Instant Pot BBQ Ribs

By June 5, 2014

Submitted by Fred M.

This is a simple recipe that provides a lot of flavor for minimal time in the kitchen. Enjoy!


  • 2 racks of pork ribs
  • 3 c. Sweet Baby Ray’s original BBQ sauce
  • 1 c. of water
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tbs. heaping minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke (best is from LEM)
  • 1 tbs. chili powder


Cut ribs into 3 rib portions and place them into Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker. If frozen, no need to defrost. Add all ingredients in a bowl with the BBQ sauce and mix well, then add to the pot. Close the lid. Then press  Meat button and set  +  to 40mins. Once it is done, use the quick pressure release. Open the lid and ensure the ribs are soaked in the sauce, tender and the meat is still on the bone. If not done, use the manual setting and cook for 5 more mins.

Remove the meat, cut ribs into individual pieces and put into a large pan with an aluminum foil cover in the oven at 210 degrees. Use the manual setting but reduce the pressure/temp. to “normal”. You want to reduce the BBQ sauce by about a cup….i.e., thicken the sauce. Once thickened, serve the hot ribs with the sauce.

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15 Responses to “Instant Pot BBQ Ribs”

  1. I’ve been a chef over half my lifetime. I’m new to the Instant Pot, but would never recommend cooking ribs longer than 15-20 minutes in the IP on Pressure Cooking mode. You will end up with mushy meat.


    Ed Reply:

    I agree. 40 minutes is way too long, and yes, 15 to 20 minutes is what works for me


    Marilee Reply:

    Oh I disagree. . .do mine for 45 minutes and they are fall off the bone tender. I do NOT like to wrestle the meat off the bones. . .


  2. Dale says:

    I made this recipe, it is quite good. Change the BBQ sauce from Sweet Baby Ray’s to “Oink and Squeal” and it so much better.


  3. Alura says:

    I followed the original directions, and the ribs cooked perfectly. The juice from all the onions (which melt down so they’re not detectable), a cup of water, meat juices and BBQ sauce gave plenty of steam. I put them back for another 8 minutes because we like falling-off-the bone. No oven or grill required, and we didn’t need to reduce the sauce.


  4. Mwh says:

    Not a good recipe for the Instant Pot. Not enough water in the recipe to create enough steam. It kept overheating and had to keep starting over. Ruined 2 racks of ribs!!


    LeeH Reply:

    One cup of water with three cups of BBQ sauce is more than enough. Worked fine for me.


  5. Randy C says:

    Tonight I use my Instanumber pot for the first time and I made baby back ribs I cook them 15 minutes on high pressure and then let them rest for another 15 as a pressure cooker to cool down I then brushed them with Sweet baby Ray’s put them under the broiler to finish and they were delicious they were perfectly cooked


    Donna Reply:



  6. Norman M. Schultz says:

    Followed recipe to the T and had the same result as Barbara did in her first post with the exception of it taking almost twenty minutes with out coming to pressure and by then it had burned the sauce on the botton of the stainless steel cooking pot. It took another ten minutes to get the burned sauce out of the pot. This does not work.


    Paul Reply:

    I made a mistake cooking without noticing. Try it again.


  7. Mona says:

    Just from looking at this recipe I can see that what is missing is seasoning on the ribs. One doesn’t cook a pork butt either that has not been seasoned at least with salt and pepper, and expect the BQ sauce to do all the seasoning.


    Randy Reply:

    Nail on the head Mona, I put rub on pork ribs or butt the day before. Get a small trash bag and wrap the meat in the bag and leave it in fridge 1 too 2 days before cooking it. I have a pit which I could put 15-20 racks of ribs on for big gathering. But I also bought an electric smoker the size of a compact refrigerator. I’m going to smoke the ribs on low heat 145 for forty minutes then put them in IP for 15-20 minutes to finish cooking. I’m hoping I can push the smoke flavoring into the meat. Does this sound like it will work, any advice or tips.


  8. Barbara Ellsworth says:

    This was my first try with my Instant Pot and I guess I didn’t have the handle on right. I was successful with the BBQ recipe. My advice: Just put a good sweet BBQ sauce on the ribs in the pot with a little water and cook it. I did the recipe submitted by Fred M and it didn’t taste good. Too much onion, etc.


    Linda Kosidlo Reply:

    Nice recipe. I have done it with boneless ribs for about 20 – 25 minutes. Comes out soft and tender. My family loves this recipe and has become part of the “regular rotation” of Sunday suppers.


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