Ribs are kind of the Traeger's bread and butter, so to speak. You will be hard pressed to create such flavorful and tender ribs by any other home cooking method. Our most classic recipe is the 3-2-1 method of cooking baby back ribs. For this recipe, we wanted all of the tenderness and flavor infusion you get with the 3-2-1 method with the added bonus of spice and sticky-sweet finger -icking goodness.
Spicy Dr. Pepper Baby Back Ribs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Recommended Pellets: Hickory or Oak
2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 5 pounds total), trimmed
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1 cup Dr Pepper (divided use), plus more if needed
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce
1/3 cup honey, warmed
2 tablespoons hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula recommended)
If your butcher has not already done so, remove the thin papery membrane from the bone-side of the ribs by working the tip of a butter knife or a screwdriver underneath the membrane over a middle bone. Use paper towels to get a firm grip, then tear the membrane off.
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, 1/4 cup of Dr Pepper (reserve the rest), and the Worcestershire sauce. Spread thinly on both sides of the ribs; season with Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Smoke the ribs, meat-side up, for 3 hours.
Transfer the ribs to a rimmed baking sheet but leave the grill on. Set the temperature to 225 degrees F. Tear off four long sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. Top with a rack of ribs; pull up the sides to keep the liquid enclosed.
Sprinkle half the brown sugar on the rack, then top with half the honey, half of the hot sauce and 1/4 cup Dr Pepper. (Use a bit more Dr Pepper if you want.) Lay another piece of foil on top and tightly crimp the edges so there’s no leakage. Repeat with the remaining rack of ribs.
Return the foiled ribs to the grill and cook for approximately 2 hours. In a small bowl, combine the Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce and the last 1/2 cup of Dr Pepper.
Carefully remove the foil from the ribs—watch out for hot steam—and brush the ribs on both sides with Traeger BBQ Sauce. Discard the foil.
Arrange the ribs directly on the grill grate and continue to grill until the sauce “tightens” for 1 additional hour. Let the ribs rest for a few minutes before serving.