Juicy Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs

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IP pork ribs

What’s Up, Hungry People

It’s the dead middle of winter here in Ohio—so why am I craving grilled BBQ ribs? To fight off the winter blues, I decided to bring summertime to me with these easy Instant Pot BBQ ribs!

The Instant Pot makes these ribs so simple, even my fiancé, who knows nothing about cooking, could pull them off. The result is juicy and tender pork ribs that practically fall right off the bone.

The secret to these ribs is in the dry rub. The liquid ingredients in the Instant Pot, combined with the flavors of the dry rub, make for a delicious sweet and spicy barbecue sauce—with hints of smoky flavor WITHOUT the grill!

pressure cooker pork ribs recipe

Here’s What You Need:

  • Pork ribs: The main protein for our dish.
  • Dark brown sugar: Adds sweetness and depth to the rub.
  • Garlic powder: Provides a savory, aromatic base.
  • Onion powder: Enhances the savory flavor profile.
  • Chili powder: Gives a slight heat to the rub.
  • Smoked paprika: Adds a smoky undertone without a grill.
  • Chinese five spice: Introduces a unique, complex flavor.
  • Sea salt: Enhances all the flavors in the rub.
  • Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and balances flavors.
  • Water: Keeps the Instant Pot steamy and moist.
  • BBQ sauce: The base for our sweet and tangy sauce.
  • Liquid smoke: Infuses a smoky flavor.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Adds tanginess to balance the sweetness.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Adds a deep, savory umami flavor.

Let’s Cook

First things first—let’s get those ribs prepped! In a small bowl, mix together the dark brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, Chinese five spice, sea salt, and pepper. Now, generously rub this mixture all over your ribs. Make sure they’re nicely coated, like they’ve just come back from a luxurious spa treatment.

Cut the ribs into individual bones with meat on either side. Let them rest for an hour at room temperature. This little break helps the flavors to really sink in, making each bite absolutely divine.

Instant Pot Magic

Grab your Instant Pot and pour in the water, BBQ sauce, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Give it a good stir. Now, layer your ribs inside the pot. They’ll be leaning against the sides in a cozy circle, but don’t worry—they’ll cook just fine even though they’re not fully submerged.

Set your Instant Pot to Pressure Cook on the MORE setting for 10 minutes. Remember, it will take a few minutes to pressurize before the countdown begins.

pork ribs in the instant pot served with corn

Release & Rest

When the timer goes off, you have two options: let the Instant Pot naturally depressurize (if you’re patient) or carefully perform a quick release (if you’re not). Once the pin in the lid drops, it’s safe to remove the lid. Use tongs to gently lift the ribs out and set them aside on a plate to dry a bit.

Sauce Time

Cancel the Keep Warm setting and switch to Sauté on MORE. Bring the liquid in the pot to a rolling boil and let it simmer until it thickens and reduces by half—this takes about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent any sticking.

Return the ribs to the pot, making sure they’re nicely coated with the thickened sauce. Let them cook for another 5-10 minutes, without stirring, until they’re reheated all the way through.

Serve these ribs with the extra sauce and a side of elote.

Tips & Tricks

  • Tenderizing the Ribs: For extra tender ribs, consider letting them rest with the rub overnight in the fridge.
  • Quick Release Safety: When performing a quick release, use a long-handled tool to avoid steam burns. Safety first!
  • Thickening the Sauce: If your sauce isn’t thickening as desired, a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with water can help speed up the process.
  • Reheating Leftovers: To reheat, pop the ribs in a 350°F oven covered with foil for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Substitute Alert: Out of apple cider vinegar? White vinegar or lemon juice can work in a pinch.
instant pot pork ribs

So, there you have it, Hungry People—these Instant Pot barbecue pork ribs are your ticket to summer vibes right in the heart of winter. They’re juicy, tender, and packed with flavor that brings a bit of sunshine to any cold day. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out, this recipe is foolproof for folks of any cooking level. Happy eating, and stay warm out there!

IP pork ribs

Instant Pot Barbecue Pork Ribs

The Starving Chef
These Instant Pot barbecue pork ribs are juicy, tender, and packed with smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Instant Pot
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 64 oz (4 lb) pork ribs cut into individual bones

FOR DRY RUB:

FOR INSTANT POT:

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dry rub, then rub generously over the ribs. Cut the ribs into individual bones with meat on either side. Let rest for one hour at room temperature to fully develop the flavor.
  • In the Instant Pot (IP), combine the water, BBQ sauce, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine, then add the ribs in layers, leaning against the sides in a circle until the pot is filled. The ribs will not be fully submerged.
  • Set the IP to Pressure Cook on the MORE setting for 10 minutes. The IP will pressurize before the countdown timer starts.
  • When the timer goes off, either let the IP naturally depressurize or CAREFULLY perform a quick release. When the pin in the lid of the IP has dropped, remove the lid. Use tongs to gently remove the pork ribs from the IP. Set aside on a plate to dry.
  • Cancel the Keep Warm setting and set the IP to Sauté on MORE. Bring the liquid in the IP to a rolling boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Return the pork ribs to the pot and cover with the sauce. Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, without stirring, until the pork ribs are reheated through. Serve with the extra sauce and a side of elote. Enjoy!
Keyword BBQ, pork, ribs
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