by Olena

Instant Pot Ribs

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 14 votes

Instant Pot Ribs are the most tender and flavorful pork ribs smothered in homemade BBQ sauce or use a store bought one. So easy and ready in only 1 hour!

Other family favorites are Instant pot carnitas and Instant Pot pork chops. Pork is ultra good when pressure cooked!

Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

These Instant Pot ribs are fall off the bone tender, super flavorful and coated in the best homemade BBQ sauce that causes sticky, finger licking good, one of a kind ribs experience. Husband approved BIG time!

Instant Pot pork ribs come out wonderfully tender with minimal effort. A lot of fat drains to the bottom of the pot – bonus! And then we brush ribs with mega easy homemade barbecue sauce or you can use store-bought.

Instant Pot Ribs with homemade healthy BBQ sauce

What Types of Ribs to Use for Instant Pot Ribs Recipe?

We are talking about pork ribs.

  • Baby back ribs: I use baby back ribs. These are ribs cut from the top of rib cage and have less meat on them.
  • Spare ribs: Spare ribs are more meaty with more marbling between the bones than baby back ribs. They also have less meat on top.
  • Frozen ribs: You can use frozen ribs. Make sure to cut them into smaller sections so they fit in your Instant Pot. Also run under water and then sprinkle with spices, otherwise dry rub will not stick to meat.

Other Ingredients for Instant Pot Ribs

  • Dry rub: Chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, pepper and salt.
  • Homemade BBQ sauce: Tomato paste, applesauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, onion and garlic powder, prepared mustard, cayenne, liquid smoke and salt.

Cook’s Tip: To make Instant Pot ribs recipe easy, you can skip making BBQ sauce and buy one. Low sugar store-bought barbecue sauce brands are Stubb’s, Primal Kitchen and Annie’s. Also better ingredients with no high fructose syrup on the list.

How to Make Instant Pot Ribs

New to Instant Pot? Check out my Instant Pot guide. Don’t have one yet? See which one I recommend to buy.

  • Remove membrane: Your pork ribs may or may not have a membrane – shiny connective tissue at the back of the ribs that holds them together. You want to slide butter knife or handle of a spoon under to loosen it up a bit and then pull. If slippery, hold on with paper towel, remove and sicard both. Removing membrane helps dry spices penetrate the meat better resulting in more flavorful ribs. Yum!how to remove membrane from pork ribs
  • Season ribs with dry rub: A blend of chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper. I recommend to sprinkle it instead of rubbing because a lot ends up sticking to your fingers and not meat. seasoned pork ribs with dry rub
  • Prep Instant Pot: Add trivet and 1 cup cold water. Trivet helps to lift ribs out of the water. And it doesn’t matter if trivet has handles or not.
  • Cook for 25 minutes on High pressure: Curl up rack of ribs into a coil, set release valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High pressure or Manual button.

Instant Pot Ribs arranged inside pot and ready to cookcooked Instant Pot Ribs

  • Make BBQ sauce and prep baking sheet: My recipe is super simple and consists of tomato paste, applesauce, water, liquid smoke and spices and ready in 15 minutes. Or skip and use store-bought. Also line baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper for broiling the ribs.how to make healthy BBQ sauce for ribs
  • Release pressure and carefully remove ribs: After 25 minutes is up, wait 15 minutes and then release remaining pressure by turning valve to Venting. Carefully remove ribs with silicone end tongs onto prepared baking sheet. Be careful as ribs are super tender and it is tricky not to break them in half. If they still broke, it is OK since we will slice them anyways. cooked ribs on a baking sheet
  • Brush with BBQ sauce and broil: Place under pre-heated broiler to 500 degrees F for 5 minutes on a middle rack. This step is optional and how much ribs will caramelize depends on a barbecue sauce you use.cooked Instant Pot ribs brushed with BBQ saucebroiled Instant Pot Ribs

Tips and FAQs

  • How much ribs Instant Pot can fit? 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot can hold up to 2 regular size racks of pork ribs. 3 quart can fit in 1 rack. As long as you can close the lid.
  • Do not worry about 2/3 max line: Ribs can stick up higher than 2/3 max line as it is used as a guideline only for liquids.
  • Add even more flavor: To the 1 cup cold water, add 1 tsp of liquid smoke or sub 1 cup of apple cider. You can also use any broth.
  • Don’t skip liquid smoke: If you decide to follow my recipe and make BBQ sauce, do not skip the liquid smoke. Although it sounds fancy, it is widely available in sauce section of most grocery stores or on Amazon. It is what makes Instant Pot ribs “ribs” in an hour without smoking for hours.
  • BBQ sauce leftovers: I used half of BBQ sauce on 2 racks of ribs. You can refrigerate remaining half in a glass jar for up to 7 days.
  • No trivet? If you don’t have a trivet, cut up large onion into quarters, spread on the bottom of the pot and arrange ribs on top.
  • If cooking Spare Ribs: Spare ribs need 35 minutes cook time and full Natural Release because meat is tougher.
  • Frozen ribs: Cook for 30 minutes.

