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Instant Pot Keto Barbecue Ribs Recipe

Smokey Instant Pot Ribs

  • Author: Urvashi Pitre
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • Yield: 2-4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


This delicious rack of smoky Instant Pot barbecue ribs is low-carb and keto friendly. The pressure cooker method guarantees tender, fall-off-the-bone meat perfect for BBQ affairs and finishing up in the smoker, on the grill or in the oven with your favourite sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons barbecue rub or Mexican-spice rub (we like this brand)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 rack pork baby back ribs, about 2 pounds

For smoking the ribs

For broiling the ribs

  • 1/3 cup prepared low-carb barbecue sauce (like this)


  1. If you’re using a smoker, preheat it to 225 F / 110 C. (If you do not have a smoker, skip this and broil the ribs at the end of cooking; see notes below).
  2. Remove the white membrane from the bottom of the ribs. The easiest (and, really, the only effective) way to do this is to use a paper towel to grab one end of the membrane before you start to pull. With the other hand, hold the rack in place until the membrane is released.
  3. Season the ribs with a rub of your choice.
  4. Pour the water and vinegar into the inner cooking pot of the Instant Pot, then place a trivet or steamer rack in the pot.
  5. Coil the ribs on the trivet so they are standing up one end. If using Instant Pot Mini, cut the ribs into four pieces and place them on the trivet standing up.
  6. Place the IP lid back on top, close and seal. Set to HIGH pressure and cook for 20 minutes, then allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release all remaining pressure using the Quick Release method (carefully point the sealing valve to Venting and wait until all the pressure is out and the lid is easy to open). Remove the ribs very carefully using a pair of kitchen tongs. At this stage, the ribs will simply look like they’ve been boiled (not super appetising) but we’re not done yet so just hang on!
  7. If smoking the ribs, place a cup of water in the water pan of your smoker. Place the cooked ribs on the smoker rack. Add the wood chips and allow the ribs to smoke for 30 mins to an hour until they are browned, and acquire a smoky flavour. Brush with your favourite BBQ sauce at the end, if you like.
  8. If you don’t have a smoker, preheat the broil/grill in your oven to very hot (400 F / 200 C for the oven) or set to high. Place the precooked ribs on a flat baking tray covered with some baking/parchment paper or foil and brush with the sauce (if using) on both sides. Broil for about 10 minutes, until browned and caramelised. Alternatively, simply finish the ribs in a very hot oven for 10-15 minutes, until browned.


  • Serving Size: 1/3 of a rack (without the sauce)
  • Calories: 743
  • Sugar: 0.4 g
  • Sodium: 281.4 mg
  • Fat: 50.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.7 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 68.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 238 mg

Keywords: Barbecue, Keto, Low-Carb