Braised Baby Back Ribs

June 23, 2022
14 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

I recently impulse purchased some mighty fine looking ribs from Flying Pigs Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City. It wasn't the warm, wonderful day we're having now and I wasn't willing to brave the arctic temperatures and fire up the grill, so I decided there must be a way to capture that finger-lickin', meat fallin' off the bone experience in my kitchen.

You'll find more than a few recipes online, but don't be fooled. The golden rule of low and slow for traditional barbecue, holds true when adapting to an indoor technique. An easy-to-make dry rub and slow braise in a 250°F oven yielded results to satisfy my craving. —Jennifer Perillo

Test Kitchen Notes

The recipe title doesn't lie: these ribs are seriously delicious. Jennifer Perillo's low and slow cooking method ensures tender meat, and broiling the ribs at the end caramelizes the glaze beautifully. After all, low-and-slow cooking is a staple of good barbecue. The more patience you have, the better the meat will taste. Here’s how to make low-and-slow ribs: First, marinate them in a dry rub made from of laundry list of ground spices including brown sugar, sweet paprika, garlic powder, freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, instant espresso powder, allspice, and chipotle powder. Let them sit for a full hour, uncovered, in the refrigerator which will not only allow them to absorb all of those wonderful flavors, but also dry out a bit on the outside so that the skin gets crispy and crackly. Next, cook them in the oven for 2½ hours until the meat is just nearly falling off of the bone.

As for the glaze, we love the addition of Prosecco, which gives the glaze a faintly boozy flavor that's hard to put your finger on. A little bit of apple cider vinegar brings some much needed acid that offsets the sweet, fatty flavors. And the combination of instant espresso and chipotle in the rub lends smoky depth. We reduced the glaze until it was very thick and syrupy, and found that it really clung to the ribs. We made these ribs twice, using both a grill and a broiler for the last step, and both work equally well. We’re partial to finishing them off under the broiler though, since the oven’s already turned on. Cook them for just 1 to 2 minutes, until the glaze begins to caramelize (watch carefully, or all your waiting will be spoiled by burned ribs!).

As for what to serve with the ribs: An old-fashioned made with Eagle Rare single barrel bourbon is the perfect partner, along with potato salad, cornbread, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese? Looking for the best sides to serve with barbecue? We’ve got you.Food52

What You'll Need
  • For the Dry Rub
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
  • 2 slabs pork baby back ribs (3 to 3 1/2 lbs total)
  • For the Braising Liquid/BBQ Glaze
  • 1 cup sparkling white wine (like prosecco)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Heat oven to 250°F. Add all the dry rub ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are combined, about two or three 1-second pulses. Rub mixture evenly all over each rack of ribs, making sure to coat top and bottom. Place ribs, single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan and let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place liquid ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium heat until just hot. Alternately, you can add them to a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute.
  3. Remove ribs from the refrigerator. Pour braising liquid over ribs, wrap tightly with heavy-duty foil and place in oven, side by side if possible. Cook for 2 1/2 half hours. Alternate pans halfway through if cooking on separate racks in oven.
  4. Remove pans from oven, discard foil and pour or spoon the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a vigorous simmer and let cook until liquid reduces by half and becomes a thick, syrupy consistency, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat broiler. Brush the glaze on top of each rack of ribs. Place ribs under the broiler until the glaze begins to caramelize, 1 to 2 minutes. Slice and serve with remaining glaze on the side.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie McConnell Moleski
    Stephanie McConnell Moleski
  • AdventureGirl
  • Sarah Rottenberg
    Sarah Rottenberg
  • Marjeana Livingston
    Marjeana Livingston
  • Dave Tuttle
    Dave Tuttle
Jennifer Perillo is the Consulting Food Editor at Working Mother magazine, and a regular a contributor to Relish Magazine and She shares stories about food, family and life at her blog In Jennie's Kitchen and in her debut cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen (Running Press 2013).

