How to make ribs

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Instant Pot Ribs are so tender that they fall of the bone. The best part is that you can cook them from start to finish in just a little over an hour.

After making some delicious and easy side dishes in the Instant Pot, like Instant Pot Corn on the Cob, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes, I decided to pair them up with the most juicy and tender ribs possible.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

When it comes to summer barbecues, I am always exciting for BBQ Ribs, because they are just among the best thing on this Earth. You see, I am a pork and beef girl at heart, and I just can’t say no to a delicious rack of ribs. These Instant Pot Ribs are so good, I honestly don’t think I will ever cook ribs any other way. Because of the tenderness and quickness of how Instant Pot produces the ribs, I really doubt there is any other better and quicker way to cook them.

These ribs are so tender and juicy that they fall of the bone. They taste like they have been slowly cooked and smoked at a fancy North Carolina restaurant. Making them in the Instant Pot will save you so much time, as you only have to cook the ribs for 40 minutes. Covered in a sweet, spicy and flavorful homemade rub, and coated in a hickory brown sugar BBQ sauce, you will lick your fingers clean!

Why cook ribs in the Instant Pot?

  • The cooking time is reduced by a lot in comparison to smoking, grilling or roasting them.
  • The results are fall of the bone tender ribs, that everyone can enjoy in just a little over an hour.
  • Minimum prep work for a great dinner!
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Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

How much liquid do you need in an Instant Pot?

For a 6 quart Instant Pot, about 1 cup is the minimum liquid amount and about 1 1/2 cups for Instance Pot DUO, unless you’re cooking something that will absorb water.

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Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

What do you need to make the dry-rub for the ribs?

The dry rub is what will add flavor to the ribs. I absolutely love my homemade dry rub recipe, its perfectly balanced when it comes to sweet and spicy and also has some cinnamon and nutmeg that elevates the other flavors and just adds another layer  of something that you can’t really put a finger on, but you can taste its awesomenes. Here are all the spices that I have used:

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe


Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds

Cooking the Ribs:

  • 2 racks baby back pork ribs about 2lbs each*
  • 2 cups unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 3 bay leaves optional

Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup preferably no sugar added
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce or more

Dry Rub:

  1. Add all the the dry rub ingredients in a medium bowl and using a fork whisk to combine.

  2. Dry the ribs with paper towels of excess liquid or blood.

  3. The ribs usually have a membrane on the back (the bony part of the ribs), remove it and discard it.

  4. Place the ribs on a cutting board, season generously with the dry rub on both sides and use your hand to rub it all over the ribs.

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Cooking the Ribs:

  1. Add juice, apple cider and liquid smoke to the Instant Pot, stir to combine. Add bay leaves.

  2. Add a small legged trivet to the Instant Pot (optional, but I prefer to keep the ribs out of the liquid as much as possible).

  3. Place the ribs inside the Instant Pot, standing and pressing on the sides of the Instant Pot. If needed trim the ribs, also make sure you don't go over the Max fill line.

  4. Secure the Instant Pot lid, close and point the valve to Sealed.

  5. Cook on Manual, for 35 minutes on HP for thicker ribs if you want them to still have a slight pull when biting and be able to brown them on the grill or broil the rack without meat falling off the bone. You can do 40 minutes for extra tender, almost fall of the bone ribs.

  6. Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a 15 minutes Natural Pressure Release. Unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot.

Homemade BBQ Sauce (optional):

  1. While the ribs are cooking prepare the BBQ sauce.

  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stir and set aside.

  3. Or just use about 2 cups of store-bought BBQ sauce.

Broiling the ribs:

  1. Preheat oven on the Broiler setting.

  2. Carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them onto a prepared baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.

  3. Brush the ribs generously with either homemade BBQ sauce or store-bought BBQ sauce on both sides.

  4. Place under the broiler for about 6-10 minutes. Leave the light on, and keep a close eye on the ribs because they could burn quickly.

  5. Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce.

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*I used a 6 quarts Instant Pot and the 3lbs baby back ribs rack are too large for it, use 2lbs baby baby ribs racks.

Calories: 654, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 111mg, Sodium: 2313mg, Potassium: 988mg, Carbohydrates: 91g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 81g, Protein: 31g, Vitamin A: 42.3%, Vitamin C: 6.6%, Calcium: 12.8%, Iron: 18.6%

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Instant Pot RibsInstant Pot Ribs are so tender they fall of the bone. The best part is that you can cook them start to finish in just a little over an hour.

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