Instant Pot Whiskey Hoisin BBQ Ribs

February 28, 2018Van
Blog post

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 31 minutes

Serves: 2

Dennis’ Famous Whiskey Hoisin Ribs

One of the perks to being married to my husband is enjoying the company of his Godparents. Visiting them at their home in beautiful Vancouver BC always leads to numerous culinary adventures—from the best fish and chips at Pajo’s in Steveston, to the amazing home cooked meals from Uncle Dennis. Dennis and his wife Kareen have been friends with my husbands family for over half a century. It’s a bond that transcends generations.

On our visits up north my husband loves to go on long walks with Dennis–sometimes up to eight miles. These walks usually end at a grocery store where my husband is taught the proper way to select the best ear of corn, or the sweetest apple.

Dennis has that rare ability to make everybody happy and calm, refusing to speak bad about anyone and focusing only on the positive. These Whiskey Hoisin Ribs are his invention and I was lucky enough that he taught me how to make his recipe. I love them so much, that years later I’m adapting it here for the Instant Pot.

At first glance its a traditional bbq baby back rib, but upon closer inspection its laced with a depth of flavor uncommon in traditional backyard bbq. From the sticky caramelized hoisin glaze, to the subtle taste of scotch whisky—this is the apex of taste bud heaven. They are visually stunning from the honey which gives the glaze the most beautiful sheen. Garnish them with sesame seeds that give it a nutty prelude and a subtle crunch. These will surely impress anyone you make them for!

Instant Pot Whiskey Hoisin BBQ Ribs Recipe

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Instant Pot Whiskey Hoisin BBQ Ribs

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 31 minutes
  • Serves: 2


Whiskey Hoisin BBQ Sauce

  • 1 Rack Baby Back Ribs
  • ½ Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 Teaspoons Whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Pickle Juice

Dry Rub Seasoning

  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Paprika

For the Cooking Liquid

  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke, optional


  • Sesame Seeds, optional


  • 1)

    In a bowl, add ½ Cup Hoisin, 4 Teaspoons Whiskey, 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Honey, 3 Finely Minced Garlic Cloves, 2 Tablespoons Pickle Juice and mix well, then set aside.

  • 2)

    Remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs if you prefer. In a small bowl mix 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, ½ Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper, ¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder and ½ Teaspoon Paprika and sprinkle onto the top and bottom of the ribs, rub it in well.

  • 3)

    Add 1 Cup of Water for the 6 Qt or 1½ Cups of Water for the 8 Qt and 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke (optional) into the Instant Pot and place the trivet into the pot. You can cut the rack in half or thirds and stack them on top of each other or place the full rack standing up so it wraps around the pot.

  • 4)

    Seal the lid and switch the knob to “Sealing”. Set the Instant Pot to High Pressure / Manual for 16 Minutes. Preheat your oven to 425°F at this point. Once the timer is up and you hear the beep, wait an additional 15 minutes while it releases the pressure naturally, then move the knob to “Venting” to release the rest of the pressure and open your lid once the pin drops.

  • 5)

    Cover you baking sheet with foil for an easy clean up. Place the ribs onto the baking sheet and brush the bbq sauce on generously on the bottom and top of the ribs. Place onto the top rack of your oven for about 15 minutes or until the sauce caramelizes and thickens. Brush the sauce onto the ribs 2-3 times while it’s in the oven so it builds a thick shiny coating of the sauce. Brush on one last coasting of sauce before serving and sprinkle some sesame seeds as a garnish. Enjoy!


If you don’t have an Instant Pot and would like to make these. You can wrap the ribs well with foil and place ribs, meat side down on a baking sheet. Cook the ribs in the oven at 250°F for about 2-2.5 hours. Then drain the liquid and the fat and brush the sauce on the top an bottom, have the ribs sitting meaty side up and increase the heat to 350°F and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes baste the ribs with the sauce every 10 minutes.





  • Xuyen Huynh

    December 20, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Thanks for the recipe! Can you tell me how big a rack of baby back ribs is. I want to try the recipe and plan to buy back ribs at Costco. It comes with a very big packet.

    1. Van

      December 20, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Hi Xuyen, baby back ribs usually have 12 or 13 ribs, if I remember correctly, the Costco pack has 3 racks of ribs. You can also use the St. Louis or Pork Loin back ribs. You can also cook two racks at once in the Instant Pot, keep the same cooking time and double the sauce recipe.

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