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Slow Cooker Hawaiian Ribs

These low and slow-cooked Hawaiian-style smoked ribs are utterly delicious! The teriyaki and pineapple BBQ sauce adds a nice sweet, umami finish. We love this sauce so much, we recommend making a little extra to serve on the side. These ribs are perfect for weekend cookouts and parties, so buckle up and let’s get started making these fantastic Hawaiian smoked spare ribs!

For smoked spare ribs, we recommend using the 3-2-1 method. If you’re new to grilling and smoking meats, this means that the ribs are seasoned and cooked at a low temperature for 3 hours. Then they are wrapped in aluminum foil with a little fruit juice and brown sugar for 3 hours. Finally, the ribs are unwrapped, placed back on the grill, and sauced every 15 minutes until for an hour. The results are fork tender and simply fantastic.

If you are cooking baby back ribs, you will need to follow the 2-2-1 method. That means cooking the ribs for 2 hours, wrapping them for 2, unwrapping them, and saucing them for 1 hour. Spare ribs are roughly 1 1/2 times more meat than baby backs, and this recipe is designed for spare ribs. We recommend using 2 racks of baby back ribs and increasing the recipe by another half. Example: 1/3 of a cup of pineapple juice + 1/6 cup = 1/2 cup. Teriyaki sauce is 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons = 6 tablespoons, and so on.

Temperature and Wood Suggestions

For this these Hawaiian style ribs, we want to go low and slow. That means maintaining a low overall cooking temperature. We’ve found that 275 degrees work best for ribs, though some Pitmasters stick by 250 degrees or 285 degrees. It’s all a matter of preference and works best for the equipment you’re using. We made these using a pellet grill, so if you have a Traeger (or something similar), aim for a cooking temperature of 275 degrees.

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3-4 lbs beef ribs
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, for thickening)
1 tablespoon water (optional, for thickening)


Season the beef ribs with salt and pepper and place them in the slow cooker.

In a bowl, combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped onion. Stir well until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the mixture over the ribs in the slow cooker, ensuring they’re well-coated.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for about 3-4 hours, until the ribs are tender.

Once the ribs are cooked, you can remove them and place them under a broiler for a few minutes to get a caramelized finish, if desired.

If you prefer a thicker sauce, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water to create a slurry. Pour this into the slow cooker and stir. Cook on high for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve the ribs with the sauce and perhaps a side of rice and steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

Enjoy your Slow Cooker Hawaiian Beef Ribs with their sweet and tangy flavor!

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