Pressure Cooker Sweet and Spicy Pork Spare Ribs

Tasty Ribs With A Chipotle Kick


When the Summer holidays roll around, sometimes us urban dwellers can feel a bit left out, what with no place to set up a grill. But I have found that I can make many of the typical outdoor foods in the pressure cooker, and still have plenty of flavor, in some cases, even better than outdoors.


Of course, if you miss the true “outdoor experience”, feel free to singe your eyebrows on your oven burner and release a jar full of bloodthirsty mosquitos in your apartment.


I used about 3 lbs. of pork spare ribs from the new local butcher shop (they don’t have a full website yet, but if you happen to live in the Santa Monica area, I highly recommend them). This should be enough for three or four people, depending on sides.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

I like to blend the sauce ingredients first, that way you can taste and adjust the seasonings before adding everything to the pressure cooker. Keep in mind that the sauce will be diluted somewhat by the beer.


Put the catsup, vinegar, soy sauce, chipotles and juice, garlic powder, cumin, garlic, cayenne, ancho chile powder, paprika, dijon mustard, liquid smoke and brown sugar in the blender (or put in a container and use immersion blender). Add salt and pepper to taste. I just want to stress that this recipe calls for two “canned” chipotles, not two “cans”. If you used two cans you would be breathing fire for the rest of the day.

Cut ribs into smaller sections to fit your pressure cooker. Heat oil in pressure cooker over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, sprinkle ribs with seasonings. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika.



Lightly brown the ribs on both sides.


Remove ribs to a plate and saute the onions until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for a couple minutes more.


Add 1 cup of dark beer (a porter or stout is best), scraping up any tasty bits off the bottom of the pan. I suppose you could add the entire bottle, but I wanted a little treat while I was slaving away in the kitchen.

Put ribs in the pan on top of onions, the pour the bbq sauce over the top of the ribs.


Place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure. When high pressure is reached, lower the heat to maintain pressure, set timer for 20 minutes, then sit down and enjoy that 4 oz. of beer!


When timer sounds, remove pressure cooker from heat. Let sit for five minutes, then do a quick release.

Transfer ribs to a rimmed baking sheet.


Put in oven for ten minutes. While ribs are in oven, put cooker over medium-high heat to reduce sauce a little.


When ten minutes are up, take ribs from oven. Put on plates for serving and top with some of the sauce from the pressure cooker.

Serve with sides such as my German Potato Salad, with some baked beans and sweet corn!


Pressure Cooker Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3-4
Pork spare ribs with a sweet and spicy, smokey sauce
  • 3 lbs. pork spare ribs
  • 1½ cups catsup (preferably without corn syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles
  • 2 teaspoons of the chipotle sauce from the can
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup dark beer (porter or stout)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Prepare sauce by combining catsup, vinegar, soy sauce, chipotle chiles and sauce, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, ancho chile powder, dijon mustard, liquid smoke, brown sugar and some salt and pepper. Blend until combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (you can skip this step if you like).
  3. Heat oil in pressure cooker pan. Lightly brown ribs on both sides.
  4. Remove ribs to a plate.
  5. Saute onions until translucent.
  6. Add garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes.
  7. Pour in the beer, scraping up the bits that are stuck to the bottom.
  8. Lay ribs in pan on top of onions.
  9. Add the bay leaf.
  10. Pour BBQ sauce on top of ribs.
  11. Place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
  12. Lower heat to maintain high pressure
  13. Set timer for 20 min.
  14. When timer sounds, remove from heat.
  15. Let pressure come down on its own for five minutes, then do a quick release.
  16. Transfer ribs to a rimmed baking sheet and put in preheated oven for ten minutes.
  17. While ribs are in oven, put pressure cooker pan over medium-high heat and let simmer until desired thickness is reached.
  18. When ten minutes is up, put ribs on plates.
  19. Top with thickened sauce.