Alton’s Baby Back Ribs

I was idling around the grocery store, trying to come up with meals to make for the week but my mind kept coming up blank. Usually, meals are planned the day before I hit the grocery store and rotated bi-weekly. This week I didn’t even had the time to write my shopping list and went shopping blind.

Thankfully, I grocery shop on sat wee mornings when majority of people are still snoring which gave me time to twirl around the aisle aimlessly while trying to put together what I would need.

I was pacing the meat section and realised that I have not made ribs in ages. I only made this once and used BBQ sauce to coat the ribs not knowing what a big mistake I made. This recipe cooks in a braising liquid mix which is boiled down to a sauce to coat the ribs.

As Alton mention in his cookbook, this isn’t BBQ ribs cause smoke is not used. So keep that bottle of BBQ in your fridge and don’t even think of using it to dip the ribs in. Also, the low heat and long cook time is essential to the ‘meat falling of the bone’ so ensure you don’t rush the cook time.

This is worth every meat sweat it came along with and I was still sucking on the bones by the end. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

Alton Brown’s Baby Back Ribs

Prep Time: 5 mins

Inactive: 1 hr min

Cook Time: 2.5 – 3 hr

Yield: 2 full slab of finger licking good ribs



  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chill powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon jalapeño shake (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon canola oil

Braising Liquid

  • 1 cup of white wine ( find the cheapest one)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (any kind :red wine, white wine, white; so long its vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey ( = 3 squirts)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  • 2  full slabs of baby back/back ribs (approx. 2 pound each)


  1. Make the rub
    1.  Combine all rub ingredients into a GLASS jar and shake it up. (Glass so it prevent the sides from being stained)
  2. Rubbing the rib
    1. Tear 2 pieces of heavy duty aluminium foil which length should be longer than the ribs so it’s easy to wrap around.
    2. Lay each slab out, bone side up (concave) on the foil and carefully peel off the membrane.
    3. Sprinkle each side liberally with the rub and wrap as shown in the picture. Place pouches on a trap and refrigerate a min of 1 hr to overnight. 
  3. Cooking the rib
    1. Heat oven to 250F, nothing higher
    2. Combine braising liquid into a microwavable bowl and nuke for 1 min on high. Ensure honey is dissolved and mixed well.
    3. Transfer the liquid to a mixing cup with a sprout for easy pouring.
    4. Place the 2 pouches on a sheet pan,seam up, on a baking tray. Unroll one end and pour in the braising liquid in half for in each pouch.
    5. Re-roll the end of foil and tilt the pouch slowly so the liquid is evenly distributed. If your pouch is good, there should be little leakage.
    6. Place the tray centre rack of oven and bake for 2.5 hours
    7. Remove from oven and carefully move pouch over a deep skillet. ( it should overhang and the centre dipping in towards the pan).
    8. Snip a couple holes into the pouch and let the liquid drain into the pan.
    9. Repeat with the other pouch.
  4. Making the sauce
    1. Place pan over high heat and lay it boil. Meanwhile, check your ribs. Carefully open the pouch and twist one rib. It should let go of the meat with a bit of struggle. If you feel it doesn’t look done, re-wrap the pouch and pop it back in the oven while you finish the sauce.
    2. Once the liquid comes to a boil, decrease the heat to medium and cook it until it has reduced to half it’s original volume and thicken to a loose syrup consistency.
  5. Charring the ribs
    1. Heat the broiler and move the oven rack to its second highest position from the top.
    2. Unwrap the racks and turn them meat side up, leaving them in the foil. Cut into 2 rib pieces for easier eating.
    3. Using a brush, paint on a liberal coating of the sauce and broil for a couple of mins so the sauce caramelize. The remaining sauce can be served with the rib.
    4. Carefully remove the ribs from the oven and serve with a bib.

Recipe from Alton Brown’s Good Eats Book.


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