These Easy Instant Pot Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and finger licking good! You’re not going to believe how quick and easy cooking your ribs in the pressure cooker is with this recipe! This recipe is also low carb and keto friendly!
I’m sure you guys will love these delicious saucy ribs as well. They’re keto-friendly and low carb because I used a sugar-free bbq sauce from Primal Kitchen so you can 100% enjoy these ribs regardless of your diet!
If you’ve never used the Instant Pot to make ribs, then you are missing out! Usually, to make super tender ribs, it takes a while — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes we are short on time and still want delicious fall-off-the-bone. I love making Instant Pot recipes, like my Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup as things that can take a while to cook, seems to be done in a flash.
With this easy Instant Pot ribs recipe, we are skipping the marinating time and the ribs go straight into the pressure cook and we set a timer for 30 minutes. Yup, 30 minutes! So if you see a rack of ribs on sale and there isn’t room in the freezer, you can have it for dinner with next to no prep time.
But don’t worry! If you don’t have an IP, you can still make it on the grill or broiler if you don’t have a BBQ grill.
What Ribs Do I Buy for Instant Pot Ribs?
There’s spare ribs, St. Louis-style ribs, and then there are baby back ribs. I prefer to use baby back ribs are they have more meat on them than St. Louis-style ribs, the bones themselves are more curved and shorter so they take less time to cook, and are from the loin region of the pig, making them a little less fatty than spare ribs.
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Ingredients for Instant Pot Ribs
- Baby back pork ribs – Baby back ribs do cost a little bit more but I think that it’s worth it. If you can’t find baby back ribs, you can use the other types but you might have to adjust the time a bit.
- Beef broth
- Liquid smoke — Liquid smoke is a natural product made from condensing the smoke from burning wood into a bottle. This gives you ribs that smoky flavour to it without having to be smoked.
- Sugar-free Barbecue Sauce — or your favourite store-bought sauce.
- For the rub: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, cumin, and chili.
- Optional: brown sugar. I didn’t use it for this recipe because I want to make it sugar-free. But if you prefer, you can add it.
How to Make Ribs in the Instant Pot
Preparing the Ribs
Before we do any cooking or seasoning, we should always remove the membrane. You’ll see in the photo below that the membrane very thin and located on the back of the ribs.
It only takes a few seconds and it helps make your ribs easier to eat as leaving the membrane on your ribs will cause the end result to be less flavourful and give the ribs a tough texture. Use a knife to get the edge of the membrane off the rib and then pull off the rest with your hands or use a paper towel.
Remove the Membrane and Apply the Rub
- Peel off tough membrane on the back of the ribs.
- In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin and chili powder.
- Season the ribs with a dry spice rub – Sprinkle seasoning and rub it all over the ribs (on all the sides). You want to really get in there and make sure the ribs are covered all over.
Add the Ribs to the Instant Pot
- In a large measuring cup, pour beef broth and liquid smoke and stir well to combine.
- Place the rack/trivet that comes with the Instant Pot in the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot. Pour in the beef broth mixture.
- Place the ribs inside the pot and upright on the trivet.
- Put on the lid and set the vent to sealing position. Then, select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 25 minutes. After the 25 minutes is up, let it naturally release pressure for 5 minutes. Then, do a Quick Release.
Broil the Ribs
- Set the oven to broil.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and then transfer the cooked ribs to the prepared baking sheet and brush with barbecue sauce for more flavor.
- Place in the oven for about 2-3 minutes.
Instant Pot Ribs Recipe FAQs
The Instant Pot doesn’t start it’s countdown until the pot has come up to pressure. This is why it’s important to make sure your lid is set to sealing. Once sealed, the pot will build pressure and you’ll see the pin beside the valve go up. At that point, the Instant Pot has come up to pressure and the timer will start. Mine took about 15 minutes to reach pressure.
