Instant Pot Beef Ribs Recipe


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You really can get tender, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth beef back ribs on the table in under an hour when you use your pressure cooker! These Instant Pot beef ribs are so delicious that they’re sure to be a family favorite in no time.

Instant Pot Beef Ribs

I am so excited to share this Instant Pot beef ribs recipe with you! It’s a recipe that I just can’t get enough of. They’re melt-in-your mouth tender, packed with flavor from the homemade dry rub, have the perfect sticky sweet coating, and will definitely become a family favorite.

These beef ribs have so much flavor from the cumin, chili powder, garlic, and the perfect hint of sweetness from the brown sugar that’s absolutely delicious. The apple cider vinegar adds a slight tang and tenderizes the meat perfectly as it cooks under pressure, resulting in fall-off-the-bone tender ribs. They’re coated in BBQ sauce that’s broiled to make an amazing sticky glaze, too.

This has to be the best way to make beef back ribs. It takes hardly any effort at all and the ribs are ready so quickly. Trust me, these pressure cooker ribs definitely will not disappoint!


Beef Ribs: Look for beef back ribs that are well-marbled with fat – this will melt as the ribs cook, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish. You also want to look for ribs that have a good amount of meat on them – avoid buying ribs that are mostly bone without much meat.

Light Brown Sugar: This is used to add a hint of sweetness to our beef ribs. It also aids in caramelizing the ribs, giving them a deliciously crispy and flavorful crust.

Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin, and Onion Powder: This homemade spice rub adds depth of flavor to the ribs. There are aromatic, sweet, earthy, and slightly spicy notes that complement the ribs perfectly.

Salt and Pepper: Two classic key seasoning ingredients. Fine sea salt enhances the natural flavors of the ribs, and black pepper adds a sharp, spicy note to break up the richness of the dish.

Water: Liquid is necessary for the Instant Pot to create the pressure required to cook the ribs.

Apple Cider Vinegar: This not only adds a tangy flavor to the ribs but also helps tenderize the meat, making it more juicy.

BBQ Sauce: A classic flavor to pair with ribs, BBQ sauce adds a smoky, sweet, and tangy flavor. I used a smoky BBQ sauce, but a sweet BBQ sauce would also work great.

The labeled ingredients for Instant Pot beef ribs.

Alternative Ingredients

Try adding in a little cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat. You can also experiment with different flavors of BBQ sauces – honey garlic, Korean, or even a homemade one would all taste great in this recipe.

How to Cook Instant Pot Beef Ribs

Prepare the rub: Begin by mixing together light brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, and pepper in a bowl until well combined. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)

Adding the dry ingredients to a small mixing bowl, and then mixing together.

Apply the rub: Lay the beef ribs flat on a surface. Rub the mixture onto the ribs, making sure to cover all sides.

Massaging the dry rub on the ribs on a flat surface.

Prepare the Instant Pot: Place the trivet in the Instant Pot, then add water and apple cider vinegar. Position the ribs on the trivet.

Adding water and apple cider vinegar to the Instant Pot, and then placing the seasoned rubs on top of the trivet.

Start the cooking process: Secure the lid of the Instant Pot, making sure the pressure release valve is set to SEAL. Pressure cook on HIGH until the ribs are cooked through.

Securing the Instant Pot lid, and then setting to seal before cooking.

Release the pressure: After the ribs are cooked, allow the pressure to naturally release for a bit before manually releasing the remaining pressure.

Prepare the baking sheet: While the ribs are cooking, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Transfer the ribs: Using tongs, carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them onto the prepared baking sheet, meaty side up.

Add BBQ sauce: Brush your favorite BBQ sauce onto the ribs.

Transferring the ribs from the Instant Pot to a baking sheet, and then brushing BBQ sauce throughout.

Caramelize the sauce: Place the ribs under a preheated broiler and broil until the sauce has caramelized. Just be sure to keep an eye on it so you don’t burn the sauce. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Placing the ribs back in the oven, and then broiling.

Pro Tips

  • Take Your Time with the Rub: Don’t rush this step. Take your time to massage the rub into the ribs. This helps the flavors to really sink into the meat.
  • Select Quality BBQ Sauce: The BBQ sauce is a key player in this recipe. Choose a quality sauce that you love – it can make all the difference!
  • Natural Release is Key: When the ribs are done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for a bit. This allows the ribs to finish cooking in the residual heat, ensuring they’re tender and juicy.
  • Don’t Skip the Broiling: Broiling the ribs with the BBQ sauce not only heats up the sauce but also caramelizes it, adding a delicious, slightly crispy texture to your ribs. Trust me, it’s worth the extra step!

