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Easy Instant Pot Barbecue Ribs

Fall-off-the-bone tender pork ribs in under an hour. Cooked in the pressure cooker with just a few ingredients and finished off on the grill with BBQ sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword barbecue ribs, instant pot barbecue ribs, pressure cooker barbecue ribs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 863kcal
Author Kelly Wildenhaus | the hungry bluebird


  • 1 - 2 racks pork ribs, St. Louis-style spareribs or baby back ribs
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke
  • 4 - 6 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ large onion, roughly chopped
  • Your favorite dry rub
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce


  • Prepare ribs for the pressure cooker; remove the skin on the back side by slipping tip of knife between thin membrane and the bone and pulling off with a paper towel.  Cut slab of ribs into sections of 3 to 4 ribs, yielding 5 sections from a slab and a half of ribs.  Lightly sprinkle each side with dry rub, salt and pepper and rub seasonings into meat.
  • Pace rack in bottom of Instant Pot.  Pour in apple juice and add liquid smoke. Scatter sage leaves and onion over the the bottom (it's okay that they fall through the rack).  Place rib sections on top of rack either by layering them or placing them on their sides, it doesn't matter as long as they stay under the maximum fill line.
  • Seal pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes under high pressure.  When finished, let pressure release naturally for 10 - 15 minutes.  While pressure is naturally releasing, preheat the grill.
  • If needed after 15 minutes, manually release any pressure and carefully open pot and remove ribs.  Sauce ribs on both sides with BBQ sauce and finish on the grill for about 5 minutes a side.  Remove to cutting board, cut into individual ribs and serve.  Enjoy!



  • I used 1½ racks of ribs cut into 5 sections.  Use less or more, as long as they fit in the pot under the maximum fill line.  You can even put the full slab in if you don't want to cut it in sections, folded or wrapped around the inside edge of the pot.
  • You can skip the apple juice, liquid smoke, sage and onion and just use a cup of water for the liquid along with the seasoned ribs.  Still very good but I like it better the apple juice way.
  • Go easy on the dry rub, salt and pepper and avoid over seasoning; pressure cooking intensifies the flavors.


Calories: 863kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 789mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg