Oven Pork Back Ribs – In a Pressure Cooker!

Oven pork back ribs are awesome on the grill as a last step, but sometimes that isn’t possible during the winter. So this is the next best thing! And these oven pork back ribs are super fast too because the first step is to use a pressure cooker (or instant pot)! No need to even marinate or let the spice rub sit on the ribs; the pressure cooker does all the work of penetrating flavour into the meat. You can have fall off the bone sweet, caramelized and slightly sticky ribs in just over an hour!

If I’m being honest, we prefer these to just about every rib we’ve had at a rib fest cooked low and slow for hours! They even have that smoky flavour thanks to liquid smoke!

We learned the technique for these ribs from the book Pressure Cooker Perfection. But the spice rub and sauce is all ours; developed over many good rib meals!

Cut Pork Back Ribs

Because the pork back ribs are cut into 2 piece sections, you can buy the cheapest value pack.

Value pack of meat for oven pork back ribs

So you don’t need a pretty rack.

oven pork back ribs cut into two piece sections on cutting board

Mix the dry rub and apply to the rib sections. I only rub the meaty parts.

If you have left over dry rub, store in a cool, dry place in a cupboard away from heat and it will last up to 6 months. But you’ll want to make this recipe again long before then 😉.

Spice rub on oven pork back ribs

The great thing about this recipe is that we use recipe for homemade ketchup and our chicken stock as ingredients – things we always have on hand. We just take the stock from the freezer and warm it up.

Melting frozen chicken soup on stove top

Since our homemade ketchup already has onion, we only used half an onion for these oven pork back ribs. If using commercial ketchup, use a whole onion.

Cooking onion in pressure cooker

Mix the sauce right in a measuring cup for easy pouring. By the way, I use Swerve brown sugar in this recipe (and others, like this gluten free gingerbread cookie recipe) because it has zero net carbs and is the only sugar substitute that tastes real and caramelizes.

Sauce mixed in measuring cup for oven pork back ribs beside container of molasses

First, add a little sauce on the bottom of the pot. Then stand the ribs around the outside of the pressure cooker with the meaty side facing outward. Pour the rest of the sauce over top.

By the way, if you want to cook more ribs, you can add another layer in the middle and make additional sauce.

Rib sections arranged in a circle around pressure cooker with sauce being poured on top

Place the ribs on a baking sheet and keep warm. oven pork back ribs on a tray beside sauce still in pressure cooker

Reduce Sauce

Then add the honey to the reserved sauce and reduce until thick.

Reduced sauce for oven pork back ribs

I don’t bother using a brush to add the sauce to the ribs. I just dunk the sections right into the pot with tongs! It’s quick and easy.

Broil 6″ from the top of the oven until the ribs are charred to your liking. You can turn these in the oven and keep basting –  a few times if you wish – but we tend to dunk once and then serve with extra sauce over the top.

oven pork back ribs on a platter

Pressure cooker recipes are such a time saver – they’re not only fast but delicious too. We hope you’ll try this pork back rib recipe! If you don’t own a pressure cooker, put one on your Christmas list! We’re using an IKEA 6 litre Värdesätta that is sadly no longer available (although they have replaced it with another 6 litre version). If we had to purchase another one, we’d go slightly bigger (8 litre). We like this pressure cooker, or try an Instant Pot if you want to get fancy.

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Oven Pork Back Ribs FAQs

How long do back ribs take to cook?

Done in the oven, ribs can take 2 – 3 hours. If you pre cook the pork ribs in a pressure cooker first, you’ll cut the time to just over an hour start to finish! And smoking is even longer – up to 6 hours by the time you get to slathering on the sauce.

Do you cook your ribs bone side up or down?

When cooking in a pressure cooker, stand the ribs up on the bone with the meaty surface against the side of the pressure cooker. Once in the oven, slather with sauce and broil meat side up to caramelize.

What should I rub on my ribs?

A dry rub will develop the best flavour in the meat and also flavours the final sauce when ribs are cooked in a pressure cooker, so it does double duty.

How do you tenderize ribs quickly?

The fastest way to tenderize ribs is to start cooking them with a pressure cooker and finish in the oven under the broiler; no need to marinate! The apple cider vinegar in the sauce also helps tenderize the meat. You’ll end up with fall off the bone ribs that taste like they’ve been finished on the grill.

Oven Pork Back Ribs

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lb pork back ribs
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic

Spice Rub

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar we use Swerve brown sugar substitute
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano

Sauce

  • 1 cup homemade ketchup see recipe linked in body of post
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken soup see recipe linked in body of post
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon or grainy mustard
  • 3/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp honey add at the end when reducing the sauce

Instructions

  • Mix sauce together in a measuring cup.
  • Cut the ribs into two-rib sections. Dry off. Mix the rub together and apply to both sides of the ribs.
  • Heat oil in pressure cooker and cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in 1/2 cup of the sauce.
  • Arrange ribs around the perimeter of the pressure cooker in an upright fashion with meat facing outward. Then pour the remaining sauce over the ribs.
  • Lock lid of pressure cooker and bring to high pressure over medium heat. As soon as high pressure is reached, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes. Adjust as necessary to maintain high pressure.
  • Remove rpressure cooker from heat and allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick release when depressurized (10-15 minutes).
  • Reserve the liquid in the pressure cooker and place ribs on a backing sheet lined with non stick foil. Keep warm while reducing sauce.
  • Add honey to pressure cooker and reduce sauce until thickened (usually about 15 minutes).
  • Dunk each rib in the sauce and place back onto the tray. Char the ribs under a broiler to your liking, reapplying sauce every few minutes and turning over if you wish.

 

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