Why Do People Put Coke on Ribs?

Coca-Cola is a popular ingredient in many barbecue recipes, including ribs. There are several reasons why people put Coke on ribs:

  • Tenderizes the meat: The acidity in Coke helps to break down the tough connective tissue in ribs, making them more tender and juicy.

  • Adds flavor: Coke adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to ribs. The caramel in Coke also gives ribs a beautiful brown color.

  • Pairs well with other ingredients: Coke pairs well with other barbecue ingredients, such as brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard. This creates a complex and flavorful sauce that complements the ribs perfectly.

How to Use Coke on Ribs

There are two main ways to use Coke on ribs:

  1. As a marinade: Marinating ribs in Coke for several hours or overnight helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. To make a Coke marinade, simply combine equal parts Coke and water in a large bowl. Add the ribs to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.

  2. As a basting liquid: Basting ribs with Coke during cooking helps to keep them moist and flavorful. To baste ribs with Coke, simply brush them with Coke every 30 minutes or so during cooking.

Tips for Using Coke on Ribs

Here are a few tips for using Coke on ribs:

  • Use regular Coke: Diet Coke or other sugar-free colas will not work as well in barbecue recipes. The sugar in regular Coke is what helps to tenderize the meat and add flavor.

  • Don’t overcook the ribs: Ribs can easily become dry and tough if they are overcooked. Cook ribs until they are tender and juicy, but not falling off the bone.

  • Serve with your favorite sides: Ribs are a delicious and versatile dish that can be served with a variety of sides. Some popular sides for ribs include baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad.


Coke is a great ingredient to use on ribs because it tenderizes the meat, adds flavor, and pairs well with other barbecue ingredients. If you’re looking for a delicious and easy way to cook ribs, give Coke a try.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

For three to four days, keep any leftover ribs refrigerated in an airtight container.

To keep the ribs moist during reheating, cover them with more sauce and wrap them in aluminum foil. Warm for ten to twenty minutes at 250 degrees in the oven. Depending on how many ribs you are reheating, the time will vary. If you want the tops to get crispy, cook them without the wrapper for a few minutes. The ribs are heated gently but not to the point of cooking, which would dry them out.

I wouldn’t recommend freezing the cooked ribs. Reheating or freezing then reheating ribs increases the risk of the ribs drying out. Ribs are best enjoyed when they are fresh and tender!

why do people put coke on ribs

I would advise taking your time to separate the ribs’ membrane. The membrane will serve as a barrier to the flavorful sauce when the ribs are cooked, making the meat less tender and flavorful.

It does, in fact, make the meat much more tender and juicy because the carbonation in the soda helps to break down the fibers in the meat.

The ribs in the country style are cut from a different portion of the meat. They are usually cooked more like pork chops than like ribs, with more meat on the bone. Because of this, I suggest making this recipe with baby back ribs.

why do people put coke on ribs

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy Coca Cola slow cooker ribs. I think it’s best to cook meat without being too involved. Placing the ribs in the slow cooker eliminates the need to constantly monitor them while they cook in the oven, grill, or stovetop. It’s also much easier.
  • Plenty of sauce. This recipe makes enough sauce to allow the meat to cook in the sauce in the slow cooker, then enough to baste and char in the oven, and still enough to serve with them—after all, sauce is everything!
  • Fall-of-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth good. Because they have been cooked slowly and low, the slow cooker ribs are extremely juicy and tender.

why do people put coke on ribs

  • BBQ Sauce: You are welcome to use any brand of barbecue sauce.
  • You can use Diet Coke, Coke Zero, or Regular Coca-Cola. If you like Dr Pepper ribs in a slow cooker, you can use Dr Pepper instead.
  • Brown Sugar: The brown sugar helps the sauce caramelize and gives the Coca-Cola ribs a pleasant sweetness.
  • Depending on your tolerance for heat, you can add an additional 1-3 tsp of cayenne pepper. I wanted my kids to love the meat, so I didn’t add too much.
  • There will be enough sauce for four pounds of baby back pork ribs. Make sure you adjust the amount of sauce based on whether you are making more or less.
  • Make the sauce. In a bowl, stir together the Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, barbecue sauce, and Coca-Cola.

