Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs Cooking Time

How long to cook pressure cooker baby back ribs? We tested different cooking times to make tender to fall off the bone tender ribs. Come find your favorite one!

Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs was one of the first dishes we’ve made in the pressure cooker. And boy! We were blown away by how the meat was so tender and flavorful after a short prep and cooking time. But what is the best pressure cooking time for baby back ribs?

We had some fun with a couple of pressure cooking experiments. We were overwhelmed by the positive responses for our How to Make the Most Tender, Flavorful Pot Roast in Pressure Cooker Experiment.

So, time for another little test with one of our favorite Baby Back Ribs in Pressure Cooker.

Time for some ribs baby!

Materials & Methods for Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs Test

Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

Altitude: close to sea level
Meat: Rack of Baby Back Ribs
Meat Thickness: the thickest part of the meat is roughly 1/2 inch thick
Meat Weight: 1.5 – 1.8 lbs
Pressure: High Pressure (10.15~11.6 psi)
Cooking Time: 16 minutes, 25 minutes, 30 minutes
Release Method: Full Natural Release

Cooking Method for the Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs:

  • Remove the membrane from the back of the baby back ribs
  • Dry rub the baby back ribs
  • Pressure cook at High Pressure
  • Full Natural Release
  • Cover the baby back ribs with aluminum foil and set aside
  • Reduce the BBQ sauce
  • Apply BBQ sauce
  • Finish in the oven

How long to cook pressure cooker baby back ribs? We tested different cooking times to make tender to fall off the bone tender ribs. Come find your favorite one!

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Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs Testing Results

Since baby back ribs is a tender cut, the resulting meat juice, meat flavors, and the sauce were all quite similar among the 3 cooking times. The meat were moist and flavorful.

The main difference stands in the meat texture.

Test 1: 16 Minutes Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Meat Texture: The meat was tender with a bit of chew. We were able to pick up the baby back ribs with tongs without worrying the bones falling off.

Test 2: 25 Minutes Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Meat Texture: The meat was very tender. We had to pick up the baby back ribs very carefully with tongs or else the bones will fall off.

Test 3: 30 Minutes Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Meat Texture: The meat was literally fall off the bone tender. We couldn’t pick up the baby back ribs with tongs without the bones falling off.

How long to cook pressure cooker baby back ribs? We tested different cooking times to make tender to fall off the bone tender ribs. Come find your favorite one!

Side Note:

When should we cook baby back ribs directly in the liquid in the pressure cooker? 

Some of the baby back ribs’ meat flavor will transfer to the liquid when cooking it in the pressure cooker. It only makes sense to place the ribs in the cooking liquid if you are making the sauce in the pressure cooker at the same time. Because all the flavor that has gone into the sauce will be brushed back onto it.

When should we cook baby back ribs on a trivet in the pressure cooker?

However, if you’re discarding the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker afterwards or you’re using an already made/store-bought BBQ sauce, you should place the ribs on a trivet when cooking in the pressure cooker to preserve the flavors.

Which cooking time is your favorite? 

Choose your favorite cooking time and start cooking some delicious Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs!

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Ribs

What do you think of this cooking time test for Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs? Share with us in the comments! 🙂

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How long to cook pressure cooker baby back ribs? We tested different cooking times to make tender to fall off the bone tender ribs. Find your favorite one!
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Hello, I followed the 25 min high pressure, with one cup of water with some light drops of acv and liquid smoke and a natural release of 15 mins but my baby back ribs came out chewy and rubbery. It was hard to slice and eat. I live in NJ at 177ft above sea level. I didn’t cooked the whole rack I cut off a sliver to lay flat on the trivet not touching the liquid. When I try again do I go for a higher cook time or lower? I’m unsure where I went wrong. Thank You in advance.

  2. I am brand new to Instant Pot and pressure cooking. I live in Calgary at approx 1000 m elevation. Do I need to modify cooking times on recipes in general? Looking forward to trying out your recipes!

    1. Hi Julie,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Congrats on your new Instant Pot. Thank you for your question.

