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Tender Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs rack
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Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs

These Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs are sticky, saucy, savory, sweet, and sooo tender. Fall-off-the-bone tender. They are done in 30 minutes, with just 6 simple ingredients.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue, easy, instant pot, ribs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings of 4 ribs
Calories 708kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons barbecue meat rub (store-bought or homemade) (see notes below for homemade)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional but recommended) (see notes)
  • 1 ½ cup barbecue sauce (your favorite brand)

Instructions

  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  • Rub the ribs with the meat rub. Be generous.
  • Place the baby back ribs into the Instant Pot. Add vegetable broth, apple juice, and liquid smoke (if using). Close lid and set to cook on “manual” mode 20 minutes. When the time is over, turn it off and let the pressure release on its own, this will take about 8-10 minutes. Carefully turn the vent to “Venting,” just to release any extra pressure that might still be in there. Then remove the lid.
  • Preheat oven broil.
  • Transfer cooked ribs to a large baking sheet. Brush barbecue sauce all over the baby back ribs on all sides including the bones. Broil for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the sauce caramelizes.
  • Serve.

Video

Notes

 
HOMEMADE BBQ RUB:
Mix together:
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 
WHAT TYPE OF RIBS ARE BEST TO MAKE BARBECUE RIBS?
I prefer baby back ribs because they are smaller, more tender. However, you can also use spare ribs if you prefer them bigger and more meatier.
 
HOW TO REMOVE MEMBRANE FROM THE BACK OF RIBS:
  1. Insert a table knife under the silverskin anywhere along the rack. Lift and loosen it with the knife until you can grab it with a paper towel.
  2. Pull it off the ribs; it should peel away in one large piece, but if it breaks, repeat step one.
 
CAN I MAKE TWO RACKS OF RIBS IN THE INSTANT POT?
Yes, you can make two racks, just double the meat rub and barbecue sauce quantity, but keep the same amount of liquid (broth, apple juice, and liquid smoke) underneath. Increase the cooking time to 30 minutes.
 
HOW LONG DO YOU PRESSURE COOK RIBS?
It will depend on how you like your ribs! Adjust the Instant Pot cooking time according to your preference:
  • 15 minutes for tender with a bit of chew,
  • 20 for tender but not falling off the bone, 
  • 25 minutes to fall off the bone ribs.
 
HOW DO YOU DO NATURAL RELEASE ON INSTANT POT?
Once your Instant Pot’s cooking time is over, it will beep and then it will start counting up on the keep warm mode.  The natural release time will vary depending of what are you cooking. In most recipes 10 – 15 minutes of natural release is enough. Check the recipe direction to get an idea of how long the natural release will take. After the natural release time is over carefully turn the valve to “Venting,” just to release any extra pressure that might still be in there. Then remove the lid.
This recipe has a natural release time of 10 minutes so once the timer shows 10 minutes,  you can then open the valve to release the rest of the pressure.
 
Liquid smoke can be found next to the barbecue sauce in most grocery stores or online.
 
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
 
 
 Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!
 
Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate and it can vary depending on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 1535mg | Potassium: 868mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 518IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 4mg