Instant Pot BBQ Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce is fall-off-the-bone tender and tangy, and ready in just about 30 minutes! This recipe includes homemade BBQ rub and homemade BBQ sauce, but you can use store-bought sauce and rub to save time.
Many many years ago, the Instant Pot was introduced to the world. Since then, I've been creating recipes and cooking weeknight dinners for my family using a 8-quart Instant Pot Duo and a Ninja Foodi XL Deluxe Pressure Cooker.
To this day, my family makes Instant Pot recipes and/or air fryer recipes every single day.
The first Instant Pot recipe that I made all those years ago? This Instant Pot Pork Ribs recipe. I've tweaked the BBQ recipe a bit over the years, but it's still one of our Go To dinner recipes that is in permanent rotation.
We still love this recipe so much, and hope you will love it, too!
❤️ Why you'll love pork ribs in the Instant Pot
This is truly a foolproof recipe. The Instant Pot baby back ribs come out juicy, tender, moist... everything you want ribs to be.
- Quick cooking time: You can make these tender ribs in a fraction of the time compared to other cooking methods. They cook up in just 25 minutes thanks to the Instant Pot! With a quick 5-minute finish in the broiler.
- Easy recipe: The instructions are simple and easy to follow. This is a great recipe for beginning Instant Pot users!
- Simple ingredients: You can use store-bought or homemade BBQ rub and homemade BBQ Sauce.
🥫 Ingredient notes
Some notes about the ingredients for these Instant Pot ribs.
Pork ribs - You'll need a rack of ribs for this recipe, which calls for baby back pork ribs.
BBQ seasoning - You can use your favorite store-bought seasoning. Or, use the spices in this recipe: garlic cloves (or substitute with garlic powder), cayenne pepper, brown sugar, chili powder, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
Cooking liquid - You'll need a cup of water, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke to add to the bottom of the Instant Pot and cook the ribs.
BBQ Sauce - you can use your favorite BBQ sauce, or follow the recipe for our homemade BBQ sauce.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here's a visual step-by-step guide showing you how to make Instant Pot pork ribs.
Make the barbecue sauce
- It's a very simple one-pot recipe, which allows you to combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, and then simmer on low while the ribs are cooking.
Make the ribs
- In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
- Rub the dry rub ingredients evenly over the ribs.
3. Place rack insert inside the Instant Pot. Place ribs standing on their side inside, on top of the rack insert, and wrap around the inside of the pot.
4. Carefully pour water, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke into the center of the pot, making sure you don't wash off any of the delicious seasoning on the ribs.
5. Close and secure the lid. Make sure the vent is turned to sealing. Pressure cook for 25 minutes, then Natural Release for 10 minutes. Then, use tongs to carefully turn the knob to venting to Quick Release.
6. Once the pin is all the way down, indicating pressure has been released, carefully open the lid. Use tongs to remove the ribs from the pot, set on a foil-lined baking sheet (cookie sheet).
7. Brush the top and the underside of the ribs (back of the ribs) with the barbecue sauce.
8. Broil for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips and FAQs
- If you want maximum flavor, start the sauce 30 minutes before you start making the ribs. That way, the sauce simmers for a full hour from start to finish, and the spices have even more time to mingle and the sauce is even more flavorful.
- Don't forget to stir the BBQ sauce while the ribs are pressure cooking in the Instant Pot.
We use baby back pork ribs for this ribs recipe.
Baby back ribs are leaner and more tender than spare ribs. Spare ribs are larger and take longer to cook than baby back ribs.
Allow Instant Pot ribs to cool at room temperature, then store either in aluminum foil or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four or five days.
🍽 What to serve with BBQ Ribs
These are the best ribs! They're perfect for:
- Game Day, tailgating/homegating parties
- 4th of July barbecues
- busy weeknight dinners
- potlucks and picnics
- feeding the whole hungry family!
Serve Instant Pot pork ribs with any of these delicious side dishes for an easy meal that's perfect for any weeknight family dinner:
- Ultimate Creamy Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
- Corn with Basil Lime Butter
- Ricotta Crostini with Summer Berries and Honey
- Air Fryer (Ninja Foodi) Broccoli
- Potato Salad
- Air Fryer Garlic Bread
⏲ Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? You'll need either an 8-quart Instant Pot Duo or a 6-quart Instant Pot.
You'll also need:
🌽 Best side dishes for ribs
Here are some of the best side dishes for ribs! Be sure to check out our entire collection of side dish recipes.
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Instant Pot BBQ Ribs with Homemade BBQ Sauce
Instant Pot ribs
Make the BBQ Sauce
- In a medium saucepot over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients. Stir well, and bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer on low, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the ribs.
Make the Instant Pot BBQ Ribs
- In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Rub evenly over the ribs.
- Place rack insert inside the Instant Pot. Place ribs standing on their side inside, on top of the rack insert, and wrap around the inside of the pot.
- Carefully pour water, apple cider vinegar, and liquid smoke into the center of the pot, making sure you don't wash off any of the delicious seasoning on the ribs.
- Close and secure the lid. Make sure the vent is turned to SEALING. Press PRESSURE COOK or MANUAL button and set to 25 minutes. The unit will take a few minutes to come to pressure (10-15 minutes), then pressure cooking will start. Once pressure cooking is complete, allow for Natural Release for 10 minutes, then use tongs to carefully turn the knob to VENTING to Quick Release.
- During this time, don't forget to stir the BBQ sauce once in a while!
- Once the pin is all the way down, indicating pressure has been released, carefully open the lid. Use tongs to remove the ribs from the pot, set on a foil-lined baking sheet, and brush with the barbecue sauce.
- Broil for 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe inspired by the Neely's BBQ Sauce.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.
This post was originally published on January 8, 2018. It was updated with more helpful content, updated photos, and an updated recipe card on January 29, 2023.