dr pepper ribs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

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Why I love this easy ribs recipe

When it comes to summer recipes, the simpler the better. We’re already juggling kids at home, running to and from camps, and working – all while trying to keep cool. We don’t need anything else to deal with, so easy recipes are key.

I love these grilled ribs because they can be prepped ahead of time – I like to marinate mine overnight – and slowly roasted in the oven or slow cooker until you’re ready to grill them.

What sets these Dr. Pepper ribs apart from others is that they’re dry roasted. After the Dr. Pepper marinade works its magic, it gets tossed and the ribs are dry roasted. They don’t sit around in BBQ sauce all day. That gets applied at the end while grilling. Making for perfectly juicy, but not overly saucy ribs.

closeup of grilled dr pepper pork ribs with bbq sauce

Here’s what you’ll need to make them

basting ribs with bbq sauce

How to make Dr. Pepper ribs

Marinate the ribs. Start by marinating the ribs overnight. This allows the soda to flavor and tenderize the meat. Mix the marinade ingredients together and add them to a big bag with the ribs.

Zip closed, letting as much air out as possible, and let the ribs marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Ideally, you want to do this overnight though.

Slow cook the ribs. I normally do this for 3 hours in the oven at 300˚F. After marinating, pat the ribs dry and place them onto a baking sheet. Wrap with aluminum foil before putting them in the oven and remove the foil for the last 30 minutes. Baste with BBQ sauce when you remove the foil and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

You can also do it in the slow cooker, on low for 7 – 8 hours. If you’re going this route, you’ll want to add 1/2 cup marinade (or fresh new soda if you already tossed the marinade) to the slow cooker and let the cook. No need for foil here and add one more basting while you’re grilling.

Grill the ribs. Preheat your grill to medium-high. Baste the ribs and place them onto your hot grill for about 10 – 15 minutes. Turn halfway and baste again. Baste one more time before serving.

overhead of bbq spread featuring bbq pork ribs with colelsaw and watermelon

Common questions about Dr. Pepper ribs

Do you put ribs meat side up or down?

It depends on how you’re cooking them. When you’re grilling, or using another direct heat source, you want to go meat side down. If you’re baking them or putting them in a slow cooker, bone side down.

Should I wrap ribs in foil?

Yes. I suggest wrapping your ribs in foil for the majority of their cooking time if you’re baking them in the oven. This prevents the moisture in the ribs from escaping and leads to a more tender rack of ribs. If you’re cooking them in a slow cooker, there’s really no need to cover them since you’ll be adding a bit of liquid to the pot and the lid will be on while it cooks.

Do ribs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Generally, yes. Ribs get more tender the longer you cook them, but you need to adjust the temperature accordingly. If you want to cook them longer, you’ll want to lower the temperature. I like to cook mine at 300˚F for about 3 – 3.5 hours. If you want to cook them longer (like all day in the slow cooker), you’ll want to cook them around 225˚F.

closeup of dr pepper ribs

These Dr. Pepper ribs would be great with:

More pork recipes you’ll love:

Food allergy & safety warning: Ingredients vary by brands. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, please read the nutrition label for each ingredient before adding it to your recipe to be ensure the product is safe to consume.

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Dr. Pepper Ribs

These Dr. Pepper Ribs are marinated in a simple mixture of soda, garlic and bbq dry rub, then slowly baked in the oven until they’re just about to fall off the bone, and finished on the grill for that classic, crispy charred flavor.

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 slab ribs, sectioned into half slabs
  • 1 12-ounce can Dr. Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ dry rub
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce, optional for basting

Instructions

  1. Combine the Dr. Pepper, dry rub, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Place ribs in a zip-top bag and pour in marinade. Let sit overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Turning the bag to redistribute the marinade at least once.
  3. Preheat oven to 300˚F. Remove ribs from marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake ribs for 3 – 3.5 hours.
  5. During the final 30 minutes of baking, remove the foil and baste with BBQ sauce if desired.
  6. Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove ribs from the oven and allow them to rest while the grill heats.
  7. Grill for about 10 minutes, beginning with the meat side down and turning once.
  8. If using BBQ sauce, baste when turning and again before serving (3 times total).

Keywords: dairy free, gluten free, egg free, BBQ, barbecue, pork, ribs, grilling, 5 ingredient, easy

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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One Comment

  1. Are there no seasonings required? What about salt? Do you taste the Dr. Pepper because I’m not a fan?