Serving, Storing and Reheating

Serve traditionally: Serve ribs with mashed potatoes, creamy coleslaw or vinegar coleslaw and corn on the cob. The day I tested this recipe, I also made fresh and crunchy Asian salad. This exotic coleslaw went so well with ribs!

Other side dish ideas: Instant Pot mashed potatoes or Instant Pot baked potatoes (if you have 2 Instant Pots like me). Oh, and this corn avocado salad would be fantastic!

Keep warm for parties: Just remove a bit of liquid from the pot so it sits below the trivet, stack cut up ribs, close the lid and press Keep Warm button. Ribs will stay warm for up to 10 hours. Perfect for potlucks and outdoor summer parties. Plus your kitchen stays cool!

Storing and reheating: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat through, if it is small amount just use a microwave. And if it’s a full rack, place in Instant Pot on a trivet along with 1/2 cup water. Press Saute, close the lid and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Then press Cancel and let ribs warm through with steam for 5 minutes. This way sauce and ribs will not dry out and you will avoid using more sauce. But who can resist more BBQ sauce, to be honest?! Enjoy!

More Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs {Tender, Healthier and Easy}

Instant Pot Ribs are the most tender and flavorful pork ribs smothered in homemade BBQ sauce or use a store bought one. So easy and ready in only 1 hour!
5 from 14 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 519kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

For Ribs and Rub:

  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For Homemade BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 6 oz can tomato paste low sodium
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, add chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, pepper, salt and whisk with a fork.
  • In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water and place trivet inside.
  • Remove membrane from the back of the ribs by sliding butter knife or spoon handle under. If slippery, use paper towel to pull off membrane. Some ribs might not have it.
    Instant Pot Ribs
  • Sprinkle each side of ribs with spice mixture. Don't rub as a lot of seasonings will end up sticking to your fingers.
    Instant Pot Ribs
  • Place ribs in Instant Pot, on their side and curling in a circle. Close the lid, set pressure valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 25 minutes.
    Instant Pot Ribs
  • While ribs are cooking, combine water, tomato paste, applesauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar, honey, onion and garlic powders, mustard, liquid smoke and cayenne pepper in a small pot and stir. Bring to a boil and cook half covered on low heat for 10 minutes. Set aside.
    Instant Pot Ribs
  • After 25 minute cook time is over, let pressure in wait for 15 minutes and then turn valve to Venting to release remaining pressure.
  • Preheat broiler to 500 degrees F and position oven rack in the middle. Also prep baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or silicone baking mat for broiling.
  • Ribs will be very tender. Open the lid, remove ribs carefully using silicone end tongs and place on baking sheet. They probably will fall apart in half, no worries. So tender!
    Instant Pot Ribs
  • Brush top and sides with generous amount of BBQ sauce and broil for 4-5 minutes. Cut with serrated knife between bones.
    Instant Pot Ribs
  • Serve ribs traditionally with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob. The day I tested this recipe, I also made fresh and crunchy Asian salad. This exotic coleslaw went so well with ribs!
    Instant Pot Ribs

Keep warm: You can put ribs back in Instant Pot on a trivet and Keep warm for up to 10 hours. Perfect for parties, summer BBQ, beach picnics etc.

    Video

    Notes

    • Baby back ribs tip: I use baby back ribs. These are ribs cut from the top of rib cage and have less meat on them.
    • Spare ribs tip: Spare ribs need 35 minutes cook time and full Natural Release because meat is tougher.
    • Frozen ribs: You can cook frozen ribs for 30 minutes. Make sure to cut them into smaller sections so they fit in your Instant Pot. Also run under water and then sprinkle with spices, otherwise dry rub will not stick to meat.
    • No trivet? If you don't have a trivet, cut up large onion into quarters, spread on the bottom of the pot and arrange ribs on top.
    • Instant Pot size: You can fit up to 2 racks of ribs into 6 quart or 8 quart Instant Pot and 1 rack into 3 quart. Ribs can stick out higher than 2/3 max line. As long as you can close the lid.
    • BBQ sauce leftovers: I used half of BBQ sauce on 2 racks of ribs. You can refrigerate remaining half in a glass jar for up to 7 days.
    • Add even more flavor: To the 1 cup cold water, add 1 tsp of liquid smoke or sub 1 cup of apple cider. You can also use any broth.
    • Don't skip liquid smoke: If you decide to follow my recipe and make BBQ sauce, do not skip the liquid smoke. Although it sounds fancy, it is widely available in the sauce section of most grocery stores or on Amazon. It is what makes Instant Pot ribs "ribs" in an hour without smoking for hours.
    • Storing and reheating: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat through, if it is small amount just use a microwave. And if it's a full rack, place in Instant Pot on a trivet along with 1/2 cup water. Press Saute, close the lid and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Then press Cancel and let ribs warm through with steam for 5 minutes. This way sauce and ribs will not dry out and you will avoid using more sauce. But who can resist more BBQ sauce, to be honest?! Enjoy!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 692mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 339IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 3mg
    Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

    Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes anywhere including social media, print and all world wide web. Nutritional info is provided for informational purposes only and to the best knowledge.

    Did you try this recipe?

    Follow @ifoodreal on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #ifoodreal. Show me what you are making!

    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

    29 comments on “Instant Pot Ribs

    Our “happiness” software automatically deletes any comments of racial, politicial, religious or any offensive nature without publishing, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you. For substitutions please refer to extensive recipe post and recipe card notes. If you don't see an answer, you are welcome to try your version and let us know how it went as recipes are posted only as tested. Comments may take up to 24-48 hours to reply. Please see our full comment policy.:).

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    1. 5 stars
      These ribs were fantastic!! I cooked them for 28 minutes as all meat I cook seems to need 2 or 3 extra minutes. I also left the membrane on so the ribs wouldn’t fall apart. I took it off before I put the sauce on. So tender, and the sauce recipe is delicious. I can’t wait to do the ribs in the Instant Pot and finish them on the barbecue this summer! Far, less work now! You are the best!

    2. leave membraine on….stops ribs from falling apart…..reduce cooking time to 20 min.use bought bb sauce.apply both befor and after.

    3. I don’t eat pork and I would like to know if it’s possible to use bone-in beef ribs and how did it turn out?
      Have you tried the beef short ribs no bones?

    4. 5 stars
      Absolutely incredible, I would never have thought of cooking ribs in a pressure cooker. My youngest son and I ate a rack between us and wished I’d cooked two! So tender it just fell off the bone.

    5. 5 stars
      Amazing as always! I didn’t remove the membrane ( too lazy 😉 ) and my guess that’s what kept ribs from falling apart. I used smoked paprika instead of liquid smoke and a little more cayenne pepper for a kick. The ribs were juicy and tender – everyone loved it! Looking forward for more instant pot recipes from you Olena!

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve cooked these twice now and wow! I used to make ribs by the low and in oven for 3 hours but instant pot method makes them so better w/o all grease from oven cooking. I will admit to cheating with commercial BBQ sauce. If I could one complaint is ribs are darn tender it’s hard to them intact out of the pot w/o them falling apart!

    6. 5 stars
      I’ve been cooking ribs for years in the oven or BBQ low and slow. I was given an Instant Pot for a gift, and honestly I wanted to return it.
      The rib recipe is brilliant! The worst problem is the ribs are so tender they keep falling apart trying to get them out of the pot!

    7. 5 stars
      I just made these ribs and bbq sauce tonight and I think I’m now obsessed!! The ribs turned out fantastic and the bbq sauce was extremely flavorful for being so much less sugar than other main stream sauces. I paired them with some cauliflower mashed “potatoes ” and a little salad. Another hit! Thank you!

    8. Just got my new POT and wanted to make ribs! Gonna have them for dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

    9. Hi I really like the idea of this but not being American means I am not really used to using cups in recipes. Any way you could advise what 2 cups of zucchini in grams would be? Also, maybe the problem is just with me but the amount of ads on this web-site is making it nearly impossible to read and follow – ads are constantly popping up from below, from the top, on the left, on the right, videos starting without prompting, etc.. (you might want to look into it but it maybe just me though)

      1. I’m not sure what that is as I use cups in Canada. Also you are asking on ribs recipe about zucchini recipe. Just FYI if you can’t find my answer. Maybe google the weight?! The only pop up is a video player with clear close button. Other ads we have are in the content as you scroll. Ads allow free recipes otherwise the only ad free experience I know of today is to buy cookbooks.

    10. 5 stars
      Sounds great, Olena! Will try. My question is: can I use “riblets” with this recipe too? and if yes, what would be the time of cooking (as their bones are much shorter)? Thanks!.. Also, your barbecue sauce sounds awesome!

    The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

    This page may contain affiliate links. ifoodrealcom.bigscoots-staging.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!