This Instant Pot Ribs Recipe makes fall off the bone, tender and delicious ribs in under 1 hour! Ribs in Instant Pot are ready in fraction of the time of your traditional ribs.

Other Instant Pot family favorites are Instant Pot carnitas, Instant Pot pork chops and honestly, we love all these summer Instant Pot recipes.

Instant pot ribs recipe with barbecue sauce and parsley in a baking dish.

Why Cook Ribs in Instant Pot?

Instant Pot ribs are a favorite any time of the year, but especially in summer when I don’t want to overheat the kitchen!

  • It’s a much faster and easier way to cook pork ribs.
  • They’re succulent and very tender.
  • You can customize the seasoning to your liking.
  • This easy Instant Pot ribs recipe can make a lot at a time and they make great leftovers.
  • Instant Pot doesn’t heat up the kitchen for hours.
  • Perfect for BBQs, potlucks, and game day parties.
  • No need to turn on the BBQ.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

To make ribs in Instant Pot, you will need just a few simple ingredients. You can use store-bought BBQ sauce but I also include a homemade BBQ sauce recipe as well.

  • Pork ribs: We are talking about pork ribs. Beef ribs are a whole other thing! See more below.
  • Dry rub: Chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, pepper, and salt.
  • BBQ sauce: You can use store-bought BBQ sauce, this healthy BBQ sauce or hawaiian BBQ sauce. BBQ sauce brands that contain low sugar are Stubb’s, Primal Kitchen, and Annie’s. They are made with recognizable ingredients and with no high fructose syrup on the list.

Recipe Tip

For homemade BBQ sauce you will need tomato paste, applesauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, onion and garlic powder, prepared mustard, cayenne, liquid smoke, and salt.

How to Cook Ribs in Instant Pot

Here is a quick overview how to cook ribs in Instant Pot. Instant Pot method gives you tender, juicy texture with minimal effort. Full recipe card is located below.

Person removing the membrane from the back of the pork ribs.

Remove the membrane: The pork ribs you purchase may or may not have a membrane. It is shiny connective tissue at the back of the ribs that hold them together.

You want to slide a butter knife or handle of a spoon under to loosen it up a bit and then pull. If slippery, hold on with a paper towel, remove and discard both.

Recipe Tip

Removing the membrane helps spice rub penetrate the meat better resulting in more flavorful Instant Pot ribs. I usually take it off and I don’t mind that ribs fall apart when I take them out. If keeping them intact is super important to you, by all means, leave the membrane on while they cook, and remove it later on.

Two racks of seasoned baby back ribs on a baking sheet.

Season pork ribs with dry rub: Sprinkle a blend of chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper on both sides of the ribs. I recommend sprinkling spices instead of rubbing because a lot ends up sticking to your fingers and not meat.

Prep the Instant Pot: To the bottom of Instant Pot, add trivet and 1 cup cold water. Trivet helps to lift ribs out of the water. And it doesn’t matter if the trivet has handles or not.

Racks of baby back ribs curled inside the pressure cooker before and after cooking.

Pressure cook ribs in Instant Pot: Place curled up and coiled rack of ribs in Instant Pot, close the lid and set the release valve to Sealing position. Press Pressure Cook on High pressure or Manual button for 25 minutes.

Cooked Instant Pot ribs recipe transferred onto a baking sheet.

Release pressure and carefully remove the ribs: After 25 minutes is up, wait 15 minutes and then release the remaining pressure by turning the valve to Venting position. You can also go with Natural Release all the way for even more tender Instant Pot ribs recipe.

Carefully remove ribs from the Instant Pot with tongs onto large baking sheet. Be careful as ribs are super tender and it is tricky not to break them in half. If they do break, it is OK since we will slice them anyways.

Person brushing cooked Instant Pot ribs with homemade BBQ sauce.

Brush ribs with BBQ sauce and broil: Broil cooked BBQ sauce brushed ribs under preheated broiler at 500 degrees F for 5 minutes on the middle rack.

This step is optional and how much pressure cooker ribs will caramelize depends on the barbecue sauce you use.

Instant Pot ribs with BBQ sauce and parsley on baking sheet.

What Types of Ribs Are Best to Use?

