Instant Pot Ribs

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Make Instant Pot Ribs in 40 minutes using 4 simple ingredients! Brushed with your favorite sweet & smoky BBQ sauce, these tender & juicy BBQ Ribs in Instant Pot are finger-licking delicious. Great beginner recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners or your next BBQ party.

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Ribs were one of the first dishes we made in our Instant Pot! At the time, we were blown away by how tender, juicy, and flavorful they were. That was the moment we got converted!

This Easy Instant Pot Ribs Recipe is developed as a great beginner recipe to start using your Instant Pot. Just remember to use a good BBQ sauce, then you’re all set. 😉

If you’re short on time or ingredients, this easy ribs recipe fits the bill. But when you’re ready to up your game, you gotta try this tasty Ribs Recipe using Homemade Dry Rub and BBQ Sauce

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Ingredients for cooking Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

bbq ribs ingredients

Baby Back Ribs: Try to use baby back ribs with even and uniform thickness in the rack. It’s also important to try to find ribs with lots of nice, even marbling.

BBQ Sauce: Best to make your own BBQ Sauce! But for simplicity & convenience, grab your favorite bottle of BBQ Sauce. We used Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce to develop this easy ribs recipe.

Apple Cider Vinegar: If you like, you can use apple cider vinegar in place of water.

Optional – Liquid Smoke: If you want to add a little “cooked in the outdoors” smokey flavor to your ribs, you can add a few drops of Liquid Smoke. Try to find a natural Liquid Smoke. Also, since there are different flavors of liquid smoke, test & find one you like.

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Tools you need to make Instant Pot Ribs

Tips for Cooking Ribs in Instant Pot

1. How long to cook the baby back ribs in Instant Pot?

We had a little fun with some baby back ribs and tested different cooking times to find the best one that suits us. Choose your favorite cooking time here: Baby Back Ribs Cooking Time to make these Instant Pot Ribs!

2. Cooking ribs directly in liquid vs. on a rack in Instant Pot?

When cooking ribs in Instant Pot, some of the meat flavors will transfer to the cooking liquid. It’s great to put the ribs directly in the cooking liquid if you’re simultaneously making the ribs sauce in the Instant Pot. This way, all the flavors that have escaped to the liquid will be brushed back on the ribs.

However, if you’re discarding the cooking liquid afterward or you’re using a premade/store-bought BBQ sauce, you can put the ribs on a rack in Instant Pot to preserve the meat flavors.

Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot Ribs

instant pot ribs | ribs instant pot | instant pot bbq ribs | ribs recipe

Step 1

Prepare & Season Baby Back Ribs

First, remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel. 

how to remove membrane of baby back ribs

How to Remove the Membrane from Baby Back Ribs: 

  • Locate the membrane on either end of the rack (at the back of the ribs).
  • Slide a butter knife in between the membrane and bones (see picture below).
  • Pull the membrane and tear it off with a paper towel (for better grip).

How to Remove the Membrane from Baby Back Ribs (Video)

Then, season the Baby Back Ribs with a generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Step 2

Pressure Cook Baby Back Ribs

Optional: Add 2 – 3 drops of liquid smoke in the Instant Pot.

Add 1 cup (250ml) of cold water (or apple cider vinegar) and a trivet in Instant Pot.

Then, place the baby back ribs on top of the trivet (as shown in the photo below).

ribs in Instant Pot

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

  • Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure cook at High Pressure for 16 minutes to 25 minutes, then Full Natural Release

*Cooking Time Pro Tip: Be sure to adjust the cooking timing according to your preference: 16 minutes (tender with a bit of chew) to 25 minutes (fall-off-the-bone tender).

instant pot high pressure 16 minutes

Once the Floating Valve drops, turn the Venting Knob to Venting position.

Open the lid carefully.

ribs in the Instant Pot

Step 3

Apply Sauce and Broil in Oven/Air Fryer

*Tip for if you’re using the Oven: While the baby back ribs are cooking in the Instant Pot, preheat the oven to 450°F.

First, carefully set the baby back ribs on an oven tray or chopping board, then generously brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the ribs on all sides including the bones.

bbq sauce for ribs

*Note: You can use an oven, toaster oven, Instant Pot Duo Crisp‘s “Air Fry” function or Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid for this finishing caramelization step.

*Pro Tip: If you have a large oven, you can finish the ribs in one batch. If you’re using the Duo Crisp lid or Air Fryer lid, you’ll need to cut the ribs into halves, then finish them in 2 batches.

*Pro Tip: It’s best to broil the ribs before cutting it into serving size to retain more moisture.

Option 1 – Oven/Toaster Oven

Place the BBQ Ribs on an oven tray under the “Broil” function (or the highest temperature setting) for a few minutes until the BBQ sauce is caramelized.

Option 2 – Air Fryer Lid

Place the air fryer basket with the tray on the middle rack in Instant Pot (as shown in the demo photo below).

air fryer spare ribs

Now, layer the ribs on the air fryer tray in Instant Pot.

