Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Prime Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.
Instant Pot Kansas City Baby Back Ribs—the easiest to make fall off the bone ribs made with a homemade Kansas City style rub and simple barbecue sauce.
Instant Pot Kansas City Baby Back Ribs
If you love ribs you’re going to die over these pork baby back ribs that are made in your Instant Pot. The recipe is so easy but the results are amazing. I’m convinced that making ribs in the pressure cooker is the best way to prepare them. It’s hands off and takes a lot less time than in the oven or on the grill. They turn out completely tender and flavor infused.
Of course, you’ll want to start with Smithfield® Prime Fresh Pork which can be found at Dick’s Market. Not all pork is created equal so make sure to find Smithfield for ultimate quality. I headed to Dick’s Market and found it easily with the other meats.
Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork is a versatile meal solution that is high quality and full of flavor. It is available in a variety cuts from juicy tenderloins to naturally tender pork shoulders. In fact it’s 20% more tender than the other leading brand for natural pork. After tasting these ribs I totally believe that statement! And there are no growth promotants, or added hormones or steroids in their meat. If you’d like other amazing pork recipe ideas visit Smithfield’s website.
The fun thing about summer is that there’s always a reason at my house to cook up a good meal. Whether it’s the fourth of July, a summer birthday (we have 3 in my family) or just a weekend get together with friends, I can always find a reason to make a meal with Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork. When I made these ribs for my daughter’s birthday dinner the other night she was so excited. She loves ribs but I don’t make them all that often so she was happy to get these on her special day. I love sitting on our back patio, listening to music through our outdoor speakers, eating a good meal and enjoying a nice glass of lemonade. There is seriously nothing like summer!
These ribs start with a simple homemade rub. Let them sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes with the rub. You can even make them the night before and let them sit overnight. Just cover the pan with some foil.
The next step is to place a cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place the trivet in the pot and coil the rubbed ribs around the sides of the pot. I decided that I would cook a simple homemade barbecue sauce at the same time as the ribs. So I placed the barbecue sauce ingredients inside a small Pyrex dish and then placed it in the middle of the ribs.
After the ribs cooked in the pressure cooker for 28 minutes, I placed them on a baking sheet and basted them with the barbecue sauce. I stuck them under the broiler for about 4 minutes and then they were ready to serve. They were so tender I had a hard time moving them to a serving platter without them all falling apart!
For a perfect summer meal serve these ribs with chunks of watermelon and potato salad and maybe even if you’re lucky some garden-fresh corn or tomatoes. Ahhhhh, summer!!Print
Instant Pot Kansas City Baby Back Ribs
- Prep Time: 45 minutes (including marinating time)
- Cook Time: 28 minutes (plus pressure release time)
- Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
The easiest to make fall off the bone ribs made with a homemade Kansas City style rub and simple barbecue sauce.
For the ribs and rub:
- 2 1/2 to 3 lbs Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork Back Ribs
- 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
For the barbecue sauce:
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca
- Remove the ribs from packaging and place on a large baking sheet. Blot the ribs with a paper towel until moisture is removed.
- Combine the brown sugar, paprika, pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and red pepper in a bowl. Mix until combined. Rub the spice mixture onto both sides of the ribs evenly. Let the ribs sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
- Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet in bottom of the pot. Coil the ribs around the edge of the inside of the pot.
- If you’d like to make your own barbecue sauce, combine ketchup, water, vinegar and tapioca in a small oven safe bowl (like a Pyrex or Corningware). Carefully place the bowl in the middle of the ribs, on top of the trivet.
- Lock the lid onto the top of the Instant Pot. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual button to 28 minutes.
- When timer goes off allow the pressure to release naturally for about 20 minutes or until the pin drops. Carefully switch the valve to venting. Remove the lid. Using gloves carefully remove the barbecue sauce and the ribs. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and baste them with the barbecue sauce. Place them under your oven’s broiler for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
This recipe is gluten free.
- Method: Instant Pot
These look delicious. Can this be done with boneless country ribs, the thicker kind?
