Instant Pot BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

August 17, 2018Katie

I confess. I got my Instant Pot last Christmas and have only made a few things in it so far.  Navy Beans and Ham (swoon), beef stew, hard boiled eggs (peel like a dream), but by far, the recipe we’ve made over and over again has been Instant Pot Ribs.

I mean – cut them up, sprinkle on a dry rub, pour in some water, hit the Manual button and bump the time to 47 minutes and let it go. Then release the steam, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce and bake or grill for 20 minutes and they are fall-off-bone tender.

how to make instant pot ribs

This has been an incredibly crazy busy time in our lives and the Instant Pot Ribs make us feel like we’ve had a slow-cooked meal on a weeknight when in reality it only took an hour.

First off, mix all the ingredients for the dry rub together.

Remove the nasty icky membrane from the bottom side of the racks of ribs. Trust me on this one. It’ll make your rib feasting enjoyment all the better. If you’re unsure how, click here for a great tutorial.

Cut the ribs in between the bones after every 2nd rib so you have two still hooked together.  Lay them out on a cutting board and sprinkle with the dry rub.

Some recipes call for rolling the rib rack whole around the inside of the Instant Pot but I prefer to cut them and have the rub and BBQ glaze around all the sides of the ribs and not have the mess of cutting them later.

Place the trivet inside the Instant Pot (the little wire rack with handles that came with it) and stack the ribs on top of it. Make sure there is about 1/3 of the top of the pot left empty.  Put the lid on your Instant Pot and slide it shut to “Closing” until it clicks and makes a funny musical sound.  Look on the top of the lid where the steam release button is and slide it click on “Sealing”.

Click the Manual button and then click the plus button to make the digital display go to 47 minutes.

The time will change after a minute or so as the steam builds up and say “ON”,  Then once it gets up to temperature it will start counting the time down from 47 minutes. When it’s done you’ll hear it beep.

Put on an oven mitt, or have potholders to protect your hands, stand clear so not it is not pointed at you (seriously back up as far as possible) and push the steam release button on the top away from “Sealing” to “Venting”.  Sometimes I’m a wuss and use a pair of long handled tongs for this step. The steam can be ferocious.

Once the steam stops you can open the lid.

At this point the ribs will be kind of greyish and ugly, like the underbelly of a fish….we’re going to make that all better. I promise you.

Slather on your favorite BBQ sauce on both sides of each double rib.

And do one of the following:

  1.  Place on lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350º

2.  Place on lined baking sheet and broil on high for 5 minutes

3.  Grill for 5-10 minutes per side on barbecue grill

Get some wet wipes and dig into this goodness!




Instant Pot BBQ Pork Spareribs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • 2 T. salt
  • 2 T. Pepper
  • 2 t. chipotle pepper
  • ¼ c. chili powder
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1T.onion powder
  • 1 t. cumin.
  • 1 rack pork spareribs
  • 1 cup water (Optional: add ¼ c. apple cider vinegar and ½ t.. liquid smoke to water)
  • 1 c. or more of BBQ sauce (to preference)
  1. Mix the ingredients together with a whisk in a medium sized bowl. Put in shaker or you can just sprinkle it with your hands over the ribs. You will have extra - save in a baggie in freezer for the next time or store in an air tight container,
  2. Cut in between the bones after every 2nd rib. Spread apart on cutting board and sprinkle liberally with dry rub on both sides
  3. Put Instant Pot trivet in bottom of pan and add water.
  4. Layer ribs around, leaving room of ⅓ empty at the top.
  5. Put lid on Instant Pot, make sure it's securely closed and make sure the steam vent is clicked to "Sealing"
  6. Slick the Manual button and press the plus button to 47 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to
  8. When it's done, use pot holder or glove to protect your hands and release steam by turning knob away from "Sealing" . Steam should go for about a minute
  9. When all steam is done, open pot, remove ribs to lined baking sheets and brush with BBQ Sauce on both sides.
  10. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or
  11. Broil for 5 minutes or
  12. Grill for 5 minutes per side over high heat



  • Abby

    June 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    If I don’t have a manual setting on my Instant Pot Duo what setting should I use?
    1. Katie

      June 24, 2019 at 6:53 am

      Abby - I am unfamiliar with the Instant Pot Duo...maybe check the web or your manual?
  • Regina

    January 17, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    If doing beef spareribs, how much time do you recommend? I can’t wait to try this!!
    1. Katie

      January 17, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Regina- I would say just about the same time 45 minutes to an hour at least

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