Instant Pot Ribs – fall off the bone!

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It’s almost magical and it’s going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don’t have hours to spare.

Image of bbq ribs in a metal basket with blue towel and beer in background.

I’m writing this on a Tuesday afternoon in late April, in my house, with jeans, slippers, socks, and a sweatshirt on. (I almost said slippers, socks and a sweatshirt because those items were indicative of the temperature, but I was worried some people might think I wasn’t wearing pants if I left the jeans detail out…)

Yesterday was 72 degrees, today is 46.

I love you, Michigan, so much! But if I was single and dating, and a guy played these kind of mind games with me, I’d be leaving as fast as I could.

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It's almost magical and it's going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don't have hours to spare.

I actually had the doors open this morning while I was doing some cleaning and then I realized it was about 60 degrees in the house, so I closed them and turned on the heat. Annnnnnd my son begged to wear shorts to school this morning. This morning when we went to school, it was 61 degrees.  Naturally I assumed it would get warmer throughout the day as the sun rose, and I caved to his request. Whooooops….turned out I was a little bit wrong. (Update: Good news, he said he was hot all day…that’s my boy…usually at home he’s only in underwear.)

So while Michigan is teasing us with temperatures, we can get great BBQ all year round with these Instant Pot ribs. Take that, Michigan weather!

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It's almost magical and it's going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don't have hours to spare.

About these Instant Pot Ribs

The magic of this recipe is that you don’t have to slow cook the ribs for hours and hours to get that fall-off-the-bone texture everyone wants in ribs. Thanks to the pressure cooker, you can achieve that in about an hour, and it’s completely hands-off once you get the ribs into the Instant Pot. 

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It's almost magical and it's going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don't have hours to spare.

The first time I made these, I honestly expected them to be alright, but not outrageously good. Now, I won’t pretend that they hold a candle to slow-smoked ribs. Nothing is better than that! But compared to slow cooker ribs, or oven baked ribs, I’d choose these any day of the week. They fall off the bone, and have really great flavor, especially if you grab that liquid smoke and add it to the mix. 

Paired with homemade BBQ rub and topped with this BBQ sauce recipe, they’re outstanding and will satisfy every single rib craving you have. Serve them with some homemade healthy coleslaw and crispy roasted potatoes, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal. Ooooh or this healthy broccoli salad! That would be so good, too.

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It's almost magical and it's going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don't have hours to spare.

I rub these the same way I would if I were smoking them – start with a layer of yellow mustard and then layer on the spice rub. You’ll wrap them around the edge of your Instant Pot on top of the trivet or steamer basket and then let the Instant Pot work its magic.

how to make instant pot ribs

Once they finish cooking in the Instant Pot, you’re going to give them a good coat of barbecue sauce and broil both sides. This will caramelize the BBQ sauce and make them finger-licking good. Plan on making extras because everyone will be coming back for more! 

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It's almost magical and it's going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don't have hours to spare.

Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot Ribs

Yield: 1-3 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

This recipe for Instant Pot ribs give you fall-off-the-bone, flavorful ribs, in around an hour! It's almost magical and it's going to be your go-to when you want ribs but don't have hours to spare.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup broth (I use chicken or beef - see note)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional, but highly recommend!)
  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup BBQ rub
  • 1/2 to 1 cup BBQ sauce of choice

Instructions

  1. Place steamer rack in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Add broth, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke to the Instant Pot.
  2. Remove thin translucent membrane from the back side of the ribs. This part is kind of a pain, but it’s worth it for extra tender, fall-apart ribs. Use a knife or fork to carefully loosen it on one end, and then grip it with a paper towel and just peel it right off.
  3. Rub or brush meat with mustard (I use my hands...you can try to keep your hands clean during this process but it’s probably impossible so you might as well just go all in). When meat is coated with mustard, sprinkle with BBQ rub and rub in slightly to adhere the BBQ rub to the meat.
  4. Place meat in instant pot, curling around the sides of the pot, meat side out (see photo in post).
  5. Secure lid and turn valve to seal. Use the Manual (or Pressure Cook) mode and set on high pressure for 35 minutes.
  6. After cooking time has elapsed, let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes (just set a timer and leave it alone for 15 minutes).
  7. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil and preheat broiler to high. After 15 minutes, release any remaining pressure and carefully remove ribs, placing them on prepared baking sheet. Brush one side with half of BBQ sauce and broil for 3-4 minutes or until bubbling and caramelized.
  8. Carefully flip over rack of ribs, brush BBQ sauce on the other side, and broil again for 3-4 minutes or until bubbling and caramelized.

Notes

  • In a pinch, you can use water instead of broth
  • Yield for this recipe is 1-3 servings. I know plenty of folks that can eat a whole rack of ribs, so just plan accordingly based on what else you're serving with it. Nutrition information calculated for 3 servings.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 71mg Sodium: 859mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g Protein: 21g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Verdict: So good, we love these. I’m making them again ASAP – the ribs are in my fridge!
Husband’s take: Ben looooves ribs. No complaints heard when I serve these.
Changes I would make: None are necessary!
Difficulty: Easy! The hardest part for me was to get these to not completely fall off the bone when I was taking them out of the Instant Pot. I wanted them somewhat intact for the photos. But that’s not a true “problem,” because the goal here is fall-off-the-bone ribs! Mission accomplished.

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8 comments

  1. I made this on Saturday night. Didn’t have baby back ribs on hand so I used pork spare ribs. The meat literally fell off the bone. We had no leftovers so I made them again on Sunday! So easy and delicious!!

    • I’m so glad to hear that you liked this recipe enough to make them two days in a row! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, it means a lot to me.

  2. Wow! Will have to try those.

  3. Bravo! I made these ribs for dinner tonight and the meat did indeed fall off the bone and the end result was a fabulous meal! I’m a “Rachel Cooks” fan. Thanks for making my life easier and yummier.

    Rating: 5
  4. Yum – We always love using our instant pot. Actually, I think my husband uses it more than I do! We will be making these soon. And YES, the liquid smoke is a must! Thank you for sharing =)
    Jett
    aka randomwriggley

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