Alton Wins Again

Since 2008, I have brined my Thanksgiving turkey using Alton Brown’s recipe.  Alton is a favorite in our house because he explores food and cooking (my favorite) from the approach of a scientist (my husband’s favorite).  I highly recommend his show if you feel out of sorts in the kitchen — he explains what happens and why in all his recipes.

Therefore Alton was my go-to guy when it came to baby back ribs.  There are just some things you want to do right, you know?  On Memorial Day I gave his recipe a try and it was a huge hit.  You should try it!

My notes: 

  • Allow about an hour for the sauce to reduce on the stovetop. It will thicken more upon standing, also.
  • Instead of doing the final broil, I finished the ribs on the grill.  I imagine either method is fine.
  • Make sure you put an empty bowl on the table for the bones your family has licked clean šŸ˜‰
  • Even though the recipe says it makes several batches of dry rub, I used the entire quantity for one batch of ribs.  Maybe that’s why they were SO GOOD.

Alton Brown’s Who Loves Ya Baby Back?


  • 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub:

  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid:

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.
*This recipe makes several batches of dry rub. If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.

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