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Jim’s Secret Family Recipe Ribs

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + chilling Cook: 3 hours 10 min.


8 servings

Updated: Jun. 06, 2023
For more than 30 years, my brother-in-law Jim kept his famous rib recipe a secret. When he finally shared it, we just had to pass it along because we loved it so much. This one's for you, Jim! —Vicki Young, Brighton, Colorado


  • 2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 liter lemon-lime soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple or orange juice, optional
  • 1/2 cup sugar or packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce of choice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar


  1. Brush ribs with soy sauce. Combine oregano, onion powder and garlic powder; rub over both sides of ribs. Transfer to a large shallow roasting pan; refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 225°. Add lemon-lime soda and, if desired, juice to roasting pan (do not pour over ribs). Bake, covered, until tender, about 3 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, make barbecue sauce by dissolving sugar in hot water; combine with remaining ingredients, thinning with additional lemon-lime soda or juice if necessary. Reserve 1 cup for serving.
  4. Remove ribs from oven; discard juices. Brush both sides with barbecue sauce. Grill ribs, covered, on a greased grill rack over low direct heat, turning and brushing occasionally with remaining sauce, until heated through, about 10 minutes. Cut into serving-size pieces; serve with reserved sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 483 calories, 27g fat (10g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 1107mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 1g fiber), 30g protein.