Sweet and Sour Crockpot Spareribs

Sweet and Sour Ribs StockFood - Kai Schwabe/Riser/Getty Images
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 11 hrs
Total: 11 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
607 Calories
42g Fat
28g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 607
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 672mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 2mg 9%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 485mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Sweet and Sour Crockpot Spareribs has so much rich flavor. If you like this recipe, remember that you can make extra batches of the barbecue sauce and store it in the freezer to make it any time. In fact, double or triple the sauce recipe every time you make it and you'll soon have a large batch ready for any grilling recipe. This is a classic barbecue sauce with tons of flavor.

Spareribs are long bones from the pig that have the most tender and flavorful meat. You can buy boneless pork ribs, but for this recipe, bone-in ribs work best. The bone adds more flavor to the recipe. Ask the butcher to cut the ribs into sections. You may need him to cut the ribs across so they will fit in your slow cooker.​

You can make this recipe with country-style ribs, which have more meat, or baby back ribs if you prefer. If you brown the ribs under the broiler after they are cooked the glaze becomes sticky and sweet and the ribs are browned to a luscious color.

Serve this simple recipe with some roasted potatoes, a fruit salad made with the best fruits of the season, and some sliced tomatoes with basil in the summer (a salad of cherry tomatoes in the winter is perfect).

For dessert, brownies or a wonderful and easy chocolate cake are perfectly decadent finishing touches.


  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/2 cup vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/3 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 pounds meaty pork spareribs, cut in 2 to 3 rib sections

  • 1 onion, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Mix the brown sugar and flour in a large saucepan. Add the water, then add the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ketchup, tomato paste, honey, Dijon mustard, ginger, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened.

  2. Layer the ribs with the chopped onions in a 4- to 6-quart crock pot, spooning the sauce over each layer.

  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours or until the ribs are very tender and glazed and they register at least 160 F on a meat thermometer.

  4. At this point, you can remove the ribs and place them on a broiler pan. Brush with some of the glaze from the slow cooker and brown under the broiler until dark brown. While the ribs are browning, put some of the sauce in a small saucepan and boil until thickened and reduced. Serve this sauce with the ribs and lots of napkins!

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

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