Go Back
+ servings
close up view of instant pot ribs, cut and laid out on cutting board
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Ribs (+/- air fryer lid directions)

Make dinner extra easy with these Instant Pot ribs! They're fall off the bone tender, sticky, and best of all-- ready in under an hour! We include directions for using an air fryer lid if you have one, or to broil to finish the ribs off.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Time to pressurize + natural pressure release20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Calories: 494kcal


  • 2 lbs pork ribs 900 g; see note 1
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • ¾ tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cup BBQ sauce


  • Rub- in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, ground cumin, black pepper and salt until no clumps remain.
    rub for ribs mixed in white bowl
  • Remove silver skin- The silver skin is a tough membrane that runs along the back of the ribs, and taking the time to remove it yields significantly more tender ribs. Start by using a dull knife to loosen the membrane, then grip it with a paper towel, and carefully pull it off.
  • Apply rub- sprinkle the rub evenly over the ribs, then use your hands to rub it in. Flip the ribs over and coat both sides.
    rack of ribs coated in dry rub on baking sheet
  • Prepare Instant Pot- place 1 cup (for 6 quart Instant Pots) or 1.5 cups water (for 8 quart Instant Pots) into the stainless steel insert. Arrange the trivet on top, and wrap the ribs around on top of the trivet so that they are touching the side of the pot as little as possible. see note 2
    overhead view of ribs on trivet in instant pot
  • Cook- Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. When the cooking cycle completes, allow for a 10 minute natural pressure release. At this point, you can release any remaining pressure (the pin may have already dropped).
    instant pot with 25 minutes on the timer
  • BBQ sauce- Brush ribs with BBQ sauce to coat, then cook:
    air fryer lid- set to 400°F and cook for 5-7 minutes, until lightly charred on edges and sauce caramelizes
    broiler- line a baking sheet with foil and set your broiler to high. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until sauce caramelizes
    cooked ribs in instant pot being brushed with bbq sauce using silicone brush
  • Slice- Cut the ribs up, and enjoy!
    overhead view of instant pot ribs, cut and laid out on cutting board



1- side and back ribs both worked great! You'll likely need to increase the cook time 5-10 minutes for spare ribs
2- if you have two racks of ribs, position them with as much space between them as you can, wrapping one inside the other. It's OK if they touch! They seem to fit better in an 8 quart pot.
Cool completely, then store the ribs in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat at 350°F in the oven (10-15 min) or air fryer (5 min), until warmed through. You might want to brush on some more BBQ sauce before reheating!


Serving: 0.25of the batch | Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 980mg | Potassium: 479mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 503IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg