Cherry Cola Glazed BBQ Ribs

First, a few fun facts about soda:

Coca Cola can help jellyfish stings.

Lithium was removed from 7UP over 50 years ago.

Pepsi advertised in China with the slogan “Come Alive with Pepsi”, but the Chinese translation was “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”.

Dr Pepper does not contain prune juice.

Soda makes an excellent marinade because the acid tenderizes the meat.

Flat soda makes a wonderful sauce or glaze, especially for BBQ.

Soda is delicious. Especially Diet Dr. Pepper.

Okay, so all of the facts but the last are officially true.  But you can’t deny that soda is delicious. 🙂 Not the healthiest of beverage choices, but we all have our vices.

I have recently discovered soda as a cooking ingredient; I have always cooked with other beverage varietals in my recipes-beer, wine, liquor, but never really thought of using soda until now.  I initially thought that soda would make sauces and marinades too sweet, but as a marinade, it mainly just tenderizes the meat, and when mixed with the right ingredients, can make an amazing sauce or glaze.

I have cooked with cola, cherry cola, root beer, and of course, Dr. Pepper.  I don’t use diet soda, and from what I’ve read and heard, diet soda makes meat dry, because of the additives and sugar substitute.

Ribs are one of my favorite meats to grill, and I especially love to use new sauces and marinades when I make them. This is one of my favorites.  The glaze for the ribs are sweet and savory, and baking the ribs in cherry cola before grilling makes them ridiculously tender-I mean fall off the bone tender.

Here’s the Recipe!!

Cherry Cola Glazed BBQ RIbs

1 Two Liter Bottle Cherry Cola, Divided. 30 ounces of the cola should be FLAT.  The rest of the cherry cola will be used when you bake the ribs.  

**It’s important that the cola is flat before you make the glaze; if it isn’t, the glaze won’t be as thick. I usually let the cola sit out in a bowl at room temperature for at least 2 hours or more to be sure it’s flat.  If you’ve been keeping the cola cold, you’ll want to leave it out longer than 2 hours to be sure it flattens.

2 Racks Pork Baby Back Ribs (approximately 3-4 pounds)

1 12 OZ Cherry Jam or Preserves

1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Horseradish (I know, sounds scary, but trust me, it just adds a little spice to the sauce)

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

4 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Hot Pepper Sauce

Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Season and rub ribs with salt and pepper, and wrap tightly in foil.  Pour enough cherry cola to fill a rimmed baking sheet, and place foil wrapped ribs on the baking sheet.  Bake ribs for at least 2 hours. You can cook them a little longer if you want them extra special tender.  I’ve cooked them as much as 3 hours.  

Boil 30 OZ FLAT cherry cola in a large saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups; it should take about 45 minutes.

Stir in the cherry jam or preserves, dijon, horseradish, soy sauce, cider vinegar and hot pepper sauce.  Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until the glaze is reduced to about 2 1/2 cups; this should take about 35 minutes.  Set aside one cup of glaze, and transfer the rest into a large bowl for coating the ribs. The glaze can cool while you wait for the ribs to finish baking.

Remove the ribs from the oven after at least 2 hours, and allow ribs to cool until you can handle the foil.  Once cooled enough to handle, remove ribs from foil and cut between the bones into single serving sizes (3-4 ribs per serving).

This is what the ribs look like when they are fresh out of the oven and cooled enough to remove the foil.

Prepare outdoor grill to medium-low heat.  Add ribs to the glaze in the bowl and toss to coat. Grill the ribs until the glaze has caramelized and browned, about five minutes total.  Be careful not to grill too long; the sugar in the glaze can cause the ribs to burn if cooked too long.  The ribs are only cooked on the grill to caramelize the glaze.  

Serve, passing the remaining one cup of reserved glaze separately. 


One Response

  1. […] to try my hand at smoking meat, so I decided to give it a go.  And I have this great recipe for Cherry Cola Glazed Ribs, so I thought, HEY! I could try the Cherry Cola Ribs smoked on my makeshift smoker and smoke them […]

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