      5% + adjustment is recommended for 1000m elevation 🙂

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  3. Hi,
    Happy New Year.
    Thank you for your amazing recipes. How long do you recommend i cook BEEF ribs using your baby back recipe?
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I will say roughly 28 – 32 minutes + natural release.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  4. Hi, Amy & Jacky!

    I just got my IP and have made soup so far. I’m going to try making ribs today. I love that you’ve posted the results of the experiments where you cooked the ribs for three different lengths of time. That’s genius! All I had to do was read your descriptions and decide how I want my ribs to turn out. Thank you for taking the guesswork out of this recipe. I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

  5. I have Country Style pork ribs. 4 packages with 2 ribs per package. Very meaty. Assuming I should add time….? How much? Like them nearly fall off the bone. Thank you!

    1. Hi Danielle,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It is better to cut them up after cooking to minimize the amount of moisture (juice) loss.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  6. I will be making IP Ribs for 14 People on Sunday. Can I IP cook them on Saturday and finish them on Sunday with the BBQ or Smoker? Will they retain their tenderness?

    1. Hi Marietta,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The refrigerator will dry the ribs out slightly, but it will still be fine.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  7. I have 3.25 lbs of pork baby back ribs that I will make tonight for dinner. Should I double the cook time since your recipe is for 1.8 lbs? We don’t put sauce on them so I won’t be putting them in the oven. Thanks.

    1. Hi Monica,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Since pressure cooking is mostly dependent on the thickness of the meat, the cooking time can remain unchanged for 3.25lbs of pork baby back ribs.

      Take care 7 have fun cooking
      Jacky

  8. Tried your recipe with baby back ribs and the 25 min mark is the way to go! I then finished it off using Cook’s Country method which is similar to yours. Whole fam loved it! thank you!

  9. Amy and Jacky I am going to try these tonight. I have 3.38 pounds of Baby Back Ribs. We want them almost ready to fall off the bone. Do I use the same time as you have listed above for the 1.5- 1.8 pound ribs? We are going to finish them on the BBQ so they do need to still want to stick to the bone.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Werra!

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      The cooking time will be the same as Baby Back Ribs have roughly the same thickness.

      Take care & Have a great weekend!
      Jacky

  10. Tried pork ribs for the first time, (about 3.5Lbs) set timer on Instant Pot for thirty min. natural release 10min. manual release the rest. Ribs came out tasty but not as good as BBRs I’ve made on the grill or in the oven. They were a little tough. Any suggestions?

  11. My ribs are still frozen and I’d really like to make this recipe for dinner. Can I put the ribs in frozen and how much additional time would I need add if I did that?

    thanks!
    Crisse

    1. Hi Crisse,

      You will want to partially submerge the ribs in the cooking liquid.

      The cooking time will be increase by 2 – 3 minutes.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  12. There is no way that I can follow the Recipe as you list many ingredients but do not offer any instructions as when or how to mix the ingredients and when to apply them. It may be a great recipe but the lack of directions send me to search the internet for more complete advise.

    1. Hi Tiffany,

      Spare ribs will take an extra 5 – 8 minutes when compared to baby back ribs.

      Try not to pack them too tightly or the steam won’t be able cook them evenly.

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
      Jacky

    2. Thanks for telling me-I took about half of them out so they weren’t in there too tight because I had them jam packed ooops!! Hopefully I took enough out to cook evenly….sure smells good!! I do think I should have started with something a little easier as this will be the first time cooking with my instant pot. Thanks for the advice! Loving your site 🙂

  13. My store doesn’t have “baby back ribs”, but has “back ribs”. Should I alter the cooking time? Also, I live at 6,200 feet, so I was already planning on increase it by 5 minutes, so for baby back it would be 30 total (25+5), should back ribs be longer?

  14. Hi guys,
    Just a question, if I’m using a conventional stove top pressure cooker, wud the setting of the fire be at high or medium? Thanks.

    1. Hi Miza,

      It should be at medium as high temperature can seal the pressure cooker too quickly.

      Once it has reached the pressure setting, you can turn it to low temperature to maintain the pressure.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  15. A am anxiously awaiting UPS to deliver my instant pot today. I’ve got my rack of ribs and your recipe ready. My question is do I add water to the pot before cooking? Thanks! Am saving your website to break in my pot!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Toby 🙂

      Do let us know if you come across any questions when your pot arrives!

      Take care & have an amazing week
      Jacky

    2. UPS arrived right on time. I went to your website to see how to water test, etc then got to work. I was able to see on another one of your recipes the answer to my question about adding water. I followed your directions precisely cooking mine for 22 minutes as I’m at about 2400 elevation. The ribs were perfection. Thank you so much! Will be looking at the rest of your recipes!

  16. i love my ribs done for 18 minutes, tender but still a bit of chew. I cook them on a trivet to keep the rub on the ribs.
    QR works but you do t have to get crazy about that if you don’t get to them right Way. I take them out, cut them in individual bones, paint them on both sides with my Bourbon BBQ sauce and put them under the broiler for 8 to 10 minutes. I’ve done baby back, saint louis and regular spare ribs this way. Works every time.
    Terry

  17. Sincerely want to make these ribs for Sunday dinner. My husband says “Great! I’ll get them out of the freezer to thaw.” Alas! They are not baby back but regular ribs. Please advise! Thank you in advance, very appreciated.

  18. Hi,
    I’m new to instant pot cooking, I made BBQ short ribs using Jennifer Robins recipe using 8oz of short ribs for my husband and I – cooking time was 28 minutes and they were perfect! I wanted to use the recipe for a family dinner – 5 adults – I increased the recipe using about 3lbs of short ribs and cooked them the same amount of time – they were TOUGH 🙁 . Can you tell me what I did wrong?

    1. Hi Lea,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      If you are using beef short ribs, they will take roughly 35 minutes + natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  19. I just put 3 racks of baby back ribs in my instant pot. I put the first one against the wall of the pot, the 2nd one took up the rest of the outside and curled inside the first one. I cut the 3rd one in 1/2 and filled the middle of the circle with 1 piece and the other laid nicely on top. I set it for 34 minutes as they are pretty meaty and packed in there. I hope they come out really tender (#2)! If you see this soon, I hope you can tell me if I did this correctly! Thanks!

    1. Hi Vickie,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      I would think you are almost spot-on. I think 30 – 32 minutes at High Pressure will be the sweet spot.

      Unless it is a side-by-side comparison, it will be quite hard to tell 🙂

      Take care & have an awesome weekend.
      Jacky

  20. I am attempting to use my brand new 8 quart Instant Pot for the first time EVER today. I have completed your water test and am grateful for all of your advice and help I’ve found on your website! Today I want to cook some St. Louis style ribs purchased from Costco. I wasn’t planning on adding any sauce, since they have a rub on them already, so can I just place the racks of ribs directly into my Instant Post and cook them for 30 minutes with natural release? Sounds too easy. Am I missing something? I REALLY want to LOVE my Instant Pot and get comfortable using it so it will be something I enjoy using almost daily. Suggestions please. Thank you!

    1. Hi Janae,

      thank you for your question and kind words 🙂

      To enhance flavor further, you would probably want to place it in the oven afterward to caramelize it with some kind of sauce (BBQ)
      Recipe Reference

      Notes: St. Louis Style ribs will take longer to cook than Baby back Ribs (roughly 28 – 32 minutes + NR)

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  21. Amt & Jacky, would the cooking time and cool off period be the same with a stove top pressure cooker? Just found your site and find it a great one! Thank you

    1. Hi Marilyn,

      Welcome to our site and thank you for your question 🙂

      Yes, it will be the same with a stove top pressure cooker!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  22. Hi! Making ribs for the first time tomorrow in my IP (well really, ever!). I want to marinate it overnight in Korean BBQ sauce. Should I still use the trivet or let it cook directly in the sauce? Thanks! I’m really excited to try this tomorrow!

