Instant Pot BBQ Ribs (Duo Crisp Air Fryer or Oven Finish)

Learn how to make easy, tender and delicious Instant Pot BBQ ribs using the classic Instant Pot or the Duo Crisp + Air Fryer model. No grilling finish option is also provided! Serve with your favorite sides for a finger-lickin’ meal or as a game night potluck dish. 


 

INSTANT POT BBQ RIBS

One of the most popular dishes to cook in the Instant Pot is a rack of ribs. Why? It’s quick and easy and makes ribs with super tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.

Compare with other ways to cook ribs, the Instant Pot method is mostly hands-free, giving you plenty of time to prepare side dishes and relax. All you need to make pork ribs in the Instant Pot is a rack of baby back ribs, homemade or store-bought spice rub and your favorite BBQ sauce. That’s it! 

This Instant Pot pork ribs recipe comes together in two stages: pressure cooking and broiling/grilling or roasting to caramelize and brown the ribs and that delicious BBQ sauce. 

We use the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer model to do the pressure cooking and the roasting in one pot BUT you can use a classic Instant Pot model for the pressure cooking part and then either finish the ribs in the oven, on a BBQ grill or go without broiling or grilling at all. We cover all methods in the recipe card below!

Instant Pot BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe

 

INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT BBQ RIBS

Pork ribs – you will need a full rack of baby back ribs for this recipe. Back ribs or spare ribs can also be used but you may need to increase the pressure cooking time by 2-3 minutes. 

Baby back pork ribs

Back Ribs vs Baby Back Ribs

‘Baby’ in the name has nothing to do with the age of the pig! Baby back pork ribs are the upper ribs of the animal, while back ribs or spare ribs are more from the belly area. 

Baby back ribs are shorter/smaller and the meat is more tender and leaner, while spareribs are longer and thicker, a bit meatier but also have more fat and cartilage and take longer to cook.  

One rack or slab of baby back ribs usually feeds 2-3 people while a slab of spare ribs or back ribs can feed 3-4 people. The back ribs rack is flatter, while the baby back ribs rack is more rounded. 

In our recipe, we use a full rack of baby back ribs, which yielded enough meat for 3 servings with sides.

How to clean ribs

Rinse the ribs and pat dry with a paper towel/kitchen roll. Remove any excess fatty tissue/membrane on the back of the ribs. Flip the ribs over, meat-side down. Insert a butter knife between the membrane and the ribs to loosen it, then grip and pull it away. It’s fine if you leave it on too.

 

Barbecue sauce and spice rub for ribs

Pork Rib Spice Rub – we used a simple homemade spice rub blend of smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and black pepper. This is a sugar-free, paleo and keto-friendly spice rub but you can add a tablespoon of brown sugar for extra sweet, caramelised ribs.  

Favorite Barbecue sauce – your choice here! You can use a very smokey or more sweet and tangy BBQ sauce for pork ribs, or perhaps a sugar-free, keto BBQ sauce. You will need about 1/2 cup of the sauce.

 

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BBQ PORK RIBS

We use the 8-quart Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer to cook these ribs but below are two methods using different IP models.

  • Start by preparing the ribs. Rinse and pat dry the rack of ribs with some kitchen roll/paper. Remove any excess connective tissue/membrane on the back of the ribs. Flip the ribs over, meat-side down. Insert a butter knife between the membrane and the ribs to loosen it, then grip and pull it away. It’s fine if you leave it on too.
  • Combine the spice rub seasonings and sprinkle all over the ribs on each side. Use your hands to rub the spice into the meat and bones. Set aside. You can leave the dry rub on the ribs for a few hours or overnight in the fridge for extra flavor.

Dry rub spice on pork ribs

How to cook pork ribs in Instant Pot classic

Step 1. Add a cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside, handles facing up. 

Trivet inside the Instant Pot before pork ribs go in

Step 2. Place the rack of ribs on top of the trivet. Depending on their size and length, you can either wrap them in a circle and stand them up (bonier side down), or you can fold and lay them on the side. 

Pork ribs in the Instant Pot

Step 3. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 20 minutes on HIGH pressure. Allow 5 minutes of natural release and then do a quick release. Open the lid, the ribs will look pretty cooked through but we’re not done yet. While releasing the pressure, preheat the oven broil to medium-high heat.

Baby back ribs in the Instant Pot after cooking

 

Step 4. Remove the ribs to a cutting board. Using a knife or scissors, cut the ribs into 3 sections. Brush each side with the BBQ sauce. Place the ribs on a flat baking tray lined with foil or baking paper to catch any drippings.

Cut the ribs with scissors

Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce

Step 5. Pop in the oven under the broil for about 10 minutes to brown and caramelize. Check after about 5-6 minutes and flip the ribs if needed. 

Remove the cooked ribs and cut them into individual pieces or serve whole.

 

How to cook bbq ribs in the Duo Crisp + Air fryer 

Step 1 + Step 2. The same as for the regular Instant Pot. 

Step 3. Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 15 minutes on HIGH pressure. Allow 5 minutes of natural release and then do a quick release. While releasing the pressure, preheat the oven broil to medium-high heat.  

Step 4. Remove the ribs to a cutting board and discard the water and the trivet. Wipe the pot clean and place the air fryer basket inside.  

Step 5. Using a knife or scissors, cut the ribs into 3 sections. Brush each side with the BBQ sauce. 

Step 6. Stand the ribs inside the Air Fryer basket. Then insert the basket into the clean Instant Pot inner pot.

Place pork ribs inside the Air Fryer basket

Air Fryer basket with pork ribs inside the Instant Pot

Step 7. Place the Air Fryer lid on top and set to Roast or Broil at 400 F / 204 C for 10-15 minutes, or until ribs and sauce start to brown and caramelize. You can open the lid halfway through to check. If you need to rotate the ribs around, place the lid on the designated heatproof mat. 

