Want fall-off-the-bone tender country-style ribs in less than half the time? This simple recipe has your back! My Instant Pot Ribs are packed with down-home flavor and easy enough to make any night of the week.
Ultra Tender Instant Pot Ribs
Every once in a while, I want to make a big batch of homemade ribs. Smoky, savory, and rubbed with an unbeatable spice blend, ribs are one of my family’s favorites! They’re great cooked low and slow in a smoker or on the grill, and scrumptious in the oven or Crock Pot.
The only catch? They take a lot of time to cook!
Enter the Instant Pot. Can you say game changer? This magical appliance allows you to easily make uber-tender, uber-flavorful country-style ribs in about an hour. And, most of that time is hands-free, because the prep needed is totally minimal!
What You’ll Need
To make these ribs, I start with an easy homemade spice rub. I also like to use some liquid smoke for that authentic smoky taste. It’s some serious YUM!
- Brown Sugar: A tablespoon of good brown sugar adds just a touch of sweetness.
- Garlic & Onion Powders: I use one teaspoon of each for fast and easy seasoning.
- Oregano: This helps to balance the sweetness with a punch of sharp, herbal flavor.
- Cumin: An essential barbecuing ingredient, cumin has a pleasant, earthy taste.
- Paprika: Round out the flavors with ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika. Paprika is made of a blend of dried chili peppers, and brings both color and taste to the dish.
- Olive Oil: You’ll need a tablespoon or so of olive oil for sauteing the meat.
- Ribs: This recipe makes 3 pounds of bone-in country-style pork ribs.
- Apple Cider (or Juice): I used apple cider here. Instant Pot recipes need liquid to help build pressure in the pot, which is a great opportunity to infuse flavor!
- Liquid Smoke: You can find this in most grocery stores. I used one teaspoon.
- Barbecue Sauce: I like to have a bit of prepared barbecue sauce on hand, for dipping.
How to Make Ribs in the Instant Pot
To make this hearty family meal, there are basically three easy parts – sauté the ribs, pressure cook them, then pop them into the oven for a speedy broil. Let’s get cooking!
- Make Spice Rub & Season Ribs: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano and cumin. Pat dry the ribs with a paper towel, then generously rub them all over with the spice mixture.
- Sauté Ribs: In the bottom of the Instant Pot, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Press the Sauté button and heat the oil; then brown the ribs in the oil on all sides. Work in batches, if necessary. Transfer the browned, seasoned ribs to a plate and set aside.
- Prep Instant Pot: Turn the Sauté feature off. Pour the cider and liquid smoke into the bottom of the Instant Pot, then place the metal trivet inside. Arrange the ribs on top of the trivet (it’s fine if they overlap). Close and lock the lid.
- Pressure Cook: Slide the valve to “Sealed.” Pressure cook the ribs on High manual pressure for 30 minutes. When the ribs are finished cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then do a Quick Release by carefully sliding the valve open.
- Broil: Remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and broil for 3 minutes on low. If you’d like, you can brush the ribs with some barbecue sauce, first. This will allow the sauce to caramelize right on the ribs.
- Serve. Carefully remove the ribs from the oven. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired, and your favorite side dishes.
Tips for Success
Want some quick words of advice for cooking ribs in the Instant Pot? Check out my tips and tricks before getting started.
- Times are Approximate: Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, number of ribs, oven, and other factors, the times for cooking these ribs can vary slightly. If the ribs aren’t quite tender after 30 minutes plus the time to release, pressure cook them again for 5 more minutes and quick-release the pressure. (It won’t take as long for the Instant Pot to heat a second time.) You may also need to broil them for more or less time in order to get a crispy result.
- Make Double: If you are cooking for a crowd and your Instant Pot is large enough, you can double this recipe! I plan on two ribs per person for an average serving. Alternatively, you can cut the recipe in half for an easy meal for two. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust the cooking times a bit.
- Go Boneless: You can sometimes find boneless country-style ribs, and this recipe will be just as delicious if you go boneless! Keep in mind, boneless ribs will need less time to cook through.
When it comes to serving ribs, I like to have several hearty sides to complement the texture and flavor of the meat. Here are some of my favorites!
- Macaroni Salad: This picnic-lunch classic goes perfectly with barbecued pork! You’ll love the creamy, tangy freshness of this family-friendly Macaroni Salad.
- Potato Salad: My American Classic Potato Salad is another great potluck-style option that’s sure to please! It’s super easy to make from scratch, and it goes with everything.
- Grilled Veggies: Full-on flavor and a punch of nutrition! That’s what you get with this great recipe for Grilled Vegetables with Lemon Dressing.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftovers, place them in airtight storage bags or containers. You can also remove the meat from the bones and store just the meat, discarding the bones.
- Ribs (or rib meat) will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
- To reheat, place the ribs in a low oven (about 300°F) until the meat is hot all the way through. Be careful not to overcook them and dry them out!
Can I Freeze Extras?
- Yes, you can! Wrap them tightly in two layers of plastic wrap or foil, and place them in freezer bags.
- Frozen ribs will keep for 2 to 3 months.
- Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Easy Instant Pot Ribs
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs, about 6 to 8 ribs
- ½ cup apple cider or apple juice, (I use cider)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- barbecue sauce, for dipping, optional
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, and cumin.
- Pat dry the ribs with a paper towel, then generously rub with the spice mixture.
- In the bottom of the Instant Pot, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Press the Saute button and heat the oil. Brown the ribs in the oil on all sides. Then, transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Turn the Saute feature off. Pour the cider and liquid smoke into the bottom of the Instant Pot, and then place the metal trivet inside.
- Place the ribs on top of the trivet. Close and lock the lid. Slide the valve to “Sealed.” Pressure cook the ribs on High manual pressure for 30 minutes.
- When the ribs are finished cooking, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then do a Quick Release to allow the remaining pressure to release.
- Remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven to low broil for 3 minutes. If you like, you can brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, first, to allow the sauce to caramelize and the edges to crisp.
- Carefully remove the ribs from the oven. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired, and with your favorite side dishes.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Need some new weeknight dinner ideas? These recipes won’t disappoint!