I wanted to take a moment this Father’s Day and share with you a recipe that’s become a fast favorite around these parts: Smoked Dr. Pepper-n-Honey Baby Back Ribs.
You’ll want a grill that can smoke. A Weber with smoke chips works great. Or, if you’re a Traeger owner like me, simply keeping a controlled temperature will do fine.
You’ll also want to buy the real-sugar Dr. Pepper, the kind with the old-timey font and iconography. Having real sugar is a must. Get honey, too, which kind won’t matter too much.
This recipe will take six to six-and-a-half hours, so be ready with that grill by noon if you want to eat these ribs by suppertime.
Start out by rubbing down your ribs with the “Best Ribs in the Universe” rub recipe, duplicated here for convenience:
Best Ribs in the Universe Rub
Apply a good dusting to both sides, and let the ribs sit for an hour or two – you’ll see the rub drawing the juices out and the whole thing will glisten; that’s a good sign that you’re ready to continue.
Get your grill up to 225 F and keep it there. Put the ribs on (no foil or anything yet) and set a timer for three hours.
Take the ribs off the grill temporarily and lay on aluminum foil. Fold up the edges of the foil so that they’ll hold liquid. Pour a cup of Dr. Pepper into the foil so it rests under the ribs. Then, drizzle honey on the ribs, just a once-over zig-zag pattern will do fine.
Taking care not to tear the foil, wrap the whole thing in another sheet of foil and pack tightly. Lay this foil pack back on the grill and set a timer for two hours.
You’re down to the last hour. Take the foil pack off the grill and very carefully open it up. Now, put the newly-released ribs on the grill, turning up the heat to 275 F. Baste the ribs with the barbecue sauce of your choice (KC Masterpiece Original is tops in my book) and leave on the grill for one more hour. It’s almost time.
Once the last hour is up, take the ribs off the grill and let sit for twenty minutes before slicing. The meat should be fall-off-the-bone tender, and you’ll find the rub mixes in nicely with the barbecue sauce and the smoke for a flavor that can’t be beat.
Thanks to Virtual Weber Bullet for the recipe.