Intriguing and unique, this recipe offers something extra-special to rib fans, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love ribs? Succulent and moist, ribs always hit the spot, regardless of how they are prepared and cooked, but if you want to offer a great flavor then it pays to use a marinade. In this recipe we are using a rack of baby back ribs, which is enough for 4 people, each one getting a 4 oz serving. If you are serving more people, use a couple of racks and double up on the other ingredients. Ribs are easy to overindulge in because they are just so good, so make extra if you are not sure about the amounts. Leftover ribs will vanish from the refrigerator within 24 hours anyway because that wonderful flavor remains.
An Unusual Rib Marinade
The marinade is made with Dr Pepper, salt and chili powder, to offer a sweet, tangy and spicy finish. You can use Diet Dr Pepper or the regular kind with sugar. A lot of people have used Coca Cola in a marinade, and Dr Pepper offers a slightly different taste, but one which also works nicely with pork. We have chosen chipotle chili powder in this recipe because it offers a nice smoky taste, as well as a hot one, and that goes well with the ribs and complements the smoky flavor that char-grilling offers.
Why You Should Bake the Ribs First
Ribs take a while to become tender, so it is best to bake them in the oven until they are nearly done, then finish them off on the barbeque, so they can take on the smoky flavor. If you cook them on the barbeque only, without precooking them first, they will dry out and burn on the outside before they are tender enough to serve, so you will need to bake them first. Some people like to boil them first, but others say a lot of the flavor leaches out into the cooking water, so we prefer the baking approach, plus it will not fail to give that lovely falling-off-the-bone texture which is so good with ribs.
Which BBQ Sauce to Use
Use your favorite barbeque sauce in this recipe. You will need ¼ cup per person so you might just want to have the whole bottle to hand. Serve some on the side too, because some people like to add more, even after the ribs have been basted. You could also use the time while the ribs are baking to make your own barbeque sauce. Since the ribs are marinated in a spicy mixture and then extra chili powder is added to them, you might prefer a mellow, sweet barbeque sauce instead of something spicy, or even a smoky one, or a barbeque sauce with honey. There are so many kinds to choose from – just take your pick and you will not go wrong.
Ribs can be eaten with the fingers. Just pick them up and gnaw all that lovely meat off the bone. It should come easily away because of the long cooking time. There will not be too much chewing involved. Make sure everyone has plenty of napkins, especially if you are serving extra sauce with these, else they are likely to drip everywhere. If you want to cook something on the barbeque that is not burgers, steaks or chicken, give this recipe a chance and you will definitely love how the ribs turn out.
- 1 rack baby back ribs
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
- 4 tablespoons salt
- 34 fl oz Dr Pepper® (Regular or Diet)
- BBQ sauce, as needed
- Put the ribs in a baking dish.
- Combine the salt and Dr Pepper® with half the chili powder.
- Pour this over the ribs.
- Cover and marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Discard all but 1 cup of the liquid from the baking dish.
- Pat the ribs a bit then sprinkle the remaining ½ tablespoon of chili powder over them.
- Cover with a lid or some foil, and bake for 2 hours.
- Brush some BBQ sauce over the ribs and arrange them on the barbeque, bone side down.
- Cook for about 12 minutes, then flip over and brush more sauce over them.
- Cook the other side until just charred, then take the ribs off the barbeque.
- Serve them with extra BBQ sauce on the side.
Baby back ribs are marinated in Dr Pepper and chipotle chili powder so they can soak up all that amazing flavor, and then they are baked in the oven until nearly done. Finish them off on the barbeque for a crispy exterior, juicy and tender interior, smoky aroma, and perfect falling-off-the-bone finish. The picture shows how appetizing these ribs are and you can see some extra dipping sauce in the white dish, which is optional but recommended in case anyone wants extra sauce with theirs. Ribs are always seen as a special treat, and they pair nicely with coleslaw, potato salad, corn on the cob, pasta salad – any of those good old American side dishes really. You can prepare the sides while the ribs are in the oven.
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