What Is The Best Barbecue Sauce Lets Discuss
Yep, I am going there. BBQ sauce is both regional and personal, and I do have a favorite.
I grew up on Kansas City barbecue, and every time Ben and I visit, grabbing a meal at a local BBQ joint isnt an optional activity we try to squeeze inits one of the first stops we make the moment we land at the airport.
Ive had the pleasure of munching barbecue in different regions of the country, and while I respect and enjoy the different flavors and characteristics of each, Kansas Citystyle barbecue sauce is my forever favorite.
If youve had Sweet Baby Rays or KC Masterpiece brand BBQ sauce, youve experienced a hint of just how good Kansas City BBQ sauce can be. That said, as Ive started reading more labels in recent years, the bottled barbecue sauce brands are LOADED with sugar .
Craving some barbecue but not wanting to rely on the the sugary stuff, I decided to see if I could make my own homemade barbecue sauce for ribs, pulled pork, and, as I quickly discovered while making and tasting this sauce, for licking right off the spoon!
Skip the bottled stuff. By using real, unprocessed ingredients, youll have an award winning barbecue sauce recipe that tastes, well, homemade.
Prepare & Season Baby Back Ribs
First, remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel.
How to Remove the Membrane from Baby Back Ribs:
- Locate the membrane on either end of the rack .
- Slide a butter knife in between the membrane and bones .
- Pull the membrane and tear it off with a paper towel .
Then, season the Baby Back Ribs with a generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
What Are The Benefits Of Using An Instant Pot
Instant Pots are a type of pressure cookers that use a pressure cooking process to cook food in a fraction of the time it would normally take. Instant Pots allow for more nutrient absorption, more flavor, and more texture.
Instant Pots are great for meals that require long cooking times such as stews, soups, and beans because they require less hands-on time and can be left unattended while they do their thing. The best part is that you can make any meal in an Instant Pot in just minutes!
Some common benefits of using an instant pot are:
1) The ability to save time while cooking food 2) More nutrients are absorbed into the meal 3) Ability to create meals with unique flavors.
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What To Serve With Short Ribs
This beef short ribs recipe goes well with so many different side dishes. Ive got a ton of low carb/keto side dish recipes on my site, here are some of my favorites for pressure cooker short ribs:
- Keto Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes This the classic side dish pairing. You cant go wrong with mashed cauliflower and its perfect to soak up any excess sauce. I have a new recipe coming soon!
Can I Skip The Alcohol
If youre worried about the alcohol content, you need not be.
Since the alcohol in this recipe is being used to deglaze, it does evaporate a lot. However, if you prefer the alcohol to be completely gone, cook it a little longer before adding the other liquids. You can also add less burbon.
I have also had readers who substituted the bourbon with wine , and even coffee.
These pressure cooker short ribs are braised in my own homemade beef and chicken stock, but you can braise them in a good quality beef stock instead too. These instant pot short ribs are cooked to perfection in a slightly sweet and slightly spicy base. I added cayenne pepper and paprika to give these short ribs a little spicy kick. I usually add up to 2 tsp of cayenne pepper . But Ive adjusted it to a milder level in this recipe. But feel free to adjust the level of spice to your liking.
The first step to making these instant pot short ribs is preparing the short ribs. This step is all the labor required for this recipe on your part!
After this step, everything else is hands-off. So while these pressure cooker short ribs are cooking, you can prepare the rest of the meal.
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Dry Rub Seasoning Ingredients:
So here’s the list of all the ingredients I used to make the Memphis-style dry rub seasoning: smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground mustard, light brown sugar, dried oregano, ground ginger, black pepper, and salt.
I only used a small amount of sugar . Feel free to add more according to your taste if you like to be on the sweeter side.
This DIY dry rub seasoning isn’t only good for ribs, but would also be good for chicken wings or thighs, brisket, pork chops, or tofu!
Ingredients For Cooking Instant Pot Bbq Ribs
Baby Back Ribs: Try to use baby back ribs with even and uniform thickness in the rack. Its also important to try to find ribs with lots of nice, even marbling.
BBQ Sauce: Best to make your own BBQ Sauce! But for simplicity & convenience, grab your favorite bottle of BBQ Sauce. We used Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce to develop this easy ribs recipe.
Apple Cider Vinegar: If you like, you can use apple cider vinegar in place of water.
