Beer Braised Short Ribs in the Slow Cooker

This recipe for Beer Braised Short Ribs in the slow cooker is one of the most popular posts on my website.  Busy moms need to have quick dinner ideas and easy recipes  to help make meal planning easier and this recipe doesn’t disappoint.Slow Cooker Beer Braised Short Ribs It's a Keeper

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about short ribs. Julie Powell talked about them in her book Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession (here’s the Kindle edition). The contestants on Top Chef are always whipping up recipes with them.  The Food Network chefs have been using them a lot lately, too.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never had them.

Which only meant one thing…I had to give them a try!  So I scoured my pile of collected recipes, looking for a short ribs recipe.  Oddly enough, I found one….on the back of another recipe for Parmesan Pork Roast (that I’m dying to try so stay tuned)!  BINGO!  And, this recipe is made in the slow cooker — DOUBLE BINGO!

Let me start by saying that my 5 year old has claimed this recipe as “his favorite dinner EVER!”  I was completely amazed by how flavorful and rich these ribs and the decadent sauce are!  AH-MAZING!  I’m going to be begging my butcher for short ribs on a regular basis now!

I used Yuengling Lager beer — that’s all we have in our house.  If you’re not a beer fan, you can use non-alcoholic beer or just use more beef broth.  But honestly, it didn’t have a very strong beer flavor.  What it did have was a nice, rich flavor.  Mmmmm….I wish I had some leftover to eat right now!

I served them with mashed potatoes, but any starch to soak up the sauce would work fine.  Egg noodles, rice, a hunk of good, crusty bread, whatever.

And, I’ll let you in on a little secret…traditional braising requires you to brown the meat on all sides before adding it to the braising pan (or slow cooker).  I actually had to make this recipe twice for this post, since the first time I forgot to take a photo.

The first time I made them, I browned them and then added them to the slow cooker to finish cooking.  The second time, I didn’t brown them.  Just slapped them in Big Red (yes, I’ve named my slow cooker Big Red).  Honestly, you couldn’t tell the difference.  To save time, I think you can skip the browning step.

Just make sure you give this recipe a try!  It’s sooooo good!  Take my 5 year old’s word for it!

UPDATE:  If you’re looking for a quick cook dish with the same flavors, give my Drunken Pork Chops a try!  They are done in 30 minutes and have all of the same flavor as this recipe!

When it comes to slow cookers, there are many options available – from the basic to the ultra fancy. My favorite is the Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. I have had a number of slow cookers over the years and this is by far my favorite. It’s easy to use and program. It’s just the right size and it has handy clips that hold the lid on securely while you’re traveling.

Here are some slow cooker accessories you might like too:

For more delicious and easy crock pot recipes, check out my Easy Crock Pot Recipes page and my Tips for Using Your Slow Cooker page.

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It's a Keeper

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Hi! I'm Christina, the chief cook and bottle washer here at It Is a Keeper! I scour cookbooks, recipe boxes and the internet to bring you only the BEST recipes that have my seal of approval. Most of my recipes are easy enough for busy weeknights and simple enough for those that think they can't cook. Thanks for stopping by!

Latest posts by Christina Hitchcock (see all)


  1. Kelly says

    I have made these countless times, but have always wondered, can you cook these on high for a shorter period of time?

  2. LindY G says

    Hi Chris, I’m a new fan and I’m so impressed with your recipes, a lot of Blue Ribbon winners for sure. Right now I’m going thru your Slow-Cooker recipes (I’m so in-love with my Crock-Pot too). Sure wish you had “Pin-It” button on them, would be a pleasure for me to share them on Pinterest. Sister From the South, LindY G

  3. Dorothy Hanley says

    This was an incredible dish ! I used a bottle of Guiness Stout and added a 1/4 C of dark molasses to the mixture poured over the ribs before cooking !

  4. Angela says

    This sounds so good, I can’t wait to try it. If I could offer a suggestion. I cook with beer quite a bit and the one thing you want to do is use a strongly flavored beer. Stouts and Porters go especially well with beef, you just want to wait to eat those the next day (to combat the bitterness).

