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Alton Brown Ribs

Comments : 15 Posted in : Dinner on by : Chris Tags: , , , ,

When it comes to 4th of July BBQ’s, Hot Dogs and Hamburgers are a given. But there is something special about a slab of ribs with meat so tender it falls off the bone. So this 4th I decided to make Alton Brown Ribs. Back story, I used to love watching Alton Brown’s show Good Eats. Besides cooking delicious food, Alton has a way of explaining things in a more scientific manner so you really understand the reasoning behind the cooking or the food. His show inspired me to start making my own pizza (Alton Brown Pizza Dough), and Thanksgiving Turkey is even more tastier with Alton Browns Turkey Brine. So it was a given that if I were to make ribs, I would need to use Alton’s Recipe rather than muddle with my own concoction or someone else’s.

We were very pleased with the results. The rub resulted in a flavorful rib with just enough spice that was counteracted by the sweetness of the brown sugar. And the slow cook time ensures that the meat practically falls of the bone. The next time you make ribs, I highly recommend you try this recipe out. I guarantee you will like it.

What did you cook or bake this 4th of July? Sound off in the comments below, I’d love to hear!

Recipe: Alton Brown Ribs

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 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 (we substituted ground cumin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (we couldn’t find, skipped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid Ingredients

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


  1. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. 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.
  3. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
  4. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  5. 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, at 250 degrees, for 2 1/2 hours.
  6. 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.

Cooking time: 3 hours 25 minutes

*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.

1. These are the ingredients you’ll need for the Alton Brown Rib rub. I didn’t have Old Bay Seasoning so skipped it, and I used ground cumin in place of jalapeno seasoning.

Alton Brown Rib Ingredients

2. Combine all dry ingredients and mix together.

Altron Brown Rib Dry Rub

3. Rub the mix  into the ribs.

Altron Brown Rib Dry Rub

4. Be generous with the rub, you want to get all that flavor into the meat.

Rub On Alton Brown Rib Dry Rub

5. Cover the ribs tightly with foil. Be sure to have them on a tray with sides as the juices may leak out.

Alton Brown Ribs sealed in foil

6. After braising then cooking the ribs for 2 1/2 hours at 250 degrees, pour out that delicious rib juice and boil it to reduce by half.

7. After cooking for 2 1/2 hours the meat just falls off the bones.

Alton Brown Ribs After Cooking

8. While you could eat the ribs just like that out of the oven, take the extra step and toss them on the grill or under a broiler. Glaze with the reduced braising liquid that you poured out.

Alton Brown Ribs on grill

Alton Brown Ribs on grill

10. And there you have it. Alton Brown Ribs, perfect for the 4th of July or any occasion.

Alton Brown Ribs

Alton Brown Ribs



15 thoughts

  • Rachel
    July 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Ahh, Alton Brown does right by us again. More spice than sweet, messy (as ribs should be!), and delicious!

  • July 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    That looks like a really tasty rub…something I need to do more when I grill meat…make my own rubs…often those store bought rubs are full of MSG…which, is disgusting. 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Chris
      July 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

      @ Charissa – This rub is really tasty, just be sure to give it overnight to really work into the meat. The extra time is well worth it!

    • Chris
      July 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

      @ Miss – They were mighty tasty! So good I over indulged and could barely fit dessert (but of course I found room ^_~)

  • July 8, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Wow. These sound so amazing…but then again they are from God*.

    *and by God I mean Alton 😉

  • Mandy
    July 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Just a little note: you list preheating the oven as the first step… but the oven isn’t needed until step 6, after at least an hour and potentially overnight…

    • Chris
      July 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      @ Mandy – Yes of course, you are right. Otherwise you will be waiting quite a long time with that oven on. Fixed. Thanks!

  • James
    August 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Just wanted to mention you had garlic powder in the photo… but it’s not in the recipe ; )

    • Chris
      August 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks for keeping us honest! Going to have to dig out the original and see where we missed it!

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  • Dan
    December 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Just made this recipe tonight… talk about fall-off-the-bone, they were done to perfection! I found the rub a little spicier than I’d prefer but not by much. Also, that braising liquid reduced to half but didn’t thicken a bit. I finally just brushed it on as-is and broiled for a couple minutes and it turned out fine. I really wanted the thickened sauce… any ideas if I was just impatient, or did you have the same issue?

    • Chris
      December 8, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Dan! So glad you gave them a try. Yes, they are a bit on the spicier side but it’s a nice change from the usual “sticky sweet’ rib recipes you find. As for the sauce, yes same thing for us – it doesn’t thicken up a whole lot. I suppose you could try some cornstarch to thicken it up. Next time we make it I’ll try that and see how it goes. Thanks for visiting!

  • Dawne
    January 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I’ve made these ribs five or six times. After the first few times, I separated the braising liquid from the fat and put it on high heat. The liquid came to a rolling boil after about 10 minutes. It began to slowly thicken after boiling for about 20 more minutes. It was the consistency of a thick syrup. I plan to make these again this weekend but this time I want to try it with apple juice instead of wine.

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