Instant Pot Ribs are the most tender, succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs ever!
Not only are they delicious, but they’re also so easy to make and are so fast to make compared to a traditional rib recipe!
We sauce these up with our favorite BBQ sauce or even just salt & pepper them for a dry rib!
Ribs for the Instant Pot
Baby back ribs are cooked in the Instant Pot to achieve the most tender ribs in the least amount of time!
What Kind of Ribs to Buy: Baby back ribs are truly my favorite (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).
Side ribs will work too and are more budget-friendly but baby-back is worth the splurge if you can swing it.
How Long to Pressure Cook Ribs
I cook pressure cooker ribs for about 23 minutes (26 if they’re extra meaty) and about 32 minutes from frozen.
To Make Ribs Tender: 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.
Instant Pot baby back ribs are not only just as amazing as oven-baked ribs, but I might like them more because they’re SO fast! They’re falling off the bone, melt in your mouth, gimme some more, amazing and tender.
Cook from Fresh or Frozen
You can cook 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. They’ll need about 5-7 minutes extra if they’re cooked from frozen.
How to Make Instant Pot Ribs
The best Instant Pot ribs start with baby back ribs as they’re so tender.
PREPARE THE RIBS
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. If you can’t seem to find it, ribs sometimes come with the membrane already removed and some people leave it on (it’s ok to cook with it on).
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.
ADD TO THE INSTANT POT
A trivet ensures the ribs are 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 (23-26 min on high for defrosted or fresh ribs).
FINISH THE RIBS
Once the ribs are nice and tender, allow them to naturally release for a little bit.
Add salt & pepper or bbq sauce and either broil or grill them for a few minutes to crisp up a bit.
How to Natural Release on an 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.
More Favorite BBQ Sides
- The Best Baked Beans
- Classic Coleslaw Recipe
- Grilled Potatoes in Foil (potato packets)
- Easy Grilled Asparagus (with Parmesan)
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
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 ribs and pat dry. Remove the thin membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Cut slab into 2-3 pieces (enough so they fit into the Instant Pot) and coat with dry rub massaging it into the meat.
- Place trivet (or rack) in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Add broth or water and liquid smoke if using.
- Set ribs upright on the trivet (so they are not stacked on top of one another). Sprinkle with onion and garlic.
- 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.
- Open valve to release remaining pressure.
- Brush with barbecue sauce (or olive oil/salt/pepper for dry ribs) and broil or grill until slightly charred.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)