why do people put coke on ribs

  • Prepare the ribs. Take off and discard the membrane, or inner skin, from the ribs. Apply nonstick cooking spray inside the slow cooker. Place the ribs in the slow cooker. Cut the ribs in half if they are too large so that they will fit. Season the ribs with some salt and pepper.
  • Add the sauce to the slow cooker. Cover the ribs with half of the sauce, cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. (See Recipe Tips for details on cook time. ) Cover the remaining sauce and place in the refrigerator. It will be used once more prior to broiling the Coca-Cola ribs.
  • Preheat the oven. When the ribs are extremely tender and falling apart, preheat the oven to broil, or about 450°F). Gently move the ribs to a baking sheet covered with foil.
  • Baste and broil. Apply additional sauce to the ribs using a basting brush. Bake the ribs for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is caramelizing and the ribs are crisp around the edges. Keep a close eye on the ribs; you never want to leave anything unattended under the broiler.
  • Serve. Take out of the oven and serve right away with the leftover sauce.

why do people put coke on ribs

Before placing the ribs in the crockpot, they should be defrosted. I suggest thawing frozen ribs in the refrigerator for one to two days, depending on their size.

The cayenne doesn’t add much heat. I used only half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper because I didn’t want my children to be afraid to eat them. If you want to add more zing, feel free to use a lot of cayenne.

If you would rather, feel free to modify the recipe and use Coke Zero or Diet Coke. If you’d like, you can also use root beer or Dr. Pepper.

In order to achieve the Coca-Cola flavor in the sauce without having it become overly liquid, I carefully considered how much soda to add. I think the amount specified in the recipe is ideal!

Cook Time:

Soft ribs that remain on the bone for seven hours

Low for nine hours: mushy, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth

Soft ribs that remain on the bone for three hours

Five hours on high: delicate, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth

Coca-Cola RIBS EXPERIMENT – Smoking and BBQ Coke RIBS – WHAT!?


Why do you soak ribs in Coke?

These beauties are marinated for 24 hours in Coca-Cola (my all time fav soft drink) which breaks down the meat and makes it extra tender and it leaves the ribs infused with just the right amount of sugar. To that, we’ll add some spice, cook them until tender and then douse them with a homemade BBQ sauce.

Does soda tenderize ribs?

Cola typically has a pH of about 2.7—for comparison, lemon juice has a pH of 2—making it acidic enough to break down some proteins without dissolving your meat. Soda acts as great tenderizer—you could get a tender cut of meat grill-ready in less than a half-hour.

How do you tenderize meat with Coke?

Pour Coke into large bowl. Add chopped onion. Place steak in Coke mixture making sure it is completely covered. Let steak marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Does Coke taste good on ribs?

The carbonated beverage will provide a sweet flavor, but the meaty flavor will overpower the Coke so it is not too intense. The ribs will taste divine with the smoked barbecue flavor. Season the rack of ribs with 3 tbsp. of your favorite dry pork rub.

What is the reason for the pain in the ribs?

Pain in ribs can be due to various reasons including trauma (rib fracture), pulled muscle, joint inflammation, referred pain (liver, spleen, and lungs) and due to underlying undiagnosed auto-immune disorder.

Are Coca Cola ribs good?

Coca Cola Ribs are finger licking good! Massaged with a robust dry rub then smothered in cola BBQ sauce these ribs will have you wanting more. A pork recipe that is oven baked to perfection and then grilled for a sensational finish. Coke ribs are sticky, sweet, juicy and so very succulent!

Can I use Pepsi instead of coke for ribs?

You can use Pepsi if you want to as a substitute for the coke. If you are following a keto diet, but want to make these with a no sugar sauce for cooking, you might then like to serve the ribs with a Herbed Yogurt Sauce or Horseradish Yogurt Sauce. You can also find all of my homemade sauces in the one spot for further ideas.

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