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.

cooked Instant Pot Ribs in foil

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.

Raw Instant Pot Ribs in the instant pot

How to Make Instant Pot Ribs

My family dubs these the best Instant Pot ribs, they’re so tender.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Prep Tip

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.

Instant Pot Ribs with sauce on foil

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.

Instant Pot Ribs on foil

Serve these easy Instant Pot Ribs with Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, some garlic bread, and corn on the cob for the perfect meal!

How long to cook ribs in an Instant Pot

Pressure cooker ribs need about 23 to 26 minutes (26 if they’re extra meaty, like side ribs) and about 32 minutes from frozen.

How to make ribs tender

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.

Why are my ribs tough?

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.

Do I need to put liquid in with the ribs?

Yes, Instant Pot ribs require liquid so it can build steam and create pressure.

Can I stack more ribs in the Instant Pot?

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!

cooked Instant Pot Ribs in foil
4.92 from 161 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Instant Pot Ribs

These easy Instant Pot ribs are tender fall-off-the-bone deliciousness! They're quick and easy to make too.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients  

  • 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

Dry Rub

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

If you don’t have a trivet, use balls of foil or thick slices of onion to prop the ribs out of the liquid.
Leftover ribs can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days or up to 2 months in the freezer. 
4.92 from 161 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 244 | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2285IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 4.2mg

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

Course Dinner, Pork
Cuisine American
close up of Instant Pot Ribs with a title
Instant Pot Ribs in a pot with garlic and a title
cooked Instant Pot Ribs with writing
Instant Pot Ribs in the pot and plated with a title

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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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Comments

  1. I love ribs done in the instant pot. This is a handy rub to keep on hand. Love all your recipes Holly and this is a keeper as well. Finishing off in the oven under broiler is handy during winter months or on the grill gives great flavor to finish off these tender morsels of deliciousness.5 stars

  2. Hi Holly,
    We purchased pre-cooked rotisserie ribs from Sam’s but they were tough. I searched how to make ribs more tender using the instant pot, and came across your recipe. I’m glad you added the section above about questions- the one that states “Why are my ribs tough?” helped a lot. I washed off the bbq sauce, added some new rub, and set it on high pressure for 4 minutes. After letting the pressure come down naturally for 5 minutes, the ribs were still a bit tough. After another 4 minute cycle with 5 min natural pressure release, they were perfect.
    Thanks so much!5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you were able to turn the ribs into a perfect meal, such a great idea to pressure cook them!

    1. Hi Kristen, I have never doubled this recipe but as long as your ribs fit in the IP you should be able to without adjusting the cook time. Let us know how they turn out!

  3. Recipe looks great, but I don’t see any salt. We’re about to make this.. I’m a fan of salt. Should we add some to the dry rub? I know that extracts moisture. I hope you see this soon lol5 stars

  4. This was or should have been a very good recipe. Followed every step as listed. The issue arose with the IP! The dreaded ‘ burn’ notice. Not the first time with this IP. Been making BBR’s for years, either steamed in the oven or in the original presto pressure cooker (which I donated after many years of use). Bad move.
    Will make again for sure but not with this IP!
    Now Tamale Pie – well that amazing! Hi from Holly!5 stars

    1. Hi Janice, we have never tried doubling this recipe but if it fits in your Instant Pot then it should work.

  5. 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!5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Lille, this made my day! I am so glad you are enjoying the recipes!

  6. 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!!5 stars

    1. 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!

      1. Thanks, Holly…will do, but think your way is the fool proof way…they look amazing!

  7. 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!5 stars

  8. 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!5 stars

  9. Hi!!
    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!!5 stars

  10. Wonderful recipe!
    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!!5 stars