Instant Pot Ribs

These 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!

Want more delicious ribs recipes? Try my Oven Baked Ribs (Web Story) and Slow Cooker Ribs.

Close up photo of saucy Instant Pot Ribs.

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 whilewhich 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 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.

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.

However, 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.

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.

Removing the membrane off baby back ribs.

How to Make Ribs in the Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • Baby back pork ribs
  • 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, salt, cracked black pepper, cumin, and chili.

Instructions

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.

Set of two photos showing the dry rub for ribs and the spices being mixed together.

  • 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.

Set of two photos showing ribs before and after they've had dry rub added to them.

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.

Set of two photos showing beef broth and liquid smoke and them being added to an Instant Pot.

  • Place the ribs inside the pot and upright on the trivet.
  • Put on the lid and set the vent to sealing. 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.

Set of two photos showing ribs inside of the Instant Pot before cooking

Broil the Ribs

  • Set the oven to broil.
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and then transfer the cooked ribs to the prepared baking sheet and brush with barbecue sauce.

cooked ribs on a sheet pan with bbq sauce brushed on

  • Place in the oven for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe FAQs

Why is it taking so long for the Instant Pot timer to start?

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.

What is Natural Pressure Release?

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.

What is Quick Release?

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.

Can I Use Frozen Ribs?

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.

How Do I Store Leftovers?

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.

Can I Freeze Leftover Instant Pot Ribs?

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.

Close up photo of baby back Instant Pot ribs.

What Can I Serve with These Instant Pot Ribs?

Some of my favourite side dishes to serve with my Instant Pot ribs are:

More Instant Pot Recipes:

A close up of ribs on a baking sheet

Instant Pot Ribs

These 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! 
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

For the ribs

For the Rub

Instructions

  • 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!
Serving: 1/2, Calories: 762kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 59g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Sodium: 1561mg, Potassium: 280mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g

If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!

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collage of ribs photos with a text that says \"instant pot ribs\"