Instant Pot Magic: BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs

I’m having a great time trying out recipes in my new “Instant Pot.” Here’s a recipe that adapts very well to “Instant Pot” cooking: “BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs.” There is nothing better than a rack of juicy, tender and flavorful pork ribs. We save cooking pork ribs for special occasions as the process of smoking or roasting the ribs is somewhat time-consuming and involved. However, when cooked in an Instant Pot and then broiled for a few minutes in the oven to finish them off, the process is simple and easy. These are absolutely tender and flavorful.

To cook these ribs in my Instant Pot, I adapted recipes from several other blog posts. I love my “Cajun Spice Rub” and spread this on the raw ribs for several hours to marinate. This spice rub contains salt, both black and cayenne pepper,, garlic and onion powders, oregano and thyme It’s flavorful and is just right for this recipe. After cooking in the Instant Pot, a barbecue sauce is smeared on the ribs and they are broiled in an oven for five to ten minutes. You can use your favorite barbecue sauce. Mine is a homemade sauce — I featured the recipe last Memorial Day.

Types of ribs: If you are wondering what types of pork ribs to purchase, so was I. I think I finally have it figured out. Here’s a list. And thanks to the great internet site for an explanation of pork terminology. (See Reference.)

Baby Back Pork Ribs or loin back ribs or back ribs come from the ribs closest to the backbone. They are the most tender ribs. They are called “baby ribs” because they are shorter than spareribs, not because they come from baby pigs. A full rack weights between 11 and 13 pounds.

Spareribs come from the ribs closer to the sternum. They are larger and a little more tough than loin back ribs. They may not fit in a 6-quart Instant Pot without being cut into pieces.

St Louis Ribs are spareribs which have the rib tips removed. This is sometimes also called an Kansas City cut. The rib tips are tougher and usually are saved for grinding. The flat, rectangular sparerib slab remains. If your spareribs come with the rib tips attached, then cut these off or find another grocery store.

Country-Style Rib come from the ribs closest to the shoulder. Tend to have more meat on the ribs than either spareribs or loin back ribs and are technically not ribs but are pork chops.

Making the recipe:

For my recipe, I purchased a 3-pound cut of baby back pork ribs. This is enough to serve three to four people.

You first need to use a knife and your finger to pull of the membrane on the curvy side of the ribs. Then mix together the ingredients for the spice rub. Rub on both sides, wrap with plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

To cook in the Instant Pot, lower down the trivet or wire rack into the pot. Then add a combination of water, vinegar and liquid smoke to the pot. Add the ribs with the bony side towards the center; the ribs will wrap around the sides of the pot. Cook on Pressure Setting, High Setting for 25 minutes. Make sure the vent is closed. After cooking, manually release the steam until the float valve has popped up.

After cooking, the ribs should be tender and falling off the bone. If not, cook a little longer. Carefully remove the ribs with tongs and lay on a broiling pan. Smear on the barbecue sauce. Broil about six inches from the heat until heated through.

Cut between all the ribs and serve. Have a picnic. This is an extraordinarily easy way to prepare Baby Back Pork Ribs. Another great “Magic Instant Pot” recipe. Enjoy!


Instant Pot Magic: BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 lb rack baby back pork ribs
  • 1 recipe Cajun Dry Rub
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce (see recipe)

Instructions and Steps:

  1. Using a sharp knife and your fingers, remove the thin membrane that goes along the inner curved side of the rack of pork ribs.
  2. Rub ribs on both sides with Cajun Dry Rub. Place ribs on tray. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, add water, apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke to inner pot of a 6-quart Instant Pot.
  4. Set trivet in bottom of pot. Place ribs on trivet, curling ribs to wrap ribs around sides of pot.
  5. Place lid on Instant Pot and lock in place. Set Instant Pot to Pressure Cook, High for 25 minutes. Make sure steam release valve is closed. Hit Start button.
  6. When done, naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Then manually release remaining pressure.
  7. Line a broiling pan with aluminum foil. With tongs, carefully remove ribs from Instant Pot and place on broiling pan.,
  8. Brush BBQ sauce on ribs. Broil about 6 innches from heat for about 5 minutes until BBQ sauce is caramelized and sticky.
  9. Remove from oven, cut into pieces between ribs.
  10. Serve with additional sauce.


1 thought on “Instant Pot Magic: BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs

  1. Pingback: Instant Pot Magic: BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs — beyondgumbo | My Meals are on Wheels

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