Then, place the Air Fryer Lid on the Instant Pot.

  • Air Frying Method: Press the “Airfry” button, set the Temperature to 400°F and Cooking Time to 15 minutes.

*Pro Tip: It will take roughly 9 – 11 minutes + preheat time. You can open the lid to check the progress.

Now, air fry the second batch of BBQ ribs in the Instant Pot.

Step 4

Serve Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

Chop up the Instant Pot BBQ Ribs to finger-licking serving sizes.

cut bbq ribs

Serve these tasty BBQ Ribs immediately!

instant pot ribs | ribs instant pot | instant pot bbq ribs | ribs recipe

Side Dishes to Serve with Ribs

Deluxe Creamy Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Sweet ‘n Smokey Baked Beans

Instant Pot Baked Beans

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob Recipe (Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob): Learn how to cook corn on the cob. Quick & easy sweet & juicy summer treat for whole family!

Enjoy your Finger-licking Tasty Instant Pot Ribs!

5 from 156 votes

Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs: Make BBQ Ribs in Instant Pot in 40 minutes! Deliciously tender & juicy BBQ Ribs are a great beginner recipe for weeknight dinners or BBQ party.
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Servings 2 - 4
Total Time 40 mins
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Ingredients

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Instructions 

  • Prepare & Season Baby Back Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel. Season the ribs with a generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
    how to remove membrane of baby back ribs
  • Pressure Cook Baby Back Ribs: Add 2 – 3 drops of liquid smoke in Instant Pot (optional). Add in 1 cup (250ml) of cold water (or apple cider vinegar) and a trivet. Place the baby back ribs on top of the trivet.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure cook at High Pressure for 16 minutes to 25 minutes, then Full Natural Release.
    *Cooking Time Tip: Adjust the cooking timing according to the thickness of your ribs & preferences: 16 minutes (tender with a bit of chew) to 25 minutes (fall-off-the-bone tender). Open the lid carefully.
    ribs in Instant Pot
  • Apply Sauce and Broil in Oven/Air Fryer: Carefully set the ribs on an oven tray or chopping board, then generously brush your BBQ sauce all over the ribs on all sides.
    *Note: You can use an oven, toaster oven, Instant Pot Duo Crisp or Air Fryer Lid for this finishing caramelization step.
    *Pro Tip: If you have a large oven, you can finish the ribs in one batch. If you're using the Duo Crisp lid or Air Fryer lid, cut the ribs into halves, then finish them in 2 batches.
    *Pro Tip: It's best to broil the ribs before cutting it into serving size to retain more moisture.
    Option 1 - Oven/Toaster Oven: Place the BBQ Ribs on an oven tray under the "Broil" function (or the highest temperature setting) for a few minutes until the BBQ sauce is caramelized.
    Option 2 - Air Fryer Lid: Place air fryer basket with the tray on the middle rack in Instant Pot. Layer ribs on the air fryer tray in Instant Pot. Place the Air Fryer Lid on Instant Pot. Press "Airfry" button, set Temperature to 400°F and Cooking Time to 15 minutes (takes roughly 9 - 11 minutes + preheat time. You can open the lid to check the progress). Air fry the second batch of BBQ ribs in Instant Pot.
    air fryer spare ribs
  • Serve: Chop up the Instant Pot BBQ Ribs to finger-licking serving sizes. Serve these tasty BBQ Ribs immediately!
    instant pot ribs | ribs instant pot | instant pot bbq ribs | ribs recipe

Video

Notes

*Note: this recipe is meant to be super basic & simple - a great easy starter recipe, especially for new Instant Pot users. Feel free to modify it to your taste. If you want to kick it up a notch, try our Ribs Recipe with Homemade Dry Rub & BBQ Sauce
Baby Back Ribs: Make sure you're using Baby Back Ribs for this recipe because different types of pork ribs require different cooking times. Also, try to use ribs with even and uniform thickness in the rack, with lots of even marbling.
How to Remove the Membrane from Baby Back Ribs:
  1. Locate the membrane on either end of the rack (at the back of the ribs).
  2. Slide a butter knife in between the membrane and bones (see picture below).
  3. Pull the membrane and tear it off with a paper towel (for better grip).
*Rate Recipe: If you've tried the recipe, don't forget to Rate the Recipe in the Comments Section. Thank you!
Author: Amy + Jacky
Calories: 348kcal
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot baby back ribs, instant pot bbq ribs, instant pot pork ribs, instant pot ribs, instant pot ribs recipe, instapot ribs, ribs in Instant Pot, ribs in the instant pot, ribs instant pot

Nutrition

Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Instant Pot Ribs: Make BBQ Ribs in Instant Pot in 40 minutes! Deliciously tender & juicy BBQ Ribs are great beginner recipe for weeknight dinners or BBQ party.
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