Slow Cooker Pork Ribs with Spicy Cola Sauce


  • 2 (2 ½-pound) racks baby back ribs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper, divided (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 (12-ounce) can cola (we used caffeine-free coca-cola)
  • 1 ½ cups ketchup, divided
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons hot sauce, divided (we used Frank’s Red Hot Original)
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Take a 6-quart slow cooker out and spray the inside of it with cooking spray.
  2. Take a sharp knife and pierce the thin membrane found on the back of the ribs, peeling it away to remove and throw away afterwards. Cut each rack in half. Brush the ribs with 2 tablespoons of the oil, seasoning them with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  3. Take a cast-iron skillet or grill pan (we used a 12-inch skillet) and brush the inside of it with the last of the oil, preheating the skillet over medium-high heat afterwards. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the ribs in batches for 3 minutes per side or until browned all over (we did one rack at a time). The original recipe says you may or may not need to adjust the heat while browning. Once browned, stack the ribs in the slow cooker.
  4. Take a medium-sized mixing bowl out and whisk together the following ingredients until combined: the cola, 1 cup ketchup, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and 1 teaspoon of hot sauce. Measure out 1 cup of the cola sauce and leave it off to the side for now. Pour what’s left of the sauce over the ribs, turning them so all of them get coated all over. Put a lid on the slow cooker and let it cook for 3 ½ hours on HIGH or 7 hours on LOW or until the ribs are tender (we cooked ours on LOW), rearranging the ribs halfway through the cook time (we switched the top and bottom pieces and switched places with the middle two).
  5. Take the ribs out of the slow cooker and place them on a cutting board. Measure out 1 cup of the cooking liquid for the next step.
  6. Take a large saucepan out and add to it the 1 cup of cooking liquid, that 1 cup of cola sauce you reserved, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, remaining ½ cup ketchup, remaining 2 teaspoons hot sauce, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait for it to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down so it’s simmering for 5 minutes. Serve on or with the ribs.

Serves 4.

These were so tender ! If you don’t like your ribs that saucy then these still taste good just from cooking in the slow cooker, they have a little sweetness to them thanks to the cola sauce. If you use the sauce at the end though, it really takes the flavor up a notch ! It turns it into a “lick your fingers clean” type of goodness ! The sauce is sweet and tangy and has just a little bit of heat at the end. It’s nice having a recipe for ribs that you can enjoy even when the weather’s crappy.

We got this recipe from Taste of the South.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Coca-Cola, Frank’s Red Hot or Taste of  the South.

Take care everybody !

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