This Could Be Your New Favorite Way to Make Ribs

The best way to make ribs in the summer is with your Instant Pot or multi-cooker. The whole process takes less than an hour, and while the ribs cook you can relax in the yard or pool. Because they are finished on the grill, this recipe is also great to make a day ahead and grill at a backyard gathering. Read on for the how-to.

Instant Pot Fennel-Rubbed Pork Ribs

Tender, succulent baby back ribs in under an hour? Yes! Start with our Berkshire Pork Baby Back Ribs and add a sweet, licoricey fennel rub and a splash of apple juice for succulent results. This easy Instant Pot recipe produces moist and flavorful ribs quickly – making it perfect for a weeknight meal or weekend entertaining.



2 racks Berkshire Pork Baby Back Ribs
Kosher salt
1½ tablespoons freshly ground fennel seeds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fennel pollen


  1. Prep the ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the rack, then cut into individual ribs by slicing between each bone. Leave at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon salt, ground fennel seeds, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and several grinds of black pepper. Add ribs and toss in spice mixture, using your hands to make sure all the ribs are evenly coated.
  3. Place the ribs in the Instant Pot neatly in 2 layers. Add apple juice and soy sauce.
  4. Close and lock the lid and turn the release valve to sealed position. Cook the ribs on high pressure for 25 minutes; turn the Instant Pot off and ‘Quick Release’ steam.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium-high, direct flame. Or if not grilling, preheat broiler to high.
  6. Transfer ribs to a sheet pan and set aside. Use the ‘saute’ function on the instant pot to reduce the cooking liquid by half. Brush ribs with liquid. Grill the meat-side down (or broil meat-side up) until nicely caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons salt and fennel pollen. Lightly sprinkle fennel salt over ribs before serving.

Recipe Tips: These ribs can be pressure cooked up to a day ahead – follow steps 1-4 then refrigerate both the ribs and sauce until ready to grill the next day. While serving 4 as a main course, these ribs make an excellent party appetizer and will feed about 8. Garnish with fresh fennel fronds for a festive touch.

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