Pressure cooker, Weeknight dinner
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Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with Barbecue Rub and Sauce

Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with Barbecue Rub and Sauce

Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with Barbecue Rub and Sauce

It’s time to update my most popular slow cooker recipe for the pressure cooker.

Now, before we get started, I have to add a disclaimer. (I’m hoping to head off blistering comments from barbecue fanatics.) For the record: I know this isn’t barbecue. It isn’t cooked with smoke, or using live fire. Think of this as barbecue sauce braised pork, and go here for real, low and slow barbecue. OK? OK. 1

If I’m disclaiming this recipe already, why am I sharing it? Because it’s one of my go-to, “It’s a busy Thursday and I need a dinner with, at most, five minutes effort” recipes. With minimal effort I get tasty pork, “slow” cooked in a little over an hour in the pressure cooker.

Pork western shoulder ribs are my favorite cut of pork for the pressure cooker. There is no “rib” about them – they are a pork shoulder roast cut into 2 inch thick strips. Occasionally you’ll get a bone in there, but that’s the shoulder blade, not a rib. Do I care? No. I love pork shoulder, and cutting it into strips makes it easier to cook in the pressure cooker.

Like I said, this recipe is so easy it’s barely a recipe – it’s more of a technique. Sprinkle the western ribs with salt and barbecue rub, put them in the pressure cooker with a half cup of water and a half cup of barbecue sauce, and pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. The result? Tender pork with a sweet sauce.

These strips of pork are great on their own – I eat them like boneless ribs – but my kids like to shred them and pile them on hamburger buns to make a fantastic pork sandwich.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with Barbecue Rub and Sauce




Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with Barbecue Rub and Sauce

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Category: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs recipe – boneless “ribs” from the pressure cooker in a little over an hour. So simple it is barely a recipe – more of a technique.


  • 3 pounds pork shoulder western ribs (or cut a pork shoulder into 11/2″ thick strips, or pork shoulder chops)
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon barbecue rub
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce for the cooker, plus 1/2 cup barbecue sauce to stir in at the end (My homemade barbecue sauce recipe is here; or use a store bought sauce)


  1. Prepare the ribs: Sprinkle the ribs evenly with the kosher salt and the barbecue rub.
  2. Everything in the pot:Pour the 1/2 cup water into the pressure cooker pot, add the ribs, and then pour 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce over the ribs. (Don’t stir – we want the sweet barbecue sauce to float on top to keep it from burning.)
  3. Pressure cook the ribs: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes in an electric PC or 40 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure release naturally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Serve: Remove the ribs to a platter. Spoon 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pot into a measuring cup. (If you have time, pour all the liquid from the pot into a fat separator and let rest for ten minutes, then pour 1/2 cup of the the defatted juices into a measuring cup). Stir 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce into the juices in the measuring cup. Serve, passing the juices/sauce at the table.


I make my own homemade barbecue rub and barbecue sauce. My homemade rub is salt-free; if you use a store-bought rub, and it has salt as the first or second ingredient in the ingredient list, skip the kosher salt – the rub is salty enough.

Ribs, sprinkled with salt and rub, ready for the pressure cooker

Ribs, sprinkled with salt and rub, ready for the pressure cooker

Everything in the pot

Everything in the pot

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Ready to serve

Ready to serve

Related Posts

Slow Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs
Grill Smoked Pork Western Ribs
Pressure Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos
My Pressure Cooker Recipe Index


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  1. You are right, it’s not real BBQ, but it does look like a great quick meal. Thanks Mike.

  2. Mike –

    Do you set the ribs on a “steamer rack”, or do you set them directly in the 1/2 cup of water? Or does it matter?

  3. Paula says

    I just want to say I really love your site. I got my InstaPot cooker 5 days ago after my stovetop pressure cooker’s gasket was shot and I had a hard time finding a replacement. I have already used it every day, sometimes twice a day!!! I have many of your recipes on my “must try” list. I am a pretty accomplished home cook and I am super impressed by your site! Keep up the great work! Thanks you.

  4. Megan Mckendall says

    I have a electric pressure cooker with a setting for steak/meat, can I use that setting? Mine doesn’t have the high heat for certain amount of minutes.

      • Megan Mckendall says

        Hello Mike, so in regards to my last question on the electric pressure cooker I have I simply used the “steak/meat” button and cooked for the time mentioned above they were unbelievably tender and juicy. Thank you very much for the recipe. Will be making again tonight. Once again thank you for sharing.

  5. What other names do “western ribs” go by? No one around here has heard of that cut, so I’m thinking they may have other names?

      • Actually, country style ribs are a different cut – they come from where the loin and the shoulder meet. They’ll work in this recipe, but they cook up drier because they’re a leaner cut of meat. If you can’t find western ribs, buy a boneless pork shoulder roast and cut it into 2 inch thick strips.

  6. I tried my instant pot for the first time tonight with this recipe. Made it with Country Style Ribs, Instant Pot setting Meat/Stew for 45 mins. All pieces were great, with the pieces in the liquid even more tender! Next time I might try to squeeze all the pieces on one level. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I plan to make this tonight, however I am going to put them under the broiler after coming out of the pressure cooker to get a little crispy burnt on the sauce!
    Thanks for the direction!

  8. This is awesome! I used “country style ribs” and they were actually quite fatty so it was perfect for this recipe. I also used the Galena Street rub from Penzey’s, which I adore. I followed the cooking instructions exactly as written and these were amazing – so tender and falling off the bone. It was also super easy! I will definitely be making them again!

  9. This receipe could not have been easier. I did a broiling step at the end in the oven for 3 minutes just to get some charred bits mixed in with everything else. Definitely a great dish that can be made as a fancy Monday or Tuesday dinner.

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