Baby Back Ribs – Ottawa Rib Fest
Just two Saturdays ago, Ottawa had its yearly summer Rib Fest. Eric and I decided to venture downtown to check out the sights and aromas of this famous and very popular tradition. We were not disappointed. One cannot resist the smell of barbecue. Even wandering in your local neighbourhood can send wafts of goodness floating your way. And once your nose gets hit with the smoky grill vapours, it is all you can think about, sending you straight to the market for baby back ribs.
Ribs were not the only thing on the menu. I was drooling over chickens and sausages and curious spiralized potatoes on sticks.
We saw one dozen competitors from various states. Trophies and awards were displayed on tables, as well as ‘ribbons’ stating prizes were posted up and down their billboards.
Meat and meat and meat… And chickens… And sausages… I think I salivated for 2 hours straight!
Ottawa’s choice? Camp 31 – Alabama’s own. And while we may be in a tiff with our southern neighbors at the moment, you cannot deny, they make hands down fabulous bbq! Theirs was lusciously moist, smoky and sweet. They won all three categories this year.
Of course, after spending the day smelling that goodness for hours, we decided to have a mini fest of our own.
We used the Instant Pot to cut down on cooking time, as we had wasted so much of it wandering. If you like slow cooker ribs but are short of the hours needed [or slept too late o.O] the Instant Pot is a dream. Did you know it’s also Ottawa made?
We use Ted Reader’s Bone Dust dry spice mix which you can find below, but you can use the following as well if you like yours milder… Play with your spice!
Eric’s BBQ sauce is adapted from several that we have tried.
1/4 cup molasses
1 cups ketchup [or even your favourite bbq sauce]
5 Tbsp vinegar [apple cider works nicely]
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder [NOT SALT]
1 Tbsp cornstarch + water to thicken.
Sauce 2: KETO adapted
1 cup canned tomato sauce or puree (8-9 ounces)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup powdered erythritol sweetener
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Rob, this last pic is for you!
This recipe from Spend with Pennies shares all you need to know time-wise for the Instant Pot.
- 1 rack baby back ribs (about 1 1/2- 2lbs)
- 1 cup broth (or water)
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 6 tablespoons dry rub – see below recipe for another adaptation
- barbecue sauce (optional)
- 2 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- Rinse ribs and pat dry. Remove the thin membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Cut slab into 2-3 pieces (enough so they fit into the Instant Pot) and coat with dry rub massaging it into the meat.
- Place trivet (or rack) in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Add broth or water and liquid smoke if using.
- Set ribs upright on the trivet (so they are not stacked on top of one another). Sprinkle with onion and garlic.
- Close lid and select manual pressure and set the timer for 23 minutes (25 minutes if they’re extra meaty). Once done, allow the instant pot to natural release for 5 minutes.
- Open valve to release remaining pressure.
- Brush with barbecue sauce (or olive oil/salt/pepper for dry ribs) and broil or grill until slightly charred.
1⁄2 cup paprika
1⁄4 cup chili powder
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons white sugar – to make this a Keto spice rub, substitute white sugar for Stevia / Erithritol.
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons dry hot mustard
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground basil
1 tablespoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne
Mix all ingredients together and store in a jar until ready to use.
Rub on chicken, beef, or pork before barbequing.