Instant Pot Ribs

instant pot ribs

5 from 12 reviews

Instant Pot Ribs are the most juicy, flavorful and easy pork ribs you will ever try. Smothered in homemade healthy BBQ sauce or use healthier store-bought. Ready in unheard of for ribs 1 hour. Instant Pot magic!

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American


For Ribs:

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

Healthy BBQ Sauce:

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


  1. In a small bowl, add chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, pepper, salt and whisk with a fork.
  2. In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water and place trivet inside.
  3. 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.
  4. Sprinkle each side of ribs with spice mixture. Don’t rub as a lot of seasonings will end up sticking to your fingers.
  5. Place ribs inside Instant Pot on a trivet, on their side and curling in a circle.
  6. Close the lid, set pressure valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 25 minutes.
  7. While ribs are cooking (takes about good hour), make healthy BBQ sauce. 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.
  8. After 25 minute cook time is over, let pressure in Instant Pot come down naturally for 15 minutes and then release remaining pressure using Quick Release – turn valve to Venting.
  9. Ribs will be very tender. Remove them carefully using 2 silicone end tongs on baking sheet line with silicone baking mat. They probably will fall apart in half, no worries. So tender!
  10. Brush top and sides with generous amount of BBQ sauce and broil on middle rack for 4-5 minutes.
  11. Cut with serrated knife between bones and serve warm.
  12. You can put ribs back in Instant Pot o na trivet and Keep warm for up to 10 hours. Perfect for parties, summer BBQ, beach picnics etc.


  • 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.
  • Recommended store-bought BBQ sauce: You can also buy healthier store-bought brands of barbecue sauce like Stubb’s, Primal Kitchen or Annie’s. I highly recommend to stay away from “regular” BBQ sauce like Baby Ray’s and generic store brands where main ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. They contain 4 times more sugar than homemade or healthy BBQ sauce.
  • 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.
  • Frozen ribs: Cook for 30 minutes.

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