Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: March 28, 2022

These Dr. Pepper ribs are a mouthwatering and fun twist on your traditional baby backs.

While they aren’t a new addition to the cooking world, I did have a hard time finding a decent recipe for the grill, as they were mainly made for a crockpot or slow cooker.

After various trials and tribulations, I finally came up with what I believe to be the tastiest Dr. Pepper baby back ribs recipe around.

In this article, I’ll share with you my recipe, as well as a few tips and tricks to get that fall-off-the-bone goodness.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Number of Servings: 9

Ingredients:

Top view of spices in a bowl

For the Dry Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon of Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of Thyme 
  • 1 Tablespoon of Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Onion Powder
  • ⅓ Cup of Garlic Powder
  • ⅓ Cup of Brown Sugar

For the Baby Back Ribs

  • 2 racks of baby back pork ribs, approximately 4 pounds (I get my baby back pork ribs from ButcherBox meat delivery as they come highly recommended)
  • 3 cups of Dr. Pepper
  • 3 cups of bbq sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of yellow mustard

Instructions

Man preparing dry rub for baby back ribs
  1. Combine the paprika, thyme, pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic, and brown sugar into a small bowl to create a dry rub. You can freeze any left-over rub inside a ziplock bag for future rubs.
  2. Preheat the oven to 270 degrees F.
  3. Carefully remove the membrane from the bbq ribs' bone side and make an ‘X’ pattern across the bones to score the meat. For ease of grilling, you can cut the pork ribs in half to create 4 smaller racks.
  4. Coat each side of the ribs with mustard and cover evenly with the dry rub. If you’d like to add some heat to your bbq ribs, you can add cayenne pepper or chili flakes.
  5. Place the ribs meat side up on a large roasting pan. Pour 2 cups of Dr. Pepper into the bottom of the pan and cover with heavy-duty foil to allow the steam to infuse the meat. Cook for 3 hours 50 minutes.
  6. While the ribs are roasting, combine the bbq sauce with the remaining Dr. Pepper in a small bowl.
  7. When the baby back ribs are finished in the oven, they will be very soft and have the fall-off-the-bone effect. Remove the racks from the pan using 2 tongs and place them on a large plate. You can either tent and place them in the fridge to grill later or finish cooking immediately. Discard the liquid from the roasting pan.
  8. Preheat the grill to high heat and oil your grates. Place the ribs on the grill bone side down and lather generously with Dr. Pepper bbq sauce; grill for 4 minutes. Flip the rack so the meat side is facing down, and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes or until the sauce is caramelized. Pour the rest of the Dr. Pepper sauce over the rack and grill for another 2 minutes before transferring to a large plate; if you have additional bbq sauce, save for later.
  9. If you’d like to heighten the Dr. Pepper flavor further, you can use even more sauce for dipping. Cut if desired and serve.

Notes: Avoid moving the ribs around the grill other than to flip them, as you will disrupt the grill marks by doing so.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition calories: 660
  • Total Carbs: 77g
  • Protein: 36g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Fiber: 2.1g
  • Net Carbs: 75g

Tips for the Best Dr. Pepper Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs top view on a gray platform with tomatoes
  • Cooking time depends on your oven and grill; therefore, you can tell when your ribs are done after they reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees F [1]
  • Ribs get more tender the longer you cook them; therefore, if you’d like to cook them for longer (like in a slow cooker), you will need to lower the temperature to around 225 degrees F.
  • If you decide to put your ribs in a smoker, you will need to create a braising liquid. Alternatively, if you prefer your rack cooked slow, you will need to make a marinade to ensure they don’t dry out. 
  • You can play around with your Dr. Pepper bbq dip to find something that works for you; try ketchup, apple cider vinegar, or brown sugar.

FAQs

Should I Foil-Wrap Dr. Pepper Ribs?

Yes, you should foil-wrap the ribs for most of the cook. This will prevent any moisture from escaping, creating ribs that fall off the bone.

If you’re placing them in a slow cooker, there is no need to wrap them [2].

What Are Good Baby Back Ribs?

Good baby back ribs will have lots of marbling but a minimal amount of fat on the outside of the ribs.

A Great Recipe for Some Great Ribs

Adding some Dr. Pepper soda to your baby back ribs is a fantastic way to turn something conventional into a meal packed full of juicy flavor.

This straightforward recipe requires few ingredients, even less when using a pre-made rub.

The recipe can be customized to your liking, using other favors like cherry Dr. Pepper or sweeter bbq sauces.


References:

  1. https://www.today.com/food/how-cook-baby-back-ribs-t185314
  2. https://bbqhost.com/how-to-keep-ribs-moist/

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