Succulent, sweet, and smokey! They may not be Irish but our Irishman in Miami's recipe for coca-cola barbecue ribs are just perfect for your summertime bbq.

Did you know May is National Barbecue Month? Of course, who needs an excuse for a barbecue once summer hits, right?! Our Irish chef in Miami, Chef Michael Gilligan celebrates all things barbecue and USA with these succulent, sweet, and smokey bbq ribs. 

What could be better than these sticky pork ribs treat for your summer barbecue?

Barbecued coca-cola ribs recipe


  • 4lb pork ribs
  • 3 cups coca-cola or Dr. Pepper
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp chili powder
  • 4 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon


Transfer the ribs to a large non-reactive glass or ceramic dish pour 2 cups of Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper over them. Reserve the third cup of the soda for a sauce to be made later. Let the ribs marinate, tightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated, overnight. About 6 1/2 hours before you plan to serve the ribs, start a fire in your smoke/cooker and begin heating a number of coals.

Then turn your attention to the sauce. Pour the remaining 1 cup of soda into a blender or food processor and measure in the catsup, brown sugar, chili powder, pepper, dry mustard, and cinnamon. Mix until smooth and well blended. No need to cook this one, at least for now.

Add some well-soaked aromatic wood such as hickory or mesquite to the glowing coals in your cooker.

Set a pan filled with hot water in place, and smoke cook the ribs, covered at 220 to 240 degrees F. for about 3 hours. After this initial smoking, turn the ribs, slather them with the sauce, check the supply of wood and water in their respective pans, and continue cooking for another 3 hours, this time turning the ribs every 30 minutes and mopping them with sauce each time they're turned.

By the end of the 3 hours, they should have long since reached the internal temperature of 160 to 170 degrees recommended for pork. After the last basting of the ribs, tote the remaining sauce inside and simmer in a medium-size saucepan over low heat until quite thick. Serve the gloriously gooey sauce in dipping bowls with the finished ribs.

Do you have a go-to bbq recipe you just love? Share it with us in the comments section below!

* Originally published in 2014. Updated in May 2023.