Get ready to satisfy your cravings with these fall-off-the-bone tender Instant Pot Ribs!
Made with just a few simple ingredients, these ribs are delicious, easy to prepare, fast to make, and extra tender.
Sauce these up with your favorite BBQ sauce, or even just salt & pepper.
How to Choose Ribs
Making pork ribs in an Instant Pot is both quick and easy. There are two kinds of ribs that can be used in this recipe.
- Baby back ribs or back ribs are typically the most tender and flavorful option, but they can be pricier. If possible, I recommend choosing these ribs.
- Side ribs or spareribs are more budget-friendly and still yield tender and delicious results in the Instant Pot. They are a bit more meaty and have great flavor.
Cook from Fresh or Frozen
Much like Instant Pot pulled pork, the pressure cooker makes ribs tender in a fraction of the time compared to other methods. Best of all, no need to thaw them first. Instant Pot baby back ribs can be cooked right from frozen.
Be sure to add the rub and cut them to fit in the Instant Pot prior to freezing. Follow the recipe as directed adding 5 to 7 minutes extra when cooking from frozen.
How to Make Instant Pot Ribs
My family dubs these the best Instant Pot, they’re so tender.
- Prep the Ribs: Remove the membrane if present and cut the racks of ribs into two or three pieces so they will fit in the Instant Pot. Rub with the spice rub.
- Cook in the Instant Pot: Place the ribs on a trivet in the Instant Pot and add some broth, onion and garlic. Cook per the recipe below.
- Finish the Ribs: Add salt & pepper and either homemade or prepared bbq sauce. Broil or grill for a few minutes to crisp up a bit if you’d like.
Ribs have a very thin membrane located on the back of the ribs. It’s ok to cook with the membrane on, but I personally prefer to remove it.
To remove the membrane, simply slide a knife under it to get ahold of it, grip it with a paper towel if needed, and pull it off. If you can’t seem to find it, ribs sometimes come with the membrane already removed.
How to Natural Release on an Instant Pot
When using an Instant Pot, the pressure needs to be released before opening the lid. You can do this using Quick Release or Natural Release.
This recipe uses a 5-minute natural release, to allow the pressure to gradually come down. After cooking the timer will start to count up and once it reaches 5 minutes, carefully open the valve to release the remaining pressure.
Serve these easy Instant Pot Ribs with Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, some garlic bread, and corn on the cob for the perfect meal!
Pressure cooker ribs need about 23 to 26 minutes (26 if they’re extra meaty, like side ribs) and about 32 minutes from frozen.
Start by choosing the right ribs (back ribs are the most tender). To make ribs tender, cook them in a pressure cooker per the recipe below. You can also make tender ribs in the oven or slow cooker.
If you open the pressure cooker and the ribs are not tender, it means they need more time. To make ribs more tender, close the pressure cooker and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
Yes, Instant Pot ribs require liquid so it can build steam and create pressure.
Yes, you can add additional racks of ribs to the Instant Pot as long as they aren’t packed in tight. The cooking time will not need to be changed.
Best BBQ Sides
Did you love these Instant Pot Ribs? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Instant Pot Ribs
- 1 rack baby back ribs about 1 ½- 2 pounds
- 1 cup broth or water
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 onion sliced
- 6 tablespoons dry rub
- barbecue sauce optional
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- Rinse and pat dry the rack of ribs. Use a knife to lift the edge of the thin membrane from the back of the ribs and remove it.
- Cut the slab into 2-3 pieces that are small enough to fit into the Instant Pot. Coat each piece generously with the dry rub mixture, and massage it into the meat.
- Add a trivet or rack to the bottom of your Instant Pot and pour in broth or water, along with liquid smoke if using.
- Stand the ribs upright on the trivet, so they are not stacked on top of one another. Sprinkle sliced onion and garlic over the ribs.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and select manual high pressure. Set the timer for 22 minutes (25 minutes for extra meaty or side ribs).
- Once the timer goes off, allow the Instant Pot to natural-release for 5 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
To Broil or Grill (optional)
- Turn the broiler on to high heat or the grill on to medium high heat.
- Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce (or olive oil/salt/pepper for dry ribs).
- If broiling, line a large baking pan with foil and place the ribs 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. If grilling, place the ribs directly on the grill. Cook until slightly charred, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.
Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!
Made this recipe with pork spare ribs last night. Followed recipe exactly. Ribs were fall off the bone tender, but still juicy and delicious. Of all the cooking and recipe websites out there, yours is my most trusted – I honestly think that many of the people with foodie websites don’t really cook because their recipes never turn out as described and it all ends up being a waste. Spend with Pennies recipes are never fail, every single time. Thank you!
Thank you so much for the kind words Lille, this made my day! I am so glad you are enjoying the recipes!
I’ve used so many of your recipes and love them! Today I searched for instant pot ribs and saw “spendwithpennies” and KNEW Holly had yet another awesome and helpful recipe for me! I followed instructions EXACTLY and once again have a delicious dinner for my family! Thanks again!!
Yay! This made my day Em. I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe.
Can I do this rib recipe in the airfryer in batches?
I haven’t tried ribs in the air fryer so I can’t say for sure. Often with ribs you want to cook low and slow to get the most tender results (the pressure cooker provides the same results!). I don’t know how they would turn out in the air fryer. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Donna!
Thanks, Holly…will do, but think your way is the fool proof way…they look amazing!
Very good! I used Famous Dave’s Rib Rub and his Rich and Sassy BBQ sauce with 5 minutes under the broiler. Only my third time using my IP. I am loving it!
I love how your recipes are always made from simple wholesome ingredients commonly found in the pantry, and you make them easy to follow. This recipe in particular i’ve tried numerous times, and sometimes I add my own twist , but stick to your basics. Its easy, flavorful and fast. Thank you , keep the recipes coming!
You have some great recipes and I will definitely be trying more of them
Although, I have to tell you I actually found your site while looking for directions to reheat my Babyback Ribs so they would still be as tender or more tender using my Insta-Pot!?! I am still looking but again I will definitely be trying out more of your recipes!!
Thank you so much and wish me luck on finding an Insta-Pot reheat method!!
They are fall-off-the-bone tender using the Instant Pot or this oven method as well.
They turned out AMAZING!!! I can’t wait to make them again.
I make these ribs for friends and family often and everyone LOVES them!!
So fast and easy too!
Can prep the day before as well!!
Good stuff. Had spare ribs and did 35min. Looking forward to using the broth in beans.