Optional Liquid Smoke: If you want to add a little cooked in the outdoors smokey flavor to your ribs, you can add a few drops of Liquid Smoke. Try to find a natural Liquid Smoke. Also, since there are different flavors of liquid smoke, test & find one you like.
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What Kind Of Pork Ribs To Buy
Although this quick and easy recipe calls for baby back ribs, you can use other type of pork ribs like spareribs St. Louis style ribs, country style ribs or pork loin ribs. Pick your favorite type of ribs and go with it!
- Baby Back Ribs: Also known as loin ribs, loin back ribs and back ribs. Baby back ribs are called baby because they are shorter than other types of ribs. They are the leanest and most tender of all the ribs.
- Spare Ribs: Also known as side ribs. Due to marbling these ribs are succulent and have a richer, meatier flavor. They usually have more meant between bones than on the top.
- St. Louis Style Ribs: Also known as Kansas city cut. These ribs are the same as spare ribs but with the tips cut off which makes them a bit shorter than spare ribs.
Ribs For The Instant Pot
Baby back ribs are cooked in the Instant Pot to achieve the most tender ribs in the least amount of time!
You can read more about the Instant Pot here ! You can find them at most stores .
What Kind of Ribs to Buy: Baby back ribs are truly my favorite . Theyre perfectly tender and delicious and great on the grill .
Side ribs will work too and are more budget-friendly but baby-back is worth the splurge if you can swing it.
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How To Make Baby Back Ribs In The Instant Pot
- Start with the best-quality pork baby back ribs you can find. Youll need about a 2 2 ½ lb. rack to feed 4 people. Anything more than 3 lbs. and you wont be able to get them into a 6-quart Instant Pot and still close the lid. Our go-to for high-quality, heritage breed pork is ButcherBox. They seriously have the BEST baby back ribs!
- Cut your rack of ribs into 3 equal-ish sections. Sprinkle each section with the spice dry rub, focusing more on the meaty front side of the rack than the backside. Now give each section a good rub. At this point, you can wrap them up and return them to the fridge if youre just prepping ahead then cook them at a later point. This can be done up to 2 days in advance.
- Place the wire rack into the Instant Pot insert then add 1 cup of water or broth to the pot. Select the Saute function. This will essentially pre-heat the Instant Pot and decrease the amount of time it takes to get up to full pressure.
- Now creatively arrange the 3 sections of ribs in a teepee or pyramid formation so that theyre not lying on top of one another. Standing them rather than stacking means they cook faster and more evenly.
How To Make Ribs In The Oven
The key to tender ribs in the oven is cooking them low and slow. This recipe is so forgiving. You can wrap the spice-rubbed ribs in aluminum foil… or not.
True story, my husband was putting the ribs in the oven for me and I asked him to put the rub on then wrap them in foil and put them in the oven. What he did was put the dry rub on and put them in the oven unwrapped—they turned out just as good.
As with the Instant Pot ribs, you can finish them on the grill or under the broiler. We’ve even finished them by turning up the heat on the oven at the end to give them a little crust after slathering them with BBQ sauce.
I have also cooked this recipe in the crockpot. Just put the rub on and put them in the slow cooker. I don’t add any liquid while they are cooking. Cook them on low for 8 – 10 hours. Then finish the ribs on the grill or under the broiler.
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Can I Finish The Ribs On The Grill
Yes, you can! In fact, finishing them on the grill is a great option when you dont want to heat up the oven, if the oven is already in use, or if you want to add a smoky flavor to them. We love to finish these Instant Pot pork ribs on our Traeger wood-fired pellet grill because they taste like youve been tending the grill all day. And honestly, if you didnt tell them that you didnt, no one would ever know.
Apply Sauce And Broil In Oven/air Fryer
*Tip for if youre using the Oven: While the baby back ribs are cooking in the Instant Pot, preheat the oven to 450°F.
First, carefully set the baby back ribs on an oven tray or chopping board, then generously brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the ribs on all sides including the bones.
*Pro Tip: If you have a large oven, you can finish the ribs in one batch. If youre using the Duo Crisp lid or Air Fryer lid, youll need to cut the ribs into halves, then finish them in 2 batches.
*Pro Tip: Its best to broil the ribs before cutting it into serving size to retain more moisture.
