Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs

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These Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs aren’t just delicious – they’re a viral sensation! With over 300,000 shares, this 3-ingredient wonder is about to revolutionize your BBQ game. 

Country Style Pork Ribs are slow-cooked in Dr. Pepper, then baked or grilled to caramelize the Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. This recipe is quick and easy for anyone to enjoy!

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs

I am what you would call a fair-weather winter person.  Growing up in the Midwest, it doesn’t seem right not to have snow on the ground at Christmastime, but by the time mid-January hits, I am tired of the dreary grey skies and the cold and the white stuff that has now turned a not so pretty white. I long for long summer days with sunshine and patio sitting and grilling. These Dr. Pepper Ribs make it possible to enjoy barbecue any time of the year.

Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Ribs

The first time I made this recipe, my son was home from college and I was trying to make all of his favorites before he returned to school. He loves barbecue, and I had some boneless country-style pork ribs in the freezer, so I defrosted them and decided to wing it.  

I typically boil my ribs in beer before I grill them. But when the snow is flying in January, that isn’t an option, so I thought, let’s try the slow cooker instead. I tossed the ribs in my slow cooker, dumped a can of Dr. Pepper over the top, and let the crock pot work its magic.

Close up of a Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Rib with a bite out of it

Easy Dr. Pepper Pork Ribs

After they cooked slowly all day, becoming so tender I could barely move them to my baking rack, I knew they would be awesome.  I transferred them to a rack over a cookie sheet and brushed them with BBQ sauce and more Dr. Pepper. I baked them to caramelize the sauce, flipping them once and adding more sauce.

ingredients in Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Ribs

For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe card. 

  • Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs – I typically purchase boneless country-style pork ribs for this recipe, but bone-in work great, too!
  • Dr. Pepper Soda – I use regular Dr. Pepper, but I have used Cherry and it’s yummy too. It’s okay to use the Diet version if that is what you have.
  • Barbecue Sauce – Use your favorite or make your own homemade barbecue sauce.

How to Make Crock Pot Dr. Pepper Ribs

    The crock pot does most of the work, making them tender as they slow cook, then you bake them to caramelize the sauce on them before you eat them. You can also do this step on the grill if you prefer.

    Place the ribs in your slow cooker.

    Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs prep

    Pour a can of Dr. Pepper over the top.  

    Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs cooking

    Put the lid on, and cook them on low all day, or you can cook them on high for half the time.  

    They will be fall-apart tender. Carefully transfer the ribs to a rack over a cookie sheet.

    Combine BBQ sauce with Dr. Pepper soda.

    Brush tops with sauce. 

    Bake and then flip them over and brush the other side. Bake once more.

    Serve with extra sauce on the table.

    Leftover ribs will keep in the fridge for about 3 days in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.

    I also love to make extra and shred them up for sandwiches for another meal. Or try my Crock Pot Dr. Pepper BBQ Sandwich recipe!

    Love it? Pin it!

    If you love this easy BBQ Rib recipe make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!

    What to Serve with Dr. Pepper Ribs

    I like to serve them with Cheesy Hash brown Casserole, Sweet Corn, and Cornbread Drop Biscuits. It’s also delicious with Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, and Corn Pie Casserole!

    FAQs About Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper Ribs

    Over the years, here are some of the most asked questions.

    • Can I use Diet Dr. Pepper instead? Yes – it will work fine!
    • Can I use bone-in pork ribs? Bone-in or boneless pork ribs work great. I have had a reader use baby back also.
    • Can I substitute Cola for Dr. Pepper? Yes – use what you like. I have used root beer with success too.
    • Can I use beef ribs instead? You sure can. I have always preferred pork ribs though, as they have so much more meat.
    • Won’t baking them dry them out? Once the ribs are tender in the crock pot, move them to the rack. As long as they aren’t overcooked in the slow cooker you will be fine. If the ribs are smaller in size, or really thin, reduce the cooking time to 7 minutes per side. Use your judgment. The oven (or grill) only caramelizes the sauce to the outside, the ribs are already cooked inside.
    • Can I make a smaller amount and if so, do I need to reduce the amount of Dr. Pepper and cooking time? Make as many as you like, and cover them with Dr. Pepper, but you don’t want them swimming in it. The cooking time should be about the same.
    Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs

    Years of Rave Reviews

    This recipe has hundreds of comments and has received rave reviews for years. Here are a couple that I wanted to share with you.

    • Brandy says: “Had this for supper tonight. It’s just as good as it looks! Fall apart tender and the sauce made it absolutely amazing! We had it with baked potatoes that I put in another crockpot and let cook on low all day. I love fixing meals in the crockpot. It’s so easy, especially nice when working long days. Thanks for sharing!”
    • From Alicia: “This quick, no-stress process produced the most AMAZING tastiest ribs ever!!! Thank you!!!”
    • May Says: “I found this recipe on Pinterest and omg is it fall off the bone good! I followed the recipe exactly as written and I wouldn’t change a thing!!”

    More BBQ Recipes to Love

    If you love this recipe and don’t want to wait all day, try making it in the Instant Pot. These Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Tenders are done in no time, too. You’re sure to love these sandwiches too: BBQ Smoked Sausage Sandwiches and Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches (crock pot recipe.)

    Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs

    I hope that this recipe rocks your world like it has for so many others! If you love it like we all do, I would love to hear. Thank you for the comments and the 5-star ratings on this recipe!

    Michaela signature
    Close up of Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs on a white serving plate
    4.48 from 577 votes
    Print Recipe

    Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs

    Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs, slow cooked in Dr. Pepper, then baked to caramelize the Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce.
    Prep Time5 minutes
    Cook Time7 hours
    Additional Time30 minutes
    Total Time7 hours 35 minutes
    Course: Crock Pot
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: 3 ingredient meals, country style pork ribs, Crockpot BBQ Ribs, Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce, Slow Cooker Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs
    Servings: 4 pounds
    Calories: 1029kcal
    Author: Michaela Kenkel


    • 4.5 pounds boneless country style pork ribs
    • 2 cans Dr. Pepper soda divided
    • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce your favorite, we love our Sweet Baby Ray’s!


    • Place ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker, pour 1 can of soda over them. Cover and slow cook for 7 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil then place a wire rack over the top.
    • Combine 3/4 cup BBQ sauce with 1/2 cup Dr. Pepper soda.
    • Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker, placing on rack. Brush tops with sauce. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and brush other side. Bake 15 minutes more.
    • Serve remaining sauce at the table.


    Serving: 11ounces | Calories: 1029kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 90g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 37g | Cholesterol: 327mg | Sodium: 619mg | Sugar: 25g

    This recipe was originally posted on January 8, 2016. It has been updated to improve user experience and reshared on June 26, 2024.

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      1. I feel like you could use whatever you have. The country style ribs have a significant amount of meat on them, so you may need to adjust the cooking time.

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