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Instant pot ribs

Best Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs are so tender they fall off the bone. The best part is that you can cook them start to finish in just a little over an hour.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot Ribs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 230kcal
Author Catalina Castravet


Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds

Cooking the Ribs:

  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs about 2lbs each*
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 3 bay leaves optional

Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup preferably no sugar added
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce or more


Dry Rub:

  • Add all the the dry rub ingredients in a medium bowl and using a fork whisk to combine.
  • Dry the ribs with paper towels of excess liquid or blood.
  • The ribs usually have a membrane on the back (the bony part of the ribs), remove it and discard it.
  • Place the ribs on a cutting board, season generously with the dry rub on both sides and use your hand to rub it all over the ribs.

Cooking the Ribs:

  • Add juice, apple cider and liquid smoke to the Instant Pot, stir to combine. Add bay leaves.
  • Add a small legged trivet to the Instant Pot (optional, but I prefer to keep the ribs out of the liquid as much as possible).
  • Place the ribs inside the Instant Pot, standing and pressing on the sides of the Instant Pot. If needed trim the ribs, also make sure you don't go over the Max fill line.
  • Secure the Instant Pot lid, close and point the valve to Sealed.
  • Cook on Manual, for 35 minutes on HP for thicker ribs if you want them to still have a slight pull when biting and be able to brown them on the grill or broil the rack without meat falling off the bone. You can do 40 minutes for extra tender, almost fall of the bone ribs.
  • Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release. Unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.

Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):

  • While the ribs are cooking prepare the BBQ sauce.
  • Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir and set aside.
  • Or just use about 2 cups of store-bought BBQ sauce.

Broiling the ribs:

  • Preheat oven on the Broiler setting.
  • Carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them onto a prepared baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.
  • Brush the ribs generously with either homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce on both sides.
  • Place under the broiler for about 6-10 minutes. Leave the light on, and keep a close eye on the ribs because they could burn quickly.
  • Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce.



*I used a 6 quarts Instant Pot and the 3lbs baby back ribs rack are too large for it, use 2lbs baby baby ribs racks.


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 1206IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg