Instant Pot Recipes Pork Recipes

Last updated on April 14th, 2024 at 04:47 pm

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Best Instant Pot Ribs [VIDEO]

Instant Pot Ribs are so tender and moist that they fall off the bone. The best part is that you can cook them from start to finish in just a little over an hour. The scrumptious homemade barbecue sauce in my recipe is the secret to having tangy and sweet ribs better than any you have ever tasted. My family loves them and so do I. Since they are so easy to make, I make them at least once a month.

Easy Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

When it comes to summer barbecues, I am always excited for BBQ Pork Ribs, because they are just among the best thing on this Earth. You see, I am a pork and beef girl at heart, and I just can’t say no to a delicious rack of ribs.

In just under an hour, you can have the most incredible ribs, that even a Southern will approve of, ready to serve with your favorite side dishes. You will not have to do much work. Besides making the sauce and spice rub, that is all there is to it. The instant pot does the rest of the work. And even though it looks like a lot of ingredients, you probably already have most of them in your kitchen.

I love to use the instant pot, especially during the summer when I do not want to turn on the oven. And they get done in under an hour so you can make them any night of the week. With just some herbs, spices, and condiments, these ribs are transformed into a delicious masterpiece better than any restaurant serves.

They taste like they have been slowly cooked and smoked at a fancy North Carolina restaurant. Making them in the pressure cooker will save you so much time, as you only have to cook the ribs for 40 minutes. Covered in a sweet, spicy, and flavorful homemade rub, and coated in a hickory brown sugar barbecue sauce, you will lick your fingers clean!

One of the best side dishes for these ribs is baked beans and I have an easy recipe for the most flavorful instant pot baked beans you can make in minutes. Cook them before the ribs and keep them warm in a pot while you make the ribs so they can soak in the sauce. 

For the most outstanding BBQ spread, make some Instant Pot Corn on the Cob, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, and Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Why cook pork ribs in the Instant Pot?

These homemade pressure-cooker ribs are so good, that I honestly don’t think I will ever cook ribs any other way. They fall off the bone tender, meaty, and finger-licking good. Also, because they are cooked much faster under pressure, I doubt there is any other better and quicker way to cook them.

  • First, it is super easy and convenient to make them.
  • Second, the cooking time is reduced by a lot compared to grilling or baking.
  • Also, the results are fall-off-the-bone succulent ribs, that everyone can enjoy in just a little over an hour.
  • Minimum prep work for a great dinner!

What do you need to make instant pot ribs?

Besides the ribs, vinegar, some juice, and liquid smoke, most of the other ingredients are just basic herbs, spices, sauces, and condiments.

Ribs and liquids:

  • Baby back pork ribs – I used two racks of ribs that are two pounds each.
  • Unsweetened apple juice – This juice gives the ribs a sweet and tangy flavor that blends well with the other ingredients.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Another perfect way to get tangy ribs, this vinegar also tenderizes the meat.
  • Red wine vinegar – For the barbecue sauce, this complex taste is fruity, sweet, and rich with a touch of grape flavor.


  • Hot pepper sauce – As much or as little as you like to get the right spiciness for your tastes.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Tangy, savory, and salty, this robust sauce is made from anchovies and has an umami flavor.
  • Ketchup – The main ingredient in your barbecue sauce along with the brown sugar to add to the tangy and sweet flavor.

Seasonings, Herbs, and Spices:

The dry rub is what will add flavor to the ribs. I love my homemade dry rub recipe, it’s perfectly balanced when it comes to sweet and spicy. Also, it has some cinnamon and nutmeg that elevates the other flavors and just adds another layer of something that you can’t put a finger on, but you can taste its awesomeness. 

