BBQ Ribs in the Instant Pot
I love to make ribs. Love them juicy, tender, and full of flavor. But I do not have the time to make them in a grill, smoker, or even the oven for hours. Instant Pot makes it easier for me to make fall off the bone ribs without having to cook for so many hours. You cook them in the pressure cooker and finish them in the grill or oven for that caramelized BBQ sauce flavor that enhances the ribs. It is a really easy and quick way to make ribs.
The good thing about making a full rack is, they are easy to keep juicy and tender. When preparing the rack for cooking, I trim the excess fat. Some fat is good for your ribs, but too much of it makes a mess when cooking and doesn’t add to the flavor of your ribs. I also remove the membrane behind the rack. That membrane makes the ribs harder, not as tender as they could be. It is a little tricky but not impossible. Just make a little cut on the membrane and with a paper towel, pull the membrane off the rack. You might not be able to remove it all and that will be ok. You ribs are still going to be delicious!
Seasoning – when seasoning the rack, I tend to be more cautious about the amount of salt. A full rack could easily use 2 tbsp of salt.
Liquid for cooking – for cooking anything in the Instapot, you need liquid. It is what is going to create the steam that will pressurize the pot to cook your ribs. I like beers and ales for pork, they work with the seasonings to enhance the flavor of your ribs. But if you choose not to use beer, you can replace it with apple cider vinegar, apple cider, orange juice, or just water.
Instant Pot – when cooking the ribs, make sure it is on High. You can cook the ribs for 16-25 minutes in High pressure. In the lower ranges, the meat is not going to be as tender. In the highest range, the bones might fall off the rack. I have found 21 minutes to be perfect.
Trivet Rack – you definitely want to use the rack. You want the meat about the liquid so the flavors stay in your meat, not in the liquid.
Natural Release – after you finish cooking the ribs, you want to let them rest in the Instant Pot for 15 minutes. If you quick release them, they might not be as tender. Leaving them to rest, will assure they will finish cooking and the juices are staying in your meat instead of your pot or plate.
BBQ Sauce – you can use your own BBQ sauce or you can use this awesome Easy Asian BBQ Sauce I made, it is a nice balance of sweet and heat that works perfectly with the ribs. I like my ribs with a thinner layer of sauce. If you like them saucy, 1 cup of BBQ sauce should do. You could also serve the ribs with extra warm BBQ sauce to dip.
Grill vs Oven – I have done the ribs on both, and on both, they are delicious! Sometimes the decision is more about convenience. If I have time and is not raining, I will grill the ribs in my gas grill. But if it’s raining, or too hot, or I am really busy, the oven does a great job. All you need to do is caramelize the BBQ sauce on your ribs.
BBQ Ribs Using Instant Pot
This is a very easy recipe to make juicy and tender ribs quick using an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. It cuts the time in the grill or the oven, keeping the delicious flavor and so tender, they fall off the bone.
- 4 lbs pork ribs full rack
- 1 tbsp Salt or to taste
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Oregano dried
- 12 oz beer
- 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
Wash the ribs rack and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the thin membrane covering the rack and any excess fat.
Season the ribs with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano covering both sides of the rack.
Place the trivet inside of the Instant Pot. Pour the beer and liquid smoke into the Instant Pot.
Place the ribs rack standing with the bones down around the bowl inside the Instant Pot.
Close the Instant Pot lid, setting the venting knob to Sealing Position. Set the Instant Pot to cook on High, Manual setting for 21 minutes.
If baking the ribs, turn the oven to 450 F. If grilling, turn the grill to 350 F.
Once the cooking is done, leave the ribs inside the Instant Pot for the natural release of the pressure for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes have passed, set the venting knob to Venting and lets the rest of the pressure release. Carefully open the lid.
Using the kitchen tongs, remove the rack from the Instant Pot and place the rack on the rimmed baking sheet.
Brush the BBQ sauce first on the bottom of the rack, flip and brush the top of the rack.
Place the ribs on the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the BBQ sauce is caramelized. The same thing applies to the grill.
Cut the ribs into individual ribs and serve hot. Add additional BBQ sauce if desired.
Cooking time - ribs can cook in the Instant Pot between 16 - 25 minutes. The lower range is not going to be as tender, the higher range the bones might come off. I cooked them at 21 minutes and they come perfect.
Cooking liquid - You can use any kind of beer that you choose. I prefer apple hard ales because of the flavor it adds to the ribs. You could replace the beer with apple cider vinegar, apple cider, orange juice, or just water.
BBQ Sauce - you can use your preferred BBQ sauce, or you could use my recipe for Easy Asian BBQ Sauce. I prefer my ribs with a thinner layer of sauce, you are welcome to use more if you like them really wet.
Seasoning the rack - you can add more seasoning if you prefer, I tend to go easy on the salt, but a whole rack could easily use 2 tbsp of salt.