Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

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These Instant Pot ribs are fall off the bone tender, easy to make, and loaded with flavor! Enjoy straight them out of the pressure cooker slathered with your favorite bbq sauce!

If you’re as much of an Instant Pot fanatic as I am, you might also enjoy this Iemon garlic chicken, this yummy spaghetti, or this beef stroganoff. They are all perfect for any family dinner!

Pieces of ribs with BBQ sauce on them.

Instant Pot Ribs

I have to warn you, once you make ribs in your Instant Pot, it may be difficult to go back to doing them any other way. The Instant Pot makes these ribs incredibly tender in record time! And that seasoning rub makes it so that these ribs are loaded with extra flavor. They are sticky, smoky, and cooked to a savory perfection! Plus, how they fall off the bone and melt in your mouth will make all of your family and friends will be begging you for your secrets!

Feel free to mix up the rub ingredients, add a little more spice if you like, or get a little crazy and improvise. You can also use different liquids for cooking your ribs — any clear liquid is fine! Chicken or beef broth, soda (root beer, Dr. Pepper, ginger ale, etc.) would work great in here — it just depends on your tastes. Before you know it, you will be adding this recipe to your regular dinner menu. I usually stick to chicken or beef for my everyday meals, but these make me think twice! They are so good. You should eat them for more than just a special occasion!

Ingredients You Need for Instant Pot Ribs

This ingredients list is simple and easy! Grab some ribs at your local store and cook these up. They are going to fly off the table! See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Pork ribs: I like to get baby back ribs because they have more meat on them.
  • Apple juice: You can use any kid of clear liquid as the base! Try chicken broth or even soda!
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar provides such a deep and sweet flavor.
  • Chili powder: This adds a little kick and flavor but not too much heat.
  • Paprika: I love using paprikato season this because it has a sweet and unique taste that goes so well with meat.
  • Garlic and onion powder: These add in such amazing flavors to the rub.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season with these to your liking.
  • BBQ sauce: You can use storebought or Homemade BBQ Sauce!

How to Cook Ribs in an Instant Pot

The most amazing part about these ribs is that they are done in less than 30 minutes! And you would never know that they cooked so fast because they are tender and fall off the bone. You will love how convenient and delicious this recipe is.

  1. Add juice to Instant Pot: Pour the apple juice in the bottom of the instant pot. Place the trivet in the instant pot on top of the liquid.
  2. Combine seasonings: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Pull off membrane and pat dry: To prepare the ribs, remove the membrane on the back of ribs. Simply grab ahold of the membrane and pull it off. Once the membrane is removed, pat the ribs dry using a papertowel. 
  4. Rub the meat: Rub the prepared seasonings generously on both sides of the ribs.
  5. Add ribs to Instant Pot: Place the rack of ribs inside the instant pot. Curl the ribs on top of the trivet.
  6. Cook: Plug in the instant pot. Put the lid on, turn the valve to seal, and select Manual or Pressure Cook for 25 minutes.
  7. Naturally release the pressure: Once the cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes. Open the valve and carefully remove the ribs. 
  8. Add BBQ Sauce and broil: Generously brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, and broil for about 5 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve: Serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side if you desire.
6 pictures showing how to prepare the ribs and put them in an Instant Pot.

What Kind of Ribs Should I Use?

This Instant Pot Ribs recipe is for pork ribs, but you can use either side ribs or back ribs in this recipe.

  • Side Ribs: Side ribs are generally less tender (i.e., less desirable) and therefore less expensive. I often buy side ribs on sale, because with the right cooking techniques you can transform them into something amazing! With the Instant Pot, these ribs are going to be falling off the bone so I wouldn’t worry at all about using side ribs for this recipe.
  • Back ribs (baby back ribs): These are more tender and have more meat on them, but they are also more expensive. You will cook both exactly the same, so choose whichever you like.

Perhaps you choose side ribs to enjoy regularly and want to upgrade to baby back ribs for a special occasion (or when they’re on sale.) Or maybe you live for ribs, and you’re going all out with baby back ribs every time! The choice is yours.

A close up of ribs with BBQ sauce on them.

How to Store Leftovers

Instant pot ribs make the best leftovers! You can have them for lunch or dinner the next day, or you can take the meat off of the bone and use it in a BBQ Salad!

  • In the Fridge: Once your ribs have cooled then wrap them tightly in some foil or plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container. Put them in your fridge and they will last in there for 3-4 days.
  • To Reheat: Remove your ribs from the fridge and let them sit for 30 minutes so that they can come up to room temperature. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil and brush on some extra bbq sauce. Wrap them with the foil and add foil to the top so that they are completely covered. Then, put them in your oven at 225 degrees. (You aren’t trying to cook your ribs, just warm them up! That’s why the temperature is low). Remove them after 30 minutes or once they are warmed throughout.
A hand picking up a rib to eat.

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

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These Instant Pot ribs are fall off the bone tender, easy to make, and loaded with flavor! Enjoy straight them out of the pressure cooker slathered with your favorite bbq sauce!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 lbs pork baby back ribs (about 1 large rack)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup store-bought or Homemade BBQ Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Pour the apple juice in the bottom of the instant pot. Place the trivet in the instant pot on top of the liquid.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • To prepare the ribs, remove the membrane on the back of ribs. Simply grab ahold of the membrane and pull it off. Once the membrane is removed, pat the ribs dry using a papertowel.
  • Rub the prepared seasonings generously on both sides of the ribs.
  • Place the rack of ribs inside the instant pot. Curl the ribs on top of the trivet.
  • Plug in the instant pot. Put the lid on, turn the valve to seal, and select Manual or Pressure Cook for 25 minutes.
  • Once the cook time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes. Open the valve and carefully remove the ribs.
  • Generously brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, and broil for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with extra barbecue sauce on the side if you desire.


Nutrition

Serves: 4

Calories444kcal (22%)Carbohydrates30g (10%)Protein28g (56%)Fat24g (37%)Saturated Fat8g (40%)Cholesterol99mg (33%)Sodium521mg (22%)Potassium568mg (16%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar24g (27%)Vitamin A555IU (11%)Vitamin C1.1mg (1%)Calcium68mg (7%)Iron1.7mg (9%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot ribs
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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