  • Bay leaves – With a subtle pepper flavor and hints of cinnamon, menthol, eucalyptus, pine, and pepper, these herbal leaves are wonderful for adding some herbal taste to anything.
  • Dry mustard – When combined with liquid, dry mustard adds a subtle, acidic flavor.
  • Smoked paprika – Both sweet and spicy, this is another way to add smokiness to your ribs.
  • Brown sugar – The rich and sweet flavor of brown sugar is important in both the dry rub and the barbecue sauce.
  • Onion powder – Adds a zesty and sharp flavor that has the taste of both raw and cooked onion.
  • Garlic powder – Using the powder instead of fresh garlic gives your ribs a sweeter and milder taste.
  • Cayenne pepper – To give your instant pot ribs a spiciness that is not too overwhelming.
  • Cinnamon – Warm and sweet with a slightly citrus flavor.
  • Nutmeg – Both sweet and nutty, nutmeg has a woodsy taste with a bit of pepper flavor as well.
  • Dill seeds – Perfect for your dry rub, dill seeds are similar in flavor to anise, celery, and parsley.
  • Liquid smoke – Made by capturing wood smoke and condensing it into a liquid, this is the easiest way to get a smokey flavor without all the time it takes to smoke meat.
  • Salt – Any kind of salt is fine for this recipe. 
  • Freshly ground black pepper – Make your black pepper from peppercorns for a fresher flavor without any additives.

How to Make the Best Instant Pot Ribs?

Unlike other rib cooking methods, which can take a substantial amount of time, making them in the pressure cooker is quite fast. In addition, the pressure cooker locks in the moisture which makes the meat super moist and tender. For the best results, follow the below steps. Also, I recommend watching the short video tutorial!

  1. Make the rub: First, add all the rub ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.
  2. Dry the ribs: Then, dry the ribs with paper towels and remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. Season all over with the dry rub and use your hands to rub it in.
  3. Fill your instant pot: Now, add the liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, and apple juice to the pot and stir well before adding the bay leaves.
  4. Add the meat: Then, place the trivet in the pot and set your ribs on top. Stand them up and press them on the sides of the pot. If you have to, trim them to fit. Make sure you do not go above the Max Fill line.
  5. Cook: Next, close and lock the lid and set the cooking time for 25-30 minutes on high pressure for tender meat and 40 minutes for meat that falls off the bone.
  6. Vent: After, allow a natural pressure release for 15 minutes, and then do a quick release before opening.
  7. Make the sauce: While the meat cooks, mix all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  8. Preheat: Next, preheat the broiler for five minutes. Meanwhile, place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with foil and spread barbecue sauce all over them.
  9. Broil: Lastly, broil your ribs for 6 to 10 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they do not burn.
  10. Serve: Finally, serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Expert tip

It is always possible to overcook anything if you do not follow the cooking time based on the recipe. With my recipes, I have tried many different times for pressure cooking ribs and found the perfect cooking time to get tender juicy meat that is falling off the bone.

However, you do not want them to be falling off the bone and turning into mush. That is why I spend so many hours in the kitchen making each recipe to make sure you get the precise instructions for the most delicious dishes. These instant pot ribs are the best if you pressure cook them on High for 25-30 minutes. This will give you tender ribs, but NOT mushy.

However, if you are looking for a very soft, falling off the bone, pull-apart type of meat, add 5-10 more minutes to the cooking time.

Overcooked ribs can become dry and chewy, which is not how you want to serve them to your family and friends. With the exact cooking time your ribs, will be the best.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Add heat: If you love spicy foods, add some red pepper flakes to your dry rub.
  • BBQ sauce: For those in a hurry, you can use store-bought barbecue sauce or your favorite one.
  • Other ribs: Feel free to use any kind you like best. Our two favorite types which we always use are:
    • Baby back ribs: They tend to be smaller in size and also more tender. They cook perfectly well and absorb the flavor nicely when cooked under pressure. I highly recommend using them!
    • Spare ribs: These are larger, meatier, and also have a higher fat content. 
  • Other juices: Another way to change up the flavors is to use a different juice like lemon juice or orange juice.

