Fast & Tender Ribs in the Instant Pot (that taste BBQ'd!)

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by Ed

I love spending a whole afternoon prepping, smoking and finishing back ribs on a grill. Sitting out in the yard, tinkering with the heat level, tossing in some hickory wood chips and trying to get things just right.

It's a pastime I look forward to every summer. I may even enjoy a beer while grilling.

But the number of days I have where I can dedicate 5+ hours to cooking a meal are few and far between.

And it is now November, it gets dark around 5:30 and has rained for, like 2 months now. Not ideal grill conditions.

So, for all the people who want to enjoy BBQ style pork back ribs in a reasonable timeframe - after work on a weeknight - and all indoors, I present this recipe for quick tender Ribs in the Instant Pot. 

Key Steps to Quick Tender Instant Pot Spare Ribs:

Remove the membrane from the back of the rib rack. Most recipes suggest this, but few tell you how to do it. 

For what it's worth, my technique is to hook a fork tine under the edge of the membrane near a rib bone, lift it enough to be able to get your fingers underneath and then use your hands to peel it off. 

Not pretty, but very effective and important.

Use your favourite Dry Rub 
to cover both sides of the ribs. 

The one I used is below in the recipe card. 

Use your hands or a fork (if you're a wuss like Robin 😉) to work the rub evenly into the meat.

instant pot rack for ribs
Place the steam rack in the bottom of your Instant Pot.  

Add 1.5 cups of liquid (beer, water, etc) into the Instant Pot. 

Coil the Rib racks into the pot as evenly as possible. 

Seal, and Pressure Cook on the Meat/Stew setting for 25 minutes. (25 minutes! What a miracle appliance!)

After the cook cycle finishes, turn the Instant Pot off and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Let the remaining pressure off and open up the Instant Pot.

 Preheat your oven to broil and carefully transfer your ribs to a lined cookie sheet.

Generously apply your favourite BBQ sauce (this one's ours) to both sides of the rib racks with a basting brush (we love this one because it's dishwasher safe and lasts pretty much forever.). 

Be careful turning them - you can see how close to 'falling-off-the-bone' tender the meat is.

Finally, caramelize the BBQ sauce under the broiler - approx. 5 minutes per side. 

As with all broiling, keep a close eye on it and remove when the desired level of doneness is achieved. 

instapot ribs bbq
Let cool for 5 minutes, cut and serve with additional sauce.

Yield: Serves 4 - 6Author: Ed Hicken

Fast & Tender Ribs in the Instant Pot

prep time: 10 minscook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 10 mins


2 racks - pork back ribs (3-4 lbs total)
⅓ cup Dry Rub:
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
½ Tbsp Salt
1 cup of dark beer (or Ginger Ale, Root Beer or Dr. Pepper if no-alcohol version preferred)
½ cup water
½ - ¾ Cup BBQ sauce of your choice


  1. Remove membrane from both racks of Ribs.
  2. Combine dry rub ingredients into a bowl. Mix well and sprinkle liberally over both sides of ribs. Work the dry rub around and press into the meat.
  3. Set up the Instant Pot with the steam rack inside. Add the beer/soda and water.
  4. Coil the ribs evenly into the Instant Pot. Try to space them out to cook evenly.
  5. Cover and seal. Pressure Cook using “Meat/Stew” setting for 25 minutes. When cooking finishes, turn the pot off and allow to sit.  After 5 minutes, release remaining pressure by opening the seal. Open Instant Pot.
  6. Preheat your oven to broil.
  7. Line a large cookie sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. Carefully transfer ribs from Instant Pot to cookie sheet - they will want to fall apart.
  8. Coat both sides of ribs with BBQ sauce. Place on middle rack of your oven.
  9. Watch carefully - turn ribs over when the sauce begins to brown/carmelize - approximately 5 minutes. Broil the other side till it browns as well.
  10. Remove and cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Add more sauce if you like them messy. Cut into smaller rack sections and serve!
Created using The Recipes Generator

If you're looking for more simple and delicious recipes  - that's one of our specialties!  Check out these family favourites here.

Want more fast and easy recipes for the Instant Pot?  We've got another great collection of Instant Pot dump recipes here!

And another terrific collection too: Pork chops in Instant Pot!

Here are more of my Instant Pot recipes:

Dark Beer Pulled Brisket on Cheddar Waffles.

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