    1. Jacky,
      Thank you so much for the quick response. LOL I wish I saw your recipe first. Then, I would not have had to ask you my question. Regardless, my mouth is now watering. Can’t wait to cook this tomorrow! Thank you for sharing your recipes. They are easy to follow and very helpful!
      -Marie

  23. Thank you for replying to my comment about the need for using natural release! Indeed, we tried the 25 minute cook time and used quick release. We then did an additional 5 minute cooking time with quick release again. The ribs were not even close to falling off the bone. Next time, we will follow your instructions more carefully. Your reply makes perfect sense!

    Kind regards

  24. Thanks so much for your lovely website. I always check your recipes first!!

    Does it really matter whether we use natural release or quick release? What difference does it really make?

    Kind regards and keep up the amazing work!

    1. Hi Holly,

      Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

      Natural Release allows the meat to cook for longer without any electricity as it is slowly releasing the pressure.
      Quick Release will stop the cooking process more quickly and allow precise timing for delicate food such as veggies.

      If a recipe calls for Natural release, it may undercook if we use quick release.
      If a recipe calls for quick release, it may overcook if we use natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  25. Would placing the ribs in/on a steamer basket work the same as a trivet? That would be easier to remove from the pot as it has a handle.

  26. I am going to be cooking just one rack of baby back ribs tonight. I’m hoping you will see this in time. Should I cut the recipe and the cooking time by 2/3rds for just one rack of ribs??

    1. Hi Lori,

      Happy Easter! Thank you for your question 🙂

      The cooking time and recipe will stay the same for 1 rack of ribs.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  27. I have a 10 qt PPC xl. I have to cook for a large group of people, 40-50, in the near future. One of the entrees will be baby back ribs. I found a recipe in the intro literature for the cooker that calls for 5 racks of ribs being loaded into the cooker and then cooked for 40 minutes. Does this sound right to you? Seems like it’s a little long.

    1. Hi Terry,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Unless the recipe is for spare rib, 40 minutes do sound a little long.

      If the ribs are not packed too tightly, you can follow our cooking time as reference.

      take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  28. Wow, we made these ribs that night and they were the best!!! we have ever made. We cooked on the rack because we had a special BBQ sauce that we wanted to glaze them with at the end and used the 25 min. cooking time, then the 15 min oven glaze. Amazingly delicious.

    Every recipe I have tried from your site has been wonderful. Thanks so much.

  29. Hi, I’m about to make three racks of baby backs using your method. I’m curious about how precutting my racks into sections of three ribs would effect the cooking time. Thanks for your good work!

    1. Hi Elyse,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Precutting the racks will not affect the cooking time too much as pressure cooking time mostly depends on the thickness of the meat.

      I would recommend using the same cooking time!

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  30. Is the time listed on here for thawed or frozen ribs? I’d love to try this tonight, but my ribs are still in the freezer… Do I need to increase the time to cook frozen ribs?

    1. Hi Kathy,

      thank you for your question.

      The time listed on here are for thawed ribs.
      Do increase the time by 2 – 3 extra minutes if it is frozen.

      Make sure it is baby back ribs instead of spare ribs!

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Dave,

      thank you for your question.

      If the ribs are not packed too tightly, the cooking time doesn’t has to be changed 🙂

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  31. Hi guys! I know this is last minute but if you could answer this, that’d be great! Planning to make baby back ribs tonight as part of Christmas dinner but I’m using 2 racks of ribs. Does the cooking time in my Instant Pot change, and would you recommend still using natural release? I don’t know how much further the steam will cook the ribs during the natural release time. Thanks!! And wish you a wonderful holiday! =)

  32. If I’m using store bought bbq sauce and use a trivet, do I still need to put 1 cup water at the bottom or will the bbq sauce poured over the ribs be enough?

    1. Thank you. I did see that recipe but it was a two-step process where the sauce is added only in the oven rather than in the pressure cooker with the ribs. I’ll add the water. Thanks for the advice!

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Janet!
      We love conducting these pressure cooking experiments and enjoy all the deliciousness along the way. 🙂
      Have fun cooking~
      Amy

  33. If I increase the amount of meat that’s going in, do I need to make any adjustments to the time? Or should I just repeat the process and keep the amount and time the same? Thanks!

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