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!
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!
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!
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
For the Ribs
- 2 racks baby back pork ribs
- 1 large 2 liter bottle of Dr Pepper
- ¼ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 cup water
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ 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:
- 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.
For the Ribs
- Place the ribs in a large baking dish and cover with most of the Dr Pepper (leave about ½ cup of Dr. Pepper for later) Add the salt and soak the ribs for 2 -24 hours in the fridge.
- Heat the oven to 350°F.
- 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.
- 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 ½ cup of Dr Pepper. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
- 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.
Really delicious and fuss-free dish to serve when you have guests over, provided you make them slaw dressing and bbq sauce in advance. One note: based on Gaby’s Coca Cola marinated ribs recipe (also on this site), which uses basically the same bbq sauce, I think this recipe, as written, may have omitted a key last step with the bbq sauce. In her other recipe, you blend the sauce for 60 seconds once you’re done letting it simmer. I suggest doing that here as well, otherwise you will have chunky, oniony sauce. I didn’t see the other ribs recipe prior to making this one, so I improvised and ran my sauce through a food mill to get a smooth consistency. Tasted great.
I’ve made these ribs twice and they’ve been perfect both times!! Super easy and delicious!
Can i use regular Pork Back Ribs for this recipe instead of baby back?
Is it possible to make these without the grill step?
sure - you can broil them for a few moments in the oven to crisp up
Can I make these with beef?