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Pork ribs cooked in Dr. Pepper, grilled to perfection, and smothered in BBQ Sauce. These Dr. Pepper ribs are fall off the bone delicious!

These ribs are one of our favorite meats to grill at BBQ’s! They pair really well with popular BBQ sides like potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Dr. Pepper ribs cut on plate with a side of asparagus.

Easy, flavorful + delicious

BBQ season is upon us, and we have lots of drool-worthy meat recipes that we plan to throw on the grill!

Of course, we commonly grill hot dogs and burgers, but on special occasions, we like to whip out these Dr Pepper Ribs.

Yep, you heard me right—Dr. Pepper, as in the beloved soft drink!

You might be wondering why on earth you would cook meat in soda… Well it’s because it contains caramelized sugars, flavorings derived from several different spices, and acid, which all work together to give the meat amazing flavor and texture as it cooks.

The ribs come out fall off the bone delicious! And you wouldn’t believe how effortless they are to make – simple, flavorful and so yummy.

Pouring Dr. Pepper over the rack of ribs in a stock pot.

How to make dr. pepper ribs

I know this sounds a little strange, and isn’t the most typical way to cook ribs, but I assure you that boiling and then grilling your ribs will result in the most tender and juicy meat!

BOIL. Place the ribs in a large stock pot. Add soda until it covers the ribs. Boil for three hours.

GRILL. Place Ribs on grill and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.

BASTE. While on the grill, brush with desired amount of bbq sauce. Repeat on other side. Serve warm.

Boil and grill ribs being basted with bbq sauce.

more cooking methods + FAQ

Can you make them in oven? Follow the recipe exactly the same (boil the ribs), but instead of grilling, put your ribs on a sheet pan, cover with BBQ sauce, and cook in the oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes.

Can you make them in the slow cooker? Place your racks of ribs in the crock pot, season with salt and pepper, then pour the Dr. Pepper over top. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 4. After they have cooked, remove the liquid from the crockpot add BBQ sauce to the ribs. Cook for an additional 30 minutes or so.

How much to plan for? Assuming that the ribs are not the only item on the menu plan to serve 3-4 ribs per person. Each rack has about 13 ribs so you’ll be able to feed 3-4 people per rack.

We like to serve our ribs with any of these favorite sides:

Easy Dr. Pepper ribs served on a white platter.

pick your flavor

What flavor of BBQ sauce should I use? This is totally up to you and your preferences! We like traditional BBQ Sauce, but Honey BBQ is really delicious as well if you like some added sweetness. Try some different varieties, and see what you like best.

Dry Rub: If you have a dry rub seasoning you really like with your meats, rub some on your boiled ribs before putting them on the grill. Then, put the BBQ sauce on top of the dry rub. Brown sugar is good for this as well!

We LOVE grilling – especially on the holidays!! Try these Dr. Pepper ribs, and let me know how you like them!

A closeup of Dr. Pepper Ribs after being sliced.

SErving and storing

You can STORE raw ribs can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days after purchase. For longer, storage wrap tightly and store in the freezer for up to months. Leftover cooked ribs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

To reheat: Preheat the oven to 250°F. Add another coating of BBQ sauce. Wrap in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet. Heat in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until hot. Open the top of the foil and broil for a few minutes to get a nice caramelized finish.

For more amazing grilling recipes, check out:

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4.89 from 27 votes

Dr. Pepper Ribs Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Pork ribs cooked in Dr. Pepper, grilled to perfection, and smothered in BBQ Sauce. These Dr. Pepper ribs are fall off the bone delicious!
Servings: 10
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 10 minutes
Total: 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 racks pork ribs
  • 1 liter Dr. Pepper
  • BBQ Sauce
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Instructions 

  • Place ribs in a large pot and cover with Dr Pepper until coverd. Boil for three hours.
  • Place Ribs on grill and cook for three to five minutes on each side.
  • While on the grill, brush with desired amount of bbq sauce. Repeat on other side.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 130mg, Sodium: 129mg, Potassium: 558mg, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 14IU, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




44 Comments

  1. Irene says:

    5 stars
    Can I used diet Dr pepper?

  2. Jennifer says:

    5 stars
    Soooo yumm!! These ribs came out PERFECTLY. Loved them!

  3. Katie says:

    5 stars
    These have such great flavor and come out so tender! A family favorite for sure.

  4. Todd says:

    I am definitely going to make this, but I have a few questions.

    1. Do the ribs absorb the flavor of what they are boiled in? For example, are these going to taste like Dr Pepper? Just a hint of Dr Pepper? (No period after Dr – it’s a weird Texan thing to point that out and also to point out only to buy Dr Pepper from Dublin, TX even though their plant no longer can use cane sugar.)

    2. Would, say, Barq’s Root Beer or a Bock beer (heck, even a pilsner) work in the same way for the chemical breakdown to make the ribs fall off tender?

    Thanks for any tips. Love your blog!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      They do a bit. They are also covered in BBQ sauce, so they take on a lot of that flavor too. The Dr. Pepper contains caramelized sugars, flavorings derived from several different spices, and acid, which all work together to give the meat amazing flavor and texture. I imagine Root Beer would do the same… just a different flavor.

  5. Carrie says:

    Ooh I wonder if this would work in an InstantPot?? My favorite ribs recipe is a pressure cooker one, but I like the idea of using Dr Pepper… might have to try it out!!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      I haven’t tried this one in the IP, but I imagine it would be yummy! If you do try it, you’ll have to let us know.

  6. Kristina says:

    5 stars
    Only 3 ingredients and they turned out really good. I never would have thought to use a can of soda to flavor the meat. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    We will be making these for Father’s Day! We made them last year & of course, my family loved them. It’s one of our favorites!

  8. Olivia says:

    5 stars
    Best ribs ever and so easy. The crockpot does all the work.

  9. Amy L Huntley says:

    5 stars
    So many great tips! The meat just fell off the bone. So tender and full of flavor. This will be my go-to recipe next time I make ribs again.

  10. Allyssa says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this dr pepper ribs recipe, it’s super easy and taste really good! It’s our new favorite!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      You’re welcome!! I love when a recipe is easy + tasty! Thanks for sharing.