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Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs |
Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Pork for the New Year’s! Here’s how I make Baby Back Ribs in about an hour in my pressure cooker.

And…this is where I have to put in all the disclaimers, to keep the Barbecue Fanatics from astroturfing me. I know this is not real barbecue. I love real barbecue, and cook it whenever I can. These are not real barbecue – but that’s OK. The pressure cooker turns ribs into a weeknight meal, not just an all-day affair on a lazy summer weekend. These are just good ribs, tender and falling off the bone.

There aren’t many tricks to this recipe. Season a slab of ribs, cut it into pieces so it will fit in the pressure cooker, add a half a cup of water, and pressure cook until tender. The only tricky part is peeling the membrane from the bony side of the ribs; you can skip this step, but the membrane will never get tender – it is a chewy piece of gristle. Once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll get the hang of the gentle but firm pull that peels the membrane off instead of ripping it. Until then, just keep working at it, lifting it away from the bone with a dull butter knife, then grabbing it with a paper towel and pulling.

Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs |
Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Also, if you’re really in a hurry, you can skip the broiling step – the ribs are done and ready to eat straight out of the pressure cooker. But, I think it’s worth the extra five minutes. A quick run under the broiler thickens up the sauce and gives it an extra layer of flavor.

One other opinion, then we’ll get to the recipe – liquid smoke. A lot of pressure cooker ribs recipes include a splash or two in the cooking water. I’ve never liked the flavor of liquid smoke; I’ll save wood smoke for my real deal ribs. Between the rich pork, the rub, and the barbecue sauce, these ribs are loaded with flavor, and don’t need the extra help.

Recipe: Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Adapted from: Ribs in the Pressure Cooker []

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Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs |

Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 slab of ribs 1x


Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs recipe. Fall-off-the-bone-tender baby back ribs from the pressure cooker in about an hour.


  • 1 meaty slab baby back ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water (or the minimum liquid amount needed for your pressure cooker)

Barbecue Rub (2 tablespoons of my Homemade Barbecue Rub), or use your favorite store bought rub

  • 3/4 tablespoon paprika
  • 3/4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

Barbecue sauce (1 cup of my Easy Barbecue Sauce), or use your favorite store bought sauce

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Franks Red Hot sauce


  1. Remove the membrane from the ribs: On the bone side of the ribs, work a butter knife between the membrane and the bone, then grab with a paper towel and pull the membrane off of the ribs. (If it tears while you’re pulling, work the knife under the remaining pieces and pull them off as well.)
  2. Make the rub and sauce: In a small bowl, stir the barbecue rub ingredients, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar with your fingers. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Season the ribs and put them in the pressure cooker: Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the salt and rub. Cut the ribs into 4 pieces, cutting between every fourth bone.
  4. Pressure cook the ribs: Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot (or use the minimum liquid amount for your pressure cooker). Stack the ribs in the pressure cooker bone side down. Lock the pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes in an electric PC or 24 minutes in a stovetop PC, then let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes.
  5. Sauce and broil the ribs: Put the ribs, bone side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce, then put under a broiler set to high. Broil the ribs until the sauce is bubbling and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the ribs from the broiler, brush with another layer of sauce, and serve.



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

Keywords: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker

What do you think?

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

Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs |
Pressure Cooker Baby Back Ribs

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Pressure Cooker Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos

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  1. Lazy dinner tonight, two racks made with store bought barbecue rub which I added extra smoked paprika and brown sugar to plus Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce. It was divine. I cooked mine at 25 minutes on high pressure and finished off on the grill. Absolutely divine!!!

  2. Jordan says

    Amazing!… Fabulous!… Thanks for sharing this wonderful rib recipe! For those of you who love a bit of a bite to their bbq, toss 1-Tbsp of Old Bay Spice into the rub, and 1-tsp of OB into the sauce! Yeehaa!

  3. Christina says

    Holy Toledo. That was the best ribs EVER. I’m not a big bbq sauce fan until NOW. I will never use another recipe again. Amazing. Bravo. Dear Sir take a bow!

  4. Jill says

    This was AMAZING!! I followed the directions exactly and it turned out perfect. This was my first time doing ribs in the pressure cooker and surprised it turned out in 30 min. I will be using this recipe from now on. Thank you

  5. Bonnie says

    I do ribs pretty much the same way and no liquid smoke here either). It was the first thing I made in my pot, and everyone keeps asking for them. I do put them on the gas grill instead of the oven. A TIP for the membrane on the back of the ribs….. run hot tap water over the back of the ribs. It softens up the layer underneath and makes it really easy to remove.

  6. Killer!!!! I was impatient and quick-released after 7 minutes (still took 3 more minutes to depressurize). I was worried they would be falling off the bone when I took from the instant pot to the baking sheets..but they held up great! This is a keeper!!! Gotta see your other recipes….another Dad who loves the Instant Pot!

