Instant Pot BBQ Baby Back Ribs

The secret to amazing ribs? A pressure cooker, of course! The results of these Instant Pot BBQ Baby Back Ribs are fall-off-the-bone perfection and take a fraction of the time.

Have you ever made a recipe where the minimal work involved does not correlate with the deliciousness of the final dish? Like, you must have unwittingly taken some kind of cooking shortcut, because something this easy can’t possibly be this good?

These BBQ ribs – cooked in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker and finished under a broiler – are exactly that. They’re ready in about an hour (from start to finish!) and will knock the socks off even the most seasoned rib eater.

WHY MAKE RIBS IN THE INSTANT POT

Normally ribs take a long time to cook. My former approach to cooking ribs was to use the 3-2-1 method. Each of those numbers represents HOURS so the total time involved was – you guessed it – six hours.

But when you use an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and add just a little bit of liquid smoke, you can have smoky fall-off-the-bone-tender ribs in literally an hour. An hour! Once you try it, you will never want to make ribs any other way.

WHAT KIND OF RIBS TO BUY

In theory, you can use any cut of pork ribs for this recipe, but I think baby back ribs fit best in most pressure cookers. Since spare ribs are larger, you wouldn’t be able to fit as many in the cooker. 

HOW TO SEASON THE RIBS 

Definitely dry rub the ribs before pressure-cooking them. If possible, do this up to a day in advance so the seasoning really penetrates the ribs. You can use your favorite store-bought rub, but I recommend this great homemade pork rub—I used it for mine and they were delicious.

HOW TO GET SOME CRISPY BITS ON YOUR RIBS

While the ribs will be very tender when they come out of the pressure cooker, they will be missing that caramelized top texture that comes after a lot of time on the grill or smoker. You can get some of that back by basting the ribs with barbecue sauce and then broiling them under high heat for five minutes.

You could also toss them on a hot grill until the sauce has caramelized on the ribs.

HOW TO SERVE WITH THESE RIBS

The ribs pretty much speak for themselves. I like to serve them with big bowls of extra sauce and a few simple sides. You can’t go wrong with this German Potato Salad as a side dish!

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT LEFTOVER RIBS 

If you cook two full racks of ribs, you will probably have leftovers, lucky you! Keep them in the fridge, and when you are ready to reheat them, wrap them well in foil with a little extra sauce and heat them in a 350˚F oven until they are tender, about 15 minutes.

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