Yes you can do that. I would cook for 30 minutes
Following this recipe to the letter was my first time making ribs, IP or otherwise. Thank you for your brilliant advice; the ribs were perfection. I made these for my mom, a rib aficionado, and she gave them a yes. Woo Hoo! I will definitely make these again – along with so many of your other fantastic recipes. Thanks for an easy to follow recipe for fall-off-the-bone delicious ribs, that even an amateur couldn’t mess up!
Thank you so much Rebecca. I am so happy to hear it!
Wondering if I am supposed to use all the spice rub on one rack of ribs. Seems like a lot.
Use as much as will stick to the ribs
I made these last night and they were very very fall off the bone, but extremely tasty. My only issue was trying to move them to finish on the grill vs the broiler and they were so fall apart they were impossible to move in one piece. Do you think reducing the times a bit would help with that? The broiler is easier as the ribs can lay right on a sheet pan, but trying to move to the grill was a challenge. I did the 28 minute pressure and 20 minute release before venting the little bit of pressure that was left so I wonder if reducing that a little might help them stay together until eating….then they can fall off the bone as I am in that camp…not the camp of those who prefer meat left on the bone and requiring some extra work like my in-laws when they make ribs for us.
Yes that is exactly what I would do. I would cut cooking time down to 22 minutes. That should be sufficient!
Thank you, I will try that and let you know how they turn out next time I make ribs. I’m sure thats still long enough to bring them up to a safe temperature, plus the time on the grill with the bbq sauce, but a meat thermometer will safely confirm it either way.
Okay sounds good!
Sharon Fraser says
Truly totally awesome!!
I have also cooked beef ribs in my IP!! Adventurous soul that I am…I used Karen’s signature rub on both but substituted beef broth for the water in each recipe. Overnite in fridge best way to have spice blend sink in but all depends on your timeline.
For beef ribs add about 10-15 min extra…depending on weight used.
Everyone be they friends or family continuously request these treats. They have made me famous in our little burg in Ontario!
Karen can’t thank you enough for the instructions you provide for the IP!! Before I found you and all your incredible recipes I only LOOKED at it on the counter and said…. tomorrow maybe…..I found it so intimidating it was crazy!!) Regardless, my self confidence has just booked and I love everything I cook from your website. I hope every new IP owner, be it guys or girls, find you a lot faster than I did. I’ll be watching for more education with you as my culinary master!! Take care and thanks ever so much again!!))
Ahh, thanks Sharon! I’m so glad you are using your IP and enjoying it!
Brenda Dodd says
Made ribs today! This recipe is so so good! I would highly recommend it. Thank you so much for all your teaching, encouragement, and your recipe. I’ve only had my Instant pot for almost a year now and only made Pinto beans and your yogurt recipe. I follow you on Instagram as well.
Awesome Brenda Way to go!! Keep cooking. You’ll love your pot! Thanks for being here and following along.
Liz P says
AWESOME!! First time making ribs ever! They were amazing as was the rub.
Wanted to ask- can you make a bunch of the rub ahead of time and store it? If so, how do you store it?
Yes you can. I would store it in an airtight container in the pantry.
Liz P says
Just bought Instant Vortex air fryer. Have you used this? If so, any pointers? Or recipes??
I don’t have one but they look super cool! Here’s a good resource: https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/instant-pot-air-fryer-lid-recipes/
It was my first time making ribs in the IP and OMG they were by far the best we ever made… will never buy them already made again this was too good, so tender and falling off the bones. I did not make the BBQ sauce as we really like Sweet Baby Ray. Here are my photos of tonight’s dinner: https://shared-assets.adobe.com/link/adc1acce-1dde-4d89-48fb-84f6f2d534cb
So glad you liked them! My favorite is sweet baby rays too!
For the person that asked about beef ribs, I’ve made them in my instant pot. They had a beef gravy, it was excellent. I think the cook time was more on the 40 mins range. Found the recipe on the web.
Love your recipes. I load them into Cheftap app. It’s great for keepong/scalling recipes.
Over the years I have added beer where you add water. They have been a big hit every time. Try it, I think you’ll like it.
