Cold Smoked Braised Baby Backs

These ribs make their own Sauce. This recipe is scaled for 2 racks of baby back ribs.


  • 2 racks of baby back ribs

Dry Rub – This is for 2 racks

  • 1/2 C light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp rubbed thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder

Braising Liquid

  • 1 C white wine
    • I would NOT use “cooking wine” here – it has too much sodium – makes the sauce too salty.
    • I use a full-bodied white – “twisted chard”
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
    • I have used red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar as well.
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped


Cold Smoking

  1. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  2. Place the ribs in the Bradley and apply up to 1:40 hours of your favorite smoke. I use Hickory.
  3. Remove ribs from smoker, and rest them in the refrigerator for an hour to chill them a little more, then apply rub.

Applying Rub

  1. Use all the rub, distributing it evenly among the two racks of ribs. There should be no rub left over, this rub will end up flavoring your sauce.
  2. Wrap each rack of ribs in foil, leaving an open “spout” at one end, and place back into the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours.You need this spout to add the braising liquid.


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix all the ingredients except for the garlic. Microwave on high for one minute. Next add garlic, stir, and let rest 10 minutes.
  2. You should have about 1 1/3 cups of liquid at this point. Remove ribs from the refrigerator, and pour 2/3 of a cup of liquid through each of the spouts. Seal spouts, and tilt the foil boat to even distribute the liquid.
  3. Put ribs on a baking sheet, place in a 250°F oven, and braise for 2.5 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven, and reduce oven temperature to warm. To make the sauce, pour the liquid from each foil boat into a pot.Handle carefully the boats will be hot, and when pouring the liquid, the escaping steam can burn you.
  4. Reseal the foil boats; place them back into the “warm” oven.


  1. Skim all fat off the surface of the sauce with a ladle.
  2. Next bring the sauce to a boil, and continue to boil until it’s reduced in volume by at least half and starts to thicken.

Take ribs out of the oven, and set the oven to broil. Remove the ribs from the foil boats, and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Mop with the sauce, and place under the broiler to “set” the sauce. Slice ribs into portions and serve.