Hickory smoked Baby Back Ribs on the stove with smoke escaping the smoker on February 17, 2010.  (Photo by Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Alton Brown’s Baby Back Rib Dry Rub Uses A Specific Formula
The key to a mouthwatering dish ultimately lies in its seasoning, and for baby back ribs, this often takes the form of a dry spice rub. Celebrity chef Alton Brown suggests a tried-and-true formula for mastering your next dry rub — his rib seasoning method is all about the numbers, guaranteeing perfectly seasoned ribs.
Per a Food Network video and recipe, Brown’s spice rub utilizes what he refers to as an “8:3:1+1” ratio. He aligns the first three numbers in the spice rub ratio with eight parts brown sugar, three parts kosher salt, and one part chili powder; the “+1” in the formula isn't just one ingredient, but half a teaspoon each of various spices.
The “+1” equates to a half teaspoon each of black pepper, cayenne pepper, jalapeño seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, thyme, and onion powder, which adds up to one more part. After combining the rub ingredients and working it into the ribs, Brown suggests leaving the meat in the fridge for at least an hour to settle the spices before cooking.