Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style

I’d never tried Alton Brown’s rib recipe, but Kramer had and he had been asking me to make it for a long time. I never did because it seemed like too much work, what with braising and everything. It ended up being fairly easy, and the rub is absolutely delicious. I’m honestly not quite sure what cut of meat I used, though, haha! The package said “pork ribs” on it, but these don’t look like ribs to me at all; they almost look more like a pork chop. Either way, though, the meat was succulent and full of rich, deep flavors from the rub, which consists of a variety of different spices, and plenty of brown sugar. The honey in the braising liquid also added a delicious flavor to the ribs, while the vinegar gave it all a much needed touch of acidity. These ribs were moist and wonderfully tender. While I usually prefer my ribs with a thicker, sweeter barbecue sauce, these were a great way to change up my usual recipe.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Your ingredients.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Combine the salt, brown sugar, chili powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, chipotle chili powder, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Rub the ribs with the rub and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Wrap the ribs in tinfoil and leave a little pocket open that you can pour liquid into.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Combine your braising liquid ingredients.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Microwave on high for a minute, then pour into the rib packets.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Close up the packets and place in a 250 degree F oven and braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Pour the braising liquid into a pan.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Bring to a boil and cook until thickened and reduced.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Place the ribs back onto the baking sheet.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Brush the ribs with the glaze and place under the broiler until caramelized and slightly crispy.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown StylePork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Enjoy! Serve with some vegetables and/or mashed potatoes.

Pork Ribs Alton Brown Style
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs (or whatever type of ribs you like)
Dry Rub Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon jalapeno seasoning (I substituted chipotle chili powder for this since I didn't have it)
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (I didn't have this, so I just used ½ teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • ½ teaspoon ground thyme
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
Braising Liquid Ingredients
  • 1 cup white wine (or chicken broth if you haven't got white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  1. 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.
  2. 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 2½ hours.
  3. 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 or brush over the ribs.
  4. *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.
Adapted From


9 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    Om nom nom nom, those look great!

    I’ve been tempted to make these ribs for a while, but I”m not a big fan of pork so I may try it with beef ribs or just suck it up and use pork.

  2. Kristie says:

    I would say those are bone in country style ribs.

    The recipe looks just marvelous. Can’t wait to try it.

    • Sydney says:

      Kristie: Thanks for letting me know! I’ve never had them before and I bought them because they were huge, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what they were, haha.

  3. Mark says:

    Country style ribs are just a Boston butt that has been sliced. Love the site!

  4. ingrid says:

    Yum, those look wonderfully juicy and flavorful!

  5. jaye says:

    Like Dan iam not a big fan of pork but will try it none the less its looks really delicious.

  6. DB says:

    Hi Sydney,

    Yes, I would have to agree with Kristie. They look like bone-in country style ribs. I also made a similar mistake when I used the country style ribs for Bobby Flay’s recipe but they wree tasty just the same. In fact, this is one of my brother-in-law’s favorites.

    I also found the video from the original Good Eats episode online here on YouTube, if you want to see what type of ribs that were originally intended.


    Fremont, CA

  7. Maggie says:

    I’ve been making this recipe for years, although I modify it a bit. I use baby back ribs (2/3 slabs) and when finished in the oven, instead of braising, I cut into 2-3 rib pieces and smother with my own bbq sauce. Let cool and sit overnight in fridge. Next day grill 10-15 min. basting with same sauce until heated through. Watch carefully so you don’t burn them! Enjoy…

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