Feel free to cook any type of pork ribs in Instant Pot. Here are a few of our favorites and recommendations.

  • Baby back ribs: My preference is towards cooking baby back ribs in pressure cooker. These are ribs cut from the top of the rib cage and have less meat on them. They are also easy to find in any grocery store.
  • Spare ribs: Spare ribs are more meaty with more marbling between the bones than baby back ribs. They also have less meat on top.
  • Frozen ribs: Cooking frozen ribs in Instant Pot is possible! Make sure to cut your frozen baby back ribs or frozen spare ribs into smaller sections, so they fit in your Instant Pot. Also, run them under cold water, dry and then sprinkle with spices. Otherwise the dry rub will not stick to the meat.

How Long to Cook Ribs in Instant Pot?

How long to cook ribs in Instant Pot depends on the type of ribs you have. Both spare ribs and baby back ribs are cut from different areas which means they have different amounts of meat on them. Spare ribs need more time because they are meatier.

I have included this handy chart for your quick reference. Cook your ribs in a pressure cooker as per this table and always use 15 minutes Natural Release or let the pressure subside on its own completely.

Type of RibsPressure Cooking Time
Baby back ribs25 minutes
Spare ribs30 minutes
Frozen ribs35 minutes

Why Are My Ribs Tough in Instant Pot?

If your Instant Pot ribs come out tough it is probably because you didn’t cook them long enough. Another reason can be the size of the ribs. It is also important to release the pressure on Instant Pot naturally for at least 15 minutes.

To avoid tough ribs in Instant Pot next time, let the pressure subside on its own completely, cut ribs into smaller sections or try different brand or type of ribs. Sometimes it is a problem of ribs themselves.

How Much Liquid Do You Put in the Ribs in Instant Pot?

With Instant Pot recipes, it is always recommended to add at least 1 cup of liquid. To make ribs in Instant Pot, you need to add 1 cup of water, broth or you can even try apple juice or apple cider (don’t confuse with apple cider vinegar).

Pressure cooker ribs served in a baking dish.

What Do I Serve with Instant Pot Ribs?

Serve traditionally: Serve ribs with mashed potatoes or Instant Pot potato salad, creamy healthy coleslaw or vinegar coleslaw, and Instant Pot corn on the cob.

The day I tested this recipe, I also made fresh and crunchy Asian chopped salad. This exotic coleslaw went so well with ribs!

Other side dish ideas: Instant Pot mashed potatoes, Instant Pot baked beans or Instant Pot baked potatoes, if you have 2 Instant Pots like me.

And oh, avocado corn salad would be fantastic!

How to Store and Reheat

To store: Refrigerate Instant Pot ribs leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Freeze cooked and cooled sliced ribs in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Keep warm for parties: Just remove a bit of liquid from the pressure cooker, so it sits below the trivet. Stack cut up ribs, close the lid and press Keep Warm button. Ribs in pressure cooker will stay warm for up to 10 hours. Perfect for potlucks and outdoor summer parties. Plus your kitchen stays cool!

To reheat: If it is a small amount of Instant Pot ribs you need, you can just pop them in the microwave. If it’s a full rack, place ribs in Instant Pot on a trivet along with 1/2 cup water. Press Saute, close the lid, and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Then press Cancel and let ribs warm through with steam for 5 minutes.

This way sauce and ribs will not dry out and you will avoid using more sauce. But who can resist adding more BBQ sauce anyway?! Enjoy!


What is the secret to tender juicy ribs?

The secret to tender juicy ribs in Instant Pot is to pressure cook them for at least 25 minutes, let pressure come down naturally and use delicious BBQ sauce.

How do I remove membrane from the ribs?

To remove membrane from the ribs, place them meaty side down on a solid surface and slide a butter knife or back of the spoon under the white shiny connective tissue which is a membrane. Then pull with your hands.

Are short ribs the same as baby back ribs?

They are not. Short ribs are made from beef, while baby back ribs are pork.

Do I have to use the trivet with Instant Pot ribs recipe?

You want to prevent your ribs sitting in a cooking liquid. If you don’t have a trivet, cut up a large onion into quarters, spread on the bottom of the Instant Pot, and arrange racks of ribs on top.

How many ribs can fit in Instant Pot?

