup


For the pork ribs

  1. To make the rub, combine minced garlic, thyme, sorghum, balsamic vinegar, chile pepper, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Rub evenly over the rack of pork ribs.
  3. Place the rack of ribs inside the stoneware crock so the meat side is touching the inside of the crock. Place lid on crock and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
  4. In the morning, add water, Marsala cooking wine, and wrapped sweet potatoes to crock. Place stoneware crock into the slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.

For the Balsamic and Sorghum Drizzle Sauce

  1. Combine drippings, water, balsamic vinegar, and sorghum in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until reduced to about 1 cup – 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Serve the Balsamic and Sorghum Drizzle Sauce on the ribs, the sweet potatoes, and anything else that may end up on your plate!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 701Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 1099mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gProtein: 64g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on October 8, 2013. Updated with new pictures and information.

Crock-Pot Ribs Recipe with Balsamic & Sorghum

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