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Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs bring all the smoky BBQ flavor without having to stand in front of the grill. It’s easy to make tender rack of pork ribs by using the Instant Pot.

Baby Back Ribs in the Instant Pot

The hubby is a huge fan of this Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs recipe!

It’s very popular on our Pinterest page as well.

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So many people have left us photos of their ribs and commented that they were fall-off-the-bone delicious.

This is absolutely a no-fail recipe.

I’m sharing all the keys to success so that you can make great ribs at home too.

Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Rack of Pork Ribs Instant Pot

Key to Success #1 – Make a Good Dry Rub

A good dry rub will add a lot of delicious flavor to your ribs.

I like to start with brown sugar and chili powder as my base then add in cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, a little bit of salt, pepper, and parsley, and then just a touch of cayenne.

To put the dry rub on the ribs, start by sprinkling some of the dry rub mix on the bottom side of the ribs.

Then turn the ribs over and press the dry rub into the top of the ribs.

You can add the dry rub and let the baby back ribs hang out in the refrigerator for a couple hours if you have time.

It’s not required though.

Dry Rub on Baby Back Ribs

Key to Success #2 – Use the Instant Pot Trivet

The Instant Pot comes with a metal rack, called a trivet, that you can use to elevate food so that it doesn’t sit in the liquid at the bottom of the pot.

You’ll want to use the trivet when making these Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs.

If you can’t find your trivet any short metal rack will work or you can make a rack out of aluminum foil.

Just wrap the Baby Back Ribs around the inside of the Instant Pot.

I have an Instant Pot 6 Qt Duo and my Baby Back Ribs fit with plenty of room to spare.

You can see in the image below how I wrap the ribs around the inside of the pot.

Baby Back Ribs in Instant Pot

See the rack in the bottom of my Instant Pot?

That’s not the trivet that came with the Instant Pot. I can’t find mine!

It’s actually a rack that came with an Air Fryer Accessory Kit.

And it works great in the Air Fryer as well as the Instant Pot, I might add.

Key to Success #3 – Add Liquid Smoke

After your ribs go into the Instant Pot, you’ll want to add a cup of water into the inner pot so that the Instant Pot can build up pressure.

For my 6-quart Instant Pot, it requires at least 1 cup of water.

Some of the larger Instant Pots need more water so be sure to check the instructions on yours.

If you like a smoky flavor to your Baby Back Ribs, you can add some liquid smoke along with the water in your Instant Pot.

This is an easy way to get that classic barbecue flavor when you’re cooking indoors.

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Key to Success #5 – Use the Natural Release

For a full rack of extra meaty Baby Back Ribs, the pressure cook time is 30 minutes at high pressure.

With a 30 minute pressure cook time, you can pick up the ribs using tongs without them falling apart, but the meat will easily pull off the bone.

If your ribs are not all that meaty, I would suggest pressure cooking for only 25 minutes.

If you want your ribs to fall apart, you can go for 35 minutes.

Another crucial component of Instant Pot cooking is the pressure release.

You have two options – let the pressure release naturally or move the pressure release valve to Venting and do a quick release.

For Baby Back Ribs, you will want to let the pressure release naturally for up to 30 minutes.

If the timer reaches 30 minutes and the pressure has not fully released, you can switch to Venting to release the rest of the pressure.

While the Instant Pot is doing its natural release, your ribs are still cooking.

The 30 minutes of natural release are a part of the overall cook time for the ribs so it’s important not to rush things here.

Baby Back Ribs made in Instant Pot

Key to Success #6 – Finish The Ribs Off in the Oven

After the ribs come out of the Instant Pot, put them on a foil-lined baking sheet and coat them with BBQ sauce.

Next, stick them under the broiler in the oven for just a few minutes to develop that bark on the outside of the ribs.

You can use your favorite BBQ sauce. I like to use Head Country Original.

It has a great flavor that’s not too sweet and not too spicy for me.

Baby Back Ribs Instant Pot

I use a basting brush to paint the BBQ sauce on both sides of the ribs.

I use the HI setting on my broiler and stick the ribs in there for just about 5 minutes until the BBQ sauce starts to caramelize.

Watch your ribs closely when they are under the broiler though.

If you leave them too long, they could burn.

Meaty Pork Ribs Instant Pot

You could also finish the ribs off on the grill.

Any way you finish them, they’re bound to be a winner.

Save this Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs recipe to your Instant Pot board or your BBQ board.

Perfect Pork Ribs in the Instant Pot
Baby Back Ribs made in Instant Pot

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

Yield: 1 rack
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs bring all the smoky BBQ flavor without having to stand in front of the grill. It's easy to make tender rack of pork ribs by using the Instant Pot. 


  • 1 rack (2-3 pounds) baby back ribs, extra meaty
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 cup or more BBQ sauce


  1. Remove membrane from bottom of ribs by running knife under the skin and pulling it off.
  2. In a small bowl, combine dry rub - brown sugar, chili powder, parsley, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Spread over top and bottoms side of ribs.
  3. Stand ribs on side on metal trivet inside Instant Pot. Add water and liquid smoke to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. 
  4. Set Instant Pot for High Pressure, set valve to Sealing, and set timer for 30 minutes. After pressure cooking for 30 minutes, allow natural steam release for at least 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove ribs from Instant Pot and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Brush on a thick layer of BBQ sauce on top and bottom of ribs. Place ribs under broiler for about 5 minutes (watch closely!) until BBQ sauce caramelizes and crust forms on ribs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 1079mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g

Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.

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Thursday 15th of February 2024

I have been using this recipe for over two years and we love it and it’s always a hit with anyone that gets the opportunity to eat them. Thanks for such a great baby back ribs recipe for the instant pot!


Thursday 15th of February 2024

Rhonda, we’re so glad you loved the Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs recipe. This is the best way to make fall off the bone ribs!


Saturday 2nd of January 2021

These are the best ribs I have ever tasted!!! I got an instant pot for Christmas and now have gone cooking crazy! If I’m cooking 6 pounds of ribs do I double the time or add any extra time? I’m making a big batch tomorrow afternoon for the game! Thank you for this recipe!!!


Saturday 2nd of January 2021

We’re glad you love the ribs! You might add maybe 10 extra minutes to the cook time for 6 pounds of ribs. Should be close to the same though. Enjoy the game!

Debra Heard

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Trying out recipes since I just got my first instant pot on Mother’s Day. These ribs were a big hit, fall off the bone delicious! I added 1 tsp paprika and no cayenne pepper since I didn’t have any (seriously didn’t miss it). I also used 1 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup of water for the liquid and 2 tbsp of liquid smoke instead of tsp. Will be making this again!


Thursday 7th of May 2020

Made these last night and they were a hit. Easy recipe with great results. Only thing I’ll do differently next time is to make more than one rack.

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