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Scotty’s BBQ Ribs with Root Beer Rib Sauce

May 23, 2011
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Scott and I spent this past weekend in Delaware with his wonderful parents, who put in a request for some barbecue ribs. How could my grill-master boyfriend say no to that? Not only does he love his summertime (and sometimes wintertime!) grilling adventures, he’s extremely good at it. My man doesn’t joke around when charcoal and large cuts of meat are involved; Which is also why I don’t even bother trying to cook on the grill myself! Furthermore, I was very appreciative to have a break from my usual Chef duties. I know, I know… it may seem I’m always jumping at the opportunity to wield a spatula (or whisk, or rolling pin etc…) but honestly, this foodie gets tired! However, I did whip up a yummy bacon-less German style potato salad to go with these marvelous ribs. Anyway, lets move on to the how-to for these delectable, finger-lickin ribs!


  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2/3 Cup ketchup
  • 1/3 Cup root beer
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Ribs n’ Rub

  • 2 Racks baby back ribs, 1 1/2 to 2lbs each
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Cups wood chips, such as mesquite

To make the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, chile powder and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Remove the thin membrane from the back of each rack of ribs. To do this, slide a thin knife under the edge to lift up the membrane. Grip tightly with a piece paper towel and peel all the way down the rack. Allow the ribs to stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

Make the rub: In a small bowl, combine the rub ingredients. Coat the racks with rub, pressing into the meat.

Preheat the oven to 250°. Soak the wood chips in water. Wrap the ribs in foil and bake for 2 hours in the oven. At the 1.5 hour mark, start the charcoal grill and set it up for indirect grilling (coals on the sides). Add 2/3 of the wood chips to the coals. After 2 hours, remove the ribs from foil and finish on the grill for 45 minutes, keeping the top vent closed so that the heat stays low; around 300°. Since he cooked 2 racks of ribs, Scott used a rib rack to hold the ribs upright, keep them from getting too close to the coals and allow them to cook evenly. After the first 30 minutes, remove the ribs from the rack, lay them flat in the middle of the grill and coat them with the sauce. Add remaining wood chips to the coals and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove ribs from the grill, wrap them in aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with more sauce on top if you’d like, and make sure you’ve got plenty of napkins!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2011 1:14 pm

    I like making my own BBQ sauce but have never tried one like this! The addition of root beer is so cool — would love to give it a whirl next time I make a batch of sauce. Of course the ribs look great, too. I’m so glad grilling season has arrived!

    • May 23, 2011 1:16 pm

      Yeah it was delish! He based this recipe on one for a cola bbq sauce but I’ve gotta take credit where its due, because substituting with root beer was my idea!

  2. May 23, 2011 4:33 pm

    YUM! I love ribs smothered in a delicious looking sauce. It’s gross, but I prefer licking my fingers when I’m eating these. I can’t wait to try the sauce! It’s my first time to your blog, and I’m loving it!

    • May 23, 2011 4:41 pm

      I must admit I did lick this sauce off my fingers haha….

      Thanks for stopping by Jenn, glad you like my site!


  3. Mike permalink
    June 3, 2011 12:34 pm

    Looks good. I like the idea of the root beer. If want to take your ribes to the next level, keep the membrane on.

    I know, I know, it may be weird at first to think about…but its a trade secret. The membrane keeps the pork juicy keeping the flavors.

    Just a tip! Keep it up!

  4. June 28, 2011 2:37 pm

    I love that you used Root Beer! I posted my own BBQ ribs today on my blog,

    I hope you have a chance to stop by!


  5. December 6, 2011 12:55 pm

    Oh my boyfriend could kill for these ribs… looks absolutely delicious!

  6. December 7, 2011 3:37 am

    This is looking amazing!
    I’ve really enjoyed going through your blog. It’s filled with yummies!
    Just wanted to ask, is there a non-alcoholic replacement ingredient for the root beer in the sauce? 🙂 Thanks.

  7. January 7, 2012 3:29 am

    Barbeque ribs are a summertime favorite. With just the right amount of seasoning, grilling, and sauce, you will have a family hit. There are different options for grilling. The two most common are beef and pork ribs. These are varieties of rib that you will find in your local grocery store.


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