Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Pressure Cooker Beef Back Ribs Texas BBQ Style

A two-bone slab of beef back ribs on a red plate, with text below describing the recipe

Pressure Cooker Beef Back Ribs Texas BBQ Style

Barbecued beef back ribs are a rare treat. They’re not as widely available as pork ribs, or even beef short ribs. I order them automatically when I see them at a barbecue joint. If a place is selling beef back ribs, odds are they do it out of love, not just to round out the menu.

Beef back ribs are the bones from a rib roast – that is, a prime rib. They are often called “dinosaur ribs” – the bones are enormous compared to pork ribs. There are 7 bones in a rack of beef back ribs, but my local grocery stores usually sell them cut into 4 bone lengths. That is, when I can find them – they’re not in the meat case that often. I can usually find them during ribeye roast sales when the butcher is trimming them from the roast to make the boneless cut. Or, I special order them. (Asking for back ribs will probably get you one-on-one time with your butcher; he’ll want to find out who’s asking for this rare cut, and why. Ask how he likes to cook them.)

When I’m cooking back ribs, I like to emphasize the beef flavor. (The bones are my favorite part of the prime rib, after all.) I serve them with a simple Texas-style dry rub, equal parts salt, black pepper, and Ancho chili pepper. I don’t use barbecue sauce; again, I don’t want to cover up the beefy flavor. If you can’t imagine eating ribs without sauce, look for a Texas-style sauce to pair with them.

The only trick to pressure cooker beef back ribs is the length of the bones. (There’s a reason they have the dinosaur ribs nickname.) If you get particularly long cut bones, they might not fit in the cooker. I cut the ribs into 2-bone pieces to help them fit, and I don’t worry if they stack up beyond the “max fill” line – there is plenty of airspace in the pot to build up the pressure. That said, if I want to double this recipe, I reach for my 8-quart Instant Pot. The wide 8-quart pot gives me extra space to fit in the ribs.

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A two-bone slab of beef back ribs on a red plate

Pressure Cooker Beef Back Ribs Texas BBQ Style

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 2-bone portions 1x


Pressure Cooker Beef Back Ribs Texas BBQ Style, a quick way to make beef ribs in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot


  • 7 to 9 bones of beef back ribs, cut into 2-bone pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder


  1. Season the ribs and put them in the pressure cooker: Mix the salt, pepper, and Ancho chili powder in a small bowl to make a spice rub. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the rub. 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 lid.
  2. Pressure cook the ribs for 25 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release: Pressure cook on high pressure for 25 minutes in an electric pressure cooker or 20 minutes in a stovetop PC. (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot.) After the cooking time, let the pressure come down naturally until the pressure valve drops, about 15 more minutes.
  3. Broil the ribs (optional): Put the ribs bone side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil the ribs until the meat starts to crackle and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the ribs from the broiler and serve.


  • A rack of beef back ribs has 7 bones; it’s fine if cutting into 2-bone pieces leaves one of them as a 1-bone piece. (My local stores stock back ribs in 4-bone packs, so splitting them into 2-bone pieces is easy.)
  • The ribs are good straight out of the cooker, tender and falling off the bone, but the extra five minutes under the broiler adds a nice, crispy bark to the outside. I don’t skip that step unless I’m in a huge hurry.
  • If you do want to sauce your ribs, brush the ribs with BBQ sauce right before the broiling step.


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

Keywords: Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker, Beef Ribs

What do you think?

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

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Pressure Cooker Pork Western Shoulder Ribs with BBQ Rub and Sauce
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My other 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.


  1. JR says

    I was searching for suggestions on how to cook beef ribs. The suggestions here are perfect! I will be cooking my beef ribs in my pressure cooker using beer rather than water. ( I would prefer red wine, but don’t have any right now. I usually buy a bottle and divide into separate containers and put in the freezer for this purpose, as well as using in my spaghetti sauce). I will put my ribs on my outdoor grill on low with our favorite Jim Beam BBQ sauce.

  2. Kathi says

    Absolutely can not wait to try these in the pressure cooker, I have become quite the pro with the pork ribs, but this Texan is missing her beef ribs, not sure why the rest of the country loves pork so much, sorry but I am a beef eater and I came here to see if I could sub beef ribs in the instapot recipe I had and looks like I can but Im going to go with your recipe here instead and yes, no reason to hide the taste of good beef with sauce, that’s just a dipper if you need…..mmmm off to the store now for some good old beef ribs, stuck far away from Texas now!

  3. Olga says

    Instead of broiling, could I use the air fryer lip from my 8 qt Instant Pot? How many minutes would I need?
    Thanks, I love your recipes!

    • Yes, you can use the air fryer – but I’ve never tried it, so I don’t know how long. If you do try it, let me know how it goes.

  4. Bobby says

    Mike – I made this today and the meat was delicious, but there was a tough, chewy membrane on the meat where it met the bone – not the back side, which I removed, but between the meat and the bone. Did I get a bad batch of ribs or cook them incorrectly?

  5. Linda says

    I had 8 ribs in my freezer from last Christmas. Made these tonight. Delicious. Truly fall off the bone. I did add about 1/4 cup Of water with Liquid smoke to pressure cooker. Cooked for 28 minutes slathered with our fave bbq sauce and broiled for about 7 minutes. Will definitely make again.

  6. do you stack the ribs on a trivet/basket or just stack them on top the the water in the bottom of the Instant Pot?

  7. Randen Longwell says

    thanks for the intel. gonna whip it up tomorrow.

  8. Tammy says

    Trying these tonight but using two different rubs in 2 different instapots! I received a ninja foodie for Christmas, and am thinking I may brown them in it. I’ll let you know how they turn out! Thank you for the pointers….I had no clue about this type of ribs!

  9. Nick says

    I do not have an oven with a broiler. Believe me I’m as sad as you are for me. I do however have a grill. Would grilling them bone side up be an adequate substitute? In your opinion.

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