Instant Pot Ribs

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Instant Pot Ribs are the most tender, succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs I’ve ever had!

Not only are they delicious, they’re so easy to make and  are so fast to make compared to my usual ribs!

We sauce these up with our favorite BBQ sauce or even just salt & pepper them for a dry rib that is out of this world!

slab of bbq instant pot ribs on a foil pan

These tender ribs are cooked in the Instant Pot to achieve the most tender ribs in the least amount of time!  If you’re not familiar with it, you can read more about the Instant Pot here (in a nutshell, the Instant Pot is a new and easy to use pressure cooker)! You can find them at most stores (or get one online here).

How long do you pressure cook ribs?

Baby back ribs are truly one of my favorite meals (and the king of pork ribs).  They’re perfectly tender and delicious and great on the grill (or broiled if you live in a place that’s snowy half the year like I do).

Ribs aren’t hard to cook, they just take time.  As far back as I can remember, I have cooked my ribs in the oven low and slow.  Much like a pork shoulder or tough cut of meat,  a low slow heat breaks down the fibers and creates a tender juicy rib.

When boiling or pre-cooking ribs, you’re looking at least a couple of hours at least to get them totally tender. In walks Instant Pot: mic drop.

Seriously though, I have to say that these Instant Pot baby back ribs as good as my usual oven baked ribs, but I might like them more because it’s SO fast!  YUP.  I said it.  They’re fall off the bone, melt in your mouth, gimme some more, amazing and tender.

I cook my Instant Pot ribs for about 23 minutes (26 if they’re extra meaty) and about 32 minutes from frozen.

uncooked ribs in the instant pot with garlic and onion

How to Make Instant Pot Ribs

The best Instant Pot ribs start with baby back ribs as they’re so tender.  I always rinse the ribs (to remove any bone chips or debris) and then remove the membrane.  The membrane very thin and located on the back of the ribs.  Simply slide your knife under it to get ahold of it and then pull it off.

Once you’ve pulled it off, cut your slabs of ribs into two or 3 pieces (depending on the size) as they’ll need to fit into the Instant Pot. Combine your spice rub and massage it into the ribs on both sides.

You’re going to use the trivet with your ribs so they’re not sitting in the liquid, if you don’t have one you can prop them up on the onion slices.

Finally add the liquid to the bottom of the slow cooker and the ribs, seal and cook. Once the ribs are nice and tender, you’re going to allow them to naturally release for a little bit and then add sauce & broil them to crisp up a bit.

slab of barbecue ribs and dry ribs on foil

How do you do natural release on instant pot?

When making an Instant Pot recipe, you’ll need to either quick release or natural release the pressure before opening it.

Natural release on the Instant Pot means you allow the pressure to gradually release without opening the valve. Once your Instant Pot finishes the cooking, it will beep and then it will start counting up on the keep warm mode.  This recipe has a natural release time of 5 minutes so once the timer shows 5 minutes, you can then open the valve to release the rest of the pressure.

olive oil salt and pepper instant pot ribs

Can you put frozen food in the instant pot?

Yes you sure can! I make these Instant Pot ribs right from frozen.  You’ll want to make sure you cut them into the right size and add the rub prior to freezing.

Just pop them into the Instant Pot frozen and follow the recipe as directed.

Serve these easy Instant Pot Ribs with Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, some easy 30 Minute Dinner Rolls and corn on the cob for the perfect meal!

4.49 from 27 votes
Review Recipe


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Tender fall off the bone baby back ribs are made easy in the Instant Pot! Add your favorite barbecue sauce (or olive oil/salt/pepper) for a finger licking good meal!


  • 1 rack baby back ribs about 1 1/2- 2lbs
  • 1 cup broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke optional
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 tablespoons dry rub
  • barbecue sauce optional
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoon 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

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  1. Rinse ribs and pat dry. Remove the thin membrane from the back of the ribs.
  2. Cut slab into 2-3 pieces (enough so they fit into the Instant Pot) and coat with dry rub massaging it into the meat.
  3. Place trivet (or rack) in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Add broth or water and liquid smoke if using.
  4. Set ribs upright on the trivet (so they are not stacked on top of one another). Sprinkle with onion and garlic.
  5. Close lid and select manual pressure and set the timer for 23 minutes (25 minutes if they’re extra meaty). Once done, allow the instant pot to natural release for 5 minutes.
  6. Open valve to release remaining pressure.
  7. Brush with barbecue sauce (or olive oil/salt/pepper for dry ribs) and broil or grill until slightly charred.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 244, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 307mg, Potassium: 413mg, Carbohydrates: 19g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Protein: 15g, Vitamin A: 2285%, Vitamin C: 4%, Calcium: 131%, Iron: 4.2%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword instant pot ribs

