When I heard that the people behind America's Test Kitchen were publishing a cookbook specifically for pressure cooking, I got pretty excited. I have yet to have one of their recipes fail, and I love reading the notes on how they came up with the recipes and the science behind them. I finally broke down and bought Pressure Cooker Perfection: 100 Foolproof Recipes that will Change the Way You Cook. I'll be making a few recipes from it in the coming weeks, but my first one was these baby back ribs. I never would have thought to make ribs in the pressure cooker, because the sauce can't get caramelized the way you expect with ribs, but using a two-part cooking method cuts the total time down from 4+ hours for traditional ribs to about 1.5 hours total, and the ribs are every bit as delicious. The hardest part of this recipe was turning the ribs over during the broiling step, because they were so tender that they kept falling off the bones. Not a bad problem to have, all things considered. I can't wait to make more from this cookbook!
- 3 Tablespoons paprika
- 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 (1½- to 2-pound) racks baby back rubs, cut into 2-rib sections
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Combine paprika, sugar, chili powder, 1 taspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, and cayenne, then rub mixture evenly over ribs.
- Heat oil in pressure cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup, water, molasses, vinegar, and mustard. Measure out and reserve 1 cup of sauce. Arrange ribs upright in pot with meaty sides facing outward, then pour reserved sauce over ribs.
- Lock pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as pot reaches high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
- Remove pot from heat and allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick release nay remaining pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
- Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Place wire rack inside aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet ad spray with vegetable oil spray. Transfer ribs, meaty side up, to prepared baking sheet. Using large spoon, skim excess fat from surface of sauce. Bring sauce to simmer and cook until thickened and measures 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Brush ribs with some of suace, then broil until browned and sticky, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping and brusing with additional sauce every few minutes. Serve ribs with remaining sauce.
The smallest racks I could find were about 3 pounds each. They still all fit, but barely, and I ran out of the dry rub before I could fully coat the last section.
I checked the ribs during the broiling part every 2 minutes, and ended up broiling them for about 8-10 minutes.
I also added a generous splash of Tabasco chipotle sauce to the bbq sauce after the pressure cooking step, and have no regrets.