Lia’s Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe

A pressure cooker makes this sublimely tender, shot-through-with-flavor-to-the-bone barbecue ribs recipe possible in under an hour using the same technique as our Last-Minute Corned Beef From Scratch. Given their quick and easy nature, and the proliferation of really good bottled barbecue sauces out there, I opted not to take the extra step of making a sauce from scratch. When choosing your sauce, look for as few ingredients as possible (ideally all “real” words) with real sugar or honey or molasses or maple syrup as a sweetener, rather than high fructose corn syrup.

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 racks baby back pork ribs
1 cup water
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
5 whole cloves
1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce (with “real” ingredients), divided

Mix together salt, coriander, pepper and allspice in a small bowl. Rub flesh side of both racks of ribs to coat with spice rub.

Pour water, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce into a pressure cooker ,and add onion, garlic and cloves. With the side that has the rib ends protruding facing down, gently coil rib racks to fit one inside the other in the pressure cooker. Secure lid and heat to high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes and then slow release.

While ribs are cooking, heat a grill for indirect heat (place a smoker tray with soaked and drained smoke chips directly over the heat if you like your ribs extra smoky). Pour 1 cup of barbecue sauce into a small bowl for basting ribs and heat the remaining 1/2 cup in a small saucepan over low heat to serve on the side.

When pressure has eased from the pressure cooker and any flames have subsided from the charcoal, carefully transfer ribs flesh-side up to the indirect heat area of the grill. Brush liberally with 1 cup barbecue sauce and grill, covered, 10 minutes. Turn over and baste again two more times (ending meat-side up) at ten minute intervals, for a total cooking time of 30 minutes.

Serve remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

PS – For an absolutely divine July 4th barbecue menu, serve these with Slow-Cooked Honey-Molasses Baked Beans; Skillet Corn Bread with Tomatoes and Sage; Tomato Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Bulgur; and Spicy Sweet Pickled Cucumbers. And finishing off with Cherry-Basil Buttermilk Sherbet wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. There’s no getting around the fact that pork ribs pack a lot of saturated fat and calories. I find I feel best when I load my plate with lighter goodies and leave room–on plate and in tummy–to revel fully in just 3-4 ribs.

Serves 8

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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

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