This delicious rack of smoky Instant Pot barbecue ribs is low-carb and keto friendly. The pressure cooker method guarantees tender, fall-off-the-bone meat perfect for BBQ affairs and finishing up in the smoker, on the grill or in the oven with your favourite sauce.
The recipe for these mouthwatering smoky pork ribs comes from Urvashi Pitre’s cookbook, The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook. You’ll get perfectly tender smoked ribs in under 2 hours, with minimal hands-on time. Plus, this recipe is low in sugar and carbs, so you can enjoy it guilt-free with your favourite side salad.
Before you start
This recipe for these smoky ribs requires two things: a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot and a smoker (ideally). The author mentions that you can use the 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot and she was able to fit a rack in her Mini, you just have to cut it into four pieces. She uses an electric smoker (great for keto and low-carb cooking) to finish the ribs after pressure cooking and to give them that irresistible smoky flavour, but you can also broil the ribs with your favourite sauce or crisp them up in the oven.
Urvashi uses the hot smoking method, which means the temperature is set to about 225F – 250F / 110-120 C, and adds wood chips for extra flavour and aroma.
You might already have a barbecue rub or Mexican-spice rub in your pantry but if you don’t, we can’t recommend this brand enough! It has no added sugar, no MSG or added colours/flavours, and it’s gluten-free. It’s a best-seller on Amazon too, so it’s worth trying. This is the same rub the author likes to use.
The recipe also calls for a prepared low-carb barbecue sauce. There are actually quite a few brands of keto friendly barbecue sauce out there, so it might be easier to purchase a bottle or two to have on hand. This brand on Amazon gets pretty good reviews and is sweetened with stevia. You can also make your own low-carb sauce using this recipe.Print
- 2 tablespoons barbecue rub or Mexican-spice rub (we like this brand)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 rack pork baby back ribs, about 2 pounds
For smoking the ribs
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup wood chips
For broiling the ribs
- 1/3 cup prepared low-carb barbecue sauce (like this)
- If you’re using a smoker, preheat it to 225 F / 110 C. (If you do not have a smoker, skip this and broil the ribs at the end of cooking; see notes below).
- Remove the white membrane from the bottom of the ribs. The easiest (and, really, the only effective) way to do this is to use a paper towel to grab one end of the membrane before you start to pull. With the other hand, hold the rack in place until the membrane is released.
- Season the ribs with a rub of your choice.
- Pour the water and vinegar into the inner cooking pot of the Instant Pot, then place a trivet or steamer rack in the pot.
- Coil the ribs on the trivet so they are standing up one end. If using Instant Pot Mini, cut the ribs into four pieces and place them on the trivet standing up.
- Place the IP lid back on top, close and seal. Set to HIGH pressure and cook for 20 minutes, then allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release all remaining pressure using the Quick Release method (carefully point the sealing valve to Venting and wait until all the pressure is out and the lid is easy to open). Remove the ribs very carefully using a pair of kitchen tongs. At this stage, the ribs will simply look like they’ve been boiled (not super appetising) but we’re not done yet so just hang on!
- If smoking the ribs, place a cup of water in the water pan of your smoker. Place the cooked ribs on the smoker rack. Add the wood chips and allow the ribs to smoke for 30 mins to an hour until they are browned, and acquire a smoky flavour. Brush with your favourite BBQ sauce at the end, if you like.
- If you don’t have a smoker, preheat the broil/grill in your oven to very hot (400 F / 200 C for the oven) or set to high. Place the precooked ribs on a flat baking tray covered with some baking/parchment paper or foil and brush with the sauce (if using) on both sides. Broil for about 10 minutes, until browned and caramelised. Alternatively, simply finish the ribs in a very hot oven for 10-15 minutes, until browned.