Best Instant Pot Ribs [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Instant Pot Ribs are so tender that they fall off the bone. The best part is that you can cook them from start to finish in just a little over an hour.

After making some delicious and easy side dishes in the pressure cooker, like IP Corn on the Cob, IP Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes, I decided to pair them up with the juiciest and tender ribs possible.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

Easy Instant Pot Ribs

When it comes to summer barbecues, I am always excited for BBQ Ribs, because they are just among the best thing on this Earth. You see, I am a pork and beef girl at heart, and I just can’t say no to a delicious rack of ribs.

These homemade pressure-cooker ribs are so good, I honestly don’t think I will ever cook ribs any other way. They fall off the bone tender, meaty, and finger-licking good. Also, because they are cooked much faster under pressure, I really doubt there is any other better and quicker way to cook them.

They taste like they have been slowly cooked and smoked at a fancy North Carolina restaurant. Making them in the pressure cooker will save you so much time, as you only have to cook the ribs for 40 minutes. Covered in a sweet, spicy and flavorful homemade rub, and coated in a hickory brown sugar BBQ sauce, you will lick your fingers clean!

Why cook ribs in the Instant Pot?

  • First, it is super easy and convenient to make them.
  • Second, the cooking time is reduced by a lot compared to grilling or baking.
  • Also, the results are fall off the bone succulent ribs, that everyone can enjoy in just a little over an hour.
  • Minimum prep work for a great dinner!

Easy Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

What you will need to make the Instant Pot Ribs Recipe?

  1. Instant Pot or any other Pressure Cooker
  2. Trivet Steamer Rack
  3. Ribs
  4. Water
  5. Spices for the dry rub
  6. BBQ Sauce – I used store-bought Hickory Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce

How to Make the Best Instant Pot Ribs?

Unlike other rib cooking methods, which can take a substantial amount of time, making them in the pressure cooker is quite fast. In addition, the pressure cooker locks in the moisture which makes the meat super moist and tender. For best results, follow the below steps. Also, I recommend watching the short video above!

  • Remove the membrane: In case they have a membrane on the back (the bony part of the ribs), remove it using a knife, and discard the membrane.
  • Season the ribs: Start by giving them a nice dry spice rub all over them. 
  • Add liquid to the bottom of the IP: For enhanced flavor, I strongly recommend adding apple juice, apple cider and liquid smoke to the bottom of the pot. You can also skip this, and simply use water. 
  • Curl the ribs around the IP: Arrange the rack around the pot, so the meat side facing out (just like in the photo above). However, if your ribs are already cut in sections then line them up around the pot.
  • Cook them on high pressure: Close the lid, and cook the meat. The cooking times will vary just slightly depending on the type of ribs you use.
  • Coat with BBQ sauce and Broil: After the pressure cooker, I love coating them with the homemade BBQ sauce and broiling them for about 5 minutes. Broiling is completely optional, but it gives them a nice crust and color. 
  • Serve: Enjoy them warm. As noted in the recipe card, feel free to make our homemade bbq sauce, which takes less than 3 minutes to make. Also, you could use your favorite store-bought version. 

How long do you cook ribs in the Instant Pot?

The cooking time is reduced a lot, you cook them on high pressure for 40 minutes with a Natural Release of 15 minutes. If you take into consideration that time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, cook and broil the ribs, it takes about 90 minutes to make fall off the bone ribs from scratch.

Which ribs are best to cook in the Instant Pot?

Feel free to use any kind you like best. Our two most favorite types which we always use are:

  • Baby back ribs: They tend to be smaller in size and also more tender. They cook perfectly well and absorb the flavor nicely when cooked under pressure. I highly recommend using them!
  • Spare ribs: These are larger, meatier, and also have a higher fat content. 

How to remove the membrane from the ribs?

In some cases, you might end up buying ribs which have a white, shiny membrane connective tissue on the back (bone side).  If you notice the membrane, then follow these steps to quickly and easily remove it:

  • Ensure the ribs are facing down (meaty part down). 
  • Then, slide your fingers under the membrane and rip it off. Also, you could use a knife instead. At one end of the rack, slide a knife under the membrane and over a bone. Use a paper towel to grab the edge of the membrane and pull it off.

Best Instant Pot Ribs

Can you cook frozen ribs in the instant pot?

Yes! This is the beautify of a pressure cooker as you can use meat right from your freezer. The only difference between cooking fresh or frozen ribs will be the cooking time. For frozen ones, add additional 15-20 minutes to the cooking time. Follow the same instruction as in the recipe card below. 

What is the trivet for the instant pot?

