Instant Pot Pork Ribs


If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you might want to invest in one. These Instant Pot pork ribs are a game changer for weekday meals. Perfectly cooked pork ribs are traditionally a low and slow process. But with the use of an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) the pork meat, infused with mouthwatering flavors, is fall off the bone in a fraction of the time. You may never do low and slow again. Once you have cooked ribs in the Instant Pot you can either glaze them with your favorite barbeque sauce and enjoy them right away, glaze and broil or grill them, for more of a caramelization to the sauce or even use them in a completely different preparation.

One of the biggest advantages of using ribs for a quick pulled pork is that you only have to buy 1 or 2 racks of ribs, which are often on sale. Then you get enough for a dinner for one or two (1 rack) or a family of 5 (2 racks). It is easy to fit 2 racks into the instant pot, just season them then put them in on their side and around the rim of the inner pot, one at a time making a spiral then add your liquid (1-2 cups) and pressure cook for 25 minutes with a further 10-15 minutes natural release time.

When I am short on time I use my instant pot ribs for pork carnitas! Yes that’s right pork carnitas for taco night. My family loves taco night and while ground beef or chicken is great, pork carnitas are a real taste treat. Normally pork carnitas would take hours to cook a pork butt or shoulder, but with the addition of this time saver, you can have pork carnitas in little more time than making chicken or beef tacos.

Instant Pot Pork Ribs for Carnitas? Yes you can!

Instant pot pork ribs can be turned into perfect “pulled” pork for carnitas. Once the ribs are cooked and natural release is done, simply shred them and add them to your favorite taco or tortilla and top with your toppings. When I know I am going to make carnitas and only want that flavor in the ribs, then I add flavor enhancers to the Instant pot before cooking the ribs. I love to add onion, jalapeno peppers at the minimum. I also add liquid smoke to the water in the bottom of the IP to add a smokey flavor.

Once the ribs are done, the bones pretty much pull right out allowing you to shred the pork quite easily. Then to make the traditional “carnitas” crispy bits, I add the pulled pork to my cast iron pan in a single layer and let it crisp up, then flip and repeat with the rest of the pork.

Add your crispy pork to your favorite taco or tortilla and top it with the usual suspects. Traditionally carnitas are served simply with diced white onions, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. But serve them however you like. My family loves them with freshly quick pickled red onions, lime crema and shredded cabbage along with the cilantro and lime.

Barbecue IP Ribs!

If you want to make regular Instant Pot ribs, then just cook them as directed on the recipe card below. Then you can slather them in your favorite barbeque sauce and enjoy with your favorite side dishes, such as potatoes, rice or beans.

There really is no shortage of dishes you can make with pulled pork, and here you can get that part done in less than an hour start to finish and add them to your favorite dish.

Why Instant Pot Pork Ribs?

  1. Time-Saving Magic: The Instant Pot is renowned for its ability to drastically reduce cooking times without compromising on flavor. What would traditionally take hours in the oven or on the grill can be accomplished in a mere fraction of the time with the Instant Pot.
  2. Infusion of Flavors: The pressure-cooking method of the Instant Pot not only tenderizes the meat but also allows flavors to penetrate deeply, resulting in ribs that are not only juicy but also rich in taste. The sealed environment ensures that every bite moist and flavorful.

Instant Pot Pork Ribs

Flavorful and tender pork ribs done in a fraction of the usual time with the use of an Instant Pot
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Natural Release Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course anytime, Appetizer, Main Course, main dish
Servings 3


  • 1 Instant Pot


  • 1-2 Rack Pork Ribs *1 rack per 2 people is a generous serve
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce *optional your favorite

Pork Carnitas Ribs

  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ med orange (juiced)
  • 2 med jalapeno peppers, halved
  • ½ med onion
  • 1 water, to make 1 cup


  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs if you like. I find that with an instant pot, the ribs tend to fall off if you remove it but do it if you like.
  • Combine all of the seasonings in a small bowl, then rub the mixture over the ribs (front and back)
  • Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant pot
  • Add the water and the liquid smoke (or water and Orange juice for Carnitas)
  • Place the ribs into the IP and circle them around the inside of the pot
  • Add any extra flavor enhancers (onions, jalapenos etc.) at this point (Optional)
  • Secure the lid in place and make sure the vent is set to SEAL
  • Select Pressure Cook and set for 25 minutes
  • Once the 25 minutes has passed let the ribs natural release for a further 10 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure (being careful still)
  • Remove the ribs carefully and place on a sheet tray lined with foil. Lather them with your favorite BBQ sauce and place under the broiler of your oven for 3-5 minutes to carmelize the bbq a bit (optional of course). OR:

For Pork Carnitas:

  • remove the ribs from the Instant pot and carefully remove the rib bones, and shred the meat with 2 forks. Add extra seasoning if you like.
  • Add the meat to an oven safe pan or cast iron pan and put under the broiler for 3 minutes to crisp it up a bit (Carnitas).
  • Add to your tacos with all of your favorite toppings.


I love to do ribs in the instant pot.  Depending on how you intend on eating them or what flavors you enjoy, you can add things such as peppers, onions, jalapenos etc to the pot for a flavor boost.
I sometimes use pork ribs for pork carnitas tacos.  The meat falls off the bone and the flavor is amazing.  Skip the bbq sauce and add jalapenos etc to the pot.  When then are done, I shred the meat off the bone,  season with more mexican spices and broil or crisp stove top in a cast iron skillet for a few minutes to crisp it up so its more traditional Mexican.
Keyword baby back ribs, Barbeque pork ribs, instant pot, Pork, side ribs
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