  7. rita says

    Mike, thank you for replying while you are busy while being out of town. I’m looking forward to your report.

    My last-minute experiment: I wound up adding 1/2 cup water to the inner pot as you suggested and then drizzling about 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture over each set of ribs as I was layering them into the cooker. I did not stir the sauce into the water in the inner pot. No scorching at all after cooking.

    After I removed the cooked ribs from the broth/sauce mixture I added back the remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture and reduced the whole sauce mixture for about 20 minutes on “Saute” (18 would have been better) and used that to glaze the ribs on the gasser over direct medium heat. Served the extra sauce on the side with grilled sweet potato slabs and your Baja Slaw (, which I have to keep stocked in my refrigerator for a sandwich or taco topping and s last-minute side that will go with almost anything.

    I realize that my impromptu method took it beyond what you had intended for a well-thought-out simple weekday family dinner but it did work pretty well. I cooked the ribs for 29 minutes in the Instant Pot with a natural release and found the ribs a little past the “tug off the bone” stage that we like, so next time I’ll reduce the cooking time by 1 or 2 minutes. My rack of ribs was the smallest of the Costco cryovac 3-pack from Costco. I should have weighed it.

    I think your unfussy method produces a nice balance of flavors between the flavor of the pure rib meat and the secondary bite of the glaze on the outside. Thank you for putting it together for us.

  8. Rita says

    Mike, am I correct that you cook the ribs without the sauce in the cooker and only use the sauce to glaze the ribs and pass at the table?

  9. I took your pressure cooker idea for these ribs and added “Vietnamese” spiced to the pressure cooker. Amazing aromatics by the way. Then a made a sauce also from Beef Pho influenced ingredients. I let the ribs cool over night and grilled them with the sauce the next day. Damn. They were fantastic and all three ladies(wife and two teens) in my family gobbled them down quick. Fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Janet Neeb says

    These are by far the best ribs I have ever made. I didn’t ever hear of removing the membrane before but you are right, it makes a huge difference! One person I was cooking for said he didn’t like ribs, but after eating these, said they were by far best he had ever tasted. Thank you, thank you!!

  11. Alison says

    These were fabulous; melt in the mouth tender. I finished them off
    under the grill (broiler?)for 5 minutes. My rub was home made but I used sauce from the supermarket – Black Jack smokey BBQ. I always look for your version of an Instant
    Pot recipe as I find your cooking times are always spot on. Thanks very much.

  12. SandyToes says

    Can’t wait to try these. Are these ribs fall-off-the-bone (what BBQ fanatics call overdone) or do they have a little tooth?

  13. Brian says

    How would you adjust this recipe for St. Louis ribs? I made this with the baby back and they were fantastic.

  14. Sandra says

    I plan on trying this tonight. Thanks so much for the recipe. Do you think using a trivet with the 1/2 cup of water would be ok or will the ribs need to be placed directly in the water? Thanks again!

    • You can use the trivet if you really want to – but it doesn’t change the recipe or the results. (I don’t bother.)

  15. This was outstanding and super easy. Question – I bought a package of seasoned ribs from Costco. I cooked only one rack and put the other rack in the freezer. Can I cook the remaining rack from frozen? (It’s already cut into four pieces)

    • Lin Sarnecki says

      Yes, you can cook from frozen. Don’t change anything. It will just take longer to come up to pressure.

  16. Mel Lloyd says

    I made your western style pork ribs tonight. YUM! Can I use the leftover sauce from the pot and use it in my next batch of ribs instead of the water? Can’t wait to try more of your recipes! Thanks!

    • My guess is the sauce will burn in the bottom of the cooker, because of all the sugar. But, I’m just guessing; I’ve never tried it. Give it a try to find out!

      • Helen says

        My pot burned and I only did them 15 minutes. I used a rack and hoping the burn pot doesn’t permeate through the meat. My husband kept saying it wasn’t enough water.

  17. These ribs were amazing!! Followed recipe exactly. Wow. One question I have is would it be possible to cook two racks at same time in the cooker? If possible, do you just double the ingredients (including the water in cooker)? thanks – Ian

    • Double everything except the water – there is enough to pressurize the cooker. The only question is getting the ribs to fit and still be able to close the lid.

      • Manoj says

        I have a Fagor 8qt PC. I was able to fit two racks, cut, as stated in the recipe, at every 4th bone. I really should wait till it’s done, but so far so good. Just came up to pressure and the countdown (24 mins) has begun!

        Judging by the quality of the other recipes on this site, I expect all to go swimmingly!!

    • charles says

      We cut up and cooked 2 racks at the same time- no problem; we doubled the ingredients for the rub and the sauce, but probably didn’t need to.

  18. Just got the Instant Pot and these ribs were my first try with it – delicious. My family wiped them out fast. And I was being lazy and got grocery store rub and sauce.

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