Cherry Cola Barbecue Ribs

Looking for a good bbq rib recipe to use this summer, or maybe for 4th of July? Look no further! This Cherry Cola Barbecue Rib recipe is out of this world, seriously. My sister in law, Sarah, made these ribs for us one summer up in Maine and we all ohhhhed and ahhhhed and ate every last bite. I have made them a few times at home since then, and they are a winner with my family too. The cherry cola glaze does take a little time to make, but you can do it the day before AND you can cook the ribs the day before too! It really makes it easy to entertain with this recipe because most of the work can be done ahead of time. All you have to do is throw the precooked ribs on the grill and baste with the sauce, right before serving. You can use any type of ribs, but I prefer the country style boneless pork ribs. The boneless is much easier for kids, and for shredding up any leftovers (if you have any, that is!). Okay, let's get started.
Cherry Cola Glazed Barbecue Ribs
recipe from Bon Appetit, July 2002

7 pounds well trimmed pork ribs, country style boneless, or spareribs -- your choice
4 12-ounce cans cherry cola (flat)
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


Before using the cherry cola, pour it into a bowl and allow it to stand at room temperature until no longer effervescent, about four hours.

Next, prepare the ribs. Trim the ribs of any visible fat. Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 325°F. Place a few ribs on a piece of aluminium foil. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in foil, enclosing completely. Place the foil packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until ribs are very tender, about 2 hours total. You can test to see if the ribs are done by seeing how easily a fork can pull the meat apart. Cool ribs slightly in foil. Pour off any fat from foil packets. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep covered in foil packets and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.) Boil cherry cola in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 45 minutes. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Transfer glaze to large bowl. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Set aside 1 cup glaze. Add ribs to bowl with remaining glaze and toss to coat. Grill ribs until brown and glazed, turning to prevent burning, about 5 minutes total. Serve with reserved glaze.

If you happen to have any, shred the leftover meat and use to make quesadillas or bbq pizza. Delicious.


  1. This looks fantastic! Ribs are a favorite in our family. I've been using the southern half Coca-cola half catsup bbq "sauce" for years...can't wait to try this one!

  2. Oh I like this recipe. I'm usually really intimidated by ribs, and meatish dishes in general, but I like that they are totally cooked in the oven before you throw them on the grill. That I can do.

    As always, the step by step pictures are MUCH appreciated!

  3. Ooooooo my! The recipe looked intriguing but nothing prepared me for this one. These ribs are AMAZING. This is going into my regular Sunday dinner rotation for the summer.
    My only sub was using 1 teaspoon of powdered chipotle instead of the hot sauce since I have a gas grill and wanted the smoky flavor.
    I really like your new "printer friendly" button...very nice!


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