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Fall-off-the-bone slow cooker short ribs are a perfectly hearty and savory dinner! This is the best way to cook succulent beef and fork-tender carrots that are emerged in a delicious sauce that is full of flavor.

Serve this with a side of my Dad’s famous mashed potatoes, delicious mashed cauliflower, or this incredible rice. You can serve the meat and sauce on top of the sides to help soak up all the yummy goodness of this meal. I also love to enjoy this meat with fork-tender vegetables.

Tender, juicy flavorful Slow Cooker Short Ribs with carrots

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Slow cooker short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the brisket, chuck, plate, or rib areas of beef cattle. They include a short portion of the rib bone, thus the name short rib. Once this meat cooks all day in the slow cooker it becomes fork-tender and is amazing. Your whole family will love this delicious and flavorful dish because the meat melts in your mouth!

This is why beef short ribs were meant for long, slow braising at low heat. The longer you cook them then the better they become. If you cook this type of beef fast then it will remain tough. Cooking them in the slow cooker is the best way to get them to the perfect level of fall-off-the-bone doneness. After cooking away for hours in your crockpot, short ribs turn from tough to melt-in-your-mouth tender. They’re a perfect winter meal. Add my perfectly sauteed Brussels sprouts and some yummy rolls! I also love to serve this with this strawberry pretzel salad and it’s a perfect Sunday meal.

Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Ingredients

It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this meal full of flavor! The sauce is the best part of this recipe. You are going to love how juicy and tender this dish is. My husband requests this all time, and I love to make it because it is so easy.

  • Beef Short Ribs: 8-10 should fit nicely in your slow cooker
  • Salt and Pepper: Season to taste.
  • Olive Oil: For searing.
  • Carrots: Use large carrots, not baby carrots. Large carrots have more flavor
  • Beef Broth: To have an excellent beefy flavor don’t substitute for other broth.
  • Garlic: 3 cloves sounds like a lot but trust me it’s needed.
  • Tomato Paste: Imparts strong flavor without the extra water.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Gives immense flavor
  • Italian Seasoning: One of my all-time favorite spice combinations, it’s so good!

Cooking Beef Short Ribs

This recipe only takes a few minutes to put together then let the slow cooker do all the work! You will love how easy this slow cooker short rib recipe is. It’s a great meal to make in the morning then it’s ready when it’s time to eat dinner. It doesn’t get any easier!

  1. Sear: Salt and pepper the short ribs then sear in a skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure to do all sides. When they have a nice golden crust on all sides place in the slow cooker and add the carrots on top.
  2. Sauce: In a small bowl whisk the beef broth, garlic, tomato paste, worcestershire and italian seasoning. Pour the sauce over the ribs
  3. Cook: For best results cook on low for 8-10 hours.
First photo is seasoning the ribs with salt and pepper. Second photo is searing the meat on one side. Third photo is searing the meat on the other side. Fourth photo is pouring the sauce over the meat in the crockpot.

Tips for the Best Short Ribs

The trick to slow cooker short ribs is cooking them long enough to create tender meat. Here are my tips and tricks for getting your short ribs to be the best you’ve ever made! Follow my tips below and let’s get cooking.

  • Ribs: You can use short ribs with the bone in or without. Either will be amazing
  • Veggies: You can add onion and celery along with the meat.
  • Searing: You may be tempted to skip the searing step but make sure you don’t! It caramelizes the surface of the meat enhancing the flavor. So good! Worth the extra time.
  • Cooking Time:  If your short ribs turn out tough, that means that they didn’t cook long enough. Long and slow is key and they need to reach an internal temperature of 180-205 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when the heat is able to break down the connective tissue which makes them tough.
Fork Tender Slow Cooker Short Ribs in a bowl with mashed potatoes and carrots.

How to Make Gravy

The sauce will create a mouth-watering gravy you don’t want to skip. You already have all the drippings from the slow cooker short ribs, so make a delicious gravy to go on top of everything. It’s the dish that keeps on giving!

  1. Cool: After the meat has cooled for about 15 minutes in the juices then remove the meat and cover.
  2. Drain: Let the drippings cool for another 5 minutes until the fat rises. Spoon the fat off of the liquid and discard.
  3. Boil: Turn the slow cooker on high or you can use a saucepan on the stove over high heat. Pour in the drippings.
  4. Thicken: Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water together. Pour into the drippings and constantly then stir until nice and thick.

Storing Leftover Short Ribs

Store leftover slow cooker short ribs for lunch the next day. Your family will fight over it! It warms up great. I hope you do have leftovers because they are even better the next day.

  • In the Refrigerator: Cool leftovers to room temperature before sealing them in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • In the Freezer: Place the cooled leftovers in an airtight container or freezer Ziploc bag. Seal tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.

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Fall off the Bone Slow Cooker Short Ribs

4.72 from 7 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Fall off the Bone Slow Cooker Short Ribs is a perfect hearty, satisfying, and savory dinner. Full of flavor and fork tender succulent beef, it's a meal worth coming home to.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 People



  • Salt and pepper the beef short ribs. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the short ribs and sear each side for 1-2 minutes or until they have a golden brown crust. Remove from skillet and add to the slow cooker and add the carrots on top.
  • In a small bowl whisk the beef broth, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning. Add to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours or high 4-5 hours.


Calories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 306mgPotassium: 363mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 10204IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    my mom made this for christmas and it came out FANTASTIC. my dad is now visiting from san diego and he loves this kind of food. he told me to make double so we can have dinner for the 4 days he’s here. i’m so nervous because i now i have $180 worth of meat that i don’t want to mess up..
    my question is, can i deglaze the pan after browning the ribs with a little bit of red wine? and add it to the same amount of broth called for? i’m doing 2 crock pots. also, is it ok if the meat on the bottom of the crock isn’t in one layer, and there’s some on top? i’m so nervous. i hope it comes out like how my mom made it!! it was phenomenal on christmas. thanks in advance!

  2. 5 stars
    Can I do the searing of the ribs the night before and put in fridge, then cook as instructed the next day? Or do I have to sear and cook same day? Please advise. Thanks!

  3. Try again. It looks as if you used Korean style beef short ribs as opposed to regular beef short ribs with the difference being the way the butcher cuts the ribs?

    1. No, you can cook it on either low or high depending on what time you have available. The ribs will turn out the same!

  4. I am not good with making homemade gravy. Therefore, can I use beef gravy in the jar with this recipe. Also, would it clash with the tomato base?

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and fall off the bone goodness, Very easy to make and loved the convenience of using the slow cooker. The house smelled so good and I served with polenta and gravy. Thank you.

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve made this dish many times, a personal favorite, tastes like my mom’s cooking. Except I just toss in the whole small can of tomato paste, I like it extra tomatoey.