Today might be fall equinox, but here in Florida we still have a while to go before the temperature eases under 70 degrees. Which means we are still grilling (to be honest we don’t really ever stop grilling). I have to say my first encounter with short ribs was a totally fail. There was a ton of fat and the little meat that remained on the bone was so hard and flavorless that I didn’t really see the point. Enter Alton Brown. My husband has a thing with Alton Brown. It could be because, unlike most chefs, he explains the why as well as the how. The how is that you need to remove a membrane on the ribs (you can ask your meat department to do this!) the why is because when the membrane is there it traps the fat preventing it from melting over the meat and infusing it with flavor. And without the fat to keep the meat moist over the 4+ hours of cooking you are going to end up with some dry meat. Which would be a terrible waste and ribs are a terrible thing to waste.

Alton Brown Ribs


  • 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs (we use beef short ribs with good results!)

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

Source: Adapted from Alton Brown