Serving suggestions:

To me, these instant pot ribs are the perfect meal to eat for lunch or dinner, with or without side dishes. Here are some of my favorite serving ideas:

  • These delicious ribs go great with a side salad. Try my recipe for crack corn salad that pairs well with a bbq dish.
  • You can also serve these meaty ribs with baked potatoes slathered with butter and sour cream.
  • Another way to enjoy this dish is with your favorite veggies.
  • Coleslaw, BLT potato salad, or pasta salad are other popular side dishes for barbecue ribs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long to cook ribs in the Instant Pot?

The cooking time is reduced a lot, you cook them on high pressure for 25-30 minutes with a Natural Release of 15 minutes. If you take into consideration the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, cook, and broil the ribs, it takes about 90 minutes to make fall-off-the-bone ribs from scratch.

How to remove the membrane from ribs?

In some cases, you might end up buying ribs that have white, shiny membrane connective tissue on the back (bone side).  If you notice the membrane, then follow these steps to quickly and easily remove it:

  • Ensure the ribs are facing down (meaty part down). 
  • Then, slide your fingers under the membrane and rip it off. Also, you could use a knife instead. At one end of the rack, slide a knife under the membrane and over a bone. Use a paper towel to grab the edge of the membrane and pull it off.

Can you cook frozen ribs in the instant pot?

Yes! This is the beauty of a pressure cooker as you can use meat right from your freezer. The only difference between cooking fresh or frozen ribs will be the cooking time.

For frozen ones, add 15-20 minutes to the cooking time. Follow the same instructions as in the recipe card below. 

How much liquid do I need to cook ribs in the instant pot?

For a 6 quart Instant Pot, about 1 cup is the minimum liquid amount, and about 1 1/2 cups for Instance Pot DUO, unless you’re cooking something that will absorb water.

For this recipe, I use two cups of apple juice and a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. Just make sure you do not go over the Max Fill line on your instant pot.

Why are my instant pot ribs tough?

Besides overcooking your ribs, undercooking them can also be a problem. If they are chewy or tough, they probably need to cook a little bit longer. Try putting them back into the pot and give them another five minutes with a natural release. Another reason they may be tough is if you did not remove the membrane. Be sure to remove it before cooking so it is more tender.

Are ribs better cooked in the oven or instant pot?

In my opinion, pressure-cooking ribs make them so much more tender and delicious, it is hands-down the favorite. It is also good because you do not have to heat the house by having the oven on for several hours. Instead, just cook them in the instant pot and then broil them for just a few minutes to get that crusty coating.

More Instant Pot Recipes:


  • Refrigerate: Leftover ribs can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days in a sealed container.
  • Freezing: If you want to freeze your ribs, let them cool to room temperature and then put them in a freezer bag. They can stay frozen for up to three months. 
  • Defrost: Be sure to defrost your frozen ribs in the fridge overnight before serving them.
  • Reheating: Reheat for one to two minutes in the microwave or 10 minutes in the oven. 

Recipe tips:

  • Make sure you remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  • The dry rub is important for the best flavor so do not skip this step.
  • Another important ingredient is the liquid smoke. You cannot get the smokey flavor without it.
  • Baby back ribs are the most tender and fit better in the instant pot.
  • It is also important to stand your ribs up in the instant pot, so they cook evenly.

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This is the only recipe I use to make ribs! Why buy expensive baby back slabs when you can buy side ribs which turn out so tender! And they are a lot cheaper. Never met a rib I didn't like when cooked following this recipe!!

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Thank you very much Ilene for your feedback!



My go to recipe for ribs! It’s on point! My family loves it!

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

My boys LOVED this way to cook ribs. The bones literally fell out of the rack when I pulled them out of the instant pot. I didn’t have all of the ingredients for the homemade rub or sauce so I used store bought rub and Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce. Huge hit!!!!



Best ribs ever!! I can’t thank you enough for this simple and delicious recipe. Can’t wait to make it again.

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Thank you Anthony, glad that you enjoyed the recipe!

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