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Dorothy Dean presents: Sun’s out, slow cooker ribs are out

While Coke is usually served in a glass over ice, the soft drink also is amazing when used as a marinade or in cooking with meat, including ribs. (Audrey Alfaro / For The Spokesman-Review)
While Coke is usually served in a glass over ice, the soft drink also is amazing when used as a marinade or in cooking with meat, including ribs. (Audrey Alfaro / For The Spokesman-Review)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

I know the sun is out and you’re dying for anything to throw on the grill. But don’t worry: After a douse in barbecue sauce, these tender, slow cooker ribs can be finished off on the grill or in the oven.

Calling for a rack of ribs, liter of Coca-Cola and a cup of barbecue sauce, this recipe couldn’t be any simpler. And since they’re made in a slow cooker, it’s an easy way to get your rib fix year round.

While Coke is usually served in a glass over ice, it also is amazing when used as a marinade or in cooking with meat. Coke infuses a subtle sweetness to meat, and its acidity helps to tenderize it.

So you can just imagine how tender, tasty and moist these ribs are after being slow simmered for 6 hours in the sugary soda – it’s pure, fall-off-the-bone deliciousness. Just be careful not to pull the meat right off when transporting it from the slow cooker to the baking sheet.

After a slather of your favorite barbecue sauce (mine is KC Masterpiece Original mixed with a few tablespoons of brown sugar), they’re off to the grill, or oven, to glaze over to sticky, caramelized perfection.

With leftovers – if you’re lucky to have any – you can pull the meat off the bone and make pulled pork sliders, nachos and quesadillas.

And any style of ribs would work for this: spare ribs, riblets and country-style ribs. You can even use pork shoulder. Just cook it for 8-10 hours, remove it from the liquid, then shred it before stirring in your sauce.

Slow cooker ribs

3 pounds pork baby back ribs

2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola

1 cup barbecue sauce

Salt, pepper and garlic powder (to taste)

Rinse and pat dry ribs. Season all the sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cut the slab in half and place it into a slow cooker, meat side up.

Pour enough Coca-Cola over the ribs to almost fully over.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low.

Cover a baking sheet with foil and coat it with nonstick spray. Carefully remove the ribs from the slow cooker and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet, meaty side up.

Brush all the sides of the ribs with a thick coat of barbecue sauce and place it in the oven to broil until the sauce starts to bubble and caramelize, about 3-5 minutes.

This also can be done on an outdoor grill. Just heat the grill to high, place the sauce-coated ribs directly on the grill, close the lid and grill until it is nicely glazed.

Audrey Alfaro can be reached at spoonandswallow@yahoo.com.

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