Super moist and tender pork ribs are first prepared in an instant pot and then brushed with a homemade chipotle tequila barbecue sauce. The ribs are then tossed on the grill until that delicious sauce becomes hot, sticky, and stuck to those gorgeous ribs by means of beautiful grill marks. Are you drooling yet?
Lord Byron’s Kitchen is no stranger to rib recipes. The most popular are my Copycat Chinese Dry Garlic Ribs. That one is followed closely by my Family Style BBQ Ribs. And, just recently, I published my Bourbon Pork Ribs, which seems to be gaining traction as well. These Chipotle Tequila Pork Ribs have some stiff competition!
All of those other ribs have one thing in common. They are all baked in the oven. Each of those recipes requires a slow baking time at a low temperature. I don’t mind spending two or three hours cooking ribs, but I know some people don’t have time for that. Allow me to introduce these instant pot ribs! No need to wait two or three hours anymore!
Disclaimer: The instant pot is used to cook the ribs with a seasoning that will permeate the meat. You can eat them just like that, or you can baste and grill them. The sauce is applied after the instant pot has done its job. I take the ribs a bit further and coat them in a homemade sauce before grilling them on high heat to get those grill marks we all love to see on grilled meat.
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TYPES OF RIBS
I have friends and family who much prefer beef over pork. To me, that is just blasphemy! No matter the cut or how expensive the beef was, if sitting next to pork, I’d pick the pork first. To me, it has way more flavour and stays more tender and moist. It’s also much less costly!
Can you use beef ribs in this recipe rather than pork ribs? Absolutely! In fact, you go ahead and treat them the exact same way. I do find that beef ribs are typically chewier than pork ribs. You can cook them both the same way. Beef ribs tend to be much bigger and meatier as well. Other than taste and texture, the biggest difference is the price. Pork ribs are much cheaper.
Personally, I find that beef ribs cook faster than pork ribs in an instant pot. These pork ribs are cooked for 23 minutes. I would cook beef ribs for 20 minutes only.
DON’T HAVE AN INSTANT POT OR GRILL?
If you don’t have an instant pot, then you can cook these ribs in your oven. Obviously, the 30-minute deal goes out the window! To cook these ribs in the oven, follow the instructions in the recipe card below. But, instead of layering in an instant pot, place ribs in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Tightly cover with foil and bake for two hours at 300 degrees F. Remove from the oven and discard the foil cover. Bake for thirty more minutes. Finally, remove the ribs again, sauce them, and return to the oven for fifteen minutes. Turn each rib over, add more sauce, and bake for another fifteen minutes. That’s it!
OTTAWA VALLEY MEATS
I found the ribs you see in the photos at Ottawa Valley Meats. The beef ribs are sourced from local farms dedicated to naturally raising heritage pigs in a free-range environment, these pigs are forest-finished for an undeniably enhanced flavour. Like all of their products, these ribs are completely antibiotic and hormone-free, and given vegetable feed with no soy products. Each order of pork ribs is professionally butchered, quickly flash-frozen and vacuum-packed.
If you are in Ontario, be sure to check out Ottawa Valley Meats. I absolutely love the quality of the beef, as well as the chicken and the seafood too! The prices are very competitive and they deliver right to your door! It’s a great way to stock up, especially with the upcoming colder months when everyone seems to cook heartier meals!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Pork Ribs – You can use baby pork back ribs or pork spare ribs.
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper
- Vegetable Stock – I always have vegetable stock on hand, so that is what I used. You can use chicken stock or beef stock.
- Vinegar – Cider vinegar is perfect with pork. You can substitute with white wine vinegar or rice vinegar.
- Tomato Paste – This might seem a little odd, but trust me on this!
- Tequila – This sauce will work with other alcohols too if you don’t happen to have tequila on hand. Bourbon would be a great option, so would Jack Daniels!
- Rice Vinegar – If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- BBQ Spice Rub – A good Basic BBQ Spice Rub should be in every cook’s pantry. Use it liberally on pork, chicken, or beef for a bold, smoky, sweet, and spicy flavour. Perfect for grilling, frying, and roasting! I have a great recipe here!
- Parsley – For garnish and freshness.
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A SEASONING WITH MANY USES!
Contrary to what you might think, a spice rub is not only for rubbing into ribs or pork before you smoke them. A rub can be used in so many ways! Once you have this rub in your pantry, get ready for a whole lot of flavour in many of your mains and sides.
Obviously, you can use it as intended. Rub it over chicken, beef, pork, etc. Cover it and let it sit in the fridge so that the rub can really permeate the meat. Then, cook according to your liking. It screams grilling, right? But, what if you don’t have a grill? Here are some options.
Stir some of the spice rub mixture into the water when cooking rice. Plain rice is great, but spice rub seasoned rice is wonderful! Add a teaspoon or so to a pasta salad. It’s as easy as whisking the spice rub into the mayonnaise or sour cream before tossing it with the cooked pasta.
