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Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs – super tender, flavorful and delicious baby back ribs in the Instant Pot! Fool-proof method that are ready in just minutes.

When the weather is warm there is nothing I like more than to throw a rack of ribs on the smoker and making Smoked Baby Back Ribs. But I live in Colorado, so it isn’t something I am doing much of in the middle of December.

But I still want those fall off the bone, tender ribs all year round! Enter the Instant Pot to make pressure cooker ribs in minutes, that are super tender, full of flavor and oh so tasty!

broiled ribs with sauce cut into pieces


What Kind Of Ribs To Use

My favorite to use are baby back ribs, and you can find them at most grocery stores these days. They are a little more tender and leaner than their counter part the spare rib. They are a little pricier than spare ribs as well, but so worth it in my opinion.

Spare ribs can be a little meatier, but they take a little longer to get them as tender. There are directions for both in the recipe below, so use whatever your favorite is!

And if you are a fan of country style ribs you are going to want to make these Instant Pot Country Style Ribs immediately!

3 cut ribs on a plate

How To Make Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

  • The first thing I like to do to prep the ribs is to remove the membrane. Place the ribs so the bones are facing up. Slip a dinner knife under the edge of the membrane that is over the bone. Grab it with a paper towel and gently pull it back. Sometimes you get lucky and it comes off cleanly with one pull, other times you have to insert the knife over a few bones to get it completely removed.
  • A rub really gives the meat flavor, so don’t skip this step. Mix together the rub and generously season the meat.
  • Pour water, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke in the base of the Instant Pot, then place the trivet in the bottom. This way the ribs don’t sit in the liquid, but they will get nice and tender from the steam that is created.
  • Arrange the ribs in the Instant Pot so they are standing up and wrapped around the side. If necessary, you can cut your slabs of ribs in half to fit them in.
  • Let the ribs cook under high pressure for 23 to 30 minutes depending on the type of ribs you are using.
  • While the ribs are cooking you can make your barbecue sauce. If you have a variety you like, you can definitely use that. This recipe is just a versatile easy sauce to throw together
  • Once they have cooked, naturally release the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pot and place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is caramelized.
  • Slice the ribs and serve!
ribs in Instant pot ready to cook

How Long To Cook Ribs In the Instant Pot

If you are making baby back ribs they cook under high pressure for 23 minutes. If you are making spare ribs they cook for 30 minutes.

You may need to add a couple minutes to your cook time if your ribs are extra meaty, these cook times are for your average rack of ribs that weighs about 2 pounds total.

cooked ribs being brushed with barbecue sauce

How Many Ribs Can Fit In Instant Pot

I find that I can fit 2 full racks of ribs comfortably in my Instant Pot. But if you cut the slabs into smaller pieces, you can fit up to 3 full racks in there.

Serving Instant Pot Ribs

To get that nice caramelization of the barbecue sauce on the ribs, putting them under the broiler for a couple minutes really gives it that great texture and flavor you know and love. This step is optional, but it does make them even better.

ribs after being put under the broiler

While the ribs are cooking you can whip up some delicious sides that go with pork ribs.

baby back ribs cut into ribs on a plate

More Instant Pot Recipe Ideas

Yield: 2

Instant Pot Ribs

baby back ribs cut and served on a plate

Instant Pot Ribs - super tender, flavorful and delicious baby back ribs in the Instant Pot! Fool-proof method that are ready in just minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes



  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 rack pork ribs (spare or baby back), membrane removed
  • 1 cup water plus
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


    1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper.
    2. Rub the seasoning mix generously all over the pork ribs.
    3. Pour the 1 cup of water ½ cup apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke into the instant pot and put in the trivet.
    4. Place the ribs upright on the trivet, wrapping the rib rack around the inside of the instant pot, meat side facing out.
    5. Close the instant pot and set the valve to seal position.
    6. Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes for spare ribs or 23 minutes for baby back (if the rib rack is very meaty, add 3 minutes to the cook time)
    7. When done, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes, then quickly release the rest of the pressure.
    8. Open the instant pot, remove the ribs and set onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper/aluminum foil
    9. Brush the ribs generously with barbecue sauce.
    10. Broil the ribs in the oven for 3-4 minutes until sauce caramelizes.
    11. Serve immediately

To Make Barbecue Sauce

  1. Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they are very soft and translucent. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.


Recipe can be doubled using 2 racks of ribs. The cook time DOES NOT change.

You can use your favorite barbecue sauce in place of the recipe listed.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 302Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 18mgSodium 2369mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 3gSugar 28gProtein 7g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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Mignone Borg Catania

Saturday 12th of December 2020

Good evening, I don't have an instant pot, but have a crock pot instead. Can I do this recipe in it and if so, cooking time remains the same? Thanks and may you and your family have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Erin S

Saturday 12th of December 2020

The cooking time will be drastically different with a crock pot. An Instant Pot cooks under pressure so things are done very fast. A crock pot cooks at a low temperature so it takes much longer. If you do ribs in the crock pot, to get them tender and fall off the bone it will take about 8 hours on low.

Sandra McCollum

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

This meal quickly became a favorite at my house! It is so good!


Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

These are the perfect ribs! So good in the instant pot!

jacque hastert

Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Ribs in the instant pot are such a genius idea! I can't believe how tender they come out. I will definitely be pulling the instant pot out to make these soon.


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

These look so delicious and mouthwatering! I can't wait to give this recipe a try! My family is going to love this! SO excited!

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