My family is pretty much a bunch of rib snobs, we really think they are best smoked and cooked for long and slow, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or equipment for that, and that is where these Instant Pot Duo Crisp ribs come in. In a bit over an hour you can have juicy tender ribs with the sauce caramelized on them all from the same pot. If you have a Mealthy lid instead or a want to make Ninja Foodi ribs, this recipe works for you too.
You can also make these pork ribs in your standard Instant Pot and then finish them off in the oven, on the grill, or in your air fryer such as an Instant Omni or Instant Vortex Plus. These can be made keto and low carb if you use a rub without sugar and either skip the sauce or use a sugar-free sauce.
Learn more about the Instant Pot Duo Crisp and Ninja Foodi.
Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ribs and Ninja Foodi Ribs
For this recipe I did Instant Pot baby back ribs since those were on sale at my local grocery. I purchased a single rack of pork ribs with plans to make some good country style barbeque pork ribs in the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, using the air fryer feature to cook on the sauce.
I prepared the ribs the same way that I would for other forms of cooking. Really, making pressure cooker ribs is pretty straightforward. Although I made only one rack of ribs, in a pinch two racks would probably have fit in my pot. If not in the air fry basket, then on a trivet for pressure cooking.
Removing the Rib Membrane
One key initial step when making ribs no matter how you cook them is removing the membrane from the back of the ribs. It is not pleasant to chew on and it gets in the way of heat getting through and evenly cooking the ribs. Some people leave it on, but I never do.
To remove the membrane, work at its edge with a knife until you can solidly grab the corner of it and peel it off. Just give it a good firm, but even, pull. Often the membrane will peel right off but, since it is very thin, other times it will break and you will have to pull it off in pieces.
Instant Pot BBQ Rib Rub
Once the membrane is removed, prepare your Instant Pot Duo Crisp or Ninja Foodi ribs with a good BBQ rib rub.
I like to use a premade rub, but if you don’t have one and want to mix one up, a mix of 1/4 cup brown sugar with 2 teaspoons each of Kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground mustard will do the trick.
Cut the rack of ribs in half or thirds and generously rub both side of the ribs, with more on the front, meaty side. Amazingly, that rub actually will mostly stay on the ribs in the pressure cooker.
Pressure Cooker Ribs, How to Cook Ribs in the Instant Pot
For the Instant Pot Duo Crisp add 1 to 1 1/2 cups liquid to the pot. The Ninja Foodi can get by on as low as 1/2 to 1 cup. For liquid you can use just water, but I prefer to use something that will add additional flavor such as broth, apple juice, or beer. For this recipe I used half beef broth and half apple juice.
I also added 3 Tablespoons of liquid smoke to the liquid. This is optional, as your ribs will come out just fine without it. Liquid smoke imparts a smoky aroma and flavor to the meat, but some don’t care for it. Personally, I like the flavor it adds, but am not a big fan of how it smells when cooking. But I use it since I like the end result.
Place the ribs in the air fry basket of the Instant Pot Duo Crisp or the Ninja Foodi. If making standard Instant Pot ribs put the ribs on a trivet or in a steamer basket.
You can bend the ribs int the shade of the letter “C” to help fit them in the pot. Put the meaty front side facing inward to help keep the rub on the best part of the ribs.
Pressure cook the ribs on manual high pressure for 20-30 minutes. This depends on your preference for tenderness. If you want the tender but still on the bone (my preference), go for 20-25 minutes. If you want them totally falling off the bone do 30 or even 35.
Of most importance, use a natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes. Just let your pot sit and vent on its own. I usually let mine go at least 20 minutes, but you can quick release the remaining pressure at 15 minutes if you need to save some time.
Caramelizing the BBQ Sauce
Now comes the part that make the ribs extra good. Let’s bake some Barbecue sauce on them!
Give the ribs a good coating of sauce. Err on the side of extra!
In the Instant Pot Duo Crisp or the Ninja Foodi, place the ribs back into the air fry basket. Put on the crisp lid, air fry lid, or your Mealthy Crisp Lid if using that, and air fry at 400 for up to 20 minutes.
Check every five minutes or so and turn the ribs as needed. I did mine for 18 minutes total.
In a regular air fryer, place the ribs on a tray or in the basket and air fry the ribs for 15-20 minutes at 400, turning as needed.
The Omni would be great for this since it is a good size for laying out several half rib racks.
You can also put the ribs on the grill or under the broiler in your oven. So, while having the Duo Crisp, Ninja Foodi, or Mealthy CrispLid is nice for this recipe, it is not completely necessary.
Your regular Instapot will do for making ribs if you want to finish them separately.
Serving Instant Pot Duo Crisp Ribs
Serve your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi ribs with a drizzle of BBQ sauce or with sauce for dipping.
The ribs go great with Instant Pot Baked Beans and potato salad or pasta salad. Here are few couple of good recipes for those:
I still prefer my ribs to come from the smoker, but these were darn good and will do when I don’t have all day to get them done!
- 1 rack of pork ribs
- Rib Rub (see blog post for suggested mix)
- 1 1/2 cup liquid of choice (apple juice, broth, beer, or water) I used beef broth and apple juice
- 3 T Liquid Smoke (optional)
- 1 c Barbecue Sauce
- Remove membrane from the back of the rib rack
- Cut the rack in half and generously apply rub to all sides
- Add liquid to the Instant Pot
- Place the rib halves in the air fry basket on their sides, meaty side in, and place in the Instant Pot Duo Crisp. If using a regular Instant Pot put them on a trivet.
- Pressure cook on manual high pressure for 20-30 minutes (I did 25) followed by 15 minutes minimum of natural pressure release.
- Remove the ribs and coat generously with barbecue sauce
- Return the ribs to the air fry basket or pot and air fry on 400 for 15-20 minutes
- Serve with additional sauce and enjoy!
If using an air fryer to finish the ribs, air fry at 400 for 15-20 minutes. The ribs can also be finished on the grill or under the broiler in the oven.
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Living Nutritionals All-Natural Pure Liquid Smoke 5oz (147ml)
Instant Pot Duo Crisp
Ninja OP401 Foodi 8-Quart Pressure, Steamer, Air Fryer All-in-One Multi-Cooker, Black/Gray
Mealthy CrispLid for Pressure Cooker - Turns your Pressure Cooker into an Air Fryer - Air fry, Crisp or Broil fits 6 & 8 Q Pot Basket, Trivet, Silicone Mat, Tongs plus Instant access Free Recipe App
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 971mg Carbohydrates: 35g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 29g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g
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