A trivet is like steamer baskets without feet and it can be used to keep food from touching the base of the cooker. This is the trivet that I have and used in this recipe.

How much liquid do you need in an Instant Pot?

For a 6 quart Instant Pot, about 1 cup is the minimum liquid amount and about 1 1/2 cups for Instance Pot DUO, unless you’re cooking something that will absorb water.

What do you need to make the dry-rub for the ribs?

The dry rub is what will add flavor to the ribs. I absolutely love my homemade dry rub recipe, it’s perfectly balanced when it comes to sweet and spicy. Also, it has some cinnamon and nutmeg that elevates the other flavors and just adds another layer of something that you can’t really put a finger on, but you can taste its awesomeness. Here are all the spices that I have used:

Watch step by step Recipe Video:

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5 from 25 reviews
Best Instant Pot Ribs
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Total time: 1 hr

Ingredients

Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon  dry mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons  smoked paprika 
  • 3 tablespoons  brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon  onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon  garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon  ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons  salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon  cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon  nutmeg 
  • 1 teaspoon  dill seeds 

Cooking the Ribs:

  • 2  racks baby back pork ribs  (about 2lbs each*)
  • 2 cups  unsweetened apple juice 
  • 1/4 cup  apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons  liquid smoke 
  • 3  bay leaves  (optional)

Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups  brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups  ketchup  (preferably no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup  red wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup  water 
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons  dry mustard powder 
  • 1 tablespoon  paprika or smoked paprika 
  • 2 teaspoons  salt 
  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon  hot pepper sauce  (or more)

Instructions

Dry Rub:

  1. Add all the the dry rub ingredients in a medium bowl and using a fork whisk to combine.
  2. Dry the ribs with paper towels of excess liquid or blood.
  3. The ribs usually have a membrane on the back (the bony part of the ribs), remove it and discard it.
  4. Place the ribs on a cutting board, season generously with the dry rub on both sides and use your hand to rub it all over the ribs.

Cooking the Ribs:

  1. Add juice, apple cider and liquid smoke to the Instant Pot, stir to combine. Add bay leaves.

  2. Add a small legged trivet to the Instant Pot (optional, but I prefer to keep the ribs out of the liquid as much as possible).
  3. Place the ribs inside the Instant Pot, standing and pressing on the sides of the Instant Pot. If needed trim the ribs, also make sure you don't go over the Max fill line.
  4. Secure the Instant Pot lid, close and point the valve to Sealed.
  5. Cook on Manual, for 35 minutes on HP for thicker ribs if you want them to still have a slight pull when biting and be able to brown them on the grill or broil the rack without meat falling off the bone. You can do 40 minutes for extra tender, almost fall of the bone ribs.

  6. Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release. Unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.

Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):

  1. While the ribs are cooking prepare the BBQ sauce.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir and set aside.
  3. Or just use about 2 cups of store-bought BBQ sauce.

Broiling the ribs:

  1. Preheat oven on the Broiler setting.
  2. Carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them onto a prepared baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
  3. Brush the ribs generously with either homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce on both sides.
  4. Place under the broiler for about 6-10 minutes. Leave the light on, and keep a close eye on the ribs because they could burn quickly.
  5. Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce.

Notes:

*I used a 6 quarts Instant Pot and the 3lbs baby back ribs rack are too large for it, use 2lbs baby baby ribs racks.

0 Calories: 654 Carbohydrates: 91 Protein: 31 Fat: 18 Saturated Fat: 3 Cholesterol: 111 Sodium: 2313 Potassium: 988 Fiber: 2 Sugar: 81 Vitamin A: 2115 Vitamin C: 5.4 Calcium: 128 Iron: 3.3
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Juicy Instant Pot Ribs

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Comments

Leave a reply

Candy

We certainly do love our ribs. Don’t always want to BBQ outdoors or use the oven. This would be perfect solution. 

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Jeanette E

Wow, I can't believe this is from an instant pot! The ribs look like the sauce is on perfectly and they even look browned in spots. Delicious!

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robin rue

I have never tried ribs in my instant pot. It sounds amazing and I need to try this recipe SOON!

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Tasheena

These ribs look so tender and yummy. Would be perfect to make for 4th of July tomorrow. 

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Alli Smith

I have an instant pot that I've never even used! I keep looking for the perfect recipe to try and this is it. We love grilled ribs and this would be perfect on days when we don't have the time nor inclination to grill. They look absolutely delicious.

