Classic Barbeque Spareribs

When it comes to food, I’m not afraid to get messy. In my eyes, the saucier the better, especially when you set a plate of ribs in front of me. I love hands and faces covered in barbeque. To me, that’s the sign of a good rib recipe.

After about a year of perfecting our favorite rib recipe, we met up with some friends at the lake house. We were brainstorming meal ideas and that’s when we decided to give our friends from North Carolina a taste of our rib recipe. Knowing that they were from North Carolina, we knew that the stakes were high. 

After chatting with them about our process for making ribs, our friend asked, “Have you ever cooked them with Coke?” We learned that they loved cooking their ribs with Coke because the liquid helped to break down the meat and make it incredibly tender. 

So, we decided to do an experiment by combining our methods of cooking ribs. After stopping by the grocery store and selecting all of the essential ingredients, we returned home, poured some cocktails, and began preparing what was soon to be the best ribs we’ve ever had. Ever. From the homemade barbeque sauce to the first bite where all the meat fell off the bone, these ribs made for a pretty incredible meal.

Without further adieu, here’s the new Tilley signature dish (thanks to the help from the Sylvesters).

Classic Barbeque Spareribs
A simple recipe that's perfect for the grill
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
3 hr 45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
3 hr 45 min
For the Rub
  1. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  2. 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  6. 2 teaspoons Kosher salt and
  7. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1 rack of spareribs
  9. 1-2 2-L bottles of Coca-Cola
For the BBQ Sauce
  1. 2 1/4 cups ketchup
  2. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 3/4 cup molasses
  4. 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  5. 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  1. Make the rub: Combine the chili powder, coffee, cumin, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Rub the ribs on both sides with the spice mixture.
  3. Place the ribs in a large pot. Pour the Coca-Cola over the ribs until they are covered with the liquid.
  4. Simmer the ribs in the Coca-Cola for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 160. The ribs should be tender and easy to pull from the bone.
  5. Make the sauce: Combine the ketchup, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, brown sugar, and black pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  6. Remove the ribs from the Coca-Cola and place on a baking sheet.
  7. Coat the ribs with about 1 cup of the sauce.
  8. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the ribs, basting with the extra sauce and turning occasionally, until the rack begins to char slightly.
  9. Transfer the ribs to a serving platter and serve warm.
How To: Simplify

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  1. Jen those ribs look amazing! I don't tend to cook very much as they are so messy but now I realize what I'm missing! Thanks for the recipe-I'll try it soon.

    Best wishes,

  2. Perfect timing! I have a package of ribs in our freezer and I had no idea how to cook them, so I'll definitely be trying your recipe!

  3. My husband and I sound just like the two of you – an undying love of spare ribs. I personally love to pile on the cayenne pepper and chile powder in the rub. Your homemade sauce sounds fantastic, too. We'll have to try it out next time we're in the mood. Thanks for sharing!

    Take care,

  4. You're my kinda girl cuz I'm not afraid to get messy with my food either. In fact, I feel the messier the better and these ribs are no exception. They look amazing Jen.


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