Pork for the New Year’s! Here’s how I make Baby Back Ribs in about an hour in my pressure cooker.
And…this is where I have to put in all the disclaimers, to keep the Barbecue Fanatics from astroturfing me. I know this is not real barbecue. I love real barbecue, and cook it whenever I can. These are not real barbecue – but that’s OK. The pressure cooker turns ribs into a weeknight meal, not just an all-day affair on a lazy summer weekend. These are just good ribs, tender and falling off the bone.
There aren’t many tricks to this recipe. Season a slab of ribs, cut it into pieces so it will fit in the pressure cooker, add a half a cup of water, and pressure cook until tender. The only tricky part is peeling the membrane from the bony side of the ribs; you can skip this step, but the membrane will never get tender – it is a chewy piece of gristle. Once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll get the hang of the gentle but firm pull that peels the membrane off instead of ripping it. Until then, just keep working at it, lifting it away from the bone with a dull butter knife, then grabbing it with a paper towel and pulling.Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Also, if you’re really in a hurry, you can skip the broiling step – the ribs are done and ready to eat straight out of the pressure cooker. But, I think it’s worth the extra five minutes. A quick run under the broiler thickens up the sauce and gives it an extra layer of flavor.
One other opinion, then we’ll get to the recipe – liquid smoke. A lot of pressure cooker ribs recipes include a splash or two in the cooking water. I’ve never liked the flavor of liquid smoke; I’ll save wood smoke for my real deal ribs. Between the rich pork, the rub, and the barbecue sauce, these ribs are loaded with flavor, and don’t need the extra help.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from: Ribs in the Pressure Cooker [NPR.org]Print
Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs recipe. Fall-off-the-bone-tender baby back ribs from the pressure cooker in about an hour.
- 1 meaty slab baby back ribs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water (or the minimum liquid amount needed for your pressure cooker)
Barbecue Rub (2 tablespoons of my Homemade Barbecue Rub), or use your favorite store bought rub
- 3/4 tablespoon paprika
- 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
Barbecue sauce (1 cup of my Easy Barbecue Sauce), or use your favorite store bought sauce
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Franks Red Hot sauce
- Remove the membrane from the ribs: On the bone side of the ribs, work a butter knife between the membrane and the bone, then grab with a paper towel and pull the membrane off of the ribs. (If it tears while you’re pulling, work the knife under the remaining pieces and pull them off as well.)
- Make the rub and sauce: In a small bowl, stir the barbecue rub ingredients, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar with your fingers. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
- Season the ribs and put them in the pressure cooker: Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the salt and rub. Cut the ribs into 4 pieces, cutting between every fourth bone.
- Pressure cook the ribs: Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot (or use the minimum liquid amount for your pressure cooker). Stack the ribs in the pressure cooker bone side down. Lock the pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes in an electric PC or 24 minutes in a stovetop PC, then let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes.
- Sauce and broil the ribs: Put the ribs, bone side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce, then put under a broiler set to high. Broil the ribs until the sauce is bubbling and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the ribs from the broiler, brush with another layer of sauce, and serve.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my 6 quart Instant Pot)
- Butter knife and paper towels (for peeling the membrane)
- Rimmed baking sheet (for broiling the ribs)
Keywords: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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