The same method can be applied to sour cream-based dips. Whisk in the rub to make a fast, easy, and delicious dip. Try placing some of the spice rub into a mason jar. Pour in some olive oil. Put the lid on and shake it until well mixed. Pour the dressing over greens or drizzle it over roasted or grilled vegetables. So much flavour!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE A BBQ SPICE RUB
- Paprika – This is the most dominant spice in this mix, meaning that the volume used is larger than any other ingredient. It adds flavour, a bit of smokiness, and great colour too!
- Brown Sugar – Just enough to add sweetness and help with caramelization.
- Dry Mustard – There is really no substitute for this. If you don’t have dry mustard, I would advise you to not make this recipe.
- Garlic Powder – Every spice rub needs a bit of garlic, right!?
- Seasonings – Salt and black pepper.
Measure all of the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk them together until they are well dispersed. The spice is ready to use immediately. Otherwise, you can transfer it to a clean mason jar. Place a lid on it and store it in your pantry for up to three months.
Lord Byron’s Notes
If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, these ribs can be prepared on a stovetop grill pan, an electric grill, or even a panini press!
HOW TO MAKE CHIPOTLE TEQUILA PORK RIBS
COOKING THE RIBS
Start by removing the membrane on the back of the ribs. Pat them all dry with paper towels and set them in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the salt and pepper. Next, ensure your trivet or steam rack is in your instant pot. Pour in the stock and vinegar.
Lay both racks into the instant pot in a standing, circular fashion. Basically, the racks will sit on their sides and form to the inside of the pot. Close and seal the instant pot. Pressure cook on high for 23 minutes. Once done, allow the steam to release naturally for five minutes. Then, carefully open the valve to let the remaining pressure out.
PREPARING THE SAUCE
While the ribs are cooking in the instant pot, prepare the sauce. It’s super easy to do! Measure the tomato paste, tequila, rice vinegar, and the BBQ spice rub into a bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
FINISHING THE RIBS ON THE GRILL
At this point, the ribs are fully cooked and you can eat them. However, to fully get the rib experience, I would highly recommend you add sauce and place the ribs on the grill. It will just take a few minutes!
Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet or large platter. Using a pastry brush, coat both sides of the rib racks with the sauce. Be careful, because the ribs are already very tender. Try to keep the bone in the meat to make grilling easier. Once the grill is hot, place each rack onto the grill, and allow it to cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Carefully flip the ribs over using tongs and cook for 4 minutes more. Once you’re happy with the grill marks, get the ribs off the grill and serve immediately.
If using an indoor stovetop or electric grill, the same cooking process applies. Once the ribs are slightly charred, remove them from the grill immediately. Please note that I used an outdoor grill. You can also use a panini press too. Be sure to fully preheat the grill first, otherwise, the ribs will be overcooked.
I’m one of those people who feel that a meal isn’t complete without sides. And, to be honest, it’s the biggest thing I struggle with. I have no issues whatsoever with deciding on the main dish, but preparing sides is not something I enjoy much at all.
Since I do 99% of the cooking, I feel that I should make the decisions. Ha! But, because I want everyone else to be happy too, the side dish struggle creeps in. I grew up eating carb-filled sides, so those are what I gravitate toward.
John.e is a vegetarian who wants broccoli with every meal. McKenna is a picky teen who doesn’t care for side veggies or rice. Her idea of a side is mashed potato – with everything!
With that said, there are two sides that all three of us agree on. One of those is coleslaw. It’s usually deemed a summer side dish, but we like it so much that I make it often. The second is fries or potato wedges. We don’t eat these too often, but a few times a year, I’ll give in and make one or the other.
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Chipotle Tequila Pork Ribs
- 2 racks pork ribs
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons tequila
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons BBQ Spice Rub
- chopped parsley for garnish
- Start by removing the membrane on the back of the ribs. Pat them dry with paper towels and lay them out onto a large cutting board or baking rack.
- Sprinkle over the salt and ground black pepper on both sides.
- Next, ensure your trivet or steam rack is in your instant pot. Pour in the stock and vinegar.
- Lay both racks into the instant pot in a standing, circular fashion. Basically, the racks will sit on their sides and form to the inside of the pot.
- Close and seal the instant pot. Pressure cook on high for 23 minutes. Once done, allow the steam to release naturally for five minutes. Then, carefully open the valve to let the remaining pressure out.
- While the ribs are cooking in the instant pot, prepare the sauce. It’s super easy to do! Measure the tomato paste, tequila, rice vinegar, and the BBQ spice rub into a bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Preheat grill to 450 degrees F.
- Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet or large platter. Using a pastry brush, coat both sides of the rib racks with the sauce. Be careful, because the ribs are already very tender. Try to keep the bone in the meat to make grilling easier.
- Once the grill is hot, place each rack onto the grill, and allow it to cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Carefully flip the ribs over using tongs and cook for 4 minutes more. Once you’re happy with the grill marks, get the ribs off the grill and serve immediately.
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