Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
Yes, you can enjoy fall-of-the-bones tender, flavorful baby back ribs in just an hour without heating the house!!! Cooking the ribs in an Instant Pot cuts down the cooking time by a few hours, then we’ll finish the cooking on the grill for a nice char and crispy caramelization. So much flavor in so little time!
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 rack baby back ribs
- 1 cup water (or apple cider, or apple juice, or even beer)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
- 1 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- To make the dry rub, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
- To prepare the ribs, remove the thin skin (membrane) on the back of the ribs. You may need to use a small sharp knife to pry on the corner, then pull the skin to peel it off.
- Generously rub the ribs with prepared dry rub on both sides, patting the spices well into the meat.
- To cook the ribs, place a rack in your Instant Pot. Pour water, apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke, if using. (You can use all water if you want to.)
- Place the ribs in the pot, curling it around the sides of the pot. (I used 6qt Instant Pot here, but if you have 8qt Instant Pot, you can easily fit 2 racks of baby back ribs.)
- Close the lids, make sure the valve is set to sealing. And set the Instant Pot to Meat/Stew (or Manual) setting for 25 minutes. (It took 15 minutes for the pot to come to pressure.)
- Let stand for 10 minutes to naturally release the pressure, and then turn the valve to vent to quick release the remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid.
- Using a set of kitchen tongs, carefully remove the meat onto a baking sheet, lined with an aluminum foil.
- Generously brush on your favorite BBQ sauce on both sides.
- To finish on the grill, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil grates using a paper towel soaked in oil. Grill the ribs until nice and crispy, about 10 minutes, turning it over half-way through.
- To finish in the oven, preheat the broiler. Broil for 5-7 minutes, watching carefully not to burn.
You can cook 2 racks of baby back ribs in 6 or 8qt Instant Pot without doubling the liquid amount. Also my dry rub recipe makes generous amount, so it’s enough for 2 racks.
Make-Ahead: You can cook the ribs in Instant Pot a day in advance. Store in the fridge, bring it out on the counter about an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Brush on BBQ sauce and finish it on the grill or in the oven.
Yield: 4 servings, Serving Size: 1 serving
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 322 Calories
- Total Fat: 5.8g
- Cholesterol: 12.3mg
- Sodium: 1996.9mg
- Carbohydrates: 58.8g
- Sugar: 40.2g
- Protein: 9.2g
Adapted from I Wash You Dry.All images and text ©
Quick and easy Instant Pot Ribs finished on the grill for a nice char and crispy caramelization. So much flavor in so little time! 1 hour is all you need!
Yes, it’s quite possible to cook fall-of-the-bones tender, flavorful baby back ribs in just an hour without heating the house!!!
In just under an hour, you’ll be enjoying juicy, tender, sweet and smoky baby back ribs.
This recipe works as advertised because we’re cooking those ribs in an Instant Pot until it’s fall-of-the-bone tender. Then we finish it off on a grill for nice char and flavor.
So How to Cook Instant Pot Ribs?
First, we’ll make a flavorful dry rub. I make a generous amount of it, because I don’t like to skimp on flavor. And you may notice a surprising ingredient in it! Cocoa powder! Seriously, it’s soo good. You won’t really taste chocolate flavor, but it blends with other spices beautifully. If you don’t feel comfortable, skip it. No big deal.
Also you can always use your favorite dry rub here, if you have a go-to version. And if you do, please share it in the comments, so we all can try that too!
One more IMPORTANT thing before rubbing the spices on the meat: remove the thin membrane on the back of the rack!
Trust me, you don’t want to sink your teeth into tough chewy skin when you’re ready to enjoy your ribs!
Cooking Ribs in Instant Pot
Next up, curl your ribs in your Instant Pot on a rack. We’re using rack so that the meat and all that flavorful rub we so carefully rubbed into the meat won’t wash off in the liquid.
As for liquids, you can totally use all water, but I think a little bit of apple cider vinegar adds a nice touch. And liquid smoke is optional, especially if you’re grilling the ribs. But I highly recommend it if you’re finishing the ribs in the oven. It’ll add a nice smoky flavor!
And the finishing touches… BBQ sauce!
Use your favorite BBQ sauce here. I like my homemade version, but store-bought is fine too! Again, generous amount of sauce on both sides of the rack!
And the best part, grilling!!! Smear more BBQ sauce as you grill the ribs, turning it over half way through, so it doesn’t burn.