    • says

      Wow- this is such a timely post for me! I just got myeslf a slow cooker and am totally hooked. Throw a few things in and when it’s time to go home, dinner is ready. Brilliant!Will have to try some of these delicious recipes

  5. Sharon D of Lawrenceville says

    These short ribs are fantastic. I add extra vegetables in the crockpot, too. A family favorite, for sure! This is my go to comfort food recipe.

  6. Lisa D says

    I made this recipe tonight and it was amazing!! My husband licked his plate clean! Better than most restaurant short ribs!! Delicious!!!

  7. Charlene says

    Goodmorning Christina…

    I made this dish yesterday and it is delicious ! I am not a big fan of crockpot recipes and I am very happy to say this one Is A Keeper !!!

    Thanks for your response to my question and I have to agree that the tomato paste is the way to go…Thanks…Charlene

  8. Charlene says

    Thank You Christina for getting back to me :) I am looking forward to this smells delicious. I am glad I went to the store to get the tomato paste I am sure it will make a difference….

  9. Charlene says

    I am making the shortribs in the crockpot now…I forgot to buy the tomato paste…is there something I can use instead or should I just go buy it ??

  10. Pamela says

    I will be making this for New Years Eve dinner tomorrow, with mashed potatoes and heirloom carrots. I am planning on substituting Beef broth for Beef Boillion (2 cups I think?), do you think this will work out OK? Any other suggestions on doing this?

  11. Sharon says

    All I can say…the short ribs were absolutely fantastic! I pulled out the crock pot to make some comfort food during today’s snow storm. Glad I found this site and recipe. I never made short ribs before, but I will make them again…and soon!

    • says

      It should be great! I typically use Yuengling Lager (since that’s all we have in our house) when I make any recipe with beer and it’s divine! Let me know if you try it and how you make out! We’re having this for dinner tomorrow night and I can’t wait! :)

  12. Stephanie says

    Made this for dinner tonight. Can I say AMAZING. My whole family enjoyed it and that is not easy to do. It was so fast to get ready in the morning and very litte prep when I got home from work. I added carrots and mushrooms which made a great addition.

  13. Miranda says

    We love short ribs at our house. I usually use Emiril’s recipe which uses a little red wine vinegar. Like the beer, it gives it a little extra flavor but nothing overpowering. This looks yummy, I’ll have to try it next time.

  14. says

    Mmm – I love ribs! I don’t brown mine first either but I have never tried to cook them in the slow cooker! Gotta try it this way next time! Thanks for sharing!

  15. says

    Wow. I always sear my short ribs on all sides, THEN braise them forever. Definitely going to try this one. (I often serve mine with some creamy Parmesan polenta and a crispy salad!) Here from Stuff & Nonsense and am following.

  16. says

    And, if it works in a crockpot, it’s great in a solar oven! Hello from Prairie Story Recipe Swap. Gonna browse around your site — everything looks delish. Come visit when you can!

  17. says

    These look yummy! A perfect dish for spring!

    I’m your newest follower and found you through Whatever Goes Wednesday. Stop by my blog sometime–I’d love to have you as a follower, as well! :)

  18. says

    With one kid in softball and one in baseball, the crock pot is going to get its own workout. Thanks for a new recipe for my family. These look really, really good. Plus, the endorsement from a 5 year old really sealed the deal.

  19. says

    It’s really perfect timing that I came across this recipe! Yesterday we bought some gluten free beer, only to find out that it tasted really gross by itself. So we have 3 bottles to use up somehow and this recipe definitely fits the bill! Yum!

  20. says

    Looks wonderful yummy! I don’t usually brown the meat before putting it in the crockpot. I know they say you’re supposed to in order to sear in the juices and make it taste better, but I’ve never noticed a difference so I usually skip that step.

    Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

  21. says

    Thanks for linking up your recipe to THIS WEEKS CRAVINGS! This is gonna be a fun week, seeing what “secret ingredient” people hide in their recipes!

    Just a “sneak peak” for next week, the theme is “HUBBY COOKS”. So, we hope to see you again next Monday (and maybe if you don’t already have a husband that cooks, you can talk him into making you dinner this week… that’s what I have to do!)

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