Step 8. Remove the cooked ribs and cut them into individual pieces or serve whole. 

Cut ribs into individiual rib pieces

 

No-Grill Instant Pot Ribs

Repeat the first couple of steps but pressure cook the ribs for 20 minutes on HIGH pressure with complete natural release. Open and remove the ribs, cut them into single pieces or sections and brush liberally with the BBQ sauce. 

Instant Pot BBQ Ribs Recipe

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Instant Pot BBQ Ribs Recipe

Easiest Instant Pot BBQ Ribs (Duo Crisp Air Fryer or Broil Finish)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot + Air Fryer or Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Succulent, delicious and super easy Instant Pot BBQ pork ribs that you can make using the Instant Pot and oven broil or the Instant Pot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer. Serve with your favorite sides for a finger-lickin’ meal or as a game night potluck dish.


Ingredients

Scale

For the spice rub

2.5 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1.5 teaspoons salt

0.5 teaspoon black pepper

1 full rack of baby pork ribs

1 cup water

1/2 cup BBQ sauce


Instructions

  • Rinse the ribs and pat dry with a paper towel/kitchen roll. Remove any excess connective tissue/membrane on the back of the ribs. Flip the ribs over, meat-side down. Insert a butter knife between the membrane and the ribs to loosen it, then grip and pull it away. It’s fine if you leave it on too.
  • Combine the rub in a bowl and rub on each side of the ribs.
  • Add a cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside, handles facing up. Place the ribs on top of the trivet. Depending on their size and length, you can either wrap them in a circle and stand them up (bonier side down), or you can fold and lay them on the side.
  • Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 15 minutes on HIGH. Allow 5 minutes of natural release and then do a quick release.
  • Remove the ribs to a cutting board and discard the water and the trivet. Wipe the pot clean and place the air fryer basket inside.
  • Using a knife or scissors, cut the ribs into 3 sections. Brush each side with the BBQ sauce. Stand two rib sections inside the basket and place the other one on top. Place the Air Fryer lid on top and set to Roast or Broil at 400 F / 204 C for 10-15 minutes, or until ribs and sauce start to brown and caramelize. You can open the lid halfway through to check. If you need to rotate the ribs around, place the lid on the designated heatproof mat.
  • Remove cooked ribs and cut them into single pieces or serve whole.

Notes

Paleo & Keto instant pot ribs: use the above recipe but use sugar-free BBQ sauce instead of regular sauce.

How many ribs per person

If making baby back ribs, 4-5 ribs per person is enough, especially if serving with a few sides. Typically, half a rack is plenty! If making back ribs/spare ribs, which are thicker and longer, 3-4 ribs are sufficient.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3-4 ribs
  • Calories: 479
  • Sugar: 18 g
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 28 g

Keywords: Pork ribs, baby back ribs, bbq ribs, instant pot, pressure cooker, Air Fryer, Duo Crisp

 

Best Sides For Ribs

  • Coleslaw or similar shredded cabbage salad
  • Collard greens
  • Mac and cheese or potato salad
  • Corn on the cobb
  • Corn Fritters
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Cornbread 

Wine pairing with pork ribs

Fall off the bone ribs pair best with red wines such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Baco Noir, Shiraz, and Pinot Noir. The sauce and spices used on your ribs, if any, should dictate the style of red wine you should choose.

Instant Pot Pork Ribs With BBQ Sauce

 

How To Reheat BBQ Ribs

Reheating leftover ribs (if you have any!) without drying them out is all about proper storage. The key is to lock in as much moisture as possible. 

You can reheat the ribs in the oven (about 250 ˚F). Place in a baking tray and splash a little broth or apple juice over the ribs and on the bottom. Brush the ribs with more sauce and cover with foil to prevent them from drying out. Cook until the meat is about 145ºF. Unwrap and cook for 5 more minutes to brown slightly. 

How to Store Leftover BBQ Ribs  

  • You can store ribs with or without the bbq sauce but we like to brush with the sauce to add some extra moisture, plus the flavor will infuse the meat even more.
  • Refrigerate your ribs as soon as possible to avoid the growth of any bacteria. Cut them into sing-serving sized portions (halves or thirds of the rack) to chill them quickly. Don’t leave the meat out of the fridge for more than two hours! They should cool off enough after 15 minutes or so.  
  • Keep your ribs in a sealed container, zip lock bag or, even better, a vacuum-sealed bag to minimize moisture loss when storing. 
  • You can save leftover ribs in the fridge, as long as it’s below 40° F, for 3 to 5 days. 
  • When reheating, make sure to get the ribs nice and hot (145 F) to kill off any possible bacteria. 
  • Cooking, reheating, refrigeration, and freezing will all dry out the ribs slightly. You can add a splash of broth or apple juice when reheating the ribs. 
  • When you get round to reheating your ribs, try and avoid high direct heat. You cooked your ribs low and slow to keep them moist, and that is the best way to reheat them.

Can you freeze cooked ribs?

Yes, make sure to chill the ribs quickly as described above. Seal them tightly in foil, plastic wrap or a zip lock bag, add the sauce if using. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you plan to eat your leftovers, thaw them in the refrigerator. This could take 6 to 8 hours for ribs. To defrost quicker, submerge the sealed ribs in a bowl of room temperature water. Change the water every 15-30 minutes or as soon as it gets very cold.

 
By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

More about us here »

COMMENT OR RATE THIS RECIPE

Got questions or feedback? Leave a comment. Made the recipe? Please leave a rating as it helps other readers to discover this dish. Your name and email are required to avoid spam comments; they are never used for any purpose or shared with third parties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Comments

0 Comments

You Might Also Like

Privacy Preference Center