How Much Liquid Do You Use For Ribs In An Instant Pot?

In an Instant Pot, the liquid is essential for creating steam, which builds the pressure to cook the food. For ribs, you don’t need a lot – just enough to create that steam. This recipe uses a combination of water and apple cider vinegar, which also helps to tenderize the ribs. In total, we’re using 1 cup of liquid for this recipe.

Do Beef Ribs Get More Tender The Longer You Cook Them?

Yes, to a certain extent. You want to cook the beef back ribs long enough that the meat gets tender, which happens when the collagen breaks down. You can cook beef ribs for too long though. Cooking beef ribs for too long can cause them to lose their shape or fall apart. 

A close up image showing the texture of the saucy ribs.

Why Are My Ribs Tough In The Instant Pot?

If your ribs come out of the Instant Pot tough, it could be because they haven’t cooked long enough to break down the connective tissue. It could also be because you skipped the step of removing the membrane, which can create a tougher texture. 

Should Beef Ribs Fall Off The Bone?

The “fall off the bone” texture is often seen as the pinnacle of good ribs. However, this really comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer their ribs to have a bit of a chew to them, while others prefer them super tender. You can always experiment with cooking times to find your perfect texture.

Does Vinegar Tenderize Beef Ribs?

Yes, vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar in this recipe, acts as a tenderizer for the beef ribs. It helps to break down the proteins in the meat, making it more tender and allowing the flavors of the rub and sauce to penetrate more deeply.

A side image of a couple of broiled ribs fresh out of the oven on a lined baking sheet.

What Type of Ribs Should I Use?

For this recipe, beef back ribs work wonderfully due to their meatiness and flavor. However, feel free to experiment with other types such as short ribs or spare ribs, keeping in mind that cooking times may vary.

Can I Make These Ribs Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! You can prepare and cook the ribs a day before serving. Just remember to keep them refrigerated. When you’re ready to serve, just reheat them and add the BBQ sauce before broiling.

What’s The Best Way To Reheat Leftover Ribs?

The best way to reheat your ribs is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 250F, wrap the ribs in foil to prevent them from drying out, and heat until they’re warmed through, about 20-30 minutes. You can then add more BBQ sauce and broil them if you like.

An overhead image of ribs on a cutting board.

Storing Leftovers

Leftover beef ribs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

What Sides Go With Ribs?

From baked beans, to mac and cheese, to coleslaw, to cornbread, to baked potatoes, these are my all-time favorite side dishes to serve with beef ribs.

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

Pin this recipe for later!

A Pinterest pin image with a picture of Instant Pot beef ribs with title text at the top.

Rib Recipes

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other beef recipes and pork recipes. Some reader favorites are:

The best Instant Pot beef ribs recipe.

BEST Instant Pot Beef Ribs (Fall-Off-The-Bone Tender Recipe)

You really can get tender, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth Instant Pot beef ribs on the table in under an hour when you use a pressure cooker!
5 from 1 vote
Servings: 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds beef back ribs membrane removed, see notes for instructions**
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce I used a smoky BBQ sauce


  • To a small bowl, add the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Mix together, then set aside.
  • Lay the beef ribs flat on a flat surface and apply 3/4 of the rub to the meaty side. Use your fingers to massage it in, then flip the ribs over and apply the rest of the rub to the other side.
  • Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. Pour in the water and apple cider vinegar, then place the ribs on the trivet.
  • Secure the lid, then set the pressure release valve to “SEAL”. Turn the Instant Pot on and turn off the WARM mode. Set the pressure to HIGH and the timer for 25 minutes. Once the timer goes off, do a natural release for 10 minutes, then carefully do a quick release to vent the rest of the steam.
  • Once the timer goes off, preheat the broiler on your oven and line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Use tongs to remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet (meaty side up). Brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and broil for 2-4 minutes, or until the sauce is caramelized. Don’t walk away while the sauce is caramelizing (it can burn quickly).


*This is a spice blend sold in the US and Canada that’s much more mild than the pure chili powder sold in the UK and other parts of the world.
**To remove the membrane from the ribs, use a butter knife to lift the skin up enough that you can grab it. Use a paper towel to grab it and pull it off. If it breaks, repeat this step until the silverskin is off. You want to remove this so that the flavor of the rub is able to penetrate the meat, and so the ribs aren’t tough when you eat them.


Calories: 1093kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.2g | Protein: 106.9g | Fat: 60.6g | Fiber: 1.1g | Sugar: 18.1g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Cooking beef ribs in an Instant Pot is quick and easy and has delicious results. Whether it’s for a family dinner or a BBQ party, these ribs are sure to be a hit.

The best Instant Pot beef ribs recipe.

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