Cherry Cola Pork Ribs

Serves 8.

Note: St. Louis spare ribs are larger and meatier than baby back ribs. If using a charcoal grill, place the meat over a drip pan with 1/2 cup water. From the National Pork Board.

• 2 slabs St. Louis spare ribs, 2 1/2 lb. each (see Note)

• 4 tsp. chili powder

• 2 tsp. garlic salt

•1 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chile, divided

• 1/4 c. plus 1/3 c. cherry cola (not diet)

• 3/4 c. hickory-flavored barbecue sauce


Prepare a grill to medium heat (350 degrees).

Starting at the bony underside of the rack, slip a small thin knife under the membrane on the bones. Loosen about 1 inch of the membrane. Grab the loosened membrane with a paper towel and pull along the length of the rack to remove the membrane. (You may have to do this a couple of times until most of the membrane is removed.) If needed for space on the grill, cut each slab in half between two ribs.

In a small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic salt and 1 teaspoon ground chipotle. While grill is heating, rub mixture all over ribs and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes.

Pour 1/4 cup of cola into a bowl. Place ribs bone-side-down on grill over indirect heat. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, brushing ribs with cola on both sides about every 20 minutes, until rib bones shrink to expose bones by about a 1/2 inch at ends.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine barbecue sauce with remaining 1/3 cup cola. On the stove, simmer over medium-low heat, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 3/4 cup. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle.

Brush ribs with sauce and continue to cook 20 to 30 minutes, basting and turning often, until ribs are nicely glazed and tender. Let stand for 5 minutes on cutting board. Cut between bones and serve.