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Make these sweet and sticky ribs either in your Instant Pot or slow cooker!
Ribs: Two Cooking Methods
Everybody’s been buzzing about Instant Pot.
I actually have the precursor to this–my old Wolfgang Puck 7-in-1 pressure cooker. However, that appliance is over 10 years old and I bought it refurbished. I figured it was time to upgrade so I bought myself an Instant Pot.
It’s a marvelous appliance! I’ve used pressure cookers for years and love them, but I have to say I’m very impressed with these newer models.
I decided my Instant Pot‘s test run was making these gorgeous ribs. It yielded perfect results and I had fall-off-the-bone perfect ribs in 20 minutes!
The ribs can also be done in a slow cooker. The methods are similar because they use wet heat. The only difference is the time it takes.
The Secret Is The Cooking Liquid
These ribs get their great flavor from apple juice of all things! With either slow cooking or pressure cooking, the taste of apple infuses right into the meat and acts almost like a marinade.
You have the option of adding some apple cider or apple cider vinegar to the mix, but you don’t have to do that. However, it adds another level to the flavor. I use between 1/4-1/2 cup of cider vinegar and it adds a slight piquant flavor, but it’s not overly sour.
You can get really fancy by adding some herbs or spices to the cooking liquid–whatever you like with pork–will be great. I like thyme with pork so maybe 2-3 sprigs of fresh would flavor it nicely.
Sauce Them And Caramelize Them
When the ribs are done, you slather them with your favorite BBQ sauce and caramelize the sauced ribs under the broiler.
My favorite sauce is Sweet Baby Ray’s. It has an excellent flavor and it’s thick enough to cling to the food. If you like a bit of heat, add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper to the BBQ sauce. It’s that simple. If you want to make your own copycat Sweet Baby Ray’s, my friend Lillian from My Recipe Journey has come up with the best clone.
Sweet and Sticky Ribs
- 3 lbs pork baby back ribs
- 4 cups apple juice
- 1/4-1/2 cup apple cider -OR- apple cider vinegar see NOTES
- 1 cup or amount desired BBQ sauce
- Remove membrane that covers the underside of the ribs. Cut the slab of ribs in half
- Instant Pot:
- Pour the apple juice into the Instant Pot insert. Add the vinegar. Heat the liquid using the "Saute" function until it steams
- Place the ribs in the pot, meat side down.
- Cover and set to "Meat/Stew" setting for 20-25 minutes.
- After the time is up, let the ribs sit in the pot for 5 minutes, then release the pressure.
- Remove the ribs to a baking dish and slather them on both sides with BBQ sauce
- Place under broiler for about 5 minutes, or until the BBQ sauce is bubbling and starts to caramelize.
- Serve immediately.
- Slow Cooker:
- Add the apple juice and vinegar to the crock pot.
- Place ribs in liquid meat side down.
- Cover and set to low and cook for 8-10 hours, high 5-7 hours (times are approximate so check at the minimum time for doneness).
- Proceed as in Instant Pot directions.
*Adapted from Great Chow TV
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