Natural Pressure Release (NPR) means you’re allowing the Instant Pot to slowly come down from being pressurized. You don’t have to do anything as it just takes time. Over time, the pin will drop and the lid will unlock.
Quick Release (QR) is when you quickly release the steam built up inside of the Instant Pot. To do so, you move the valve from sealing to venting to release the steam. When all the steam is gone the pin will drop and the lid will unlock.
You can cook your ribs from frozen but you’ll have to prepare them beforehand. Remove the membrane before freezing as that’ll be hard to do once frozen. You’ll also have to cut down the ribs so they’ll fit in your Instant Pot as you can’t curl your baby back ribs into the Instant Pot liner. You’ll also have to put the dry rub on the ribs before freezing since the dry rub won’t stick to a frozen set of ribs.
If you have leftover ribs, simply transfer them to an airtight container and store it in your fridge. Enjoy them within 5 days. Reheat them in the microwave or oven.
You can definitely freeze cooked ribs! After they’re done cooking, let them cool to room temperature before packing them up in an airtight bag or container. Freeze them for up to three months and when ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen cooked ribs overnight in the fridge before reheating. Reheat them in the microwave or in the oven.
This easy Instant Pot ribs recipe isn’t super spicy. If you like heat, there are several simple ways you can add a nice kick! Try adding cayenne pepper, or even some habanero pepper powder to your spice rub and use a nice hot chili powder, rather than mild. Top your ribs with a spicy barbeque sauce or dip them in hot sauce.
When cooking in the Instant Pot, it is possible to over-do it. If overcooked, your ribs will be dry instead of tender and juicy. Follow the recipe exactly and be sure to perform a natural release before switching the valve to quick release. The ribs are still cooking during the natural release process and if you quick release immediately, the ribs might be tough. This might lead you to cook them longer and over-do it in the end. Also, when cooking ribs in the Instant Pot, avoid using too much cooking liquid. Excess liquid will increase the amount of time it takes for the pot to come to full pressure, this can lead to overcooking.
When you make ribs in the Instant Pot, they should be fall off the bone tender. If they come out tough, they’re likely a bit undercooked and you’ll need to add a few more minutes to the timer before transferring the ribs to a baking sheet for broiling.
What Can I Serve with These Instant Pot Ribs?
Pasta Salad, some garlic bread, and corn on the cob are great with this Instant Pot baby back ribs! More favourite side dishes to serve with my Instant Pot ribs are:
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Coleslaw Recipe
- Healthy Potato Salad Recipe
More Instant Pot Recipes:
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For the ribs
- First, peel off tough membrane on the back of the ribs by sliding a butter knife under the membrane and over a bone. Then, just lift and loosen the membrane until it tears. Grip the membrane and pull it off.
- In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin and chili powder. Sprinkle seasoning and rub it all over the ribs (on all the sides).
- In a large measuring cup, pour beef broth and liquid smoke and stir well to combine.
- Place the rack/trivet (it comes with the Instant Pot) in the bottom of a 6-quart. Pour in the beef broth mixture. Place the ribs inside the pot and upright on the trivet.
- Put on the lid, lock it and check to see if the vent is at sealing. Then, select manual setting; adjust pressure to high, and set time for 25 minutes. Mine took about 15 minutes to reach pressure. After the 25 minutes is up, let it naturally release pressure for 5 minutes. Then, do a Quick Release, which means move the valve to venting to release the steam. When all the steam is gone, open the instant pot.
- Set the oven to broil. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the cooked ribs to the prepared baking sheet, then brush with barbecue sauce.
- Place in the oven for about 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!
- It only takes a few seconds to remove the membrane, so don’t skip it!
- Make sure to not just rub the spices on the meaty side of the ribs but the underside as well.
- Natural release is leaving the Instant Pot alone to let the steam come out naturally.
- To store: If you have leftovers, transfer the ribs to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To reheat: You can reheat ribs in the oven or the microwave.
- To freeze: Once cooled, transfer the ribs to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.