Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs
- 1 rack St. Louis style or spare pork ribs, membrane removed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsps chili powder
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp hickory smoke powder (optional if hard to find)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup beer (alternatives: pineapple juice, cola or chicken broth)
- 1.5 cups BBQ sauce
DirectionsMix together all the herbs, spices with the salt, cornstarch and sugar. Rub this powder into the ribs. Set the rack into the Instant Pot, pour the beer into the bottom. Roll the ribs into a spiral and set onto the rack of the pot, bones vertical. Close and seal, cooking on “Meat” setting for 25 minutes. Remove and slather with BBQ sauce and either place on high temp grill or under a broiler for 3-5 minutes per side to caramelize. Serve with extra sauce.
And now for the details…
Okay, so this is another one of those recipes that almost seems too easy to share. The Instant Pot has changed my life when it comes to cooking ribs. Remember that previous method of boiling or baking the ribs for several hours to try and get them tender? NO MORE! The Instant Pot makes this SO EASY, and so fast, that ribs on a weekday are not only a possibility, but a preferred option because of how simple it makes your evening meal.
If you want to make these even faster, you can do what I do and mix up a large batch of the rub and store it in a Tupperware container, so you can even skip measuring out spices when it’s time to make these.
Speaking of the rub, that’s where we start out recipe. In a bowl (or Tupperware), mix together the garlic powder, chilli powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle powder, hickory smoke powder, salt, cornstarch and sugar. If you cannot find hickory smoke powder, just skip that part. I know it took me a long time to hunt it down, and I’ve been treating that stuff like it’s powdered gold. Again, you double, triple, quadruple, or more the amount of those measurements, and just have the rest sitting in a container for the next time you make the ribs.
Next, it’s time to get those ribs ready for cooking! Before you rub everything in, tear off the membrane, also known as the silver skin, on the back of the ribs. It’s not the end of world if you forget this step, but the ribs will have this membrane on them when you eat, and it’s a little chewy and ropy. There are plenty of videos and info out there showing you how to do this, I found this video has great info on how and why to remove the membrane (skip to 1:30 to see the technique ;P).
Next we’ll take that rub and… well… rub… it into the rack of ribs (if you’re storing extra, make sure to set that aside so that you don’t cross-contaminate the spare rub with those ribby fingies). Get right in there and massage the rub into the meat on both sides. To save on using extra dishes, I actually do this right on the packaging the ribs came in 😛
Next, it’s time to cook! Pour the beer into the bottom of the Instant Pot. If you’re not a fan or don’t want to cook with alcohol, you can replace the beer with juice (I recommend pineapple, but orange or apple would work too), broth, or even cola or root beer.
Next, curl the ribs into a spiral and place them so the bones are vertical in the pot. In my case, unfortunately the rack was cut in half in order to fit the packaging, so I just kinda half-circled them around the outside of the pot. I have tried doubling the recipe, and a spiralled double rack JUST fits into the pot. Cover the pot up and set the lid to “Sealed” position. We are going to pressure cook these on the “Meat” setting for 25 minutes.
Once you have that set, we wait. You basically have 25 minutes of your life back. So many options on what to do here. You could make some pretty impressive sides to go with those ribs. OR. You could kick up your heels and enjoy the rest of the can of beer, since there’s more that 1 cup in a can 😉
Once the ribs are done, unseal the lid and let the pressure come back down, then open up that lid and expose the gloriousness that is the cooked ribs. Lay them on a tray and slather them with your favourite BBQ sauce (both sides).
Now you have two options here: you can either finish these off on the grill or in the oven. On the grill, set your heat to medium-high, or in the oven, set your broiler to medium-hi. Either place the ribs right on the grill or under the broiler, and cook them for a few minutes on either side, just long enough to get some darkened, caramelized bits.
Remove from the heat, and either serve up directly with your extra BBQ sauce on the side, or slather on a bit more sauce just before serving.