Let your pressure cooker do the work in a fraction of the time with these tender and flavorful Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs!
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I get so excited just thinking about these ribs. I mean, tender and juicy barbecue pork ribs in less than an hour from start to finish… including the time it takes the pot to come to pressure?! Yes, please.
Are ribs supposed to fall off of the bone?
I’ve seen ribs frequently described as “fall of the bone tender” but in my opinion they’re overcooked if the meat literally falls off the bone.
Seriously, when I go to remove the ribs from the Instant Pot, I don’t want all the meat falling off in a pile before I even get the rack to the baking sheet to prepare for the broiler. The meat on these ribs is tender and pulls easily off of the bone, but stays attached when you remove the rack from the pot (and when you pick up the bone to take a bite!).
I totally understand everyone’s tastes are different, so if you like your ribs “falling off the bone” then I suggest adding about 5 minutes longer to your cook time.
It’s important to remove the membrane from the bone-side of the rack before seasoning and cooking. The membrane is tough and also blocks your seasonings from absorbing into the meat.
How to remove the membrane from baby back ribs:
On one end of the rack, slide a butter knife up under the membrane (between the membrane and the bone) and loosen. Grip the membrane with a paper towel and pull until it is removed. The membrane may come off in one piece (if you’re lucky!) or you may have to pull off smaller pieces.
Place the entire rack on its side in a circle on top of the trivet for even cooking. I added a sprig of fresh rosemary which adds a hint of rosemary flavor.
I finished these ribs off brushed with barbecue sauce under the broiler for about 4 minutes before serving (I love Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce but use your favorite or homemade!).
The absolute easiest and best pork ribs in a fraction of the time using your pressure cooker!
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 rack baby back pork ribs (approximately 3 pounds)
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2/3 cup prepared barbecue sauce
- Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, brown sugar and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Remove the membrane from the back side of the ribs – Insert a butter knife under the membrane at one end of the ribs and lift. Using a paper towel, grip the membrane and gently pull to completely remove.
- Rub the spice mixture as evenly as possible over the ribs.
- Place the trivet into the bottom of the insert of your pressure cooker. Pour in the water, vinegar and liquid smoke.
- Place the ribs in a circle shape on their side on top of the trivet. Add the rosemary sprig in the center of the circle of ribs.
- Place the lid on pressure cooker and lock. Steam release knob should be set on “sealing”. Cook on manual setting (high pressure) for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove and discard rosemary sprig. Carefully remove the rack of ribs from the pressure cooker and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Brush both sides of ribs evenly with barbecue sauce. Turn oven broiler on high and place under broiler for 3-5 minutes, watching carefully so that ribs do not burn.
- According to the USDA, pork back ribs should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F with a 3 minute rest time.
- Cook time includes the time it took my pot to come to pressure and broiling time.
- Altitude can affect pressure cooking times. This recipe was tested using an Instant Pot LUX80 8-quart at approximately 10 feet above sea level. Here is a helpful article regarding adjustments for pressure cooking times at different altitudes.