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Just be brave. Don't wait on the perfect recipe. I just plan dinner and then look up how to do it in the instant pot. Also, just create your own, trial and error. Don't be intimidated by it. Chili, roast, ribs, beans, meatloaf, stuffed bell peppers, soups, basically anything you normally cook, just use your pot to save time and you will love the outcome and flavor. I use my often. I just google a few recipes as guidance and then do my own thing.

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Amber Myers

I am drooling. These ribs look incredible. I'll have to try them in the instant pot soon! We haven't had ribs in a while.

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Terri Steffes

Ooo! I cannot wait to try this. I love that they are in the instant pot. That means when myhusband is away, I won't have to wait for ribs!

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Glenda Cates

This looks so yummy and I am a Rib Girl at heart and I have an Instant Pot I bought last year in October and we haven't ever used it so it looks like its time to get it out and Ribs is the perfect meal to Christian the post with.

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Sarah Bailey

Now those ribs look like they would be right up my street and absolutely delicious! I really need to think about getting an instant pot!

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Ashley

These ribs have me drooling at my computer! I need to get an instant pot so I can have some for myself.

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Kelly Reci

Okay, totally printing this recipe out for later (and sticking it on my fridge!). My husband loves ribs so this would be perfect for him!

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Nikki

I'm so glad you shared this recipe! My mom and son love ribs, and she's been looking for a way to make them in the Instant Pot. I'm going to bookmark this for her and grab her some ribs while I'm at the store today.

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Heather

I don't have an instant pot yet.  It seems you can make just about anything in it.

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Heather

This is why I need an instant pot! These look to die for! I really need to get one so I can up my game in the kitchen.

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Debbie

How long should I cook them in the PC if I don't want them quite fall of the bone? We like to put them on the grill to get them crispy on the outside for just a few minutes. If they are fall of the bone tender, they would then get too done after cooking on the grill to brown.

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After 35 minutes mine had a nice slight pull when you bite in, they were not falling of the bone. You can see in the video when I add the bbq sauce on top, they are not falling of the bone, so you can put them on the grill.

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Peter

Mmm these ribs look so good. I don’t have an instant pot but man, I really need to get one. Live your bbq sauce recipe too. 

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Shannon Gurnee

I've seen so many different recipes using the Instant Pot. I really wanna get one of these someday! This recipe sounds amazing!

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Laurie

Could these be made in a crockpot?

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Jess

I think I'm one of the few people who doesn't own an instant pot. These ribs do look really good though!

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Tammy

I don’t normally comment on things, recipes or otherwise. However, these were hands down some of the best, fall-off-the-bone ribs we have ever eaten! My family loved them!! I will make them again soon. 

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Thank you :)

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Dan

Thank you for this. A couple days ago I cooked ribs in the instant pot for the first time. I think I overcooked them (1hr), they fell off the bone INSIDE the pot. But it had this real strong musky/urine odor when we opened it, and I was able to taste it a little too. Do you think more ribs would fit cutting them into 3's and 4's opposed to rolling them inside the pot?

Reply

Probably yes, you can try, I would assume so.

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Shirley

I have back ribs  not baby back ribs. How can they be cooked in the IP

Reply

I don't see why not.

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Scott H

Best IP ribs hands down! Way to go!!!

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Amanda Lopez

super delicious highly recommend to everyone, 10 out of 10!

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Alvin

These are too die for, came out excellent, very tender and juicy, one of the best I had!!!

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Irina

Finally got my IP, and tried this recipe. They came out very tender juicy and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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Marina

made this super easy and came out delicious and tender. great and easy recipe. thanks a lot

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Noreen Gamble

These are the absolute best ribs I've ever had. So fall off the bone delicious & your rub reminds me of barbecued potato chips.... I used store bought BBQ sauce but next time I will make yours.  OMG win-win!! Thank you!!!!

Reply

I am so happy that you enjoyed these!

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Yao Fen

the ribs are out of this world. tender and moist, easy and quickly done in the IP. I just love how they turned out, some ranch goes well with them. Perfect dish and easy to make.

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Carlita

Just want to confirm you are using apple cider vinegar and not apple cider like the drink. I can't wait to try these! I'm already giving it a 5 star rating since I don't see how this recipe could be anything else. :)

Reply

yes, vinegar.

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Dianna

Tried the recipe & these ribs were fall off the bone delicious! We used baby backs one night and beef ribs on another occasion. We used our own sauce & this recipe is a keeper!

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I am so happy that you liked these!

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Melanie

Made this last night....I used Pork Spare Ribs.....ABSOLUTELY best ribs we've ever had!

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happy that you liked it

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Amy

We made these tonight and they were amazing. 40 mins and the racks broke in half coming out of the IP, but I love them falling apart. The dry rub with the BBQ sauce (we used store bought) was simply amazing. Great recipe! I’m still full from dinner, and I’ve already shared this recipe with 3 people. 

