These Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Pork Spareribs are fork tender and melt in your mouth. The sauce is simple, and the cooking method quick with the help of an electric pressure cooker. More importantly, this pork ribs recipe is delicious even though it contains no fancy ingredients.
Instant Pot Pork Spare Ribs Recipe
This recipe is a home-run. End of statement. I would even venture to say these are the best instant pot pork ribs that I’ve ever had, maybe even the best pork ribs no matter what the cooking method.
The combination of the cooking method in the pressure cooker and the acid in the sauce breaks down the pork and results in the most tender cut of pork imaginable. I have never had a cut of pork come out this tender. My family practically applauded me after I made these for lunch.
Pork Spare Ribs in the Instant Pot is modified from a recipe called Lanai Spareribs in the meat edition of Favorite Recipes of American Home Economics Teachers. Those teachers know how to cook. I made a few changes so that I could make this in my Instant Pot, and I do this quite often to recipes in older cookbooks. My Instant Pot came with a cheat-sheet for the times it takes for different cuts of meat, vegetables and meat, so it is handy when modifying recipes!
Country-Style Pork Ribs 101
We love using country-style pork ribs. First off, they are very economical. We often find them marked down at Aldi. Two pounds of pork for $3, that’s cheap!
Secondly, boneless country-style pork ribs can be used in a variety of recipes such as Mom’s Pork Ribs in the Instant Pot, Island Sweet and Sour Pork (stove-top recipe), or you could substitute it for pork chops in recipes such as Baked Cranberry Pork Chops (oven recipe).
What is a country-style pork rib? It’s actually not a rib at all. They come from the blade end of the pork loin and contain part of the shoulder. You can find these bone-in or boneless.
All the other ingredients in this recipe are simple and were already in my refrigerator or pantry: onion, chopped peppers or pimentos (I always keep a few jars of these), butter, cornstarch, crushed pineapple, vinegar and soy sauce. Nothing fancy needed.
Notes about Instant Pot Pork Ribs recipe:
- We used an 8 qt. Instant Pot.
- I used chopped pimentos (drained). If you don’t have these, you could swap them for fresh chopped green or red pepper, or you leave them out altogether.
- This recipe calls for one 20.5 oz. can of crushed pineapple (undrained). If you don’t have one of these in the cabinet, but you have pineapple rings or chunks, you could absolutely swap. Just be sure to use the liquid too.
- We use the saute mode on our Instant Pot to soften the onions and pimentos in the butter first. If you wanted, you could do this in a skillet on the stove top.
- Be sure to season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper. This is a given for almost any recipe.
- When you add the pork spareribs, put the fat side up so that it renders the fat down and tenderizes the meat.
- Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. When you release the pressure, use the natural method for 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and turn the pressure cooker back to saute (or browning), and cook stirring constantly for another 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce.
- Sweet and Sour Pork Spare Ribs in the Instant Pot tastes great served over cooked rice.
How to Make Sweet and Sour Pork Spareribs in an Instant Pot:
Add butter to an electric pressure cooker insert. Turn on Saute mode, and melt. Add chopped onions and drained pimentos. Cook for approximately 2 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add crushed pineapple, cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce. Stir. Nestle seasoned (salt and pepper) boneless country style pork ribs fat side up. Put on the lid and seal. Cook using high pressure for 20 minutes. Release pressure the natural way for an additional 20 minutes. Remove lid. Change the mode to saute again, stirring constantly for approximately 5 more minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken and reduce.
Full recipe for Instant Pot Pork Ribs can be found below.
These Sweet and Sour Pork Spareribs are fork tender and melt in your mouth. The sauce is simple, and the cooking method quick with the help of an electric pressure cooker. More importantly, this recipe is delicious even though it contains no fancy ingredients.
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces chopped pimento (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 20.5 ounces crushed pineapple
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 pounds country-style pork spareribs
- salt and pepper
In an electric pressure cooker insert (or Instant Pot), melt butter on the saute mode. Add drained pimentos and onions. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until onions are soft.
Add crushed pineapple (not drained), cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce to the onions and stir.
Season pork spareribs generously with salt and pepper.
Nestle pork spareribs into the liquid fat side up. Put on the pressure cooker lid, and seal.
Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Let steam release using the natural release method for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and turn the pressure cooker back to saute mode for an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly to reduce the sauce.
Serve over rice.