Coffee and Cola Dry Rub Ribs

I love dry rub ribs, but my wife prefers hers sauced and we recently found this new coffee flavored sauce that is absolutely awesome, but i just couldn’t give up my dry rub so I came up with this as a compromise using the sauce as an inspiration.

Now I don’t want to get into the old argument about which is the best type of rib here because there is no right or wrong answer to that topic. I like to use spare ribs for two reasons. First the spare ribs have more meat which can be a little tougher than baby backs but since this recipe is low and slow  that wont be an issue. Secondly the spare ribs come with their own little snack that I will explain a little later.

Mix together in a bowl 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup ground coffee, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper.

Next it is time to prep the ribs. First if you are using spare ribs you need to remove the skirt, the extra meat on the underside of the ribs and set the skirt aside (this will be the snack I spoke of earlier.  Next time to remove the silver skin. Using a sharp knife begin to separate the silver skin from the back of the ribs. I like to use a paper towel to help grab the silver skin and pull back continuing to use the sharp knife to assist cutting away the silver skin.

Once that is done using another paper towel pat both sides of the ribs dry then coat the ribs lightly with mustard. Take the dry rub and cover both sides of the ribs.  Now one of the most common mistakes of BBQ is to actually rub the seasoning into the meat. This clogs the pores of the meat and doesn’t let the smoke penetrate and flavour the meat. If anything you can use your hands to lightly spread the rub to make sure there is an even coating but don’t massage it in.  Make sure to do this to both sides not just the meaty side.  I also give the skirt I removed the same treatment with the mustard and rub. The final step in prepping the ribs is to wrap them in plastic wrap and return to the fridge preferably over night but can be done for as little as an hour obviously longer is better.

Start the smoker and bring up to 225.  While waiting for it to come up to temp remove the ribs from the fridge and as with cooking any meat let them come up to room temperature. Once the smoker has reached 225 place the ribs in the smoker and smoke for 4 hours.

I am sure some of you are reading this saying ok there is coffee in the rub but where does the cola come in? Well this is a little unconventional. Every 45 minutes I mop the ribs with cola. Normally when doing a Memphis Style Dry Rib I would use apple juice to mop but with the coffee the apple juice just didn’t work right so I went with cola.

After the 4 hours have passed remove the ribs and wrap in the foil then return to smoker for 1 more hour.

As for using the skirt as a snack if you put it in the smoker at the same time as the ribs and mop it with the cola at around the 3 hour mark the skirt will be done and give you a preview if what your ribs are going to taste like.

I ate these ribs without sauce and my wife used a coffee flavored sauce to dip her ribs into.  These are going to be a regular thing at our house I hope they will be at yours as well.


2 Racks Spare Ribs

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Ground Coffee

2 tablespoons Paprika

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper


1 cup Cola

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