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Easy Instant Pot Ribs

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

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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.

instant pot ribs close up cut into pieces with bbq sauce

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?

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:

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.

instant pot ribs in pressure cooker on white background

How to make Instant Pot Ribs:

  1. Remove the membrane from the back of your ribs — check out this video tutorial here to help you.
  2. Stir together your rub ingredients and liberally rub your ribs all over.
  3. Pour 1 1/2 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.
  4. Place your ribs on top of the trivet, curling them around the outside edge of the pot to fit.
  5. Put the lid on and pressure cook until tender and juicy!
  6. 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.
pressure cooker ribs overhead cut into strips on white background

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

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!

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BBQ Instant Pot Ribs

5 from 10 votes
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. 
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 563kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 525mg | Potassium: 599mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Keywords instant pot ribs, pressure cooker ribs

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Corleen says

    These were excellent!! So tender! Can I do two racks of ribs at the same time? Do I need to change the recipe at all to do that?

  2. Trina says

    I am making these for the second time. The first time they turned out to be fantastic. The meat was falling off the bones just trying to get them out. I’m super excited as I’m making 2 racks this time. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Jessica says

    Are the6re supposed to be cooked on high pressure or low pressure? Do most of your recipes default as high pressure unless you specifically say low?

  4. Olga says

    My husband is a huge fan of BBQ ribs and I’m no less. Love how flavorful these are and I’m definitely adding this recipe to my make asap list. I love trying out new ribs recipes. These definitely look very appetizing 🙂

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