Crockpot Dr. Pepper Ribs

The magic of the slow cooker lets you prep this yummy dinner in the morning and finish it off right before serving for sticky, sweet, fall-off-the-bone ribs with a secret ingredient.

close up plate of ribs

Crockpot Dr. Pepper Ribs

Your favorite soda meets your favorite dinner. This crowd-pleasing recipe couldn't be easier to make, with about 15 minutes of prep time.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Serving Size 6 servings

Equipment

  • Slow cooker 10-12 quart
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredients 

  • 1 rack pork baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons dry rub or seasoning blend
  • 1 12 ounce can Dr. Pepper soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce

Instructions 

  • Prep meat. Remove membrane from the bone side of ribs (use kitchen shears to cut a slit, then pull off with your fingers. Rub both sides of the ribs with dry rub. Cut ribs into groups of 2 or 3 using a sharp knife or kitchen shears.
    ribs cut into sections and seasoned.
  • Cook. Place in slow cooker and add the Dr. Pepper and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or put on high for 4-5 hours.
    ribs in slow cooker.
  • Broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the ribs on top, meaty side up. Brush or pour barbecue sauce on top and broil for 1-2 minutes, until brown and caramelized.
    meat on baking sheet.
  • Serve. Serve hot with extra sauce on side.
    finished ribs

Notes

If you don’t have Dr. Pepper on hand, Coke will work just fine!
You can also cook on high and cut the cooking time in half. 
Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 367mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • They’re easy to make! All you do is throw everything in and then broil briefly at the end.
  • Dr. Pepper gives the ribs a unique and delicious flavor.
  • The perfect dinner for busy nights or when you feel like something simple.
plate of ribs with flowers and soda in background

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on parchment paper

You’ll need the following for this great recipe:

  • pork baby back ribs
  • dry rub or seasoning blend (try a homemade seasoning like Prairie Dust)
  • Dr. Pepper soda
  • liquid smoke
  • your favorite barbecue sauce (our favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • Slow cooker 10-12 quart
  • Aluminum foil

🍴Instructions

Step One: Prep and cook the ribs

raw meat in slow cookker

Remove membrane from the bone side of ribs (use kitchen shears to cut a slit, then pull off with your fingers. Rub both sides of ribs with a dry rub.

Cut ribs into groups of 2 or 3 using a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Place in the slow cooker and add Dr. Pepper and liquid smoke. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or put on high for 4-5 hours.

Step Two: add sauce and broil

brushing on barbecue sauce

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the ribs on top, meaty side up. Brush or pour barbecue sauce on top and broil for 1-2 minutes, until brown and caramelized.

Step three: Serve

finished dish on plate

🥫 Storage instructions

First, make sure the ribs are completely cooled before storing them. You can either let them cool at room temperature or place them in the fridge. Once they’ve cooled, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and store them in a resealable plastic bag or another airtight container. The ribs will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use Diet Dr. Pepper?

No! No no no no. Just no.

Can I make this recipe with a different type of ribs?

Sure! Boneless country-style ribs or spareribs will also work. They might take a bit longer to cook.

Will this work in the Instant Pot?

Yes. They’ll cook for 45 minutes under pressure.

Do I need to remove the membrane from the ribs?

Yes, it makes a big difference in how tender the meat is.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Undercooked ribs will be tough and chewy. Better to overcook than undercook.
  • Make sure to use a good-quality barbecue sauce. We love Sweet Baby Ray’s!
  • You can also cook on high and cut the cooking time in half if you’re in a hurry

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Crockpot Dr. Pepper Ribs

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