On Labor Day, we often like to have barbecues, and that was the plan for this year, until Hurricane Dorian made an appearance. I still had the ribs in the fridge, so changed the plan to baking them, then I forgot that it takes hours to cook ribs, and had to change to Plan C, which was using the Instant Pot. It was a fine choice, and no one would know it wasn’t Plan A without me telling them.

There were still some ribs in the freezer which I thawed for tonight’s dinner. However, now I’ve forgotten how I cooked them before! So, it’s time to experiment once again, record what I do, and then next time I’ll be able to remember. Most of the directions I found online were the same, but I’m giving you this link because it had the fewest pop-up ads (which I find quite annoying).

Basically, you first coat the ribs with a dry rub (pepper, salt, spices and a bit of brown sugar – here’s one possibility). Traditional recipes often have you refrigerate the ribs for several hours at that point, so feel free to do so if you’d like. I’ll do that step for about one hour.

Then place some water (about 1 cup) along with a little apple cider vinegar (2-3 tablespoons) and a dash or two of liquid smoke (optional, but since I have it, I’ll use it) into the Instant Pot. Add the metal rack, then stand the ribs on top of that. Process on high for 25-35 minutes (depends on how thick the meat is along with how tender you want it to be), then let the pressure release naturally (or at least for 5-10 minutes). Remove from the pot, brush with your favorite barbecue sauce*, broil for a couple of minutes if desired, and serve.

*We’re fans of the original KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce, but I also like this recipe that we used before our stint at Clorox (the company that owned KC Masterpiece), and I also like the idea of adding some peach or apricot preserves, maybe even some chipotle pepper sauce, to notch things up a bit.