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Instant Pot Ribs

Enjoy a rack of tender, juicy, beautifully glazed Instant Pot Ribs in no time! With an easy recipe like this, who needs the grill?!

ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE YOUR FAVORITE RIBS

Instant Pot Ribs are a deliciously easy (and slightly faster) way to make classic tender ribs! Whether you like your ribs fall-off-the-bone tender or still with a bit of chew, Instant Pot Ribs can be customized for any level of doneness. With just 5 minutes of prep time and less than 30 minutes of actual cook time, you can have succulent, flavorful ribs. These are extremely flavorful and tender ribs, and they cook up so easily that these can be enjoyed even on a busy workday!

A few Instant Pot Ribs.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’S):

Are ribs better in the oven or Instant Pot?

Ribs made in the oven tend to be cooked longer, which makes them slightly more tender than the ribs you’ll get from the Instant Pot. Don’t get me wrong, these are still super tender! This is my brother’s favorite way to make ribs. Plus you don’t have to wait a long time for them to cook in the oven.

How much liquid do you put in an Instant Pot for ribs?

When using this recipe, I use:
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

This liquid ensures the ribs stay moist and you also so you don’t accidentally trigger a Burn Notice.

What kind of liquid do I put in with ribs?

As stated above, instead of using plain water, I prefer to use a combination of apple cider vinegar and beef broth. It infuses so much flavor and creates super tender ribs. Chicken or vegetable broth can also be used as substitutes. However, water works fine too and can be used without issue if that is all you have.

Can I stack ribs in the Instant Pot?

Do not cut the ribs up and stack them in the instant pot. They will not cook evenly. Just curl it inside the pot. You can cook an additional rack of ribs in the instant pot if you need to make more than one. Just curl one inside of the other. Keep in mind the size of your instant pot though. You may not be able to fit two rack of ribs into your instant pot. It will also take longer for the pressure cooker to come to pressure since there’s more meat inside the pot. The cook time will stay the same.

Can I put frozen ribs in the Instant Pot?

Yes but it will take longer. You’d have to pressure cook for about 50 minutes then do a natural release for about 15 minutes.

What if I don’t have an instant pot?

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make these in the Slow Cooker, Air Fryer, or on the Grill! I have plenty of options, just click on any of those links to go to the recipe.

Do I have to use mustard?

To ensure the sugar and seasonings stick, I slather the ribs with mustard. But, if you prefer not to use mustard, this step is optional.

How do I make smoky ribs in the Instant Pot?

To add a hint of smoky flavor to your ribs, simply include a couple of drops of liquid smoke to the liquid in the pot.

What Instant Pot do you use?

For this recipe I used a 6-quart Instant Pot. This is the standard size/brand that is most sold in America so I try to use what the majority of people would own. I cannot speak for other brands or other styles. You will have to use your own knowledge of your particular electric pressure cooker to make adjustments where necessary.

I lost my instant pot trivet, what do I do?

Just roll up a couple of balls of aluminum foil or add a couple halves of onions and place onto the bottom. We want steam to generate around the ribs and don’t want it sitting right in the liquid so those are a couple of options to safely lift them up.

How to store and reheat ribs?

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you want to reheat ribs, make a sealed foil packet and add about 3 Tablespoons of beef broth or water into the pack, and reheat the packet in the oven until warmed through. This will keep them from drying out.

Instant Pot Ribs on the counter with sides.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • baby back ribs – I have not tried this with St. Louis ribs. My concern would be that they might too large.
  • yellow mustard – as stated above you don’t have to use the mustard if you don’t like mustard. It really just helps hold the seasoning onto the ribs and adds an additional layer of flavor.
  • light brown sugar – this adds additional sweetness and really goes nicely with the mustard on the ribs. It just gives it a great depth of flavor.
  • bbq seasoning- you can use your favorite store bought brand, make your own, or you can use 2 tablespoons of your favorite homemade bbq rub.
  • beef broth – see my FAQ Frequently Asked Questions above on substitutions for this
  • apple cider vinegar – you can use regular vinegar or substitute with water or additional broth.
  • bbq sauce – I used Sweet Baby Ray’s but you can use any other brand or homemade
Baby back ribs, apple cider vinegar, light brown sugar, barbecue sauce, yellow mustard, beef broth, water, and barbecue seasoning.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT RIBS

Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, I find using a paper towel to hold the membrane while I pull easier since it can be slippery. Pat the ribs dry, then brush all over with the mustard. Rub in the brown sugar all over, followed by the bbq seasoning.

a collage of three photos: a hand using a paper towel to pull off the membrane on the back of a rack of ribs, brushing mustard onto a rack of ribs, spreading BBQ seasoning on top of the ribs.

Place the trivet into the instant pot. Add the beef broth and apple cider vinegar. Place the ribs, meat side out, into a 6-quart or 8-quart instant pot, it will curl around the inside of the pot.

a collage of two photos: beef broth being poured into the instant pot and the ribs shown curled around on top of a trivet inside the instant pot.

Place the cover on the instant pot and turn the vent knob to close. Place on high pressure for 24 minutes. It will take about 11-12 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure and then it will start to cook the ribs. Once they are cooked, allow the instant pot to naturally release for 15 minutes. After that time, manually release any more pressure in the pot. Open the lid and gently remove the ribs and place them onto a sheet tray. I find lifting them out with the trivet the easiest way to do this. They are extremely tender at this point, so they may break apart some. In a small bowl, stir together the bbq sauce and water. Brush this all over the ribs, if you think they may break apart if you try to sauce the bottom side, then just sauce the top.

a collage of three photos: a cooked rack of ribs on a sheet pan, BBQ sauce and water in a small bowl, BBQ sauce being brushed onto the cooked ribs.

Place the ribs under the broiler for a couple of minutes to glaze the ribs. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Serve immediately. 

A rack of fresh made ribs in the Instant Pot.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Closely looking at the meat on a rack of ribs.
A rack of Instant Pot Ribs close up.

Instant Pot Ribs

Easily make a rack of tender, juicy ribs in the Instant Pot with this simple recipe.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 26 minutes
Coming to pressure and Natural Release time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes
Servings: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar packed
  • 2 Tablespoons bbq seasoning
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup bbq sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water (this is just to thin out the sauce a bit to make it easier to brush but is optional)

Instructions

  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, I find using a paper towel to hold the membrane while I pull easier since it can be slippery.
  • Pat the ribs dry, then brush all over with the mustard.
  • Rub in the brown sugar all over, followed by the bbq seasoning.
  • Place the trivet into the instant pot. Add the beef broth and apple cider vinegar.
  • Place the ribs, meat side out, into a 6 or 8 quart instant pot, it will curl around the inside of the pot.
  • Place the cover on the instant pot and turn the vent knob to close.
  • Place on high pressure for 24 minutes. It will take about 11-12 minutes for the instant pot to come to pressure and then it will start to cook the ribs.
  • Once they are cooked, allow the instant pot to naturally release for 15 minutes. After that time, manually release any more pressure in the pot.
  • Open the lid and gently remove the ribs and place them onto a sheet tray. I find lifting them out with the trivet the easiest way to do this. They are extremely tender at this point, so they may break apart some.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the bbq sauce and water. Brush this all over the ribs, if you think they may break apart if you try to sauce the bottom side, then just sauce the top.
  • Place the ribs under the broiler for a couple of minutes to glaze the ribs. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • We used a premade bbq seasoning for this, just use your own favorite brand or you can use 2 tablespoons of your favorite homemade bbq rub.
  • A lot of people use water with the apple cider vinegar to the pot, but I think adding the beef broth adds more flavor. But, you can use water in its place with no problem.
  • You can add a couple of drops of liquid smoke to the liquid in the bottom of the pot if you want a little touch of smoke flavor to the ribs.
  • To reheat, I would make a sealed foil packet and place some beef broth or water, about 3 tablespoons worth into the pack and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
  • Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, freeze for up to 3 months.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 845kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 48g | Sodium: 1520mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 30g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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