Repin this Instant Pot Recipe

Close up of Instant Pot ribs with barbecue sauce

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Instant Pot Ribs are the perfect way to make tender juicy baby back ribs. We slather them in BBQ sauce for extra flavor! #spendwithpennies #ribs #instantpot #easyrecipe #pork #weekdaymeal #quickmeal
Instant Pot Ribs are the most tender delicious ribs I've ever had! #spendwithpennnies #ribs #instantpot #instantpotrecipe #instantpotribs #maincourse

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Made these tonight for the third time this month, and they were SO tender. We added some baby potatoes to the Instant Pot which cooked in the juices and were delicious!

  2. I made your instant pot ribs and my grandson and husband said they were the best they ever ate. I did cook them 34 minutes instead 24 .I’m trying to use my instant pot more so I’ll be trying more of your recipes. Thanks Holly. Beth

  3. Great recipe! I did add some other seasonings and followed the cooking settings exactly and the ribs were so tender! The hubby thoroughly enjoyed. Also I sauteed some onions in the pot with various bell peppers then placed the rack in. After the ribs cooked I took the leftover water and seasonings from the pot and used that water to cook my quiona in and that was amazing too! Looking forward to trying your other recipes

  4. Hi! I used apple cider as my liquid. And followed the directions to a “T”. And WEEEEE DOGGIES! did they ever come out mighty fine!

  5. it says 6 tbsp. of dry rub, then there is a recipe for dry rub below. I’m assuming it’s 6 tbsp. of another dry rub in addition to the dry rub you have a recipe for?

  6. Excited as I am making these but worried. I have the newer instapot that doesn’t have the Manual setting, and it released pressure just 5 mins into cooking. I have it set on pressure cook and I fear the ribs will come out dry as the steam is releasing continually while it cools. Crossing my fingers.

  7. Tried the recipe with a rack of St. Louis cuts. I guess they would be OK during the winter, in a pinch. No comparison to a rack done in the Weber with a Slow’n’Sear on a 3-2-1 technique.

    1. While I haven’t tried that, this recipe should work for any type of ribs. If they’re not tender enough, add them back to the Instant Pot until they’re ready. Let us know how it works for you Tiffany!

  8. When you say “manual pressure” do you mean the “low “ setting?
    This is my first time using my instapot and that’s the only part that confuses me.

  9. So good my husband will never smoke ribs again. Doubled the liquid smoke and didn’t remove the membrane. Turned out great!

  10. Life changing! I did the ribs both ways, thawed and frozen, finished on the grill. Perfect and done in under an hour. Did 2 racks of ribs at once for thawed method, 23 minutes was perfect. I will never make ribs any other way.

    1. Yay! So happy this was a success for you Julie! It is definitely hard to go back to a more traditional method when you can make mouthwatering ribs in no time at all this way!

  11. May be easier, but not great tasting. I’ll stick with the work of smoking then finishing in oven. These were dry and bland, although tender they tasted boiled

  12. I made this for the first time over July 4 week-end. We loved the fall off he bone ribs and will make it again later this summer. Delicious and easy! Thanks.

  13. The ribs I am using are (precooked) but I am sure they are not tender enough. So how long do you think I should cook them in the instant pot to make them tender but not fall apart, in pieces when I grill them. I will buy uncooked next time and use your recipe. Thank you for your time…

    1. Candy, I’ve never tried this recipe with precooked ribs, so can’t say for sure. I’d start with cooking them for about 10-15 minutes and see if they’re tender enough, and if not, put them back for another 5 minutes. Hope that helps!

  14. This is my new recipe for rib’s! I have been smoking rib’s for years and taking hours to do it. This was so easy and fast. I just cooked them in the instant pot and then put them on the grill with some bbq sauce and good to go!

  15. These were terrific. I was worried about all the spices … the smell of the spice mix and the smell of the raw sliced garlic was so strong so I was afraid it would overpower the ribs, but it was perfect. I used Pork baby back ribs and followed everything exactly in the recipe. I just used water (not broth). I was also worried about the different smoke flavors clashing… the smoked paprika + the liquid smoke + Lillie-Q’s Smoky bbq sauce. It all melded together incredibly.

    1. Someone mentioned doing 2 racks of ribs. I have teenagers, so that’s probably a great idea! Do you cook them longer? Sounds amazing, looking forward to trying them!

        1. I’m glad you enjoyed, but sorry to hear that they weren’t “fall of the rib” Deb. Ours have always been fall off the bone!

  16. Looks amazing! If I wanted to make these in advance for a dinner party would you recommend I keep the ribs in the instant pot and then take them out to put barbecue sauce on and broil when I’m ready to serve? Otherwise can I let the ribs naturally release, put sauce on them, put them back in instant pot to keep warm and then broil before serving? I’m new to instant pot ribs…I usually use the slow cooker:)
    Thanks so much!!!

    1. You can put the sauce on before or just when you’re ready to broil. I wouldn’t leave them in the IP too much longer than directed or the meat will become too tender and literally fall off the bone. Enjoy!

    1. Both will work well in this recipe (as would vegetable broth). If I have one open, I’ll use that, but usually use chicken broth since I always have a lot of it. Enjoy Jessica!

    1. Step 5 says to select manual pressure and set the timer for 23 minutes (25 minutes if they’re extra meaty). Once done, allow the instant pot to natural release for 5 minutes.

        1. These should take only a couple minutes to broil. I always watch closely, and set my timer for 2 minutes, if I’m paying less attention!

  17. Is it ground Oregano or flaked? I’m assuming flaked, since two teaspoons of ground might be overwhelming. Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  18. Just made these. And let me tell you. These ribs were delicious. I followed the recipe as written. I used water because I didnt have broth. Awesome recipe.

  19. I made ribs in my instant pot following this recipe minus the smoke flavor. My family went wild for them. It was so easy and so very tastey! I am new to pressure cooking. The instant pot is so easy. I just love it! Thanks for providing this recipe to make new a successful instant pot chef!

  20. I’ve made this few times and I am currently making this and I plan on straining it to make the pot ribs. This Recipe is very good and Thanks for your help!

  21. Hi,
    this absolutely looks delicious. Is liquid smoke necessary in this recipe? I don’t use it often and I am hoping not have to buy a whole bottle just for 1 dish.

    1. The second picture in the post is a picture of the ribs in the instant pot before they are cooked. I hope that helps Sam!

  22. Finally tried this recipe and it was a hit! We never eat ribs because they take way to long to cook. Love having a fast way to enjoy the same delicious meal! 

  23. Hi Holly, I made these using the exact ingredient as written, however I use a 9 liter stove top pressure cooker (old school but very reliable). For clarification for other readers, I did cut the ribs apart between each bone (we have some rather meaty ribs here) and once rubbed, just tossed them onto the steamer tray, so that answers the questions if the ribs can be layered, certainly can. The time on pressure was 15 minutes.

    These were not only liked by me, the Thai family loved these!!! This will certainly be a regular way I prepare ribs from now on. Worthy of 10 stars!

  24. Made this today with my favorite, the Dill Pickle Pasta……while the procedure was pretty spot on, and I did have to add a few minutes for meatier ribs, I wasn’t too impressed with the rub. Especially, because it totally lacked salt. Next time, I’d forego the rub, and just use my onion salt & pepper rub to cook them, then proceed with my homemade barbecue sauce on them under the broiler.

  25. thank you Holly! the rub was easy and now a great staple for me. I did the natural release and the ribs were perfect. Fall off the bone and moist.
    my ribs were long and uneven therefore many were touching and they cooked just fine.
    I did the broil in the oven to finish with BBQ sauce.
    I am just a newbie with my instant pot so thanks for a great recipe

  26. Holly, what size Instant Pot do you recommend? I want to get this for my husband along with a slab of ribs…he will feel like he got 3.5 hours of his life back!

  27. This was my first Instant Pot dinner, and it was a big hit! My six year old and picky husband both said they’d definitely have again! Delicious with and without sauce! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  28. Sounds like it would be great in a crock pot on low for eight hours. My roommates brought one of those Instant Pots home last Christmas—I think it’s time I learned to use it.
    (I plan to surprise them with the ramen noodle pasta salad too!)

  29. These made the most amazing fall of the bone ribs I’ve ever had! Love the recipe because it feels like a treat to be able to have ribs for dinner during the week after dinner instead of waiting to cook them for 4 hours over the weekend!! Ribs is definitely going to become a staple in our house!

    1. So happy to hear that you loved these ribs Ayla! I agree that it’s such a treat to have them on a weekday!

      1. Slow and low in the oven. 2 hours at 300 or 1hour at 350. I have a huge pot with a steam rack in it. I’ve been doing it this way for years. Tonight I’m trying the instant pot though. I’m very excited.