ribs and potatoes

Slow Cooker Dr Pepper Ribs

These ribs require that you start the process a day ahead, but they are so delicious that it’s worth the extra time required.    This recipe is adapted from a recipe that I originally found at Men’s Health.  I would link back, but I can’t find the recipe.  I think they must have removed it.  I’ve been searching since I posted my pressure cooker rib recipe a few months ago.  If anyone finds the recipe, please leave the link in a comment below.  I would really appreciate it.

Before I begin with my description of the process, I have a confession to make.  I haven’t actually tried the instructions below.  I have made this recipe twice.  Each time, the ribs have come out perfectly, but both times, there were issues with the potatoes.  The first time, the potatoes were not cooked at the end of the cooking time, and I had to finish them in the microwave.  This time, I used very small potatoes to be sure they were finished, and everyone agreed that they may have been over cooked.  The difference between the two times was that I added 1/2 cup water to the bottom of my crock pot the second time, but the first time, I added no water.   The next time I do this, I will use the regular sized russet potatoes and add the water.  Once I see how that version turns out,  I will update this page.  I’m fairly certain that this will work well, but I will let you know.   In the mean time, if you want to avoid the possibility of over or under cooked potatoes, you can place the ribs on a rack in the crock pot or roll up balls of  aluminum foil to set them on. UPDATE:  Putting water in the slow cooker and using regular sized russet potatoes (like the ones that come in a 10 pound bag) worked perfectly.

The day before you want to eat your ribs, sprinkle them with 2 to 4 tablespoons of salt.  Place them into a spill proof container such as a zip lock bag or a sealable glass or plastic container and cover them with Dr. Pepper (or the soda of your choice).  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MAKE THESE WITH DIET SODA.  IT WILL NOT TASTE RIGHT.  Stick them into the fridge for 8 to 24 hours.  (I usually allow the Dr. Pepper to stop fizzing a bit before sealing my container or bag to ensure that the CO2 doesn’t build up and cause it to spring open and make a mess in the fridge.  I also always set the zip lock bags into a baking pan when I put them into the fridge to ensure that any spills will be contained.

Well seasoned meatAfter the meat has marinated for the appointed time, remove it from the fridge, drain the marinade and dispose of it.  Pat the meat dry and cut it into sections that will easily fit into your slow cooker.   Generously coat the rib sections with the spice rub and then set it aside.  Men’s Health only recommended using chili powder, but I mix up chili, salt, pepper, and  garlic.  Rub both sides of your ribs.

a layer of potatoes was placed in the crock potPlace 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of your slow cooker.  Arrange a layer of washed russet potatoes in the bottom of the cooker.  (I realize that this is a photo of red potatoes, but they were what I used this time, and they were over cooked.  That’s why I am recommending russets.)  If you don’t want to use potatoes, you can make balls of foil and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Ribs well seasoned with rub, placed on top of potatoesArrange the ribs on top of the potatoes in your slow cooker or on the balls of foil if you are using those.

Finished Ribs in crock potPlace the lid on top and cook for 8 -10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.

When the ribs are finished, carefully remove them from the crock pot and arrange them on a plate.  Brush them liberally with Dr. Pepper Barbecue sauce, and place them on the grill for a few minutes, brushing with more barbecue sauce as needed.    They are fully cooked when they come out of the crock pot,  so you are only browning the meat and searing on the barbecue sauce.

ribs and potatoesServe with the extra barbecue sauce and the potatoes.  A good thing about these ribs is that because they are pre-cooked, you can finish them on the grill while you also cook up some burgers,  hot dogs, and sausages.  Your friends will think you’ve been grilling for hours and will never know that your slow cooker did all the work.

The rib broth makes an excellent base for bean dishesThere will be a fair amount of very flavorful broth in the bottom of your crock pot.  Save this and use it in place of water to cook some delicious red beans to serve over rice.

Potatoes served with Dr. Pepper RibsWe love to serve our ribs with some corn on the cob, coleslaw, and beans.  I’ve even been known to serve it with Mexican style corn casserole.

Give Dr Pepper ribs  a try and let us know how you like them.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Slow Cooker Dr Pepper Ribs
Recipe type: Meat Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
These Dr Pepper ribs are easy to prepare and very delicious. Cooking them in the slow cooker produces fall of the bones meat that is full of rich flavor. Finishing them on the grill to caramelize the sauce makes them perfect.
  • 1 full rack of baby back ribs
  • 2 liter bottle of Dr. Pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 4-6 russet potatoes (optional)
  • ½ cup water
  1. Place the ribs into a zip lock bag or sealable food storage container.
  2. Sprinkle ribs liberally with 2 to 4 tablespoons of salt.
  3. Pour in just enough Dr. Pepper to cover the ribs.
  4. Place the ribs in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours to allow the flavor of the Dr. Pepper to soak into the meat.
  5. Make the spice rub by mixing together the chili powder, black pepper, coarse sea salt, and garlic. and set aside.
  6. Make the Dr Pepper Barbecue sauce. The instructions can be found at: http://www.pattycakespantry.com/cooking/dr-pepper-barbecue-sauce/
  7. Once the ribs have marinated for the appropriate amount of time, remove them from the refrigerator, drain the marinade, and dispose of it.
  8. Pat the ribs dry and cut them into sections that will fit into your crock pot.
  9. Pour ½ cup of water into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  10. Arrange potatoes in the bottom of the cooker. If you don't want to use potatoes, place balls of foil into the bottom of the slow cooker.
  11. Liberally apply spice rub to both sides of the sections of ribs and place them in your slow cooker on top of the potatoes.
  12. Put lid on cooker and turn it on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  13. At the end of cooking time, carefully remove the ribs from the cooker using tongs and arrange them on a plate. They will be fully cooked and very tender. Be careful so that they don't fall apart.
  14. Brush ribs with our homemade Dr. Pepper Barbecue sauce, or use your favorite,  and finish on the grill, brushing with more barbecue sauce as needed until the sauce begins to caramelize. (If you don't want to use the grill, you can achieve the same result  by broiling them for a few minutes.)
  15. Serve with the potatoes (if you used them) and your favorite barbecue side dishes.  We like corn on the cob, barbecued beans, and coleslaw.
  16. Rub them liberally with the spice rub, an

9 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Dr Pepper Ribs

  1. These ribs look so good, but I don’t have a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. Can I cook them in the oven instead? Is it possible to cook them entirely on the grill?

  2. The first time I made these ribs, I prepared them up to the point where they were placed in the crock pot. Instead, I put them into a baking pan which had 1/2 cup of water in the bottom, sealed the pan with foil to keep the steam in and then baked them for 3 hours in a 300 degree oven. At the end of the cooking time, I brushed on the sauce and let them bake in the same oven for another 30 minutes. They were delicious.

    We have also done them completely on the grill. We made a very sturdy and well sealed pouch and prepared the ribs as above. We cooked them with 1/2 cup water in the pouch on a low heat on the grill for 3 hours. (Make sure that the packet doesn’t get poked.) At that time, we removed them from the foil, brushed them with the barbecue sauce and let them finish on the grill until the sauce was carmelized.

    I hope these instructions help. Let us know if you make them and how they turn out.

    1. Being in love with Dr Pepper must be a daughter thing. Mine loves it, too, even if it’s not on her ribs.

    1. Thanks for the invite. I didn’t know about that link up party. I have included my link already.

      1. You’re welcome. There were lots of great blogs linked up. I read some very nice posts.

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