These baby back ribs with Coca-Cola bbq sauce are coated with a spice rub, cooked low and slow on your grill or smoker, and then slathered with a homemade cola bbq sauce. Sweet, hot, and smoke.
These baby back ribs with cola barbecue sauce may sound terrifically sweet. They’re not. They’re perfectly balanced with spice, smoke, and yeah, a little sweetness. Our latest smoking fixation.–David Leite
Baby Back Ribs FAQs
How do I remove the membrane from ribs?
Remove the membrane from rib racks by using a dull knife and sliding the tip under the membrane that covers the back of each rib rack. Holding a paper towel in your hand, grip the membrane at one end of the rack and tug. It usually pulls right off.
I have a grill, but not a smoker. Can I use my grill like a smoker?
You bet. It’s actually quite simple to turn your grill into a smoker. This article will help you turn a kettle grill into a smoker, and if you’ve got a gas grill, follow the same directions, placing your foil smoke packet over the gas burners.
Can I substitute a different type of soda for the cola?
Some of our testers had great success using Dr. Pepper in place of the Coca-Cola, so if you prefer that flavor, go ahead and swap in Dr. Pepper.
Baby Back Ribs with Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce
These baby back ribs with cola barbecue sauce are coated with a spice rub, cooked low and slow on your grill or smoker, and then slathered with a homemade cola bbq sauce. Sweet, hot, and smoke.
Prep 45 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Total 4 hrs 45 mins
For the cola barbecue sauce
Make the rub
In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Set aside 2 teaspoons for the basting mixture.
Trim any excess fat from the ribs and remove the membrane.
Prepare the ribs
Evenly cover the ribs with a light coating of mustard and season them all over with the rest of the rub. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a grill or smoker for indirect cooking over very low heat (250° to 300°F | 120° to 150°C).
Grill the ribs
Brush the grill or smoker cooking grates clean. Add the wood chunks to the coals or the smoker box and close the lid.
When smoke appears, grill the ribs, bone side down, over very low indirect heat with the lid closed for 1 1/2 hours. Maintain the temperature between 250° to 300°F (120° to 150°C).
Make the cola barbecue sauce
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all the sauce ingredients and bring to a gentle boil, stirring often.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, stirring occasionally, 15 to 30 minutes. You should have about 1 1/2 cups sauce.
Finish the ribs
When the ribs have cooked for 1 1/2 hours, swap the positions of the racks for even cooking. Lightly baste both sides of the ribs with the butter mixture.
Continue cooking the ribs, bone side down, over very low indirect heat, with the lid closed, for 1 1/2 hours more.
After 3 hours, quickly brush both sides of the ribs with some of the sauce and immediately close the lid to maintain the temperature. Continue to cook the ribs, bone side down, over indirect very low heat for 15 minutes more.
Check for doneness. The meat should have shrunk back from the ends of most of the bones by at least 1/4 inch (6 mm) and the ribs are done if, when you pick up a rack at one end with tongs and bend it, the meat near the middle begins to tear from the bones. If it hasn’t, continue cooking for about 15 minutes more.
Lightly brush each rack again on both sides with more sauce.
Remove the ribs from the grill, lightly brush with more sauce, and cut between the bones into individual ribs. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.
Serving: 1portionCalories: 946kcal (47%)Carbohydrates: 35g (12%)Protein: 57g (114%)Fat: 65g (100%)Saturated Fat: 27g (169%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 241mg (80%)Sodium: 2802mg (122%)Potassium: 1248mg (36%)Fiber: 3g (13%)Sugar: 27g (30%)Vitamin A: 2528IU (51%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 179mg (18%)Iron: 5mg (28%)
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Originally published August 21, 2019
Recipe © 2019 Jamie Purviance. Photo © 2019 Ray Kachatorian. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.