Dr. Pepper Ribs was the first recipe we tried using our smoker. Just like good BBQ, Dr. Pepper combines peppery with sweet. It's a great marinade, use 3 cups in this recipe and drink the rest of the liter over ice. It also makes a great sauce that is good on grilled chicken too!
Country-style ribs are a good economical cut. If you don't want to pay for traditional ribs, you can find country-style ribs for as little as $1 per pound. They usually have plenty of meat and very little bone. Costco also has delicious boneless ones.
This recipe is from Where There's Smoke There's Flavor. I've changed a few things, for example, the recipe causes for parboiling the ribs. This is unneccesary step. Also, if I double the recipe, I double the amount of Dr. Pepper I use to marinade the ribs. It's not necessary to double the sauce. It already makes plenty for 2 batches of ribs and you can still use leftovers for chicken later in the week.
Dr. Pepper Ribs
3 to 4 lbs country-style pork ribs
3 cups Dr Pepper, divided
3 cups catsup
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
6 tbsps. chili powder
4 tbsps. ground black pepper
2 tbsps. dry mustard
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Marinate ribs in Dr. Pepper overnight.
About 61/2 hours before dinner, start the smoker and take the ribs out of the refrigerator. Once the coals are ready, add well-soaked hickory to the coals. Set a pan filled with hot water in the smoker (below the grate). Smoke the ribs at about 220 degrees F. for 3 hours. Add coals and wood every 30 minutes or so to keep the temperature constant.
Note: We start with a chimney lighter full of coal and depending on weather add 8-10 coals and 1 -2 pieces of wood every half hour or so.
While the ribs are smoking, prepare the sauce. Pour remaining ingredients into blender or food processor. Mix until smooth and well-blended. You do not need to cook it until after ribs are basted with it. After the last basting of ribs, simmer in sauce pan over low heat until thickened.
After 3 hours, turn the ribs, slather them with sauce and continue cooking for another 3 hours. Turn ribs every 30 minutes and slather them with sauce. Before removing ribs, make sure they have reached the internal temperature of 160 to 170 degrees F.
Serve the ribs with the Dr. Pepper sauce for dipping.