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There has been a big trend in using Dr. Pepper soda for various BBQ sauces.  So why not jump on the bandwagon.  I made these beautiful baby back ribs in Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce and they are one of the best ribs I’ve ever made!  There is definitely something about the many flavors of this popular soda drink that deliver amazing flavors in the sauce.  From tangy to sweet, these tender ribs were a hit. 

Step 1: Prep the Baby Back Ribs.

To start, I did something I usually never do and that is marinate the ribs.  I placed the baby back rib slabs into a large container and poured in 3 Dr Pepper cans.  I soaked the ribs for about 30 minutes. The carbonation should work as a tenderizer, but more importantly the soda flavors penetrate the meat.  I recommend marinating in the liquid for at least 1 hour.  Pat the ribs dry and trim any loose fatty ends. Apply yellow mustard to the dry ribs for the binder and season all sides with Dad’s All Purpose seasoning.

Dad’s Seasonings

Must have grillin seasonings!

Step 2: How to grill the perfect ribs.

Preheat the grill to 250 degrees and set for indirect heat.  First, set the seasoned ribs directly on the grates and let them smoke for 3 hours.

After 3 hours, it’s time for the wrap. On a long sheet of foil, add a little bit of butter and honey along the length of the slab.  Next, place the ribs meat side down and repeat the butter and honey application on the top. Wrap up the ribs leaving just the tip open.  Pour in 1/2 can of Dr. Pepper into foil wrap and close shut.  Use another large sheet of foil to wrap the ribs again to ensure there are no punctures.  I highly recommend using a heavy duty foil that is durable enough against rib bones or easy punctures.  Put the double wrapped ribs back on the grill until they are nice and tender. Target internal temperature should be 200 degrees. While these bad boys are cooking, let’s prep your sauce.

Step 3: How to make the perfect Dr. Pepper sauce.

Homemade BBQ sauce is the way to go.  You can always adapt the tanginess, spiciness or sweetness to your liking. This Dr. Pepper rib sauce had a little bit of all the above.  It might be my new favorite BBQ sauce.  You can definitely taste the various flavor profiles of a Dr. Pepper but it’s not overpowering for those that are not fans of the drink.  It’s the perfect flavor compliment to the savory ribs.  Ingredients are simple and sauce is easy to make.

In a sauce pan, add 1 can of Dr. Pepper soda, ketchup, molasses, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and Dad’s All Purpose  seasoning.  Mix it all together simmering over low heat until the sauce thickens.

Sauce up the ribs at the very end and put them back on the grill for the final 10 minutes or until the sauce is nice and tacky.

Let these Baby back ribs in Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce rest for 10-15 minutes, slice and enjoy!

Ribs in Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce on grill
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Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to remove the membrane?

The short answer is no. But it’s really a personal preference. I never remove the membrane off ribs and I’ve never had issues with the texture of my ribs. Score them before seasoning and let them smoke.

Can I make this in the oven or stove top?

All my recipes can be replicated in the oven, stove top or gas grill. You do not need a big green egg or weber grill to replicate any of my recipes.

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Printer friendly recipe below:

5 from 3 votes

Ribs in Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce

These baby back ribs in Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce were one of the best ribs I've ever made! From tangy to sweet, these tender ribs were a hit. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 2-3 Slabs of baby back ribs
  • 4 cans Dr. Pepper soda
  • 1 stick Unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp Dad's all purpose rub
  • 3 tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 3 tbsp Honey

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 can Dr. Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 2 tbsp Red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Dad's all purpose seasoning

Instructions 

  • Place the baby back rib slabs into a large container and pour 3 Dr Pepper cans of liquid.  I soaked the ribs for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Pat the ribs dry and trim any loose fatty ends. Apply yellow mustard to the dry ribs for the binder and season all sides with Dad's All Purpose seasoning.
  • Preheat the grill to 250 degrees and set for indirect heat.  First, set the seasoned ribs directly on the grates and let them smoke for smoke for 3 hours.
  • On a long sheet of foil, add 3 tbsp of butter and honey along the length of the slab.  Next, place the ribs meat side down and repeat the butter and honey application on the top. Wrap up the ribs leaving just the tip open.  Pour in 1/2 can of Dr. Pepper into foil wrap and close shut.  Use another large sheet of foil to wrap the ribs again to ensure there are no punctures. 
  • Put the double wrapped ribs back on the grill until they are nice and tender. Target internal temperature should be 200 degrees
  • Dr. Pepper sauce: in a sauce pan, add a can of Dr. Pepper soda, ketchup, molasses, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and Dad's All Purpose  seasoning.  Mix it all together simmering over low heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Sauce up the ribs at the very end and put them back on the grill for the final 10 minutes or until the sauce is nice and tacky.
  • Remove the ribs off the grill and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
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About Maciek

I make easy meals that anyone can replicate at home. I’m not a professionally trained chef, just your average guy that likes to fire up the grill. So follow along and see what’s cooking today!

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! First thing I made on mu smoker and it’s a go to for any event, or just for some good food for the week! Great site, great recipes, great content. Love the all purpose and taco seasonings too!