Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot BBQ Braised Short Ribs

A plate with BBQ short ribs and mashed potatoes, with a dish of BBQ rub and a pressure cooker in the background
Instant Pot BBQ Braised Short Ribs

Instant Pot BBQ Braised Short Ribs. Beef short ribs, flanken cut, spice rubbed and braised in barbecue sauce.

Inspired by the short ribs at Moe’s Restaurant an Tavern in Cuyahoga Falls, I set out to make “barbecued” short ribs in my Instant Pot.

My big change to the restaurant’s recipe is using flanken cut ribs – thin, cross-cut beef short ribs. They’re easier for me to find at my local stores than “regular” cut short ribs, and the thin cut means they cook evenly and quickly. (Also, they let me nibble around the bones, which I love to do.)

I make my own BBQ rubs and sauces, and I have the ingredients listed here, but they’re not essential to this recipe. If you have a favorite store-bought sauce or rub, go ahead and use it.

My other trick is adding a tablespoon of liquid smoke to the pressure cooking liquid. It’s not about a “pretend barbecue” flavor. Liquid smoke adds to the meaty flavor of the ribs, and is a trick I use in a lot of my pressure cooker rib recipes.

Standard Barbecue Disclaimer in a Vain Attempt to Head Off Angry Comments

I know this is not “real barbecue”. (Real barbecue short ribs recipe here.) These are pressure-braised short ribs with barbecue sauce, and are good eats, even if they are not “true barbecue”. (This disclaimer was a doomed attempt to head off “well, actually” comments by barbecue purists. Thank you for your attention.)

Recipe: Instant Pot BBQ Braised Short Ribs

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A plate with BBQ short ribs and mashed potatoes, with a dish of BBQ rub and a pressure cooker in the background

Instant Pot BBQ Braised Short Ribs

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 3 pounds of short ribs 1x



Homemade Chipotle BBQ Sauce (or use 1 ½ store bought BBQ sauce)

  • 8 ounces ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ½ canned chipotle, with adobo sauce, pureed or finely minced (or ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or substitute cheap yellow mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Homemade BBQ Rub (or use 3 tablespoons store bought BBQ rub)

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

BBQ Short Ribs

  • 3 pounds beef short ribs, cross cut about ½-inch thick (aka Flanken style ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ Rub (above)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce (above)
  • More BBQ sauce (above) to brush on the ribs after cooking


  1. Make the BBQ sauce and BBQ rub: Whisk the BBQ Sauce ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir the BBQ rub ingredients in a small bowl, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar with your fingers, until smooth. (Detailed instructions for the BBQ Sauce here, and the BBQ Rub here.)
  2. Season the short ribs, then fill the pot: Sprinkle the short ribs on all sides with the BBQ rub. Pour the water and liquid smoke into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, then loosely stack the ribs in the pot. Drizzle ½ cup of BBQ sauce evenly over the ribs.
  3. Pressure cook the short ribs for 25 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes in an electric pressure cooker or 20 minutes in a stovetop cooker. (Use “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode set for 25 minutes in an Instant Pot). Let the pressure to come down naturally – if you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.
  4. Serve: Remove the short ribs to a platter with a slotted spoon or tongs. (Be gentle -they will want to fall apart after pressure cooking.) Brush the ribs with another coat of barbecue sauce, then pass the ribs and the remaining sauce at the table. Enjoy!


If you want to crisp up the ribs, you can run them under your oven’s broiler. After removing them from the pressure cooker, broil them until they are starting to brown and bubble before brushing them with the last coat of barbecue sauce.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot BBQ Braised Short Ribs, Pressure Cooker BBQ Braised Short Ribs

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Instant Pot Spare Ribs with BBQ Rub and Sauce
Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Instant Pot Crispy Brisket Bites
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

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