Jerk Baby Back Ribs

A Caribbean-inspired BBQ crowd-pleaser
51 Ratings
100% would make again
Jerk Baby Back Ribs
Photo: Tasting Table

You're probably used to throwing barbecue ribs on the grill, but this Memorial Day, we're going tropical with jerk seasoning. A marinade of spicy Scotch bonnet peppers, fragrant allspice and sweet molasses adds the perfect addictive heat to your barbecue that will have your guests coming back for more.

What's great about this recipe is it's the perfect dish to prep completely in advance. Cook the ribs and reduce the drippings up to one day ahead, so all you have to do is char the ribs on the grill the day of and serve. You'll thank us when you have more time to entertain your guests and aren't chained to your kitchen.

To learn more, read "Tropic like It's Hot."

Jerk Baby Back Ribs

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus overnight marinating and cooling time

Cook Time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes, plus overnight marinating and cooling time


¼ cup molasses

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground allspice, preferably Jamaican

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 garlic cloves, smashed

4 to 5 Scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed

2 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped

6 pounds (2 racks) baby back ribs


1. In a blender, purée all the ingredients, except for the ribs, until smooth. Place the ribs in a large bowl and pour the marinade over them. Using gloves, rub the marinade on the ribs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next day, heat the oven to 325° and line a sheet pan with foil and a baking rack. Place both racks of ribs on the prepared sheet pan and cover with foil. Roast until tender, 2 to 2½ hours. Remove the foil and let cool completely.

3. Transfer all the pan drippings to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Then let cool. Brush half of the mixture over the cooled racks of ribs.

4. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium heat. Grill the ribs, flipping often, basting them with the remaining marinade until lightly charred and warmed through, 8 to 12 minutes. Then serve.

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