These easy Instant Pot Ribs are ridiculously tender, falling off the bone and juicy, made with a flavorful rub that just might change your life in the best way.
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This recipe was first shared on The Recipe Critic.
I’m choosing to ignore the fact that a lot of my American friends have kids going back to school and just plug on enjoying my summer here with these insanely awesome bbq Instant Pot Ribs.
Are we good?
Ever since these Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs came to be, I’ve been dreaming of one day making a pressure cooker version that is just as amazing.
We all know by now that the Instant Pot can do amazing things:
- throw some frozen chicken in the Instant Pot and out comes dinner in about 20 minutes
- Cook an Instant Pot Whole Chicken, then cook some homemade broth, and then some homemade Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup, in just a few hours
- Make true one pot pastas like this Instant Pot Baked Ziti and Instant Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta.
- Transform regular old chicken into a sensational meal to rival Olive Garden with these Creamy Italian Instant Pot Chicken Breasts
- And more!
It’s time to bring on the ribs.
Juicy, always tender, always falling off the bone, no-one-will-even-know-how-you-did-it-if-you-don’t-tell-them kind of ribs. Smothered in your favorite barbecue sauce and finished on the grill, or not.
How to make Instant Pot Ribs:
- Remove the membrane from the back of your ribs — check out this video tutorial here to help you.
- Stir together your rub ingredients and liberally rub your ribs all over.
- Pour 1 ½ cups of cooking liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot (I use a 6 quart, but you may need an 8 quart if you have a lot of ribs) and place the trivet inside.
- Place your ribs on top of the trivet, curling them around the outside edge of the pot to fit.
- Put the lid on and pressure cook until tender and juicy!
- Always let the pressure release naturally, then remove and either brush with bbq sauce and serve, or brush with bbq sauce and broil or grill for a few minutes for an authentic smoky flavor.
What are the best ribs to use in this recipe:
This Instant Pot Ribs recipe is for pork ribs and not beef, but you can choose either side ribs or back ribs for this recipe, depending on your preferences.
Side ribs are generally less tender (i.e., less desirable) and therefore less expensive. I often buy side ribs on sale, because with the right cooking techniques you can transform them into something amazing! With the Instant Pot, these ribs are going to be falling off the bone so I wouldn’t worry at all about using side ribs for this recipe.
Baby back ribs
Back ribs (baby back ribs) are more tender and have more meat on them, but they are also more expensive. You will cook both exactly the same, so choose whichever you like.
Perhaps you choose side ribs to enjoy on a regular basis, and upgrade to baby back ribs for a special occasion or when they’re on sale. Or maybe you live for ribs, and you’re going all out with baby back ribs every time! The choice is yours.
Variations on these easy Instant Pot Ribs:
- Swapping out the cooking liquid is an easy way to totally change the flavor of these ribs: try any clear liquid, soda, broth, beer, cider — get crazy!
- Bump up the spice or swap out the rub for one of your favorite prepackaged spice mixtures and cut down on prep time
- Cook them in the Instant Pot, then refrigerate for up to 1 day, then brush with barbecue sauce and grill just until warm — perfect for parties!
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Italian Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Spaghetti – made healthier!
- Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Garlic Herb Rub
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BBQ Instant Pot Ribs
- 3 teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2-3 lbs pork ribs side or back – 1 rack
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion power and black pepper.
- Remove membrane on back of ribs and rub all over with spice rub.
- Place trivet in Instant Pot and add apple juice to the bottom of the pot.
- Curl the rack of rubs around the outside of the Instant Pot on top of the trivet.
- Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and select Manual or Pressure Cook for 25 minutes.
- Once the cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes. Open the valve and carefully remove the trivet with the ribs on top.
- Either brush with barbecue sauce and serve as is, or brush with barbecue sauce and grill or broil for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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