Debbie’s Damn Good Baby Back Ribs

Delicious Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

Original recipe courtesy of Alton Brown. Who Love’s You Baby Back Ribs

Note: The original recipe calls for 2 slabs of baby back ribs, but I have always stretched it to 3 with no problem.

Dry Rub Note: When I’m being lazy (which is most of the time) I use a store bought dry rub mixture. Either way, the results are always excellent.


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 ( I have a hard time finding this and most times omit, you won’t miss it)
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, mix all dry ingredients. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. ( I always use 2 sheets each because sometimes the ribs poke through and all the braising liquid leaks out.) Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Fold up the foil to create packets. 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 foil packeted ribs on baking sheet(s). Open one end of the packet and pour 1/3 of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet to distribute the liquid. Braise the ribs in the over for 2 1/2 hours.

The original recipe calls for pouring out the braising liquid at the end into a large skillet and reducing the liquid to a thick syrup consistency. I have done this several times and just don’t think the home made barbecue sauce has enough flavor. I basically skip this step now and just go directly to store bought barbecue sauce.

Favorite Sauce: Jack Daniel’s Original. When they don’t have this, Cattleman’s is a good one. I loved their smoky version but only found it once in the store.

Finishing off the ribs.

You can do this under the broiler, on a gas grill or more preferably over a charcoal grill. Slather the ribs with sauce and grill on both side just until the sauce begins to caramelize. Take ribs off grill, cut into individual servings and toss with some more sauce in a bowl (if you like your ribs saucy like I do). And serve.

Trust me, these ribs fall off the bone and are absolute heaven. Cooking them is definitely a process but oh so worth the effort. You can cook them the day before up to the grilling part. Just warm them up for half an hour in the oven and then grill.

I look forward to your comments folks. If you have a favorite rib recipe you’d like to share, please do. There really are many, many ways to skin this cat. But, I think you’ll agree the above recipe is one of the best.