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Instant Pot Ribs

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If you're craving barbecue but don't want to set up the grill or smoker, try Instant Pot BBQ ribs!

Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot BBQ Ribs:

We love Barbecue Ribs just about any time of year.  They are great for football season, and we often enjoy smoked ribs on Saturdays around here… just because it's the weekend. 

During the very hot weather or on very windy days, however, it's more difficult to cook out. And of course in Oklahoma during the spring, you have to plan all cookouts around severe weather! Not even joking!

So for this reason, adapting our favorite recipes to also work indoors in the oven or Instant Pot is a must-do. 

slab of ribs

Prep Your Pork Ribs:

I can say a lot about which type of ribs to choose, just speaking from personal preference. There are also so many flavor options with ribs. Sweet, tangy, spicy, you name it.

One thing I will give a nod to is location! BBQ varies so much regionally there's really no way of determining which you will enjoy.  If you're from the south, chances are you prefer tangy ribs. From Oklahoma, you will get a spicy plate of ribs with plenty of seasoning.  There's no right or wrong, just go with what you prefer.  

Traditionally ribs are made with a dry rub, and of course something to stick the rub to the pork.  Then after they are cooked, top with your favorite barbecue sauce.  The Instant Pot version is no different. 

We love Head Country barbecue sauce, since it goes with a variety of meats and you can easily find it in stores.

ribs in instant pot

You can purchase any variety ribs, including Baby Back and Country Style for this recipe. I would probably recommend not using Country Style unless it's the only thing available or that will fit in the budget. Country Style are larger and may barely fit into the Instant Pot.  Also, personally the flavor and texture just aren't my favorite.

Coat generously with your dry rub. You can use any prepared pork dry rub, or if you're just throwing this together, follow the instructions in the recipe. 

I coat the ribs lightly with olive oil or yellow mustard first, to let the dry rub stick better.

pouring in liquid

Cooking Liquid:

Unlike the grill or smoker, for the Instant Pot you must add liquid into the dish. This is a must-do for any electric pressure cooker. Just add your mixture of apple cider vinegar, and water or apple juice right into the bottom of the pot.

Since the ribs are on their side, you don't need to worry about them becoming mushy during the cooking process. You can optionally add some liquid smoke for a smoky flavor, since you're missing that layer of flavor if you're not cooking out!

instant pot eibs

Finishing Up Instant Pot Ribs:

After the ribs are done cooking, allow to Natural Release and then remove to serving dish with a good pair of tongs.

Alternately, remove to a lined cooking sheet and spread your favorite barbecue sauce over the top with a grilling brush.  Set the pan under the Broiler setting in your oven while keeping a close eye. About two minutes is all it will need! We love Instant Pot Recipes because you don't have to heat the oven and it's pretty easy clean up.

Love this idea? See our BBQ Pulled Pork Rub Recipe

Homemade Pulled Pork Rub- and Pork Shoulder Tips!

Homemade Pulled Pork Rub

Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs

Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 3lb pork ribs (1 rack)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, or brown sugar substitute
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
  • 1/2- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, or Yellow Mustard


Prepare rib rack with a light coating of olive oil or yellow mustard.

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the ribs, generously.

Sprinkle the brown sugar, paprika and mustard powder over the ribs and then rib all over.

Place ribs in Instant Pot.

Add apple cider vinegar and water (or apple juice, if desired).

For a smokey finish, add a teaspoon of liquid smoke to the cooking liquid.

Secure the Instant Pot lid and set for 45 minutes on meat setting.

Natural release.

Note: if you want a crispy finish, you can cook in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes and then set under the broiler of your oven for 2 minutes.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

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