Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

Mmmm. Ribs, potato salad, and asparagus!
Way back in the stone age, when I was a mere youngster, my mom always boiled pork ribs before slathering them with sauce and finishing them in the oven. I know, the horror of it all.

But ... it's the best we could do. There was no back yard or barbecue grill or smoker. There were pots and ribs and an oven, though.

If I have to admit it, those ribs were pretty good. Obviously, they weren't smoked. But they were tender and juicy and saucy and just fine. And since I'm being honest here, I've had smoked ribs that weren't great.

After a few people told me how great the Instant Pot was for cooking ribs, I decided to give it a go. I mean, why not? I looked online and found tons of recipes. A few proclaimed that the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender. Which is fine if you want them that way. Me, I prefer a little more toothsomeness. Yes, I want them tender. But I don't want them totally falling apart if you give them a strong glance. I want them to have a little fight left.

I'm happy with the result I got. I would have been happier if I had a working broiler or a normal oven to finish the ribs. But for ribs that never saw a grill or smoker - I sure as heck can't complain.

And, yes, of course you could use a different brand of pressure cooker. There are plenty to choose from.

Pressure-Cooked, Oven-Finished Babyback Ribs

1 or two slabs of baby back ribs
Water, as needed
Apple cider vinegar, optional
Salt, optional

Put your ribs in your pressure cooker. I sort of coiled mine up so they were sitting on the protruding bone ends. I'm sure they'd be fine cut and stacked as well. Add about an inch of water to the pot along with a splash of apple cider vinegar (optional) and a pinch of salt (also optional).

Put the cover on the pressure cooker, set it to the seal rather than vent, and set the cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure.

When the time is up, turn the pressure cooker off and let the ribs rest for 15 minutes before venting any remaining steam.

Stick a fork in a rib to test the tenderness. If you need to cook a little longer for your preferred tenderness, do so, and make note of how long you like your ribs cooked for the next time you make them. At 15 minutes plus the resting time, my ribs were fork tender, but not soft.

Remove the ribs from the cooker, place them meat-side up on a baking sheet (line it with foil for easy cleanup) and slather with your favorite sauce.

Heat your oven to 250 degrees and put the ribs in. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and grabbed onto the ribs. Cook longer or less, if you like. Or slather with sauce and just put them under your broiler for a few minutes.

Serve hot with more sauce on the side. Because more sauce is never a bad thing.

I received my Instant Pot at no cost to create a blog post for 37 Cooks, but my obligation to them is loooong over. I'm just having fun now.