Saturday, July 2, 2011

Whiskey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Cleaning. Cleaning. More cleaning.

Moving. Moving. More moving.

Story of my life the past week and a half.

It's worth it though. I'm finally leaving behind my tiny galley kitchen with absolutely no natural light and barely any counter space for one with tons of light and storage. Not to mention Adam is going to to make me a handy dandy work table. Me = super excited.

You would think I'd be this excited when getting new shoes or clothes. But no. I'm more excited to get a huge table to prep food on. :)

Even though we're still in the midst of trying to get our new place together, I couldn't let the 4th of July sneak up without sharing this ah-mazing recipe for baby back ribs with you. Juicy, tender, falling of the bone ah-mazing. With barely any work. And, no grill required. While you can still use the grill for the last step, this crock-pot method works well when the grill isn't an option and you have the oven full of other goodies. At our old apartment we weren't allowed a charcoal grill (which of course was what we had) and I needed the oven for other tasty items such as cheesy corn bake, stuffed mushrooms, and some red velvet brownies. Priorities, right?

I'm usually not a huge fan of eating meat off the bone, but in this case, I tend to make an exception. They are really just that good. Perfect for a 4th of July faux-barbecue meal.

Whiskey-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

Adapted from:

2 (2 pound) slabs baby back pork ribs
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (ground red pepper)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder

2 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
2 teaspoons whiskey
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup onion, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Cut each rack of ribs in half (so you will have a total of 4 rib sections, each with about 7 ribs).

In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tablespoon chili powder. Rub both sides of each rack of ribs generously with spice mixture. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake ribs for 15 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 15 minutes until a nice light golden brown. Note: You may store the ribs, covered, in the refrigerator for up to one day.

In another small bowl, combine remaining ingredients through 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Place the ribs in a large slow cooker with the onions. Pour the sauce over the ribs and cook on low 6-8 hours. After 3-4 hours, remove ribs using long tongs, flip, and move the rib rack halves that were on the top to the bottom of the slow cooker.

Preheat oven to Broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

Carefully transfer ribs from slow cooker to a plate and set aside. Ladle at least 1 cup of remaining sauce into a medium saucepan. Boil sauce over medium-high heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Brush thickened sauce over both sides of rib rack halves. Place rib rack halves onto prepared baking sheet. Broil in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until sauce has carmelized and turned dark brown. Note: Ribs can also be carmelized very carefully on the grill.

Serves: 4

If you're looking for completely fall-off-the-bone ribs, look no farther than this cooking method. It works beautifully and the bones are pretty much popping out by the time they are done. Simply cut back on the cooking time if you want them to stick to the bones a little bit more. While I finished these off under the broiler, you can also throw them on the grill if you have that up and running -- but by all means, don't skip that step or you will lose the all-important carmelized crust that forms and adds so much to the flavor.

Nutrition Facts*
Amount per serving
Calories 1043Calories from fat 617
% Daily Value
Total Fat 68.5g105%
Saturated Fat 23.3g116%
Cholesterol 234mg78%
Sodium 1720mg69%
Total Carbs 54.7g18%
Fiber 3.5g14%
Sugars 46.4g
Protein 50.7g
Vitamin A 18%Vitamin C 22%
Calcium 20%Iron 52%

*Note: Nutrition facts come from


  1. yes, our needs change once we become foodies!
    These ribs look tasty, it is too hot to even grill out here-so this is just what I needed-the next best method of making ribs-thanks for sharing.

  2. That glaze sounds really rich with deep flavours, never cooked ribs that way and also never eaten it this way. Would love to try

  3. These sound fantastic and LOOK fantastic! I haven't made ribs yet this season but this may be my first recipe for them :-)

  4. Great photos! Your ribs look fantastic! The glaze has so many flavorful ingredients.

  5. Those look delicious! I love ribs. :)

  6. Yum! I bought a rack of ribs yesterday so I'm looking for a good recipe! this looks great.

  7. I have never actually stepped up and made ribs... I don't really have a good reason as we all love them and you really make them look not so difficult. Love the glaze on these guys!

  8. Wow, you've cooked these to perfection! Excellent recipe~

  9. I always thought the cookout on the 4th was burgers, hot dogs and lobsters (I am from Maine and lobster are for all celebrations.) but I have been seeing more and more BBQ ribs. I am a big fan of ribs and I definitely want to add them to the menu tonight. These look delicious!

  10. Wow--these look fabulous! And I love "grilling recipes without the grill" since I have no patio or yard!
    (jealous of what sounds to be an amazing new kitchen, too!)

  11. I must admit-- you had me at whiskey. :) Great recipe.



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