Reply

Happy that you guys loved it!

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Nicole

I made this yesterday for a holiday party and everyone was telling me how delicious they were! I accidentally let it natural release for 30 min (instead of 15 min) and it was falling off the bone, but a lot of people preferred it that way! I’m definitely going to make these again in the near future!

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Denise Hansen

Made these tonight. They were very good. Falling off the bone tender. The broiling was a nice touch. I used store bought Paul Newman hickory smoked BBQ sauces. I did think they could have been a little more spicy and I think I will add more cayenne pepper and maybe some chili powder to the rib next time..

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Collette

I made these tonight with 3 lbs of ribs and added honey to the homemade sauce.  Just a little advice when cooking ribs in IP cook on pressure cook setting for 25 min for 3 lbs. and rest 10 minutes after. 40 min is too long.  The sauce and rub were out of this world good!  I will definitely make these again. ?

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Ken

This recipe makes some amazing ribs!!  I didn’t have the cider and substituted with agave.  Man they really turned out great!  Lovin’ my Instant Pot!

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Southerntaste

These were absolutely amazing! Fall off the bone & juicy! My husband said they were arguably the best ribs he ever had & we live in NC, the BBQ/rib capital! *Didn't try the rub or BBQ sauce recipe listed, I used my own. I also made the cooking liquid differently from items I had on hand. For example, white grape juice instead of apple juice and I didn't use liquid smoke. It turned out amazing nevertheless!

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Ruchi

Looks amazing! If I wanted to make these in advance for a dinner party would you recommend I keep the ribs in the instant pot and then take them out to put barbecue sauce on and broil when I’m ready to serve? Otherwise can I let the ribs naturally release, put sauce on them, put them back in instant pot to keep warm and then broil before serving? I’m new to instant pot ribs...I usually use the slow cooker:) Thanks so much!!!

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Well, this is a tricky one. First, if you remove them from the IP, you won't be able to put them back without breaking. What I would do is cook in the IP, remove from IP and cover well in foil on a baking sheet and set aside. Once ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the ribs covered for about 30 minutes. Uncover, cover with sauce and broil.

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Shannon

How do I adjust time if I prefer to do one rack of ribs only?

Reply

same time

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Donna Sollenberger

Is there a way to do these when still frozen??

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not really, wont be nearly as good

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Yolanda Metott

This recipe is awesome! I didn't have any barbecue sauce on hand so I made this recipe. I never make homemade barbecue sauces either, this was off the hook!! I could just drink it!! I truly recommend this i IP ribs and sauce!

Reply

Hello Yolanda, and thanks for visiting! We are soo happy that you have enjoyed this dish, it is truly flavorful and delicious. We also love it a lot! Thanks!

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Teresa

I just tried this with store bought bbq sauce and it was amazing. fall off the bone ribs!!  The kids love it it. I will def keep this in rotation and try to make my own sauce next time. 

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I am so happy that you loved it!

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Tracy

Helping a chef friend at their event. Brought home some leftover thawed raw ribs late at night. Couldn't refreeze... got home googled a recipe for cooking ribs in my instant pot. Picked this one because I had most of the ingredients for the rub. Missing a few so I substituted what I thought might work. Crammed those puppies in the pot. OMG!!!! These were soooo much better then the chefs 🤣 Tender, fall off the bone juicy! The family devoured them when they came out of the broiler at 11pm. Was going to give my chef friend one try but they were all gone. Thank you for an absolutely finger licking good recipe!

Reply

Thank you Tracy, we are really glad you have enjoyed this recipe. It is one of our favorite)))

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Michelle Kloczkowski

I made the “best pork ribs” and they were fall-off-the-bone delicious! I served them with corn on the cob drizzled w lemon, paprika butter. Thank-you for sharing this recipe. I’ll look for other inspiring recipes from you! 

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:) happy that you enjoyed these!

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Lau

Is the liquid smoke optional?

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yes

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Tamara

I put it on the slow cook setting for 7 hours. Do you think it will turn out just as delicious?

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It should :)

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Jeanne Grady

Fall off the bone ribs Don’t have an IP - how long would I cook in crockpot (Ninja)

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please check my recipe for Slow Cooker Ribs, you will love it.

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Stan

Did a half rack for 20 minutes with 10 minute release. Ribs were falling off the bone to the point of becoming pulled pork. Flavours were great though.

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Christine Chambers

Can I just use one rack with using the same amount of time?

Reply

yes

Reply

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