Instant Pot Ribs – Spend With Pennies


Get ready to satisfy your cravings with these fall-off-the-bone tender Instant Pot Ribs!

Made with just a few simple ingredients, these ribs are delicious, easy to prepare, fast to make, and extra tender.

Sauce these up with your favorite BBQ sauce, or even just salt & pepper.

cooked Instant Pot Ribs in foil

How to Choose Ribs

Making pork ribs in an Instant Pot is both quick and easy. There are two kinds of ribs that can be used in this recipe.

  • Baby back ribs or back ribs are typically the most tender and flavorful option, but they can be pricier. If possible, I recommend choosing these ribs.
  • Side ribs or spareribs are more budget-friendly and still yield tender and delicious results in the Instant Pot. They are a bit more meaty and have great flavor.

Cook from Fresh or Frozen

Much like Instant Pot pulled pork, the pressure cooker makes ribs tender in a fraction of the time compared to other methods. Best of all, no need to thaw them first. Instant Pot baby back ribs can be cooked right from frozen. 

Be sure to add the rub and cut them to fit in the Instant Pot prior to freezing. Follow the recipe as directed adding 5 to 7 minutes extra when cooking from frozen.

Raw Instant Pot Ribs in the instant pot

How to Make Instant Pot Ribs

My family dubs these the best Instant Pot, they’re so tender.

  1. Prep the Ribs: Remove the membrane if present and cut the racks of ribs into two or three pieces so they will fit in the Instant Pot. Rub with the spice rub.
  2. Cook in the Instant Pot: Place the ribs on a trivet in the Instant Pot and add some broth, onion and garlic. Cook per the recipe below.
  3. Finish the Ribs: Add salt & pepper and either homemade or prepared bbq sauce. Broil or grill for a few minutes to crisp up a bit if you’d like.

Ribs have a very thin membrane located on the back of the ribs. It’s ok to cook with the membrane on, but I personally prefer to remove it.

To remove the membrane, simply slide a knife under it to get ahold of it, grip it with a paper towel if needed, and pull it off. If you can’t seem to find it, ribs sometimes come with the membrane already removed.

Instant Pot Ribs with sauce on foil

How to Natural Release on an Instant Pot

When using an Instant Pot, the pressure needs to be released before opening the lid. You can do this using Quick Release or Natural Release.

This recipe uses a 5-minute natural release, to allow the pressure to gradually come down. After cooking the timer will start to count up and once it reaches 5 minutes, carefully open the valve to release the remaining pressure.

Instant Pot Ribs on foil

Serve these easy Instant Pot Ribs with Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, some garlic bread, and corn on the cob for the perfect meal!

How long to cook ribs in an Instant Pot

Pressure cooker ribs need about 23 to 26 minutes (26 if they’re extra meaty, like side ribs) and about 32 minutes from frozen.

How to make ribs tender

Start by choosing the right ribs (back ribs are the most tender). To make ribs tender, cook them in a pressure cooker per the recipe below. You can also make tender ribs in the oven or slow cooker.

Why are my ribs tough?

If you open the pressure cooker and the ribs are not tender, it means they need more time. To make ribs more tender, close the pressure cooker and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Do I need to put liquid in with the ribs?

Yes, Instant Pot ribs require liquid so it can build steam and create pressure.

Can I stack more ribs in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can add additional racks of ribs to the Instant Pot as long as they aren’t packed in tight. The cooking time will not need to be changed.

Best BBQ Sides

Did you love these Instant Pot Ribs? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

cooked Instant Pot Ribs in foil

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Instant Pot Ribs

These easy Instant Pot ribs are tender fall-off-the-bone deliciousness! They’re quick and easy to make too.

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 45 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Author Holly Nilsson

  • Rinse and pat dry the rack of ribs. Use a knife to lift the edge of the thin membrane from the back of the ribs and remove it.

  • Cut the slab into 2-3 pieces that are small enough to fit into the Instant Pot. Coat each piece generously with the dry rub mixture, and massage it into the meat.

  • Add a trivet or rack to the bottom of your Instant Pot and pour in broth or water, along with liquid smoke if using.

  • Stand the ribs upright on the trivet, so they are not stacked on top of one another. Sprinkle sliced onion and garlic over the ribs.

  • Close the Instant Pot lid and select manual high pressure. Set the timer for 22 minutes (25 minutes for extra meaty or side ribs).

  • Once the timer goes off, allow the Instant Pot to natural-release for 5 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.

To Broil or Grill (optional)

  • Turn the broiler on to high heat or the grill on to medium high heat.

  • Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce (or olive oil/salt/pepper for dry ribs).

  • If broiling, line a large baking pan with foil and place the ribs 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. If grilling, place the ribs directly on the grill. Cook until slightly charred, about 3 to 5 minutes.

If you don’t have a trivet, use balls of foil or thick slices of onion to prop the ribs out of the liquid.
Leftover ribs can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days or up to 2 months in the freezer. 

Calories: 244 | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 413mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2285IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 4.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dinner, Pork
Cuisine American
close up of Instant Pot Ribs with a title
Instant Pot Ribs in a pot with garlic and a title
cooked Instant Pot Ribs with writing
Instant Pot Ribs in the pot and plated with a title


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