Real Texas Dr Pepper BBQ Ribs

by Ramona Werst on September 24, 2015

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Spice Rub and Ribs

2 1/2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons ground Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice Powder
1 (1 /12 pound) rack Baby Back Ribs
1 cups Mesquite Wood Chips, soaked and drained, and sealed in a foil packet with holes poked in it.


4 cups Dr Pepper (I used the Dr Pepper with Real Cane Sugar….of course!)
1/2 Onion, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup Water
1 1/4 cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste


Spice Rub and Ribs:  Combine the sugar, paprika, pepper, salt, and five-spice powder in a bowl.  Measure and reserve 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture for the sauce.

Pat dry the ribs with paper towels and rub them evenly with the remaining spice mixture.  Place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight

Next day remove ribs from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.

Sauce: Simmer the Dr Pepper in a large saucepan until it measures 1 cup, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, puree the onion and water in a food processor, about 1 minute.  Transfer the onion mixture to a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and press on the solids to collect 1/4 cup onion juice; discard the excess liquid and solids.  Whisk the onion juice, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, and the reserved 2 tablespoons spice mixture into the reduced Dr Pepper and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat stir in the vanilla bean paste.  Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.

Next day measure out and reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce for cooking; set aside the remaining sauce for serving.

Preparing the Gas Grill: Place the wood chip packet directly on one side of the burners.

I actually have a wood chip holder that I put the mesquite chips into so they don’t all burn up and drop into my gas grill.  I got that wood chip holder from Sur Le Table in San Antonio.

Turn all the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until hot and wood chips begin to smoke heavily, about 15 minutes.  Turn 1 side of the burners off and the burner under the wood chips to medium heat.  You want to maintain the temperature at about 325F degrees.

Ribs: Clean and oil the grill that is turned off.  Place the ribs, meat side down.  The ribs can overlap slightly.  Cover and cook until the ribs are deep red and smoky, about 2 hours, with the temperature at about 325F degrees.  Flipping and rotating the ribs and the wood chips to opposite sides of the grill.

During the final 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 250F degrees. Arranging the rack to the middle position.

Remove the ribs from the grill, and place on heavy duty foil.  Pour the 1/2 cup sauce reserved for cooking, and wrap the foil tightly. Lay the foil-wrapped ribs on a baking sheet and continue to cook in the oven until tender and a fork inserted into the ribs pulls the meat off easily.  1 to 2 hours.

Remove the ribs from the oven and let rest, still wrapped, for 30 minutes.  Unwrap the ribs, slice them between the bones and serve the the remaining sauce.


I’m Ramona out here in Real Texas

Hope you enjoy your ribs!