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“Stank-a-Dank” Crock Pot Pork Spare Ribs

“Stank-a-Dank” Crock Pot Pork Spare Ribs

Every time I make them, my Chinese 5-Spice Pork Ribs fill the whole house for hours with their intensely sweet, pungent aroma. For this reason, my husband recently started calling them “Stank-a-Dank Ribs.” 

So, after elaborate polling and random double-blind sampling a Facebook vote, “Stank-a-Dank Ribs” became their official new name. :D

These stinky-but-delicious, Asian-style crock pot pork spare ribs are super easy, tender and juicy every time. They taste especially yummy served over stir-fry veggies, bok choi, cauliflower “rice” or a big salad. 

Preparing Fresh Pork

Whether cooking ground pork, chops, ribs, loins or roasts, you should always prepare an acid marinade for your fresh pork. This could be as simple as a 12–24 hour soak in vinegar and water (2:1), plus some sea salt, or it could be a more elaborate marinade with seasonings and spices to make dinner extra special.

Similar to brining and drying your nuts and seeds, or soaking your grains in whey, marinating pork in an acid like vinegar, citrus or yogurt is a traditional preparation method used worldwide that tenderizes the meat, improves its digestibility, kills any parasites present, and reduces its inflammatory properties.

Our ancestors have prepared pork like this for thousands of years, and they were pretty smart, after all. And even today, many people count on acidic marinades to make their pork dishes really shine. This recipe follows that tradition.

“Stank-A-Dank” Crock Pot Pork Spare Ribs




  1. Cover your ribs with white vinegar and water in a 2:1 ratio. Mix in a teaspoon of sea salt and soak 12 hours or overnight.
  2. In the morning, drain ribs thoroughly.
  3. Sprinkle each side of your ribs generously with sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  4. Heavily coat each side with Chinese 5-spice powder until most of the meat appears covered in dark orange powder.
  5. Gently rub the seasonings into the meat on both sides, then place the ribs upright into your crockpot. (It’s ok if they lean!)
  6. Add the rice wine vinegar and coconut aminos or tamari to the bottom of the crockpot.
  7. Cook on high for 4-6 hours. Without much liquid in the pot, these ribs are roasting, not stewing, so keep your eye on them so they don’t dry out!
  8. Enjoy!

Read Standard Disclosures and Disclaimers here.


  1. How many people will this feed? I’ve never used a slow cooker, and I just started learning how to cook. I want to make this for about 6 people. What should I do?

    • Depends on how many ribs you fit into the slow cooker and how meaty they are. Most people will eat at least 2-3 ribs.

  2. Question:

    Do you have a similar recipe for chicken? I’m taking a break from pork and I’d love to make this with chicken breast or thighs. What do you say??

    • I do not. But give the rub a try on some chicken and let us know how it turns out!

  3. Can these ribs be cooked on low instead of high? If so how long should I cook them? I’m excited to give these a try!

    • I’ve never done it that way, but give it a try, starting with an extra two hours, check them often, and let us know how long it takes!

  4. These turned out fantastic! Thank you for the recipe. I used garlic cloves instead of garlic powder and Bragg’s instead of coconut aminos (it’s what I had on hand).

  5. So I’m making this recipe again (awesome ribs and I can’t get enough of them) and I wondered if I could do a similar thing with pork loin.

    Would this work if I soaked a pork loin overnight in water, vinegar and sea salt as per the rib recipe called and then mixed the remaining ingredients and covered the loin with it? I’m thinking it may work.

    • Yes, brining your pork ahead of time is a great, traditional practice that makes pork more nutritious and taste better too!

  6. Where can I find that 5 spice Chinese seasoning?

  7. I would like to know if we can use apple cider vinegar instead of white for soaking? I can’t have any other vinegars in my diet??

  8. Another question: Can we use apple cider vinegar instead of white?

  9. I made these using baby back ribs and they were incredible. I love Asian-style ribs. LOVE.

    One question, though: After they’ve soaked in the vinegar/water/sea salt mix, do I rinse them before I season them or just drain and season accordingly?


    • I usually do a quick rinse and then season. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!!

  10. Cooking them up right now! So looking forward to trying them. Instead of putting on the garlic powder I put two cloves of chopped garlic in the marinade instead. I couldn’t get my hands on the Chinese 5-spice powder that you suggested, so I had to use McCormick Asian Seasoning instead. :( But these are going to make a great lunch today, and most likely a few other meals this week.

  11. Hi Dawn. Thank you for linking up at my first ever Tuned-in Tuesday Blog Hop! :) Hope to see you there tomorrow with new stuff!

  12. Yum! These look delicious! And I had no idea about the acidic marinade making the pork easier to digest. I’ve soaked grains, nuts, and beans before, but never pork. I’ll have to try it next time, though!

    Thanks for sharing with Old-Fashioned Friday! :)

  13. Oh, we love ribs in the slow cooker. These look delicious! I’d seen your entry at link parties and had wondered where on earth the title came from. Now I know. LOL

    I wanted to invite you to join my How To Tuesday link party, if you haven’t already joined . It would be wonderful to have you!

  14. Beautiful pictures! I love crockpot meals! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Party starts tomorrow at 7:05 pm eastern time! Hope to see you there!

    Cindy from

  15. Yum! These look amazing. We like pork and I think we’d really enjoy these. Thank you again for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop!

  16. These look good and love the crock pot. My link party is going on over at
    I would love for you to come on over.
    New follower,
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

  17. I like how you link a “where to find” on products that aren’t normally sold at stores. Thanks for sharing at A Humble Bumble :)

  18. I think this would be a huge hit with my husband! I would love for you to share this at what i am eating

  19. These are just beautiful Spare Ribs and the flavor looks delicious. Have a great St. Patrick’s Day and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  20. How many servings is this recipe for? Sounds wonderful

    • Depends on how many ribs you can put away! :D Seriously, 3-4 pounds of ribs will feed about 4 people.

  21. This is just what I’ve been looking for! I love ribs in the slow cooker, and I love Chinese 5-spice powder, so this is definitely the next ribs recipe I’ll be trying. Thanks! I love your blog. You write everything I wish I had time to.

    • Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy them. They are quick and easy!

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