I know there are so many ways that people like their ribs and many schools of thought on what the “right” way is to cook them. Well, forget all that you have heard because, honestly, these Instant Pot Ribs are absolutely fantastic and really my favourite way to make them. Before I discovered the Instant Pot, I used to slow cook my ribs in the oven first and then grill them, but these are soooo much better. 20 minutes in the Instant Pot and then a few minutes on the BBQ and you have tender, fall off the bone ribs that are the perfect amount of stickiness and gooey deliciousness.
3 Most Important Elements of the perfect Ribs
There are three very important elements to cooking ribs. One, the type of ribs you use. I prefer back ribs to side ribs. I find that they have less fat and they take well to this Instant Pot method. Secondly, is the “Rub”. The Rub is the spice mixture that you coat the outside of the meat with. The third element that makes all the difference is the “Sauce”. The Rub goes on the ribs before they go into the IP and then once the ribs come out of the IP, you slather them in your favourite BBQ Sauce and grill them so they are deliciously sticky and browned.
For me, you cannot beat Baby Back Pork Ribs. I know… some swear by side ribs. But I like the back ribs because they have less fat and gristle. I find them a nicer bite and a cleaner piece of meat. This recipe would also work for Side ribs if they are what you can find. You will need to cook them in the IP for an extra 5-10 minutes if they are a larger portion of ribs.
The Rub, is something that you can’t skip when making ribs. It’s a combination of spices that bring the deep, sweet and spicy flavour. When the ribs are cooked in the IP, the flavour of the Rub permeates the meat and adds layers and depths of flavour that make your ribs perfection. I’ve provide a recipe for the rub here that is more than enough for one rack. Just save the rest in an air tight container and you can put it on the next rack of ribs or on your chicken before grilling.
Cooking the ribs in the Instant Pot is wonderfully simple. You add some stock and some apple cider vinegar to the pot first, add the IP trivet, and then add the ribs on top of the trivet. The ribs should be placed sideways so they cook evenly. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes for one small rack of ribs and use quick release to let the steam escape.
My favourite BBQ sauce of all time is Baby Rays Original and I highly recommend it but you can use whatever BBQ sauce works best for you. I have made my own sauce in the past but, really, it’s pretty time consuming and, in my opinion, just not worth the effort when there are so many good sauces out there.
Heat your BBQ grill to Medium High. Once the ribs are out of the IP, coat them in your favourite BBQ, both sides. Cook the ribs on the BBQ for a couple of minutes per side until you start to see a nice char. Add more sauce if you like. When done, cut into portions and serve, with lots of napkins.
Instant Pot RibsCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy/Medium
1 rack baby back pork ribs
- Rub- Enough for 2 racks. Can be halved if required
1/2 cup chile powder
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground dried chipotle chili pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup favourite barbeque sauce
- Mix the spices, ingredients from Chili powder through to chipotle chili pepper, for the rub in a medium sized bowl.
- Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs until fully coated. Use a spoon to remove from the bowl so you don’t contaminate the leftover spices. Retain any extra spice mixture in a sealed container for another use.
- Pour the stock and vinegar into the bottom of the IP. Place IP metal trivet into the pot and place the ribs on top. Curl the ribs on their side so they cook evenly.
- Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. When finished, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Remove the ribs from the IP and cover with BBQ sauce. Grill on medium high for a couple of minutes a side, until ribs are slightly charred and still glossy with sauce.