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How Long Do You Cook Ribs In Instant Pot
Instant pots are renowned for their quick-cooking and hands-free operation. And theyre famous for cooking almost anything, from veggies to pasta and humongous chunks of meat. But who wouldve thought you could prepare your favourite barbecue-style ribs in one of these appliances? Surprisingly, you can, and many have been going on about it for years.
But instant pots are notorious for speedy cooking, and if you arent careful, they can ruin a dish due to overcooking. Its why perfect planning of the cooking time for any recipe is crucial. Ribs are no exception, especially since you wont cook them in a controlled environment like the grill. But, the pressure cooker can be one if you know how to work it to fit your rib recipe.
Faster Ribs Thanks To The Instant Pot
Discovering that I could make tender, smoky ribs in the Instant Pot was nothing short of life-changing. Ribs, before the Instant Pot, were a once-a-summer special-occasion treat, slowly smoked on the barbecue and slathered with sauce until lacquered and glossy. But ribs are inexpensive and satisfying, and discovering I could cook ribs to tenderness in under an hour swung the door of possibility right open. Wont you step in and join me?
Your Secret Summer Seasoning: Smoked Salt
Smoked salt is a seasoning that every cook should have in their pantry. Not only does it do the same work of liquid smoke with less effort, but it is also flavorful and wonderful for adding to everything from ribs to salty caramels. I love this smoked salt from Spice House. A little will go a long way, making the small bottle a worthy investment.
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How Long Do I Cook Baby Back Ribs In The Pressure Cooker
As a rule of thumb, when making meat in the pressure cooker, if you release the pressure and the meat is too tough for your taste, then you need to increase the cook time. If your meat is drier than you like, decrease the cook time.
Use an instant-read thermometer to verify your baby back ribs have an internal temp of at least 145°F in the thickest part of the ribs after cooking.
Ive found that 15 minutes at High Pressure leads to ribs that are tender yet they still have a bit of bite and hold their shape when grilling.
If you want the ribs more fall off the bone tender, cook them another longer Id start with 5 minutes and go from there.
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How To Make Instant Pot Ribs:
When the ribs are finished cooking you can slather them in your favorite store-bought or homemade bbq sauce.
I also like to stick them under the broiler for just a few minutes, to let the bbq sauce caramelize and char a little bit. YUM!
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Tips From The Betty Crocker Kitchens
- tip 1 No broiler? No problem. While broiling adds nice flavor and color, the ribs will still be delicious if you need to skip that step.
- tip 2 Dont substitute larger ribs for the baby back ribs. This recipe was designed for the smaller racks, and larger ribs will not get tender in the same amount of time.
Recipe Tips And Notes
- If the back of the ribs has a membrane, do your best to remove that prior to seasoning the ribs. With the bones facing up, slide your finger or a butter knife under the membrane between two rib bones until you can grip the membrane with a paper towel and pull it off.
- Season the ribs with a dry rub. A dry rub is best for these ribs because it will infuse it with a lot of flavor as it cooks and it wont wash away while it steams in the Instant Pot.
- Pressure cook the ribs rolled in a circle. They wont cook evenly if you cut them and stack them.
- You can sauté the onions first in some butter for more depth of flavor.
- Broil the ribs for a few minutes to crisp the top and boost the flavor of the barbecue sauce. Use the middle position in your oven when broiling for the best results.
- This Instant Pot ribs recipe works for one or two sets of ribs without adjusting the sauce quantities. Simply add a second set of ribs coiled in the Instant Pot.
- Its best to use a 6 QT or larger Instant Pot.
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Apply Sauce & Broil In Oven/air Fryer
First, carefully set the spare ribs on an oven tray or chopping board, then generously apply your favorite BBQ sauce all over the ribs on all sides.
*Pro Tip: If you have a large oven, you can finish the spare ribs in one batch. If youre using the Duo Crisp lid or Air Fryer lid, youll need to cut the spare ribs into halves, then finish them in 2 batches.
*Pro Tip: Its best to broil the spare ribs before cutting it into serving size to retain more moisture.
Whats The Difference Between Baby Back Ribs And Spare Ribs
All ribs are not equal and pork ribs, which is what we are using in this recipe, come from two different places on the pig.
Spare Ribs, also known as side ribs come from the belly part of the pig and from the Sparerib you can get St. Louis style or Louisiana style ribs.
Back Ribs, also knows as loin ribs or Baby Back Ribs, come from the back of the pig near to the spine. They are not nearly as meaty and full of fat as spare ribs but they are much more tender and they will cook faster.
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