My tailgate Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs recipe is made in advance in a electric pressure cooker and then finished on the grill at your tailgate party.
These ribs have three layers of flavor: a simple dry rub for baby back ribs, a pressure cooker-created faux-smoke, and your favorite BBQ sauce slathered on the ribs just before serving. Your fall-apart tender and juicy ribs will be ready in under 1 hour total (mostly inactive) and are perfect for weeknight cooking or weekend tailgate party prep!
I’ll be the first to admit that I was right there with you until recently. Ribs appeared to be one of those things that had to be incredibly complicated and difficult to prepare. But then I experimented with making them in a pressure cooker, and it was a complete game changer.
So that’s what we’re going to do today! We’re making the best pork ribs recipe ever. They are INCREDIBLY perfect in every way. We’ve been making them all summer as an easy weeknight dinner because they take less than 60 minutes to make in a pressure cooker. & you can bet we’ll be making pressure cooker ribs for the entire football season.
You know how much I adore ALDI. It’s my go-to grocery store for entertaining, especially game day parties and tailgates.
ALDI has a great selection of meats (bratwurst, chicken wings, and baby back ribs!) as well as all of the prepackaged game-day staples you’ll be craving come kickoff (chips, dips, pizza, and snacks!).
& my favorite part: ALDI has incredible prices that will help you stretch your dollar even further, making it even easier to entertain a crowd without breaking the bank. It means you can be a generous host – serving ribs, for example! – without feeling guilty.
How Long to Cook Baby Back Ribs in Pressure Cooker
The solution is straightforward. Cooking the ribs on LOW pressure for 30 minutes is the key to juicy and tender ribs.
During my research and testing for this pressure cooker baby back ribs recipe, I discovered that many other high-pressure pressure cooker ribs recipes call for cook times closer to 20 minutes.
After a lot of trial and error, I discovered that a combination of short cook times and high pressure produced ribs that were both fall-off-the-bone tender and tough and dry! Isn’t it strange? So, it’s not ideal.
The secret to keeping baby back ribs from drying out or becoming tough in the pressure cooker is to use low pressure and a longer cook time (30 minutes).
All you have to do now is serve them on a platter at your next game day party and wait for the compliments to come pouring in. Best. Ribs. Ever!
I hope you try this recipe for faux smoked ribs at your next tailgate party – I’m sure you’ll love them!
Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs Recipe
The best recipe for baby back ribs in a pressure cooker! My baby back rib dry rub + a secret ingredient + the perfect cooking time = juicy, tender ribs. You’re going to love this pork ribs recipe!
Ingredients of Baby Back Ribs Recipe
- 1 3-4-pound rack baby back pork ribs
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup water + 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- for serving: Your favorite BBQ sauce of choice, potato salad, coleslaw, cornbread, etc.
for the dry rub:
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- optional: 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions of Baby Back Ribs Recipe
- Mix the dry rub: In a small bowl, combine all of the dry rub ingredients. To combine, stir everything together. Set aside for up to a month, or store in an airtight container on your spice rack.
- Prep the baby back ribs: The back of the ribs will have a thin membrane (referred to as “silverskin”) that must be removed; otherwise, the dry rub will not penetrate the meat all the way around the ribs, making your ribs difficult to chew! I find it easiest to remove the silverskin from the ribs in one spot with a butter knife (or something with a blunt, non-sharp edge). Slide your finger under the membrane and the silverskin should easily peel away. If you need a visual, look at the photos in the blog post above. This simple video tutorial was also very useful to me!
- Season the ribs: Season the ribs all over with kosher salt, then sprinkle the dry rub all over the ribs, lightly working the rub into the meat with your hands.
- Pressure cook the ribs: Fill the bowl of your electric pressure cooker with the water and liquid smoke mixture. Attach the trivet/rack to the bowl. Place the prepared rib rack on the trivet/rack, bending to fit into the bowl as needed. Cover the pressure cooker, making sure the lid is securely locked in place and the vent is set to the “sealing” position. Cook for 30 minutes on low pressure. Allow the pressure to naturally release for about 10 minutes after the timer goes off (literally leave the pot for 10 minutes!) before carefully flicking the vent to the “venting” position to allow any residual pressure to release. The ribs will hold to the bone but will have a great fall-apart tender texture – perfect! Carefully transfer the ribs to a baking sheet or serving platter.
- Optional: Grill the ribs: While the pressure cooker releases, preheat the grill to medium-high (approx. 600 degrees F). Grill the ribs over direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side, brushing them with your favorite BBQ sauce the whole time. You don’t need to grill them very long, just enough to get some nice grill marks & smoky char.
- Serve BBQ sides and ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce Cornbread, potato salad, and coleslaw are favorites in our house. Enjoy!
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