For years my husband and son would make ribs on the grill outside and they would be delicious. They’d spend hours on their craft making sure to have the correct amount of time and fire going to get just the right level of juiciness. My son would even smoke his ribs sometimes in his giant smoker and they would come out fantastic. I had a thought one day I wonder if I could do ribs in the instant pot and have it come somewhere close to how good his were.
So I went ahead and found some recipes for instant pot ribs and found that they come out very juicy and the meat practically falls right off the bone. There’s just something about the instant pot that leaves meat coming out super juicy which in the case of ribs put it right on par with something my son would make on his grill.
The beautiful thing about ribs though is that with the instant pot it takes little to no time to make a giant set of ribs that would take much longer on the smoker and the grill. Another convenient thing is that I don’t have to go messing around with the grill outside. I don’t have to mess around with charcoal or propane, I can just fire up my instant pot in my kitchen and hit a button and forget it.
The ability to use the instant pot for ribs gives me a little bit more ease in making them and as a result, I wind up making them more often. This gives me another option for something to make for dinner at night that doesn’t mean I’m slaving away for hours in the kitchen.
- 1 or 2 racks baby back ribs, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds total
- 4 cups apple juice
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce
- With a rack bone side up, and starting at one end, slip a knife tip under the thin membrane, loosening it from the bone.
- Once you have lifted enough to get a good grip, grasp the membrane with a paper towel and peel it off the rack.
- Repeat with the other racks.
- Cut the racks in half crosswise.
- Stack the ribs in the instant pot.
- Pour in the apple juice and vinegar.
- Secure the lid and move the pressure release to sealing.
- Select the meat/stew setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes at high pressure. (For meat falling off the bone ribs set the cooking time to 25 minutes.)
- Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- While the pressure is releasing, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
- When 15 minutes have passed, move the pressure release to venting to release any remaining steam.
- Open the pot and, using a pair of tongs, transfer the ribs to the prepared sheet pan.
- Discard the cooking liquid.
- Brush the ribs on both sides with the barbecue sauce, then bake for about 10 minutes, until the sauce is caramelized and browned.
- Remove from the oven, cut the ribs apart, and serve.
You can steam the ribs with water instead of braising them in the apple juice and vinegar. They will result in less flavorful ribs this way. To steam the ribs, pour 1 cup water into the instant pot, place the trivet in the pot, arrange the ribs on top of the trivet, and secure the lid. Select the steam setting and set the cooking time for 20 or 25 minutes at high pressure. Release the pressure and bake the ribs as directed.