6 quart Instant Pot or 8 quart Instant Pot can hold up to 2 regular size racks of pork ribs. 3 quart Instant Pot can fit in 1 rack. As long as you can close the lid.

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Browse all Instant Pot healthy recipes.

Instant Pot Ribs with homemade healthy BBQ sauce showing texture inside.
Instant pot ribs recipe with barbecue sauce and parsley in a baking dish.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

This Instant Pot Ribs Recipe makes fall off the bone, tender and delicious ribs in under 1 hour! Ribs in Instant Pot are ready in fraction of the time of your traditional ribs.
5 from 17 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 519
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Pressure Up & Down Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes



For Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):


  • In a small bowl, add chili powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, pepper, salt and stir with a fork. Set aside.
  • Remove membrane from the back of the ribs by sliding butter knife or spoon handle under. If slippery, use paper towel to pull off membrane. Some ribs might not have it.
  • Sprinkle each side of the ribs with spice mixture. Don't rub as a lot of seasonings will end up sticking to your fingers.
  • In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water and place trivet inside. Place ribs in Instant Pot, on their side and curling in a circle. Close the lid, set pressure valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 25 minutes.
  • (Optional) Homemade BBQ sauce: While ribs are cooking, combine water, tomato paste, applesauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar, honey, onion and garlic powders, mustard, liquid smoke and cayenne pepper in a small pot and stir. Bring to a boil and cook half covered on low heat for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • After 25 minutes cook time is over, wait 15 minutes and then turn the valve to Venting position to release remaining pressure. Or let pressure release on its own.
  • Preheat broiler to 500 degrees F and position oven rack in the middle. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Open the lid, remove ribs carefully using tongs and place on baking sheet. Ribs will be very tender and probably will fall apart in half, no worries. Brush top and sides with generous amount of BBQ sauce and broil for 4-5 minutes.
  • Serve ribs traditionally with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob.



  • Keep warm: You can put ribs back in Instant Pot on a trivet and Keep warm for up to 10 hours. Perfect for parties, summer BBQ, beach picnics etc.
  • Store: Refrigerate rib leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat: Small portion use microwave. If it’s a full rack, place in Instant Pot on a trivet along with 1/2 cup water. Press Saute, close the lid and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Then press Cancel and let ribs warm through with steam for 5 minutes. This way sauce and ribs will not dry out.


Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 692mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Well, what can I say – fantastic!
    The sauce, to die for!
    I live in Austria, originally from Yorkshire in England.
    It was my neighbours birthday today and as he lost his mum 4 years ago I always try to make it a special day.
    I made the ribs, chicken drumsticks and potato wedges using my IP and my newly acquired Ninja Foodi.
    He was very impressed took home the remaining ribs and the sauce, he even sent a copy of your sauce recipe to his friend who’s a chef.
    Will be following you from now on.

    1. Fantastic, thanks for sharing the recipe, so glad everyone enjoyed it and the sauce! Happy birthday to your friend, what a yummy celebration you held for him!

  2. 5 stars
    These ribs were fantastic!! I cooked them for 28 minutes as all meat I cook seems to need 2 or 3 extra minutes. I also left the membrane on so the ribs wouldn’t fall apart. I took it off before I put the sauce on. So tender, and the sauce recipe is delicious. I can’t wait to do the ribs in the Instant Pot and finish them on the barbecue this summer! Far, less work now! You are the best!

  3. leave membraine on….stops ribs from falling apart…..reduce cooking time to 20 min.use bought bb sauce.apply both befor and after.

  4. I don’t eat pork and I would like to know if it’s possible to use bone-in beef ribs and how did it turn out?
    Have you tried the beef short ribs no bones?

  5. 5 stars
    Absolutely incredible, I would never have thought of cooking ribs in a pressure cooker. My youngest son and I ate a rack between us and wished I’d cooked two! So tender it just fell off the bone.

  6. 5 stars
    Amazing as always! I didn’t remove the membrane ( too lazy 😉 ) and my guess that’s what kept ribs from falling apart. I used smoked paprika instead of liquid smoke and a little more cayenne pepper for a kick. The ribs were juicy and tender – everyone loved it! Looking forward for more instant pot recipes from you Olena!

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