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Instant Pot Baby Back Pork Ribs

Making Baby Back Pork Ribs in the Instant Pot is such a time saver! And the best part is that you get delicious, tender, flavorful, juicy ribs that never turn out dry or tough. This Instant Pot BBQ Ribs recipe is VERY flexible and can easily be modified for whatever ingredients you have on hand—read all the tips below!

tender BBQ ribs cooked in the Instant Pot
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Instant pot ribs

The one main dish my family can ALWAYS agree on is BBQ Pork Ribs! I have an AMAZING recipe for oven-baked maple glazed ribs which are cooked low and slow and are just absolutely fantastic. But when the warm weather comes around, I don't want the oven on for 3 hours!! I want quick, easy, and just as finger-licking-good delicious!

So it's Instant Pot to the rescue. Baby back pork ribs cook in just 20 minutes in the Instant Pot! After a few minutes of natural pressure release, I brush the ribs with BBQ sauce and broil the ribs in the oven for just 5 minutes. 5 minutes of oven time ALWAYS beats hours of oven time.

The result is baby back ribs with meat that just slightly falls off the bone—not too much, just enough so that the meat is tender enough so you don't have to fight it as you're trying to eat.

The Instant Pot makes the ribs tender, and the BBQ-sauce-broiled ribs form a tasty, sticky sweet BBQ coating that adds so much flavor to the ribs.

BBQ ribs next to an Instant Pot

Related recipe: Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

Easy Instant Pot ribs

We love this recipe because it is SO easy and customizable. After you make it once, you'll be able to make it without referring to the recipe. I make a quick dry rub for these ribs, but you can use any store-bought pork rub instead to make this REALLY easy.

This recipe reminds me of my Instant Pot BBQ Chicken because there's really no wrong way to make it!! It comes out amazing and fool-proof every time.

I hope you get a chance to make these ribs and love them as much as we do!!

baby back ribs and ingredients next to an Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ - 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

Equipment

For this recipe, you'll need:

  • Instant Pot - an 8-quart one is easier to fit a larger rack of ribs!
  • A large baking sheet - ideally one long enough to fit the ribs
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat - a must for easier cleanup!
  • A pastry brush or silicone brush

Ingredient substitutions, notes, and tips

This Instant Pot Ribs recipe is SUPER flexible. Here are some substitution ideas so you can make this no matter what you have on hand:

→ Use about 2 tablespoons of your favorite pork dry rub instead of brown sugar, salt, garlic, paprika, and black pepper. Doing this makes this a 5-ingredient ribs recipe (4 if you skip the apple cider vinegar, or 3 if you don't count water as an ingredient).

→ Don't have apple cider vinegar? Skip it!! It helps make the rib meat tender, but it's not absolutely necessary.

→ Don't have BBQ sauce on hand?? You can glaze the ribs with honey or maple syrup. Just like I do in my maple glazed ribs recipe, make a mixture of ½ cup honey (or maple syrup) and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar. Make sure to mix slowly at first so the vinegar doesn't splash out. Brush this onto the ribs after the Instant Pot and before broiling. This will make an AMAZING sticky-sweet coating on the ribs.

Related recipe: Oven-Baked BBQ Chicken

Instructions

Step 1: Peel the membrane off the back of the ribs. To be honest, I don't always do this. The rib meat falls off the bone and turns out tender either way.

Step 2: In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients to make a rub (or use your favorite pork or chicken rub!)

dry rub for instant pot ribs

Step 3: Rub the seasonings all over the ribs on both sides.

baby back ribs rubbed with dry rub

Step 4: Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into the inner pot of your Instant Pot. Place the Instant Pot trivet inside. Bend the seasoned rack of ribs to place them on top of the trivet.

ribs rolled up in an instant pot

Step 5: Close the lid on your instant pot and close the sealing valve. Set your instant pot on the manual cook setting at high-pressure for 20 minutes.

Step 6: Once your instant pot is done cooking, allow it to naturally release for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, manually release by opening the sealing valve and releasing the pressure.

Ribs cooked in an instant pot

Step 7: Place your ribs to a large baking sheet, unrolling it and flattening as needed. Squeeze your desired amount of barbecue sauce on top of the ribs over the rub.

Ribs on a baking sheet brushed with BBQ sauce

Step 8: Broil in the oven for about 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn the BBQ sauce—keep an eye on the ribs.

Step 9: Optional: Carefully remove the ribs and brush on MORE BBQ sauce. Broil for another 2-3 minutes.

Step 10: Allow the ribs to cool for a couple more minutes, cut into sections, and enjoy! Brush with more BBQ sauce for serving, if you like.

stack of BBQ ribs

What to serve with BBQ ribs

We love serving BBQ ribs with typical BBQ side dishes, such as broccoli salad, and a potato salad or a Ranch pasta salad. Check out more BBQ side dish ideas here!

For something a little more different, try serving Instant Pot ribs with yellow squash tots, a spicy cucumber salad, or lemony asparagus.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

stack of BBQ ribs
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Instant Pot Baby Back Pork Ribs

Making tender, juicy, delicious, fall-off-the-bone ribs couldn't be easier! The Instant Pot makes it a breeze. This recipe is super easy to customize to whatever you have on hand—read the notes below for ingredient substitutions.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Pressure build-up and release time:20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 8
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar* (see notes for substitution ideas for starred ingredients)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt*
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1 teaspoon paprika*
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper*
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar*
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ - 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce* no need to measure, just squeeze some on top of the ribs in step 6

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Peel the membrane off the back of the ribs.
  • In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper) to make a rub (or use your favorite pork or chicken rub!). Rub the seasonings all over the ribs on both sides.
  • Pour the apple cider vinegar and water into the inner pot of your Instant Pot. Place the Instant Pot trivet inside. Bend the seasoned rack of ribs to place them on top of the trivet.
  • Close the lid on your instant pot and close the sealing valve. Set your instant pot on the manual cook setting at high-pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Once your instant pot is done cooking, allow it to naturally release for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, manually released by opening the sealing valve and releasing the pressure.
  • Place your ribs to a large baking sheet, unrolling and flattening as needed. Squeeze the desired amount of barbecue sauce to the top of the ribs over the rub and use a brush to spread it.
  • Broil in the oven for about 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn the BBQ sauce—keep an eye on the ribs.
  • Optional step to add more BBQ sauce: Carefully remove the ribs and brush on MORE BBQ sauce. Broil for another 2-3 minutes. Allow the ribs to cool for a couple more minutes, cut into sections, and enjoy! Brush with more BBQ sauce for serving, if you like.

Notes

→ You can use about 2 tablespoons of your favorite pork dry rub instead of the dry ingredients.
→ Don't have apple cider vinegar? Skip it!! It helps make the rib meat tender, but it's not absolutely necessary.
→ Don't have BBQ sauce on hand?? You can glaze the ribs with honey or maple syrup: make a mixture of ½ cup honey (or maple syrup) and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar. Brush this onto the ribs after the Instant Pot and before broiling. 

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal (10%) | Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) | Protein: 14g (28%) | Fat: 12g (18%) | Saturated Fat: 4g (20%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg (16%) | Sodium: 685mg (29%) | Potassium: 237mg (7%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 7g (8%) | Vitamin A: 180IU (4%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 32mg (3%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

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