Coca Cola Ribs are cooked in the slow cooker in a delicious barbecue and Coca Cola sauce to create perfectly tender ribs that fall off the bone! 

Serve this meal with a side of Twice Baked Potatoes, Buttered Vegetables and Homemade Rolls!

Charred Coca Cola Ribs made in the slow cooker.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy Coca Cola slow cooker ribs. When it comes to cooking meat, I prefer a hands-off approach. It’s so much easier to stick the ribs in the slow cooker and not have to worry about watching them in the oven, grill or  on the stove. 
  • Plenty of sauce. It’s all about the sauce, right?! This recipe makes enough sauce so that the meat can cook in the sauce in the slow cooker, then enough to baste and charr in the oven, and enough still to serve with them! 
  • Fall-of-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth good. The slow cooker ribs are so tender and juicy because they’ve cooked low and slow. 

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients used to make Coca Cola  Slow Cooker ribs with barbecue sauce on a white background.
  • Barbecue Sauce: Feel free to use whatever brand of barbecue sauce you’d like. 
  • Coca Cola: You can use regular Coca Cola, Diet Coke or Coke Zero. If you prefer slow cooker Dr Pepper ribs, you can use Dr. Pepper instead. 
  • Brown Sugar: The brown sugar adds a nice sweetness to the Coca Cola ribs and helps provide caramelization of the sauce. 
  • Cayenne Pepper: You can add more 1-3 tsp depending on your heat preference. I didn’t add that much because I wanted my kids to enjoy the meat. 
  • Baby Back Pork Ribs: The sauce will be enough for 4 pounds of baby back pork ribs. If you are making more or less, adjust the amount of the sauce accordingly. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the sauce. Mix the barbecue sauce, Coca Cola, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. 
A dark brown sauce with Coca Cola in it for cooking baby back pork ribs in.
  1. Prepare the ribs. Remove the membrane (the inner skin) from the ribs and discard it. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place the ribs in the slow cooker. If the ribs are too big, cut in half so that the ribs can fit. Season the ribs with some salt and pepper. 
  2. Add the sauce to the slow cooker. Pour half of the sauce over the ribs, cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. (See Recipe Tips for details on cook time.) Cover the remaining sauce and place in the refrigerator. We will use it again before broiling the Coca Cola ribs. 
  1. Preheat the oven. Once the ribs are falling apart and are very tender, preheat the oven to broil (or around 450°F) Carefully transfer the ribs to a foil lined baking sheet. 
  2. Baste and broil. Use a basting brush to add more sauce to the ribs. Bake the ribs for 5 minutes or until the ribs are crisp on the edges and the sauce is caramelizing. Watch the ribs closely, you never want to leave anything under the broiler unattended. 
  3. Serve. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the remaining sauce.
A red pastry brush spreading a dark rib sauce made with Coca Cola, overtop cooked pork ribs.

Recipe Tips

You’ll want the ribs to be thawed when putting them in the crockpot. If your ribs are frozen, I recommend thawing them in the fridge for 1-2 days (depending on the size). 

The cayenne doesn’t add much heat. I only did 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper because I didn’t want my kids to shy away from eating them. You can be generous with the cayenne to add some kick if you’d like. 

Feel free to adjust the recipe by using Diet Coke or Coke Zero if you’d prefer. You can also use Dr Pepper or Root Beer if you’d prefer. 

I was purposeful in the amount of soda to add in the sauce because I wanted to get the Coca Cola flavor but I didn’t want the sauce to be too liquidy. The amount listed in the recipe is perfect in my opinion!

Cook Time: 

Low for 7 hours – ribs that are soft but stay on the bone

Low for 9 hours – tender, fall apart, melt in your mouth

High for 3 hours – ribs that are soft but stay on the bone

High for 5 hours – tender, fall apart, melt in your mouth

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

To reheat, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil with additional sauce (to keep them moist). Warm in the oven (set at 250 degrees) for 10-20 minutes. The time will depend on how many ribs you are reheating. Cook unwrapped for a few minutes if you want to crispen up the tops, too. The low temperature helps slowly heat the ribs without cooking them (which would dry them out). 

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

Coca Cola Ribs covered in a dark brown and red colored sauce on a white background.

FAQs

Can I leave the membrane on ribs?

I would recommend taking the time to remove the membrane from the ribs. If you cook the ribs with the membrane, it will act as a shield from the delicious sauce and the meat won’t be as tender or as flavorful. 

Does Coke tenderize ribs?

Yes it does! The carbonation in the soda helps to sort of break down the fibers in the meat and makes them much more tender and juicy!  

Can I use country-style ribs instead of baby back ribs?

The country-style ribs are cut from a different part of the animal. They typically have more meat on the bone and would be cooked a bit more like pork chops than like ribs. Due to this, I recommend using the baby back ribs for this recipe.

Charred Coca Cola Ribs made in the slow cooker, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

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Charred Coca Cola Ribs made in the slow cooker.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Coca Cola (Slow Cooker) Ribs

These baby back pork ribs are cooked in the slow cooker for several hours to create ultra tender meat that just falls off the bone!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup Coca Cola - regular or Diet Coke is fine
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar - packed
  • 2 tablespoons garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - can add more 1-3 tsp depending on your heat preference
  • 4 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • salt and pepper - for seasoning

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Spray the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Remove the membrane (inner skin) from the ribs. Discard the membrane and place the ribs in the slow cooker. If the ribs are too big, cut in half so that the ribs can fit. Season the ribs with some salt and pepper. 
  • In a medium sized bowl mix the barbecue sauce, Coca cola, brown sugar, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. 
  • Pour HALF of the sauce over the ribs, cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. See NOTES.
  • Cover the remaining sauce and place in the refrigerator. We will use it again before broiling the ribs. 
  • Once the ribs are falling apart and very tender, preheat the oven to broil (or around 450°F) Carefully transfer the ribs to a foil lined baking sheet. 
  • Use a basting brush to baste the ribs. Bake the ribs for 5 minutes or until crisp on the edges and the sauce is caramelizing. Watch the ribs closely, you never want to leave anything under the broiler unattended.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately with the remaining sauce. 

Notes

Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
To reheat, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil with additional sauce (to keep them moist). Warm in the oven (set at 250 degrees) for 10-20 minutes. The time will depend on how many ribs you are reheating. Cook unwrapped for a few minutes if you want to crispen up the tops, too. The low temperature helps slowly heat the ribs without cooking them (which would dry them out).
Low: 7 hours – ribs that are soft but stay on the bone
Low 9 hours – tender, fall apart. Melt in your mouth.
High 3 hours – ribs that are soft but stay on the bone
High 5 hours – tender, fall apart. Melt in your mouth.

Nutrition

Calories: 930kcal (47%)Carbohydrates: 69g (23%)Protein: 56g (112%)Fat: 48g (74%)Saturated Fat: 17g (85%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 197mg (66%)Sodium: 1762mg (73%)Potassium: 1101mg (31%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 56g (62%)Vitamin A: 491IU (10%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 154mg (15%)Iron: 3mg (17%)
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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