Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs made with dry rub, apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce are tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs done in under an hour. They're super flavorful and delicious!
You can make tender, fall-off-the-bone baby back pork ribs in the pressure cooker anytime -- in any weather with this easy recipe. Just season them with dry rub, cook the ribs in the Instant Pot, slather them with barbecue sauce and finish on the grill, under the broiler or in the air fryer for a crispier texture.
Next to Instant Pot creamy shells and beef, these pressure cooker ribs are one of our favorite Instant Pot recipes. Why? Well, they're absolutely perfect every. single. time. Seriously, once you make ribs in the pressure cooker, you may never go back!
This method for pressure cooker ribs is a lot like making ribs in the slow cooker, only it's a lot faster. Instead of making fall-off-the-bone ribs in a few hours, you'll be devouring these ribs in less than an hour! We love to serve them with Instant Pot Potato Salad or Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and Instant Pot Corn on the Cob or Foil Grilled Corn on the Cob for a complete meal.
You only need a few ingredients for this Instant Pot ribs recipe. You should be able to find everything online or at your local grocery store.
- Brown sugar
- Sea salt
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Baby back pork ribs, membrane removed
- Apple cider vinegar
How to make Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
First, you'll want to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Do you have to remove the membrane?
No, but doing so makes them more tender. It' s actually very easy to do, so don't be intimidated by this step.
Just insert a paring knife or another small knife under the membrane at the smallest rib to lift it up. Then, grab the membrane, and pull. I recommend using a paper towel or napkin to grab the membrane since it's easier to hold this way.
Whenever we make these easy Instant Pot ribs, I like to start off with a dry rub. This goes for making ribs in the pressure cooker, slow cooker or just on the grill. It adds an extra layer of flavor, so don't skip it if you can.
You can use your favorite dry rub recipe. Or, you can use your favorite dry rub mix from the store. I like to make my own homemade spice rub with just a few simple ingredients: brown sugar, sea salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika and pepper.
Next, you add thin liquid to the Instant Pot so that it reaches pressure. I use a mix of water and apple cider vinegar, which adds some awesome flavor and helps tenderize the ribs.
Note -- The ribs sit on the trivet, so they're not actually in the vinegar.
Place the ribs on the trivet, standing up. Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and pressure cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. You can pressure cook the ribs for 15 minutes if you want chewier ribs or 25 minutes for ribs that completely fall off the bone.
Cook time is really a personal preference. The best way to get ribs that are absolutely perfect is to experiment until you're happy with the end result.
When the ribs are done, do a natural release for a few minutes, and then quick release the remaining pressure completely. Place the ribs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, slather your favorite barbecue sauce on them, and then broil for about 5 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the ribs get a little crispy.
This is an optional step, but if you want to mimic the texture of grilled ribs, you'll want to pop them under the broiler. And that's all, folks! Go ahead and dig in!
And if the weather is nice, you can grill the ribs after pressure cooking -- so good! If you have the Instant Pot Duo Crisp, you can cut the ribs into smaller sections and use the air fryer setting to finish the ribs. You can do the same if you have the Instant Omni or Instant Vortex air fryers or any oven style air fryer.
How Many Racks
You can make 1 or 2 racks of baby back ribs in the 6-quart Instant Pot. You can make 2 or 3 racks in the 8 quart or 10 quart Instant Pot, although I personally think up to 2 racks of ribs works best.
Keep in mind, the amount of liquid will be different depending upon the size of your electric pressure cooker.
To make 2 racks of baby back ribs in the Instant Pot, place 1 rack of ribs close to the sides of the pot. It will probably curve around. Place the second rack inside the curve -- You may have to curl it up a little.
If you don't want to use apple cider vinegar for ribs, you can use apple juice or a mix of apple juice and water.
I've also used beer to cook ribs, or dark sodas, such as Coke, root beer or Dr Pepper. Coke ribs and Dr Pepper ribs have awesome flavor!
For smokier flavor, add some liquid smoke to the cooking liquid before pressure cooking!
How To Store
Store any leftover Instant Pot bbq ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where they'll last for 4 to 5 days.
Reheat ribs in the microwave, or in the oven until hot. Of course, you can also eat leftover ribs cold.
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Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
- 4 pounds baby back pork ribs, membrane removed
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Add the the brown sugar, sea salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika and pepper to a small bowl, and stir to combine
- Remove membrane from back of ribs, and rub seasoning mix over ribs
- Add water and apple cider vinegar to Instant Pot, and place trivet on bottom of pot
- Place seasoned ribs on trivet, cover, move valve to sealing position, and hit Pressure Cook for 20 minutes
- Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes, then move valve to quick release until pin drops.
- Open lid, remove ribs to foil lined baking sheet, and brush barbecue sauce over ribs
- Place ribs in oven, and broil for 5 minutes or until ribs bubble and look crisp
- Remove ribs from oven, cut, and enjoy!
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
Recipe was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2022.
This Instant Pot baby back ribs recipe yields fall off the bone tender ribs with delicious meat flavors every time! It's definitely one of my favorite rib recipes ever!
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