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This secret ingredient will make your crock pot ribs so much better

You probably already have it in your kitchen

Barbecue ribs with sauce
FoodAndPhoto / Shutterstock

When made correctly, ribs are an American classic dinner that is both delicious and hearty. Even better, ribs made in the crock pot are easy to make by nearly anyone, resulting in the melt-in-your-mouth texture of you seek. Crock pot ribs can be made in dozens of different ways, but there’s one secret ingredient you need to bring your slow cooker ribs to the next level. Although it might sound disgusting at first glance, BBQ ribs are quickly elevated by adding some coke (yes, Coca-Cola) to your ribs recipe. Here’s why.

The secret ingredient to crock pot ribs

One of the simplest ways to perfect your crock bot BBQ ribs is by adding Coke to your slow cooker. This might sound odd at first, but there’s a scientific reason it works. The acidity of Coca-Cola works to tenderize the meat, helping to make it soft and easy to chew. On the other hand, the sugar in a Coke helps enhance the taste of your BBQ ribs by adding just the right amount of sweetness.

On average, Coke has a pH of 2.7, which helps tenderize the ribs but is not acidic enough to break down the protein in it completely. Even better, it’s an ingredient you might already have in your pantry (or an inexpensive one you can quickly grab at the grocery store). Also, if you don’t have Coca-Cola on hand, any classic soda like Pepsi or even Dr. Pepper will do the trick.

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How to use the secret ingredient in your slow cooker ribs

Adding Coke to your slow cooker ribs is pretty simple — either use a crock pot ribs with coke recipe or substitute the brown sugar in any slow cooker rib recipes for Coca-Cola. Since Coca-Cola is high in sugar as is, you don’t want to add both sugar and Coke at once — or you’ll end up with BBQ ribs that are too sweet. If you’re looking to reduce the sugar content of your ribs, perhaps to fit a low-carb or keto diet, you can also try substituting Coke for diet Coke (which will provide sweetness with no added sugar).

Using Coke in your slow cooker ribs comes out delicious, but this method is not exclusive to the crock pot either. You can also use this secret ingredient when cooking ribs in forms, such as in oven-baked ribs or ribs made on the grill. However, it’s important to remember you’ll need to marinate the ribs in the coke mixture for at least 24 hours before cooking to get the most flavor out of them.

Trying crock pot ribs with soda

With this secret ingredient, making delicious BBQ ribs has never been easier. When making slow cooker ribs, no marinating is needed since the BBQ ribs will cook in the solution (how easy is that?) All that’s left to do is try this crock pot ribs trick for yourself.

Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She holds a B.S…
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