Can Country Ribs Be Used For Pulled Pork? An Expert’s Guide

Are you a fan of pulled pork but don’t want to commit to a large cut of meat like a pork shoulder or butt?

Have you ever wondered if country-style ribs could be used instead?

Well, wonder no more!

In this article, we’ll explore the versatility of country-style ribs and whether they can be used to make delicious pulled pork.

From Instant Pot recipes to slow cooker cheats, we’ve got you covered.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of country-style ribs and pulled pork.

Can Country Ribs Be Used For Pulled Pork?

The short answer is yes, country-style ribs can be used for pulled pork.

Country-style ribs are meaty bone-in pork chops that are cut from the shoulder end of the loin. This means that they are located in the same area as the pork shoulder and butt, which are commonly used for pulled pork.

While country-style ribs may not yield as much meat as a larger cut, they can still be cooked to perfection and provide a delicious pulled pork experience.

There are many recipes out there that use country-style ribs for pulled pork, including Instant Pot recipes and slow cooker cheats. These recipes often involve a dry rub and some sort of liquid, such as bottled smoke or barbecue sauce, to help tenderize and flavor the meat.

One thing to keep in mind when using country-style ribs for pulled pork is that they may cook faster than larger cuts of meat. This means that you’ll want to keep an eye on them and adjust cooking times accordingly.

What Are Country-Style Ribs?

Country-style ribs are a type of pork cut that are often confused with actual ribs, but they are not true ribs at all. Instead, they are cut from the shoulder area of the pig, specifically the fatty, muscular section of the shoulder blade near the loin. This area is also where pork shoulder and butt cuts are located, which are commonly used for pulled pork.

Country-style ribs can be sold bone-in or boneless, and if they do have a bone, it is not a rib bone but rather the scapula or shoulder blade. They are called ribs because they have a similar flavor and consistency to standard ribs, but they are meatier and have more fat marbling. This makes them easier to cook on the grill or in a crockpot than traditional bone-in ribs.

There are different types of country-style pork ribs, including rib chops and shoulder ribs. Rib chops come from the shoulder end of the loin, while shoulder ribs come from the butt and have shoulder bones instead of rib bones. They can be grilled, smoked, or cooked in a crockpot like pork chops rather than actual ribs to prevent overcooking.

The Difference Between Pork Shoulder And Country-Style Ribs

While country-style ribs and pork shoulder are both located in the same area of the pig, there are some key differences between the two cuts.

Country-style ribs are actually cuts of pork chops that are located near the shoulder end of the loin. They have a lot of meat on the bones and are often sold bone-in or boneless. On the other hand, pork shoulder is a larger cut of meat that comes from the upper part of the pig’s front leg. It is a tougher cut of meat that requires longer cooking times to become tender and juicy.

Because of their size and location, pork shoulder is often used for pulled pork recipes, while country-style ribs are more commonly grilled or smoked like pork chops. However, as mentioned earlier, country-style ribs can still be used for pulled pork and can provide a delicious alternative to larger cuts of meat.

It’s important to note that when using country-style ribs for pulled pork, you may need to adjust cooking times and techniques to ensure that the meat becomes tender and falls off the bone. Additionally, since country-style ribs have less fat than pork shoulder, you may need to add extra liquid or fat to keep the meat moist during cooking.

Instant Pot Country-Style Ribs Pulled Pork Recipe

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make pulled pork using country-style ribs, look no further than your Instant Pot. Here’s a step-by-step recipe to get you started:


– 3.5 to 4 lbs country-style ribs

– 1 cup chicken broth

– 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

– 1 tbsp liquid smoke

– 1 onion, sliced

– Salt and pepper to taste


1. Season the country-style ribs generously with salt and pepper.

2. Turn on the saute mode on your Instant Pot or heat a pan over medium heat if you don’t have that mode.

3. Sear the country-style ribs on all sides until browned.

4. Remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and set them aside.

5. Pour in the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke into the Instant Pot.

6. Add the sliced onion on top of everything.

7. Place the seared country-style ribs back into the Instant Pot.

8. Secure the lid and pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.

9. After the cook time is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes.

10. Quick release any remaining pressure.

11. Carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and transfer them to a sheet pan.

12. Preheat your oven to the high broil setting.

13. In a small mixing bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, and optional light brown sugar or honey.

14. Use a basting brush to coat the country-style ribs generously with the barbecue sauce mixture.

15. Broil the ribs on high for 2-3 minutes, until the barbecue sauce starts to bubble.

16. Remove from oven and shred with forks.

17. Serve hot with your favorite sides.

This Instant Pot recipe is a great way to make delicious pulled pork using country-style ribs in a fraction of the time it would take in a slow cooker or smoker. The combination of searing, pressure cooking, and broiling results in tender, juicy meat with a flavorful crust that’s perfect for sandwiches, tacos, or just on its own. Try it out for your next meal or gathering!

Slow Cooker Country-Style Ribs Pulled Pork Recipe

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy way to make pulled pork using country-style ribs, then this slow cooker recipe is perfect for you. Here’s what you’ll need:


– 3 lbs. boneless country-style pork ribs

– 1 bottle of barbecue sauce

– 1/4 cup of smoky pork spice rub (paprika, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dry mustard)

– 1/2 cup of water

– Optional: sliced onions for extra flavor


1. Pour half a bottle of barbecue sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker.

2. In a small bowl, combine the smoky pork spice rub ingredients and mix well.

3. Cut the pork into 3-inch chunks and sprinkle each chunk with the rub, coating each side.

4. Place the rubbed pork chunks into the slow cooker on top of the barbecue sauce.

5. Add the optional sliced onions on top of the pork for extra flavor.

6. Pour 1/2 cup of water over everything in the slow cooker.

7. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 6-8 hours until the pork is tender and easily shreds with a fork.

8. Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it with two forks.

9. Pour the remaining barbecue sauce over the shredded pork and mix well.

10. Serve on buns with your favorite toppings, such as coleslaw or pickles.

This slow cooker country-style ribs pulled pork recipe is easy to make and yields tender and flavorful pulled pork that’s perfect for sandwiches or as a main dish. Enjoy!

Tips And Tricks For Perfect Pulled Pork With Country-Style Ribs

Here are some tips and tricks for achieving perfect pulled pork with country-style ribs:

1. Choose the right cut: Look for meaty, bone-in country-style ribs that are well-marbled with fat. This will ensure that the meat stays moist and tender during cooking.

2. Use a dry rub: A good dry rub will season the meat and help to create a flavorful crust. Be generous with the rub, making sure to coat all sides of the meat.

3. Add liquid: Country-style ribs can be prone to drying out during cooking, so it’s important to add some sort of liquid to keep them moist. This can be anything from water or broth to beer or barbecue sauce.

4. Cook low and slow: For fall-apart tender meat, country-style ribs need to be cooked low and slow. This means using a slow cooker or oven set to a low temperature (around 275-300°F) for several hours.

5. Rest before pulling: Once the meat is cooked, let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes before pulling it apart with two forks. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more flavorful and tender.

6. Serve with sauce: Pulled pork is best served with a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce. You can use store-bought sauce or make your own by mixing together ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.

7. Store leftovers properly: Leftover pulled pork can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, place it in a covered dish with some of the reserved cooking liquid and heat in a low oven until warmed through.