Cherry Cola Ribs

It’s 90 degrees out today and all I can think about is summer. The pool, the sunburns and piles and piles of Cherry Cola Ribs.  I have been making these since the first time I saw them featured in the July 2002 Barbecue Issue of Bon Appetit. If you’ve known me long enough chances are you have had a taste. They are so easy to make, and who doesn’t love cooking with Coke?

A little variation, at the inspiration of Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Dr. Pepper Pork I used Dr. Pepper for this batch and they were just as good, perhaps a tad bit sweeter so I adjusted and added salt and a little Worcheshire sauce. PS the printout is at the bottom.

First thing you want to do is get the Coke or Dr. Pepper boiling on the stove. In this case Cherry Dr. Pepper. I was doubling the sauce so I used about 1 and a half liter bottles.

I didn’t have a chance to let it get flat, that’s why it looks so foamy. No biggie.

Lets’s get the ribs going in the oven now. You precook them in foil pouches slooooowly and them finish them up on the BBQ at the very end. Total prep time 2 hrs. I buy the 3 pack of baby back ribs at Costco.  If you need to double or triple the recipe that’s fine just make sure you really BOIL DOWN the sauce to get it nice and THICK.

Take rack and dry it off with paper towels, I’m with Ree on this one I don’t rinse off my meat either, no judging. Use the Heavy Duty Long Foil and rip enough sheets off for each rack.

Get your salt and pepper mixture.

(I premake so I can dip my hands it in without worrying I am contaminating my salt bowl) side note: have you watched Rachael Ray cook? Every time she uses salt she throws a dash over her left shoulder! Every time, watch you’ll see.

I also use those disposable gloves because I’m a little cross contaminating freak. Flip them over and season on the other side.

Bring the long sides together and fold down enough times to make a tight seal. No leaks means easy clean up!

Fold down the sides too.

Place in a 325 degree oven for one and a half hours. Rotate pans half way through.

While they cook let’s make the sauce.

After the sauce has boiled down for about 45 minutes you can add all the ingredients. Boil longer of you are doubling.

  • 2 cups cherry jam or preserves
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard with horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
Love this mustard!
reduce the heat to medium and simmer until you have about 2.5 Cups. Approximately 35 minutes.

When the ribs are done, remove from the oven and leave them on the counter to cool. Becareful of the steam when you open the pouches, carefully drain the juices into the sink.

Place on a large cutting board and carefully slice in between each bone. The meat should be soft but not to the point of falling off the bone. You need them to stand up to a little rock and rollin on the BBQ grill.

Place all the ribs in a large bowl and pour glaze on top. You can reserve a cup of glaze for passing at the table but I usually find that I don’t have enough.

I like to cook my ribs on high because I am all about the carbon, you know that black carcinogenic stuff you get when you cook things coated in sugary sauces. Everything in moderation I say. If you are a little more conservative then keep the heat a medium.

Can you believe as I post this I am in the middle of a juice cleanse? I love to punish myself.

The barbecue get’s VERY SMOKY so this is not for the faint of heart. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area. In other words this is not the recipe to try in your hibachi on your balcony, unless you have a strong breeze blowing AWAY from you.

Spread out the ribs and turn after a couple minutes. You can dab on more sauce after they have been turned once, the heat from the BBQ will turn that sauce into a nice caramelized glaze when you do that. I like gooey stick ribs so I make sure I drizzle a little sauce right before they are done.

Pile them on a platter and get some wet wipes because they are finger lickin good!

For the printable recipe click —>> Cherry Cola Ribs.


  1. says

    Dude. These look fab. I’m making Root Beer Pulled Pork today, for the first time. I won’t drink soda, but apparently I’m fine with my food drenched in it! Great photos, as usual.

    Juice cleanse? For reals? Sounds AWFUL! =)

    • says

      Yep I’m doing a 3 day juice cleanse its kinda more like a discipline challenge, I made toast for my daughter this morning and almost caved… almost. I only have 48 hrs left and then I can haz ribs.

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