BBQ Baby Back Ribs

 Have I mentioned that I was like the pickiest eater on the face of the earth while growing up. I was. It was bad. I basically only ate noodles and grilled cheese until I was 13 years old. Thank goodness I’ve turned it around because I would not want to miss out on a dish like these Dr. Pepper BBQ Baby Back Ribs!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mango Slaw from (@whatsgabycookin)

Riiiiiibs!! They are quintessential summer food. These are slowly cooked for a few hours in the oven and then finished off on the grill so by the time you take a bite, the meat is FALLING OFF THE BONE. They are also doused with this homemade Dr. Pepper spiked BBQ sauce that will make you weak in the knees. It’s not overly sweet if that’s what you’re thinking – just pure perfection! The ribs get a little bath in the soda before you start cooking them too! If that sounds where – I get it! But the soda helps break down the ribs and tenderize them so they are even easier to eat! It’s an all around winner and you’ll be loved by all if you add these to your next weekend menu!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mango Slaw from (@whatsgabycookin)

And the slaw… omg. You’re going to love it. It’s the perfect little zippy side for the ribs. One bite of each… trust the combo!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mango Slaw from (@whatsgabycookin)

And while you’re at it – you might want to make a double recipe for the BBQ sauce. It’s great on just about anything else you’re grilling this summer! Brush it on some cob on the cob, dunk some bread into, or just slather on top of some veggies!

BBQ Baby Back Ribs with Mango Slaw from (@whatsgabycookin)

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

BBQ Baby Back Ribs


    For the Ribs
  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs
  • 1 large (2 liter) bottle of Dr Pepper
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the Slaw:
  • ½ head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and pitted and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ½ jalapeño— stemmed, seeded and minced


    For the Slaw:
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil with the salt, pepper, orange juice, cilantro, lime juice, agave, garlic and jalapeño. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the thinly sliced cabbage and mango, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. For the Ribs
  3. Place the ribs in a large baking dish and cover with most of the Dr Pepper (leave about 1/2 cup of Dr. Pepper for later) Add the salt and soak the ribs for 2 -24 hours in the fridge.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Remove the ribs from the liquid, place on a baking sheet and pat them dry. Give them a good rub with the chili powder. Pour 1 cup of water into the baking sheet, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 2 hours, until the meat nearly falls off the bone.
  6. While the ribs are in the oven, heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until they're soft and add the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 cup of Dr Pepper. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
  7. Once the ribs have cooked for 2 hours, remove from the oven and fire up the grill. Liberally brush the ribs with bbq sauce. When the grill is hot, cook them for 7-8 minutes on each side so they get the nice charred flavor. Remove from grill and add more sauce if desired.

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  1. I’ve actually heard of putting Dr. Pepper (or other types of soda) in BBQ sauce or in with the meat, but I’ve never tried it. Your ribs look delicious, and they just might have pushed me over the edge!

  2. Can’t ever get enough BBQ! This sounds like a great sweet and tangy flavor – what a fantastic idea. Looks tender, tasty and tantalizing – can’t wait to cook ’em up

  3. I never considered myself a rib fan. But then I broke my jaw, had to get my mouth wired shut, followed by 14 months of braces. Now I dream about ribs! Only 3 more weeks til my teeth are freed. So, yes, I am bookmarking this! GREG

  4. Nice recipe…the only thing you are missing is smoke. Follow the same recipe but smoke for 3 hours at 250. Add sauce to the ribs, wrap in foil and continue the smoke 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the foil, place in the smoker and finish off in 1 hour, painting them with the sauce and juices that were in the foil. Your life will be rocked!

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