Bourbon-Spiked Baby Back Ribs

Yeah, I know we talk Alton Brown a lot around here. And yeah, I know you look at an Alton Brown recipe and can’t help but wonder: “Is it worth all that work?” The answer here is a definitive ‘Yes!’

I’m not sure I can say enough good things about these ribs. They’re the only ribs I want to eat anymore. They’re rich and meaty…the perfect blend of sweet and salty. The pork is tender , but with just the right amount of structure to it. The sauce makes you want to lick every last drop off of the bone, the fork, the plate, your fingers. I’m not kidding. These ribs are amazing. And I know all of the instructions seem intimidating, but this was actually one of the first things that David really cooked. The only difficult thing about this recipe is hanging out in a house that smells like delicious pork for hours and hours before the ribs are ready to eat.

Bourbon-Spiked Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Who Loves Ya Baby Back? Recipe as seen on Good Eats.


  • 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

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

To Finish:

  • 1 shot of bourbon (We used Maker’s Mark)


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, but up to 12 hours. 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. Stir in the shot of bourbon. 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.

Note: You will have dry rub leftover. Use it next time–you’ll be making these again.

As I said before, these ribs are absolutely worth the trouble. I served these with scalloped potatoes, but only because I’m side-dish crazy. You’d probably be just as happy to focus on the ribs.

Tags: , , ,

4 Responses to “Bourbon-Spiked Baby Back Ribs”

  1. Not From a Box Scalloped Potatoes | Make a Whisk

    […] sort of blog with recipes, reviews, and food news. Cooking Class Review: Knife Skills Bourbon-Spiked Baby Back Ribs 02 Feb Not From a Box Scalloped […]

  2. Mom

    I now know what I want on Saturday night………..Please, please, please……….just make a cheeseburger or two for liz

  3. Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches | Make a Whisk

    […] tablespoons Alton Brown’s Dry Rub Seasoning (used here, […]

  4. Happy 4th of July! | Make a Whisk

    […] had “barbecue” ribs braised in the oven–our version of Alton Brown’s “Who Loves Ya Baby Back” Ribs. I […]

Leave a Reply