These doctored-up baby back ribs are sweet, savory and perfectly tender. While they’re best fresh from the smoker, they can also be cooked in an oven.
The MEAT: Our go-to rib choice, baby back ribs are a much more tender cut than spare ribs and, therefore, need less time on a smoker. With a couple hours of wood smoke and a delicious sticky glaze, these ribs will be your new favorite recipe. And when the weather turns bad, just cook these in the oven—the chipotle flavors in the glaze will add a smokiness that will mimic the flavor of the smoker.
The METHOD: We’re firm believers in a 2-1-1 method for baby backs. That’s barbecue-speak for 2 hours directly on the smoker, 1 hour wrapped in tin foil with liquid and 1 hour back out of the foil covered in glaze. We also use two super-secret ingredients that add great flavor. The first is Dr Pepper, the sweet soda we all know and love. The second is a chipotle-raspberry sauce, the stuff your aunt always puts on goat cheese during the holidays. You should be able to find some version of it in your local grocery store or cheese shop.
The MEAL: Slice these ribs and serve them as an amazing platter of finger foods during the game on Sunday. Or, chop each slab in half and divide among 4 plates with sides of slaw and potato salad.
Dr Pepper Baby Back Ribs
2 slabs baby back ribs
¼ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup your favorite barbecue rub
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
½ cup chipotle-raspberry sauce (or similar)
1 12-ounce can Dr Pepper
Cover the ribs with the dijon mustard and then evenly sprinkle with the barbecue rub, salt and pepper.
To prepare the glaze, add the chipotle-raspberry sauce to a bowl and combine with about 3 ounces of Dr Pepper. Reserve the rest of the soda for cooking.
Prepare your smoker for cooking at 275ºF with hickory and/or apple smoke. Cook the ribs for 2 hours.
After they’ve cooked for 2 hours, wrap the ribs in tin foil, but before they’re fully sealed add the remaining Dr Pepper to the foil packets. Allow to cook for another hour.
Open the tops of the foil packets and brush with about half of the glaze. Allow the ribs cook for 30 minutes and then brush with the remaining glaze. Cook the ribs for 30 more minutes.
Remove from the ribs from the smoker, let them rest for 10 minutes, slice and enjoy!