These Instant Pot Ribs are so tender, flavorful, and delicious, it’s really hard to believe they cook in just about 30 minutes! Another great, easy recipe made with your pressure cooker.

 Tender BBQ pork ribs cooked in the instant pot in just 30 minutes!

Instant Pot Ribs

Cooking tender, bbq ribs at home is one of those dinners that will always, always make me feel like a rock-star for how amazing they turn out, and how little work was required on my part.

My go-to ribs recipe is usually these slow cooker ribs, but the instant pot also makes fantastic ribs and it’s perfect for those of us that don’t always plan dinner out early enough to pull the slow cooker out in the morning.

My favorite quality about the instant pot (and the area where the instant pot really shines) is how it can take hefty cuts of meat and cook them to tender in such a short amount of time.  These instant pot ribs are the perfect examples of the type recipe that cooks GREAT in the pressure cooker or instant pot.

How to make Instant Pot Ribs:

  1. Season the ribs all over with a dry spice rub.
  2. Add liquid to the bottom of the instant pot.
  3. Curl the ribs around the instant pot, with the meat side facing out. If your ribs are already cut in sections then stand them up in the same manner, lining them up around the pot.
  4. Cook them on high pressure. Cooking times will vary just slightly depending on the type of ribs you use, your elevation, and if you want them tender to the bite, or fall-off-the-bone tender.

Ribs seasoned with a dry rub and then curled around the inner pot of an instant pot pressure cooker.

When the ribs are finished cooking you can slather them in your favorite store-bought or homemade bbq sauce.

I also like to stick them under the broiler for just a few minutes, to let the bbq sauce caramelize and char a little bit. YUM!

A rack of ribs brushed with bbq sauce and then cut into sections

Tips for the perfect instant pot ribs:

What type of ribs to use:

I prefer baby back ribs but you can also use spare ribs. It’s important to not that your cooking time will vary, depending on your altitude and what type of ribs you choose.

How long to cook ribs in the instant pot or pressure cooker:

  • Baby Back Ribs: 25-30 Minutes
  • Spare Ribs: 30-35 Minutes
    • For low altitude, use the lower number, and for high altitude cook them a little longer.
    • Also, the longer you cook them, the more “fall-off-the-bone tender they will be. If you want them tender, without falling off the bone, use a slightly lower cook time.

What size instant pot for instant pot ribs?

Any 6 quart or larger instant pot will work!

Removing the membrane from the ribs:

Depending on where you buy your ribs, they may still have the white, shiny membrane connective tissue on the back (bone side) of the ribs. I buy mine from Costco and they already have the membranes removed. Check to make sure the membrane on your ribs has been removed and if it hasn’t, follow these steps to remove it:

  • Just flip the ribs so the top (meaty part) is face down. 
  • Slide your fingers or a butter knife under the membrane and rip it off.
  • No special skills needed here, just use your fingers to yank it up and off the ribs.
Consider serving with a Side Dish.  Here are some of my favorites:

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Recipe

Tender BBQ pork ribs cooked in the instant pot in just 30 minutes!
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 10 mins
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Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 racks pork ribs (*see note below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple juice , or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke , optional*
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce , homemade or store-bought (*see note)

Instructions
 

  • Remove membranes from the back of ribs, if needed.
  • Rubs seasonings over both sides of ribs.
  • Place wire trivet rack in the bottom of the instant pot.
  • Add water, apple juice (or apple cider vinegar) and liquid smoke (optional, but recommended for that great smokey flavor).
  • Place the ribs upright, with the meat side facing out. If you’re using one large rack of ribs, then circle them around the pot.
  • Secure lid and close vent.
  • Press “manual” or “pressure cook” and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  • When the timer beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 min, then turn the valve to quick release.
  • Carefully remove ribs to a large, foil-lined baking sheet and slather them in BBQ sauce.
  • Optional: broil them in the oven for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the bbq sauce.

Notes

*For spare ribs, add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time (high number for higher altitudes and very “fall-off-the-bone” ribs, lower number for lower altitude and tender ribs).
*Liquid smoke can be found near the bbq sauces at your local grocery store. It will add an amazing smokey flavor to the ribs.
*For the BBQ sauce I prefer Sweet Baby Ray’s original, or this homemade bbq sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 14gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 456mgPotassium: 350mgSugar: 15gVitamin A: 90IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 0.9mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    They were falling g off the bone tender, very full of flavor. It was first try with Instant pot. Will definitely make again!

  2. 5 stars
    Hello, thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I’ve made these baby back ribs in the instant pot many times, and it has always turned out fall-off-the-bones tender. But I cooked pork back ribs today, and for the first time, it turned out tough. I used the same ingredients & time: 2 pork back ribs in the instant pot for 35 minutes (10 minutes extra for 2 ribs) with 15 minutes natural release. What did I do wrong? Is it because the pork back ribs are bigger than the usual baby back ribs I cook?

  3. Effects were too strong. The bones fell out of the meat while cooking when I followed the instructions. Still super good tho

  4. 5 stars
    I make these all the time. Love them. And the sauce. This weekend I’m doing 5 or 6 slabs. Can I make ahead, refrigerate and when I’m ready to eat throw on the grill?

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