How to Make Ribs in the Instant Pot

Dinner, Instant Pot, Meat


1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon smoked salt, such as this one from Spice House

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 pounds total)

1 cup barbecue sauce


Make the spice rub. Place the brown sugar, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

Remove the membrane from the ribs. For super-tender ribs, remove the membrane that covers the bone on the underside of the ribs: Flip the ribs over so they're meat-side down, then slide a butter knife in between the ribs and the thin membrane of the first rack — start in the center of the rack, which tends to be easier than the ends. Once you’ve got a few inches pulled up, use your hands to gently pull the membrane up and completely off the bones (if your grip is slippery, grasp the membrane with a paper towel before pulling) off completely. Repeat for the remaining rack.

Season the ribs. Sprinkle the rub evenly over the ribs on both sides and on the ends. Gently rub the spice mixture into the ribs.

Prepare the electric pressure cooker and add the ribs. Set a steamer or trivet inside a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker. Add 1 cup of water. Place the ribs on the steamer by standing them up and gently coiling them in the cooker — start with the first rack of ribs on the outside closest to the pot, then make a tighter coil inside the first rack of ribs with the second rack.

Cook the ribs on manual pressure for 20 minutes. Cover the pressure cooker and make sure the pressure valve is sealed.Set to HIGH manual pressure for 20 minutes. The cooker should take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.

Quick release the ribs and transfer immediately to a baking sheet. When the 20 minutes is up, quickly release the pressure using the pressure cooker’s release valve. Using tongs, immediately transfer the ribs to a baking sheet; the ribs should gently bend but not break when lifted, and the meat should be just pulling away from the ribs.

Coat the ribs with sauce and broil or grill (optional). Brush the finished ribs with sauce on all sides. Broil or grill on medium-high heat until some of the sauce is browned and sticky, 3 to 4 minutes.

Slice and serve the ribs. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut between the ribs into desired sections. Serve immediately.


Make ahead: The ribs can be coated with the dry rub and refrigerated overnight. The cooked ribs can also be cooled and refrigerated for up to 2 days before reheating in a warm oven or grill on medium-high heat and finishing with the sauce.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Calories: 903
Total Carbohydrates: 23.6 g (7.9%)
Cholesterol: 246.3 mg (82.1%)
Total Fat: 59.2 g (91%)
Protein: 69.1 g (138.2%)
Saturated fat: 20.7 g (103.6%)
Per serving, based on 6 servings. (% daily value)
Sugar: 18.3 g
Unsaturated fat: 0.5 g