Harissa Buttermilk Baby Back Ribs

harissa buttermilk baby back ribs

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Buttermilk is oftentimes used as a marinade for chicken.  But pork?  And, a rack of baby back ribs at that!  So, this is what Boho cooking’s all about~~venturing out and trying new things, experimenting and exploring new flavors, spices, combinations and foods!

This recipe is even more reason to swing by Amazon or B&N online and buy my cookbook! And, if you already have, THANK YOU!! Not only do you get over 100 great food recipes, but you’ll have all my secrets for spice mixtures including the harissa!  Go head venture beyond your traditional ribs, your long-time family recipe~~you always have that as a back-up~~put a global flair to a Southern favorite!

Harissa Buttermilk Baby Back Ribs

harissa buttermilk baby back ribs


  • 1 rack (about 2 lb.) baby back ribs
  • 1/2 lb. boneless ribs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbl. Harissa (paste or dry)
  • 1 Tbl. Ras el Hanut
  • 12 oz. your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp. ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp. hot paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground pepper


  • Combine the buttermilk, salt, Harissa, and Ras el Hanut and blend together. Pour into a large baking dish.  Put the rack of baby back ribs and bones ribs in and coat well.  
  • You may need to cut the rack in half to fit in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate  for about 6 hours.  Remove from refrigerator a least an hour before grilling .
  • Coat a grill with cooking spray.  Heat to about 400-500 degrees.  (Note:  Depending upon the size/thickness of your boneless ribs, less cooking time may be needed.) Place rack of ribs on grill.
  • Cover and cook slowly for about 8 minutes on side one getting nice grill marks.  Open the lid, reduce the heat to about 300 -350 and cook another 15 minutes.  Flip the ribs.  Using a pastry brush, coat liberally  the tops of the cooked side with BBQ sauce.  
  • Close lid (temperature about 300) and cooking another 20-30 minutes.  Coat this side with BBQ sauce.  Remove to a dish and cover with foil and let rest about 15 minutes.
  • WHISKEY HONEY DRIZZLE: In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the whiskey, soy sauce, honey, ketchup, ginger, paprika and pepper. Bring to a simmering boil. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes to thicken stirring frequently.
  • These will be tender tasty ribs, but probably not 'fall off the bone.' Drizzle with the Whiskey Honey glaze or use as a dipping sauce.


Baby Back Ribs typically are more tender, hence, less cooking time.

You can substitute the Whiskey Honey Drizzle (glaze) for BBQ sauce on the cooked ribs. OR, you can have both!

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Harissa Buttermilk Baby Back Ribs


  1. So, I do not have a grill but would a slow cooker work?

    • Hi, Chelsea! Thanks for asking. Yes, I think a slow cooker would work. You’d not have that ‘smokey’ aroma/taste. You could use some liquid smoke with your seasoning. Another idea is to cook them in the oven. I’d say on about 425. Here’s a note from the USDA on doneness: According to USDA, ribs are “done” when they are 145°F internal temp, but they may still be tough. If you take them up to 190 to 203°F, the collagens and fats melt at this temp and make the meat more tender and juicy. Good luck and hope you enjoy! Please please come back often, luv! xo ~ally

  2. Hi there, of course this post is truly pleasant and I have learned lot
    of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

  3. Oh my, these look just wonderful. Harissa seems like a magical ingredient to me. I just recently discovered it but never used it with ribs, YUM!

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