Fast N’ Easy Instant Pot Ribs

Preparation Time: 10 minutesCooking Time: 30 minutes

Instant Pot ribs can be fast, easy, and simple. No complicated smoker needed for these tender, juicy, tangy, and sweet BBQ ribs in the Instant Pot. Simply make your own BBQ sauce or use store-bought then throw them in the Instant Pot for a half hour!

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Instant Pot Ribs

Fast N’ Easy Instant Pot Ribs

I decided to test ribs in the Instant Pot because I’m obsessed with ribs. So obsessed, in fact, that I look forward to attending Rib Fest in the Chicagoland area every year around the Fourth of July. They have a lineup of the number one award-winning BBQ rib joints in the country. 

I always end up at the same stands that I went to in previous years because they give me the ribs I’m looking for: juicy, tangy, sweet, meaty, and smokey. That’s the perfect combination for me, at least. 

These Instant Pot ribs are the closest thing I can get to Rib Fest. I don’t own a smoker (yay rental life) so I don’t have the opportunity to cook them that way. Plus, even if I did, I don’t want to go outside to check on meat every hour. 

Instant Pot BBQ ribs are totally easy and don’t take as long. Though, you’ll get similar results of smokey, tender, and juicy ribs as you would have to have ribs cook all day in a smoker. Give me all the BBQ sauce, because I am craving Instant Pot ribs just by writing this.

How to Make Easy Instant Pot Ribs

As I said, you’re saving time just by not using a grill or a smoker with Instant Pot BBQ ribs. Through the Instant Pot, you will be reaping the benefits much, MUCH quicker than the alternative.

For these Instant Pot Ribs, you’re going to want to choose your perfect rib choice. Now, to you, that maybe baby back ribs or spare ribs. I’m going to stick with baby back ribs in my recipe.

I always look for the meatiest ribs when I’m at the butcher or grocery store, so go ahead and choose the kind you like. Remember, if they’re thicker, they deserve a little more cooking time. Leaner ribs do not. 

You’re going to start by cleaning one or two racks of ribs (you can fit both racks in the Instant Pot and you’ll cook them for the same time) and removing the membrane (if yours comes with one) and patting your ribs dry. 

Using the dry rub with a combination of sweet and spicy flavors including brown sugar, paprika, and cayenne pepper, you already probably have in your pantry, (see more below) you’ll be covering your ribs generously. Of course, if you like yours on the spicy side, be more generous with the spices, and vice versa. 

Ribs in the Instant Pot

You can place your Instant Pot BBQ ribs overnight in the fridge, covering in a big enough dish with plastic wrap. This is going to be optional, but will definitely seal in the flavors if you decide to do this. Or at least, let it sit a few hours in your fridge before making them. 

When you are ready to get going, it will be important to keep the liquid smoke in the recipe due to the fact that we’re not getting the smokiness from a grill or smoker.

The liquid smoke also provides a great bit of flavor, especially since we’re cooking our Instant Pot ribs rather quickly.

You’ll also add in your other ingredients including either homemade or your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce. I have a homemade BBQ sauce you can use. Or see below for the full homemade recipe. 

Instant Pot Ribs Cook Time

For baby back ribs, you will cook them for about 23 minutes with high pressure and then add on five minutes for a natural release.

The spare ribs I’m going to make will go in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes on high pressure, with a natural release that is full, about 15 minutes. Spare rib meat tends to be a tougher cut, which means it needs more time to be tender.

Instant Pot Ribs Finishing Touches 

When I’m done cooking my ribs, I brush my ribs and either put them under a broiler or under the Instant Pot DuoCrisp lid for a few minutes to crisp the top and thicken my BBQ sauce. 

Serve Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

My favorite side with ribs is my Instant Pot three-cheese mac n cheese and a veggie like creamed spinach. I love to enjoy these Instant Pot ribs year round so I can feel like I’m at Rib Fest in July, even when it’s January.

Finding the Right Instant Pot

For Instant Pot ribs, I used my six-quart Instant Pot Duo with Instant Pot Duo Crisp lid. For more Instant Pot and pressure cooker reviews, check out my previous posts – there’s no wrong answer!

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