See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

Learn how to make the best Instant Pot Ribs, so tender that they practically fall off the bone! This quick and easy Instant Pot pork ribs recipe is made with a flavorful dry rub and slathered in BBQ sauce.

Enjoy these pressure cooker ribs with a side of Macaroni Salad, Corn on the Cob or Instant Pot Baked Beans.

Instant Pot ribs with BBQ sauce and parsley garnish on parchment paper.

Fall-Off-the-Bone Tender Instant Pot Ribs

Barbecue ribs are a finger-licking good, easy dinner idea. I love to cook ribs low and slow in the oven or with my Slow Cooker Ribs recipe, but when I want them done faster I make these Instant Pot ribs. And wow are these ribs good!

Cooking pork ribs in the Instant Pot is not only much faster than cooking them in the oven, but it also makes the best tender, meaty ribs. I also love that I don’t have to heat up my house by having my oven on for hours. Nobody wants a scorching kitchen on a hot summer day!

My family goes crazy for these ribs when I serve them with my favorite homemade BBQ Sauce. You can also use your favorite store-bought brand. I try to look for one with a clean ingredient list, but I will admit that a drizzle of Sweet Baby Ray’s is a real treat with this Instant Pot ribs recipe.

Wow wow WOW!  Honestly I wasn’t expecting these to be as good as oven done ribs but they were better!  My hubby’s not too happy about being usurped by an instant pot lol.  I won’t do them any other way now.  Thank you so much for this recipe it made my Mother’s Day 🙂 


What Kind of Ribs to Buy

I recommend making this recipe with baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are the most tender type of pork ribs. They are smaller than spare ribs and that’s why they’re called baby back ribs – because of their small size. A rack of baby back ribs contains about 12 ribs and will serve about 4 people, depending on how big of an appetite they have.

You can also use spare ribs (sometimes called St. Louis-Style Spare Ribs) in this recipe. Spare ribs are larger than baby back ribs and will take longer to cook in the Instant Pot. They are often fattier but may also have more meat on each rib.

Ribs with bbq sauce on parchment paper.

How to Remove the Membrane from Ribs

When you buy a rack of ribs it often has a thin white membrane along the back. It’s best to remove this membrane before cooking. To remove the membrane, slide a dull knife, such as a butter knife, underneath it. Use a paper towel to get a good grip on the membrane and pull it off.

How to Cook Ribs in the Instant Pot

Cooking ribs in your Instant Pot takes just a few simple steps and not much active time on your part! From start to finish, you can have these Instant Pot ribs ready in just over an hour.

Step 1: Make a Dry Rub for the Ribs

The dry rub adds so much flavor as the ribs cook! Mix together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the ribs.

Spice mixture rubbed on raw baby back ribs on a cutting board.

Step 2: Pressure Cook the Ribs

Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot. Put the metal trivet that came with your Instant Pot in the bottom of the pot. We’re going to cook the ribs on the trivet to keep them from sitting in the water.

Stand the ribs up on the trivet so that the rib bones are going up and down. You can lean the ribs against the side of the Instant Pot and against each other.

Two racks of baby back ribs in instant pot before pressure cooking.

Then pressure cook at high pressure, followed by a natural release. (Find cook times below.) When cooking ribs, it’s important to let the pressure naturally release because a quick release can make the meat tough. A natural pressure release gives you tender pork ribs.

Step 3: Brown Ribs Under the Broiler

After pressure cooking, I like to brown the ribs under the broiler for the best flavor and caramelization. I brush some BBQ sauce on before broiling so that it can get all sticky and caramelized in the oven – yum!

To learn more about how to use an Instant Pot, read my quick-start Instant Pot manual. Then try more of my best Instant Pot recipes!

How Long to Cook Ribs in the Instant Pot

  • Baby Back Ribs: Pressure cook for 25 minutes at high pressure, followed by a 15 minute natural release.
  • Spare Ribs: Pressure cook for 35 minutes at high pressure, followed by a full natural release (do not move the steam release valve or open the pot until the pin drops down).
Fingers holding a baby back rib.

How to Cook Instant Pot Ribs from Frozen

One of the best things about the Instant Pot is that you can safely cook meat from frozen! To cook frozen baby back ribs in your Instant Pot, use a pressure cook time of 35 minutes plus a 15 minute natural pressure release.

The rack of ribs will have to already be cut in half so that it will fit in the Instant Pot, since you won’t be able to curve a frozen rack of ribs to make it fit. If you have multiple slabs of ribs that are frozen together in a big mass, you’ll need to thaw them before cooking. Meat won’t cook evenly in your pressure cooker if it’s frozen in one big piece.

More Favorite Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot ribs with BBQ sauce and parsley garnish on parchment paper.
5 from 6 ratings

Instant Pot Ribs

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
These Instant Pot Ribs are quick and easy to make and so tender that they practically fall off the bone. They're made with a simple dry rub and slathered in BBQ sauce. I highly recommend broiling them for a few minutes in the oven after pressure cooking to brown them and caramelize the BBQ sauce. Yum!


  • 1 rack pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving


  • If the ribs have the thin white membrane along the back, remove it. To do this, run a butter knife under the membrane and then use a paper towel to grip the membrane and pull it off.
  • Combine paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub this dry rub mixture over both sides of the ribs.
  • Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of the Instant Pot inner pot. Put the metal trivet in the pot.
  • Put the ribs on top of the trivet, standing them up so that the rib bones are going up and down. You can lean the ribs against the side of the pot. If your rack of ribs is cut in half it is ok to have the slabs of ribs touching each other. If your rack is whole, curve it as needed to fit it into the pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the pressure cook time to 25 minutes at high pressure for baby back ribs. (Cook spare ribs for 35 minutes at high pressure.)
  • The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will start counting down. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot alone) and then quick release any remaining pressure by carefully moving the steam release valve to the venting position. (Allow for a full natural release for spare ribs.)
  • Take the ribs out of the Instant Pot and put them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush ribs with BBQ sauce and put them in the oven under the broiler for 3-6 minutes, until they begin to brown and the BBQ sauce begins to caramelize. Watch the ribs carefully so that they don't burn.
  • Serve with additional BBQ sauce.
Calories: 701kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 54g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 182mg, Sodium: 1436mg, Potassium: 675mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 720IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 2.6mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Tried this recipe?Mention @kristines_kitchen on Instagram or tag #kristineskitchenblog.
This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Kristine's Kitchen!