Instant Pot Pork Ribs
Make fall-off-the-bone pork ribs in your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Pair these Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs with your favorite sauce and Southern BBQ sides, and have everything on the table in an hour!
Thanks to the Instant Pot, making homemade BBQ Pork ribs doesn’t need to be an all-day affair. This recipe will show you how to pressure cook pork ribs to make juicy, flavorful meat that tastes as if it has been smoking for hours -but this method only takes one hour!
These ribs come together in a two-step process. First, cook the seasoned ribs in the instant pot, then add your favorite sauce and spices before crisping them up under the broiler. That’s it!
The best part? These Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs are simply seasoned, leaving plenty of room for you to customize with spices, seasonings, and delicious sauces. You can even use your favorite keto, paleo, or Whole30 BBQ sauce for healthy pork ribs!
These Pressure Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs Are
- Made with only 4 ingredients.
- Ready in one hour.
- Made with no sugar.
- A great protein option for keto, paleo & Whole30.
- Finished under the broiler or air-fried until the meat is perfectly crisped.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Rack of Pork Ribs – “Babyback” pork ribs and “St.Louis-cut” pork ribs are usually pre-trimmed of the cartilage and tough gristle, which means less work for you.
- Salt/Pepper – to taste!
- Water – There must be liquid in the Instant Pot to work. Add a dash of liquid smoke to the water to give your bbq pork ribs an outdoor grilled flavor.
- BBQ Sauce – Use your favorite!
- Pork Rib Dry Rub – Check the spice aisle for a store-bought blend or make your own (see below).
Simple Pork Rib Dry Rub
Season your ribs with homemade pork rib dry rub. This sugar-free blend adds naturally smoky flavor to the meat, and you may already have the ingredients in your spice cabinet. This makes enough dry rub to season 2 racks of pork ribs. Use one teaspoon of each dry seasoning.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Ground Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Chili Powder
How To Make Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs
Prep ribs for pressure cooking. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the rack into smaller portions to fit inside the pressure cooker. Blot the pieces dry with paper towels, and season all over with salt, pepper, and the dry bbq rub seasoning, if using.
Prep Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then, add the water. Set the ribs on the trivet so there’s enough room to close the lid.
Cook BBQ pork ribs in Instant Pot. Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is sealed. Then, manually program the pressure cooker to cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. It will take 15-20 minutes to preheat before the timer begins counting down.
Manually release pressure. When the time is up, quick release the pressure and remove the lid. Using tongs, transfer to a baking sheet or air fryer basket to finish.
How To Finish Ribs
- To finish in the oven: Place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with BBQ sauce. After preheating, broil the racks for 3-5 minutes or until the meat is crisped to your liking. Remove from the oven and brush with more sauce before serving.
- To finish in the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Brush both sides of the racks with BBQ sauce, and place in a single layer at the bottom of the air fryer basket. Air fry until the meat is crisped how you like (about 8-10 minutes). Brush with more sauce before serving.
- If the fatty membrane is still intact, carefully cut it away with a sharp knife.
- Swap the water for apple juice and a dash of liquid smoke to mimic “apple-wood” smoked flavor.
- You don’t necessarily have to broil or air fry the ribs, but it helps create those tasty, crispy bits.
Use these instructions as a guide, and customize your ribs with different sauces and flavors.
- “Naked” – Hold the sauce and season with extra dry spices before broiling.
- “Spicy” – If you can handle the heat, try coating ribs in chili garlic sauce or spicy bbq sauce.
- “Smoky” – Add a dash of liquid smoke to the water to give your ribs a smoky, grilled flavor. You can also enhance the flavor by seasoning the ribs with smoked paprika.
- Whole30 – Slather your ribs in homemade Whole30 BBQ Sauce or your favorite Whole30 approved BBQ sauce (check out Primal Kitchen and The New Primal line of sauces).
- Keto – Coat the ribs in your favorite sugar-free bbq sauce.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: After cooling, keep leftover pork ribs in a shallow, air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Freezing: After pressure cooking, let the rib racks cool to room temperature. Then wrap them tightly in layers of plastic wrap or foil and freeze for 2-3 months-Thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, brush with sauce and reheat in the oven or air fryer.
While your side selection to go with the ribs would be your choice, you could try it out try with some Longhorn white cheddar stuffed mushrooms, mac and cheese, sauteed vegetables with garlic bread, or even fries and dips.
Tough ribs typically mean they weren’t pressure-cooked long enough, or the ribs themselves were a poor cut with a lot of fat and gristle.
As a rule of thumb, you need at least 1 cup of liquid.
Yes, if the inside of your Instant Pot is large enough to fit stacked segments of racks. You can cook up to 2 racks at once.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken
Instant Pot Crispy Buffalo Wings
Instant Pot Crab Legs
Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs
Instant Pot Carnitas
Pressure Cooker Pork Ribs Recipe Card
Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs
- Instant Pot or pressure cooker
- rimmed baking sheet or air fryer
- 1 rack of pork ribs
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup bbq sauce g
Sugar-Free Dry Rub (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- With a sharp knife, carefully cut the rack into smaller portions, so it fits inside the pressure cooker. Blot dry with paper towels, and season all over with salt and pepper (and the dry bbq rub seasoning, if using).
- Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Then, add the water. Arrange the ribs on the trivet, so there's enough room to close the lid.
- Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is sealed. Then, manually program the pressure cooker to cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. It will take 15-20 minutes to preheat before the timer begins counting down.
- When the time is up, manually release the pressure and remove the lid. Using tongs, transfer ribs to a baking sheet or air fryer to broil.
To finish in the oven
- Place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with BBQ sauce. After preheating, broil for 3-5 minutes or until the meat is crisped to preference. Remove from the oven and brush with more sauce before serving.
To finish in the air fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 400F. Brush both sides with BBQ sauce, and place in a single layer at the bottom of the air fryer basket. Air fry until the meat is crisped to preference (8-10 minutes). Brush with more sauce before serving.
Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs
- Place the trivet in the Crockpot. Instead of a trivet, you can use several balls of foil.
- Pour in the water and set the seasoned rib racks on the trivet (or on top of the foil), leaving enough room to close the lid.
- Close the lid and slow cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Remove racks from the slow cooker, brush with bbq sauce and finish in the oven or air fryer.