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Instant Pot Ribs are sweet, spicy and fall-apart tender – in a fraction of the usual time! Just 25 minutes at high pressure, and a zap in a hot oven for 10 minutes, and dinner is SERVED!
I’m so pleased to share this recipe with you. In my family, ribs have been an all-day-in-the-oven-with-a-lot-of-basting kind of affair, which means, we can only really have them on weekends. Because they’re in the oven so long – you have to be committed to staying home and checking on them regularly.
A pressure cooker (also known as an electric pressure cooker, instapot or instant pot) really cuts down on the cook time!
Just prep the pork ribs (remove the membrane on the back – see photos below), rub them with your favorite (or my recipe) rub, and set them in your instant pot with a bit of water or chicken broth.
This rib recipe uses a dry rub, and a homemade barbecue sauce (but you can totally use store bought, of both!).
How long to cook ribs in an instant pot
Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes (not including the time it needs to come to pressure), a quick zap in a super hot oven for 10 minutes – and you’ll have yourself some sweet, spicy, sticky, fall of the bone tender ribs for dinner. On a random Tuesday.
If you have pork shoulder, you could do my Instant Pot Pulled Pork, too!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Fast. Tender, juicy ribs in a fraction of the time of doing it the traditional way
- Easy to make! Just rub, and set them in the instant pot.
Chili powder refers to prepared chili powder (not pure ground chilis)
Use a store-bought sauce if you’re in a true rush!
The rub recipe below will make DOUBLE what you’ll need. Store the remainder for the next time you need it.
Baby back ribs can be used and prepared in the exact same way as St Louis Ribs
How to remove the membrane from St Louis Style Ribs:
- Slide the knife under, to grab the membrane
- Pull it a little, carefully so you don’t tear it. Pull it just enough that you can slide your fingers underneath.
- Grab the membrane with your fingers… get a good grip!!
- Pull the membrane off in one long strip!
Instant Pot cooking terms explained
What is Natural Pressure Release – aka NPR?
A natural pressure release happens when the cooking time is over and the valve is left closed. The pressure decreases without doing anything. Your Instant Pot will automatically switch to the Keep Warm setting.
As soon as it switches to Keep Warm the pressure will begin to drop and will release the pressure by itself. You’ll know it’s done when the pin drops!
What is Quick Release?
Quick Release: this means to let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for a few minutes. After the time has elapsed, switch the valve to “venting” to quickly release any remaining pressure. The pressure will release to a point where the pin drops, and you can open the lid.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
- St Louis Style Ribs – these are cut in such a way that they are a rectangle shape. The hard breastbone and chewy cartilage is cut away. You still must remove the membrane (see pics above)
For the rub
- Smoked Paprika. This will add a smoky flavor to the sauce.
- Garlic Powder. Fresh garlic is a great sub if you wish!
- Chili Powder. This prepared chili powder that is a blend of spices.
- Salt. I use kosher salt. Salt intensifies food’s other flavors; it is not just for savory dishes!
- Onion Powder. You could add diced onions instead if you wish!
- Brown Sugar. Dark brown is what I usually use, but you can easily sub for light brown. It will not be an issue.
- Black Pepper. I use a coarse ground black pepper.
- Dried Thyme. Fresh thyme can be subbed, but you will need more than you would if you used dried.
- Cayenne Pepper. Leave this out as you wish. It is such a small amount, designed for flavor addition, not heat.
- Ground Cumin. Rich and earthy, and perfect for deepening the flavor.
- Chicken Stock. Make your own or use a store-bought one. If you opt for a lower sodium variety, be sure to taste test your dinner and adjust seasoning to make sure it works!
- Ketchup. Your favorite brand!
- Apple Sauce. Pour a little, swig a little… apple cider is also great in this.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. This helps give the sauce a tang!
- Molasses. I use the unsulfured kind. Find it in the baking and/or cereal aisle at the grocery store.
- Worcestershire Sauce. This is a great way to add a salty, savory flavor to the sauce.
How to make this recipe
Scroll for Recipe
The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Make the sauce (skip this if you are using your own sauce)
Combine all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to burn – don’t leave it unattended.
Make the rub
Mix the rub ingredients together until well blended.
Prepare the ribs
Grab your rack of ribs, and a dull knife. Slide the tip of the knife under the membrane on the back of each rack, and loosen it. Take the corner of it and pry off the entire membrane from the back of the ribs (see pictures for reference)
Rub the seasonings evenly over both sides of the ribs, and massage into the meat.
Cut your ribs to fit your instant pot (I cut a normal sized rack into three pieces)
Place the trivet in the instant pot, pour in a cup of water or stock.
Set the instant pot at high pressure, for 25 minutes.
Close the lid, and the vent to seal.
When the instant pot is done, do a natural release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
Heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Remove the ribs from the instant pot and put them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or tinfoil.
Baste ribs liberally with sauce, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Baste with more sauce or serve the sauce on the side.
Looking for more instant pot recipes?
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork. Sweet, spicy, juicy – this recipe uses an instant pot for maximum speed but tender, mouthwatering results.
- Instant Pot Beef Stew. Red wine and rosemary feature in this inviting, tasty and tummy-warming Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe- perfect for a cold day.
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup. A velvety smooth and dreamy soup with a kick of Thai heat, balanced by creamy coconut cream.
- ALL INSTANT POT RECIPES
Instant Pot Ribs (Sweet & Spicy BBQ flavor)
- 1 rack St Louis Style ribs
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Combine all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat until thickened, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to burn – don’t leave it unattended.
- Take a dull knife, slide the tip under the membrane on the back of each rack, and loosen it. Take the corner of it and pry off the entire membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Mix the rub ingredients together until well blended.
- Rub evenly over both sides of the ribs, and massage into the meat.
- Cut your ribs to fit your instant pot (I cut a normal sized rack into three pieces)
- Place the trivet in the instant pot, pour in a cup of water or stock.
- Set the instant pot at high pressure, for 25 minutes.
- Close the lid, and the vent to seal.
- Heat oven to 450F
- When instant pot is done, do a natural release for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Remove the ribs from the instant pot and put them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or tinfoil.
- Baste ribs liberally with sauce, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Baste with more sauce or serve sauce on the side.
Recipes written and produced on Kylee Cooks are for informational purposes only. Kylee is not a certified nutritionist. Nutritional data provided on Kylee Cooks has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration.
Update: This was originally posted in January of 2018, and has been updated to improve reader experience.