Barbecued beef back ribs are a rare treat. They’re not as widely available as pork ribs, or even beef short ribs. I order them automatically when I see them at a barbecue joint. If a place is selling beef back ribs, odds are they do it out of love, not just to round out the menu.
Beef back ribs are the bones from a rib roast – that is, a prime rib. They are often called “dinosaur ribs” – the bones are enormous compared to pork ribs. There are 7 bones in a rack of beef back ribs, but my local grocery stores usually sell them cut into 4 bone lengths. That is, when I can find them – they’re not in the meat case that often. I can usually find them during ribeye roast sales when the butcher is trimming them from the roast to make the boneless cut. Or, I special order them. (Asking for back ribs will probably get you one-on-one time with your butcher; he’ll want to find out who’s asking for this rare cut, and why. Ask how he likes to cook them.)
When I’m cooking back ribs, I like to emphasize the beef flavor. (The bones are my favorite part of the prime rib, after all.) I serve them with a simple Texas-style dry rub, equal parts salt, black pepper, and Ancho chili pepper. I don’t use barbecue sauce; again, I don’t want to cover up the beefy flavor. If you can’t imagine eating ribs without sauce, look for a Texas-style sauce to pair with them.
The only trick to pressure cooker beef back ribs is the length of the bones. (There’s a reason they have the dinosaur ribs nickname.) If you get particularly long cut bones, they might not fit in the cooker. I cut the ribs into 2-bone pieces to help them fit, and I don’t worry if they stack up beyond the “max fill” line – there is plenty of airspace in the pot to build up the pressure. That said, if I want to double this recipe, I reach for my 8-quart Instant Pot. The wide 8-quart pot gives me extra space to fit in the ribs.Print
Pressure Cooker Beef Back Ribs Texas BBQ Style, a quick way to make beef ribs in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot
- 7 to 9 bones of beef back ribs, cut into 2-bone pieces
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder
- Season the ribs and put them in the pressure cooker: Mix the salt, pepper, and Ancho chili powder in a small bowl to make a spice rub. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the rub. 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 lid.
- Pressure cook the ribs for 25 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 25 minutes in an electric pressure cooker or 20 minutes in a stovetop PC. (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) After the cooking time, let the pressure come down naturally until the pressure valve drops, about 15 more minutes.
- Broil the ribs (optional): Put the ribs bone side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the ribs until the meat starts to crackle and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the ribs from the broiler and serve.
- A rack of beef back ribs has 7 bones; it’s fine if cutting into 2-bone pieces leaves one of them as a 1-bone piece. (My local stores stock back ribs in 4-bone packs, so splitting them into 2-bone pieces is easy.)
- The ribs are good straight out of the cooker, tender and falling off the bone, but the extra five minutes under the broiler adds a nice, crispy bark to the outside. I don’t skip that step unless I’m in a huge hurry.
- If you do want to sauce your ribs, brush the ribs with BBQ sauce right before the broiling step.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner via email and share this post with your friends. Want to contribute directly? Donate to my Tip Jar, or buy something from Amazon.com through the links on this site. Thank you.