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Alton Brown's Rib Rub #9 and Recipe

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello all! I thought I'd share this rub and the recipe for these tasty ribs. I use the rub on chicken and beef as well. I definitely recommend this rub mixed with some softened butter and rubbed under the skin of your chicken YUM!


I use half brown sugar and half raw sugar. An interesting twist is using margarita mix in the braising liquid.

I have followed the recipe his way but then another time I smoked them for 2 hours with sugar maple wood pellets before braising them. the addition of smoke definitely improved the taste.



post #2 of 16

My rubs are similar but I use a lot less Thyme. I would always smoke my ribs before foiling it's more fun then Braising and taste better. Thanks for posting...JJ

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey Jimmy, thanks for the reply. I see you deleted your suggestion? it was a good one. i have it in my email and will definitely give it a try. *d

post #4 of 16

I didn't want to step on your toes. You were sharing what you like and I decided I didn't want to steal your thunder. Yes smoking 3-2-1 with AB's sauce in during the foiling stage would make these Awesome...JJ

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

If you'll notice - I am a 'newbie'! any and all comments are very welcome! please re-post what you wrote? i don't have any thunder yet... icon_biggrin.gif *d

post #6 of 16

In a nutshell. We suggest Newbies start with a Spare Rib timing formula called 3-2-1. This is how it works...

A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, mesquite, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Apple Juice or Foiling Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and Flavor/Tenderize it.
The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...


You can use the Rub and Sauce ingredients that AB used. Rub the Ribs then when it's time to foil combine...

  • 1/2 cup orange juice (not fresh squeezed)
  • 1/2 cup margarita mix
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Then add 1/2C to each foil pouch and go for the 2 hour phase, reserving the rest of the liquid for the last step.

After 2 hours, drain the juice in the foil and skim off any fat that rises to the top. Drag strips of paper towel across the juice to remove the last bit that could not be skimmed.

Combine what was in the foil with the reserved liquid over Med/Low heat and simmer until saucy.

Paint the Sauce on the ribs during the last 30 minutes of the final hour in the smoker.


Ab's stuff sounds good or you can try my basic Rub and Foiling Juice...


Mild Bubba Q Rub


1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

1T Kosher Salt

1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

1T Granulated Garlic

1T Granulated Onion

1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

1/2tsp Grnd Allspice


Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.


Check this link for my Foiling Juice to use during the 2 hour foil phase...



post #7 of 16

Great info JJ.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I did the 3-2-1 today and all I can say is HOLY MOLLY!

Fall off the bone tender. The BBQ sauce made with the drippings was perfect.
Dutch's "Wicked Baked Beans" are amazing. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/50945/dutchs-wicked-baked-beans/280#post_827659

As you can see I let the ribs drip into the beans on the last hour of smoking.

Thank you Chef Jimmy for all the help! *d


post #9 of 16
Those look good! Glad it worked out for you. Now you hooked. icon14.gif
post #10 of 16

Fabulous Job! You did good D! Great pics...I have been working with a few people this week on Ribs. Now I got a taste for some Good ribs like those...JJ

post #11 of 16

WOW do those look tasty!! bravo.png

post #12 of 16

police2.gif ok guys i think our job is done with this one. they be hooked.  bring in the next newbie for interogation.

post #13 of 16

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum and a new smoker to boot, I've  got some ribs on hand and I'm ready to rock out with my new smoker.

439.gif. I will be using the 3-2-1 method and let you all know what a great job I did..keep your sticky fingers crossed for me.

post #14 of 16

trying to smoke for the first time in my Bradley. noticed the Utah location. from Springville myself and can you help me with a good rub and sauce recipe. thanks for the help....     RC57

post #15 of 16
I'm defiantly going to try that out
post #16 of 16
Looks great ...awesome pictures you have a great camera eye..
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