Thanks for the suggestion!
Can I make these in a 3 qt?
I don’t think they’d fit in a 3 quart! If they did it would be pretty tight.
That’s what I was afraid of… But, I was on a mission so I went to the store this morning, and after much searching, I finally found a little package of ribs in
the frozen section that just might fit. Maybe… They are defrosting right now so I will report back!
Bill Buckley says
I’ve made ribs, both baby backs and spare ribs, in our 3-qt IP. I’ve been able to wrap them on the inside of the pot very nicely. ,I think they were normal sized.
Thaanks for your much appreciated efforts.
Hello! I only have a half of a portion of ribs. How long would I cook them? Thank you so very much!! We love your recipes!!
Use the same cooking time. This article will help you know how to pare recipes down in the future: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-halve-instant-pot-recipes/
Barb B. says
I’m making these for the 2nd time. The first time I broiled them in the oven, but now I have an air fryer, so I’m going to brown them it. I’m from KC and these are good! Thanks for all of your recipes. I’ve tried many.
Awesome Barb! I’m glad you like them.
When doubling or tripling the recipe, do you need to increase the amount of water in the instant pot? Thanks.
No you do not. Read this article and it will help you understand better: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/how-to-double-instant-pot-recipes/
I made the ribs for Father’s Day and I am making them again for the 4th of July. They are honestly the best ribs I have ever had and couldn’t wait yo make them again. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!!
Yay! Happy 4th!
We don’t eat pork. Have you tried beef ribs? Would you do them the same time? I really like ribs. Karen, your recipes r super wonderful. I get excited when I get one of them. Ty
I’ve never tried it with beef ribs. I bet the timing would be similar. If you try it let me know how it goes!
JOHN VAN DOLAH says
YOU MIGHT TRY ADDING SOME LIQUID SMOKE TO THE RECIPE ( COLGIN LIQUID SMOKE OR WRIGHT’S LIQUID SMOKE ) ABOUT 1/2 TABLESPOON FOR THE 6 QT. OR 3/4 TBSP. FOR THE 8 QT.
good idea! Thanks!
These were the best ribs I have ever had! I used two racks, one full and the other one cut up so they both fit in my pot. I have an 8 quart cooker. I didn’t make the bbq sauce as I had some. I put chicken broth in the bottom instead of plain water and did the rub with some smoky paprika mix I found at Ross and added the brown sugar and another tblsp of regular Paprika, garlic powder and some pepper.
This was my first instant pot recipe, and it was a huge success! Since everyone likes a different bbq sauce, I cooked them using the rub only. Everyone liked them so much that no one added any kind of bbq sauce! They were so tender they just fell off the bone, and the flavor was incredible! I will never cook ribs any other way!
Can I put more than one rack in my 8qt?
You could try. If it fits and doesn’t go over max fill line then it should be fine!
Just made this and these are the best ribs I have ever made (oven, instant pot, grill)! I think your initial seasoning mix really puts these ribs over the top.
Hi Jerry, I’m so glad you liked these ribs! My husband dies over them!!
Natalie Clyde says
How long would you cook them frozen?
Are they cut up? I’m not sure how you’d coil them around the pot if they are frozen. You could probably cook them frozen. Add 5 minutes to cooking time.
Is this recipe for the 6qt or 8qt?
Hi Kat, I made it in my 6 quart. However you could easily make it in an 8 quart as well. Just add an extra cup of water into the bottom of the instant pot.
For the pressure setting do you do it on high or low pressure? Ours has two settings.
can you use beef ribs for this?
I am sure you could. I haven’t tried it myself but I bet it would be tasty!
These might be fantastic, but no self-respecting Kansas Citian would call these “Kansas City” baby back ribs. There’s no harm in calling these pressure cooker ribs!
janis whisenant says
I just printed this out to try. I used another recipe and it said to remove the membrane under the slab before putting in the IP. Is it necessary to do that; was yours already removed?
I didn’t do that…
Absolutely THE BOMB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So is this gal !!!!!!!!!!!!! she really knows her stuff. Thanks, Karen……..
Thanks sooo much!