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Instant Pot

Char Siu-Style Baby Back Ribs

4 to 6 Servings

FAST: 1½ hours
Slow: 8½ to 9½ hours 25 minutes active, plus marinating

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A popular style of Cantonese barbecued meat, char siu means “fork roasted,” a reference to the traditional way it was prepared. Long, thin strips of pork cut from the shoulder or butt were marinated in a sweet, spiced sauce, then suspended from long forks around a fire and basted until deeply glazed. Today, you’ll find variations made with pork belly and even tenderloin, but we use baby back ribs and cook them in an Instant Pot. Pressure cook them quickly or slow cook them for several hours—it’s your choice. Finished with a sticky glaze and broiled in the oven, the ribs are deliciously and satisfyingly salty and sweet. Any type of molasses works, even blackstrap, so use whatever is convenient.

4 to 6



Don’t use pork spareribs. They’re larger than baby backs and won’t fit in the Instant Pot; they also require a slightly longer cooking time. Don’t skip the marinating step for the ribs—it infuses the meat with deep, rich flavor.

FAST: 1½ hours
Slow: 8½ to 9½ hours

25 minutes active, plus marinating



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Chris W.
May 26, 2024
10 Stars!
So awesome & change of pace doing a BBQ!
Andrew V.

If you have a regular (e.g. Fagor) pressure cooker, would the pressure settings and cooking time be the same for the fast version of this recipe?

Lynn C.

Hi Andrew -

We didn't test this recipe using a stovetop pressure cooker so, unfortunately, we don't know what the specifics would be. Typically, stovetop pressure cookers work faster than electric ones, though.

The Milk Street Team

nancy T.

Can you make them in a slow cooker or oven?

Lynn C.

Hi Nancy -

Unfortunately, we don't have a conventional recipe for the Char Siu-Style Ribs. If we were to modify this recipe we would probably do Step 1 as written (the marinating process) and then follow Step 3 from our recipe for Hoisin-Glazed Baby Back Ribs. Then broil as written in Step 3 of the Char-Siu Style Baby Back Ribs recipe. Since we haven't tested this we can't say for sure that it will work perfectly, but it should be pretty close! Good luck!

The Milk Street Team

Aimee G.

Hello, do I need to cut the cooking time in half if I reduce the amount of baby backs by half?

Lynn C.

Hi Aimee -

The cooking time should still be the same. Make sure that you keep the amount of water the same in order to prevent a burn warning.

The Milk Street Team