58 Reviews

Stephanie M. July 3, 2020
These are SERIOUSLY delicious. The perfect amount of flavor and so tender. This is now my go to rib recipe.
chris January 12, 2020
This recipe is a winner. Easy and delicious! I actually made it using Wagyu beef ribs and the results were phenomenal. I don't do coffee, so subbed out cocoa nibs for that. Marinated/let sit in fridge for four hours. Also, spooned the fat off the drippings before making the glaze. Tasted even more delicious the next day. Got another batch in the oven right now. Yum!
AdventureGirl July 21, 2019
This was recipe was delicious. Only made one rack, so cut the recipe in half. Allowed rub to sit on ribs over two nights turning four times. The glaze took a bit to caramelize; but did taste wonderful. Ribs moist.
Sarah R. December 30, 2017
How could i do this in the slow cooker?
SJ H. September 1, 2017
I made these last night. Left the rub on overnight (didn't have the coffee powder, but didn't matter. For the braising liquid, I separated out the fat and found that simmering it vigorously, it took less than 10 minutes to thicken well. I had never made ribs before with this method, and they were falling off the bone. Will share and feinitely make again!
Marjeana L. May 30, 2017
This was by far the BEST rib recipe I have ever had, seriously, I've only tackled Ribs one other time, and decided to try this one for the holiday weekend, fabulous, I left the rub on over night, and made the braising liquid and cooked them for the whole time, I really didn't even need the sauce, but they were amazing, so tender, and flavorful...Thank you so much!! Will be making these again for sure...
NancyFromKona June 13, 2016
As I write this, I am watching my 20 yo daughter lick her fingers in delight. Now she is dipping fresh peaches into the sauce. When I ask her if they are great, she nods her head yes and volunteers to get me a peach so I can experience for myself what was giving her so much pleasure. The sauce took a full 30 minutes to thicken so be patient. It is SO worth it. I had to leave out the garlic because of my husbands allergy to it, subbed smoked paprika for the sweet and could not for the life of me find either the espresso powder or instant coffee. The meat fell of the bones. This is the taste of summer.
kamarlowefleet May 31, 2016
I made these yesterday and the meat fell off the bone, it was so tender. However, the sauce never thickened and we had to improvise with what we had on-hand to make them taste more like BBQd ribs.
Dave T. January 11, 2016
Made this last night and probably won't make it again. The flavors are just not quite what I was looking for when thinking about ribs. Probably could have let it go for about 3hrs vs. the 2.5 hrs it calls for as well.
catherinehigh65! July 28, 2015
I've made this twice now, and followed the recipe closely, but the sauce never thickens! It tastes delicious, but is not thick. Wondered if anyone else had this problem.
james S. August 29, 2018
for sauce to thicken boil good then simmer on low low heat it will get thick.
Scribbles July 5, 2015
Made these yesterday and they were amazing! Seriously fall off the bone tender, juicy and reducing that sauce down to a glaze was absolutely the way to finish them off under the broiler. Served the remainder of the sauce for dipping - big hit! Thanks!!
Chelsea July 4, 2015
These were amazing. Now the only way I'll ever cook ribs!
Jef July 4, 2015
Had these tonight... they were awesome. I ran out of foil so one rack went in the over uncovered. We all preferred that one to the foiled racks. Ended on the grill instead of broiling. Definitely a keeper.
Lindsey L. July 1, 2015
how far in advance can I make these? Bbq is sunday, would like to cook up until point of glazing Friday night...not!!!
Lindsey L. May 11, 2015
Can these be made up to a certain point a day ahead? I'm planning a barbecue for Saturday, but am making this recipe for many more people so I would like to make them the day before to make it easier the day of the party. What step should I go up to in order to sit overnight?
Theresa January 28, 2015
I have been looking for rib recipe today to try something different, as I have been making them for years. This looks good, but since I am a old school don't ever have to put dry ingredients in food processor. Unless, you are cooking for 50 or more. Just bowl it and whisk it or use your fingers. Less work...
Varna September 7, 2014
Hi! 250is farenheit right?
Merrill S. September 7, 2014
Yes, it is! By cooking these at a low heat you get really tender ribs.
GourMel August 7, 2014
Would love to try these but I don't eat pork! Do you think beef back ribs would work?
Merrill S. September 7, 2014
I think they should, yes.
Zipi March 14, 2014
This was absolutly,fantastic,super delicious and tasty pork ribs.I don't have broiler so I continued to to roast it in the oven. It is not necesary to use the food prosessor for the dry rub.
Josie M. February 13, 2014
These are fantastic. My husband couldn't stop raving about them- says they are hands down the best ribs he's ever had! I didn't have the espresso powder so I omitted it and I used a basic boxed white wine instead of a sparkling white wine.