The BEST Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

This is the BEST Instant Pot ribs recipe out there. You’ll never make ribs another way again.

When I came up with my dutch oven ribs recipe earlier this summer, I thought I’d found my go-to ribs recipe.

Well, sorry, dutch oven…I have a new favorite now.

Instant Pot BBQ Ribs…yes, you can make ribs in the Instant Pot, and yes, they are incredibly easy and amazing.

I looked around on the Internet at different recipes, and I took bits and pieces of advice from each one to come up with this recipe…which I think is the best one around.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

For this recipe, I used four pounds of spare ribs that I had bought on sale at King Soopers awhile back and frozen. I will say, they just barely fit in my Instant Pot, but they were cooked perfectly all the way through.

If you want your ribs to be falling-off-the-bone tender, you will want to cook them around 25 minutes – maybe a little less if you aren’t using four pounds like I am.

I know that other cuts of ribs require a little less time, so if you aren’t using spare ribs, you may want to research how long.

Or you can just go with the spare ribs and call it good 🙂

Anyways, there are three components to an amazing ribs recipe in the Instant Pot:

  • The rub
  • The liquid
  • The BBQ sauce

And fortunately for anyone reading this…I’ve got you covered.

I start out by covering the ribs in some dijon mustard. I don’t see tons of recipes that recommend this, but when I was doing research for my dutch oven ribs a few months ago, it seemed that the experts said a thin layer of mustard is essential.

Then, I covered them in a delicious, homemade spice rub. Chances are, you’ll have all the ingredients in your cupboard already.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

After that, I had to come up with a liquid to cook it in. When you are using the Instant Pot, you have to have about a cup of liquid in it, especially when you are cooking with this much meat.

I came up with one that I think is pretty amazing.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

And finally – you need to the perfect BBQ sauce. You don’t want to dose it in BBQ sauce afterward, and you also don’t want it to be super thick. If your BBQ sauce is thick, you can try and thin it up with a little bit of vinegar.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

I went with a memphis BBQ sauce we had bought at King Soopers awhile back, and it worked perfectly.

These ribs are done in less than an hour, and they are absolutely amazing. I highly recommend making these, because they are pretty full proof. They don’t require much babysitting, and the result is to die for.

Instant Pot Ribs Recipe

New to the Instant Pot? Check out our ultimate Instant Pot guide to answer all your burning questions (and to find out if you can actually blow your kitchen up with it 😉

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The Best Instant Pot Ribs Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 people
Author: Katie
  • 4 lbs spare ribs
  • 1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
Spice Rub
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika regular paprika is fine, too.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon basi
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
Instant Pot liquid
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 can Dr Pepper
  • BBQ sauce
  1. Remove membrane from the bottom of ribs (if it has not already been removed at the butcher)

  2. Spread a thin layer of mustard on top of the ribs

  3. Combine together spice rub ingredients. 

  4. Cover ribs with the spice rub. 

  5. Place the Instant Pot liquid in the bottom of the pot. 

  6. Add the trivet to the pot. 

  7. Put ribs on top of trivet - you may need to cut them in half to get them to fit

  8. Put lid on and set IP to 25 minutes of high manual pressure. 

  9. Once the timer is done, let it release it's pressure naturally for 10 minutes, and then use the pressure valve to let it quick pressure release the rest. 

  10. Get out a baking sheet and cover it with tin foil or a silicone baking mat. 

  11. Place ribs on the baking sheet. Cover with a layer of cover bbq sauce. 

  12. Broil on high for five minutes. 

Instant Pot Ribs / Instant Pot BBQ Ribs / Instant Pot Spare Ribs / Spare Ribs Recipe / BBQ Ribs Recipe / Ribs Spice Rub


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  • Tried these today Really liked them. The flavors infused from the cooking liquid was very mild, but was just noticed by most of my guests Just getting started on recipes for the IP.
  • I am wondering trivet. all i have is the steam rack that sits almost to the top. no trivet for lower. Can I just wrapp the ribs and let them stand up with one end in the fluid.
  • Katie, this might look like a stupid questions but I have o ask. What does the trivet looks like for the Instant Pot. Thank you
    • Not a stupid question at all! It's a little metal rack. Here is a picture!
  • Hi Katie, A couple of questions. 1. Under Spice Rub, you say 1 tsp "basi", do you mean dried basil? 2. Under Liquid, you list the ingredients and say Dr. Pepper. Can I use a coke or pepsi instead? Also, the last ingredient under liquid to be added to the pot, is BBQ sauce. How much? Or, do you mean it's saved to slather on the ribs after cooking, and before broiling? No. 11 is a bit confusing...Thanks Katie
    • I apologize for the confusion! Yes, dried basil. I have only used Dr. Pepper but you could certainly try the other liquids. And the BBQ sauce is for slathering afterward :-)
  • Hello Katie,I made your IP spare ribs recipe yesterday, and I think maybe I'm missing something. I made the liquid with the water, Dr. Pepper, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar and vanilla, put it in the pot, then put the trivet in the pot and put the prepared ribs on top of the trivet. They cooked, and were fall off the bone tender, but what is the purpose of putting all of those ingredients in the liquid on the bottom of the pot if the meat doesn't even touch it? Are the flavors infused through steam? I'm new to the IP, and can't figure out the logic. I would appreciate your explanation. Or maybe I did something wrong? My husband loved them, so they couldn't have been too wrong :)Thank you, Laura
    • I know it's a confusing concept! It's mainly for the flavor to infuse into them through the steam - if you want, you could totally marinade the meat in that mixture beforehand, and then just pour it in - might give it just a touch more flavor :) Glad your hubby loved them! Great question!

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