A sweet cola barbecue sauce balances out the earthy, peppery dry rub on these deliciously rich ribs. Serve with a tangy side dish, like a vinegar-based coleslaw or potato salad.

Mark Driskill


Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr

Recipe Summary test

55 mins
6 hrs 25 mins
Serves 8 (serving size: about 3 ribs)


Cola-Coffee BBQ Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • Pat both sides of slabs dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, remove thin membrane from back of each by slicing into it and pulling it off with a paper towel. (It can be difficult to remove the membrane off beef ribs so you might want to have the butcher do it for you.)

  • Combine salt, coffee, pepper, paprika, and chili powder in a bowl; rub evenly over both sides of each rack, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, make the Cola-Coffee BBQ Sauce: Combine all the ingredients for in a medium saucepan over medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through and flavors meld, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  • Prepare a charcoal fire in smoker according to manufacturer's instructions, bringing internal temperature to 250°F to 275°F. Maintain temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Place wood chunks on coals.

  • Place ribs, meaty side up, on smoker; cover with lid. Smoke ribs, maintaining inside temperature between 250°F and 275°F, until meat begins to pull away from bones but is not yet tender, about 3 hours. Brush about 1/2 cup Cola-Coffee BBQ Sauce over both sides of ribs. Cover and smoke until a meat thermometer inserted in between the rib bones registers 205°F and rib meat is very tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes, brushing with about 1/4 cup barbecue sauce every 30 minutes. Remove ribs from the smoker; brush with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Serve with remaining barbecue sauce. (Extra sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.)