I got an InstantPot as a Christmas White Elephant Gift Exchange and wondered about its usefulness. I already owned several pressure cookers, a slow cooker, a sous vide, a cast iron skillet and a dutch oven, and lots of good pots and pans.
What could the InstantPot do that would tempt me to take the device out of its box?
It turns out that the InstantPot, with its timed pressure cooker functionality, is the perfect tool to make St Louis or Baby Back Ribs quickly, easily and without any guess work.
This recipe allows you to adjust the sweetness at the very end by adjusting the amount of barbecue sauce to the glaze — Barbecue sauce is around 1/3 sugar. Even better, use the sauce as a dip if needed.
POWER TIP : If you are in responsible for making lots of ribs (4+ racks), then repeat steps 1 – 7, cooking the ribs in smaller batches while preserving the liquid in the InstantPot (topping up the stock and liquid smoke as needed). Once the ribs are pressure cooked, then make the glaze and broil in bigger batches.
OUTDOOR POWER TIP: If you have access to an outdoor grill, finish the ribs (step 11) on the grill.
Instapot Instant-ish St Louis Pork Ribs
- Baking Sheet
- 2 racks St. Louis or Baby Back Ribs
- 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 2 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Oregano
- 1½ cups Chicken Stock or Water plus Bouillon Paste
- 3 splashes Liquid Smoke Optional but useful
- 2 tbsp Store-bought Barbeque Sauce Add more for additional sweetness
- Remove the membrane on the back of the ribs by slicing under the membrane until you get enough purchase to peel away the entire membrane. It is a hassle, but try not to forget this.
- Make a simple dry rub from spices that you probably have in your kitchen. I used brown
sugar, paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and oregano. Note that I did NOT add salt. Rub spices all over the ribs.
- Roll up the ribs and place them in the InstantPot sideways.
- Add 1 ½ cups chicken stock or water plus bouillon paste (I used Better Than Bouillon). This adds salt to the meat. I also like to add a few generous splashes of Liquid Smoke.
- Set the InstantPot to High Pressure for 23 Minutes. The goal is to break down the fibers of the meat enough to cleanly separate from the bone but not disintegrate.
- Once the InstantPot completes the cooking cycle, carefully open the steam vent on top and release the pressure slowly.
- Using tongs, place the cooked (and slightly grey to be honest) ribs on a baking pan.
- The residual liquid in the InstantPot is precious. Pour it into a wide frying pan, strain away the fat and turn up the heat to a high boil. The goal is to reduce the liquid by 75% until thickened. You will know if you are done when the liquid tastes salty, savory and well-seasoned from the dry rub.
- Time to add the ‘sweet.’ Add two tablespoons (or more if that’s your thing) of BBQ Sauce to the pan and blend in. Turn off heat.
- Glaze the ribs with the sauce on both sides.
- Place ribs under broiler for 5-10 minutes until color turns dark and fantastic. Flip and broil the other side then cut and plate your finished ribs.