Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

by Jun 14, 2017

Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs

by Jun 14, 2017

BABY, come BACK – You asked for it, so you’re getting it!

Because the most requested video recipe to come my way was RIBS, and since we’re in the swing of summer, there’s no better time than now to share this with everyone.

And so, I give you BABY BACK RIBS!

It couldn’t be easier, and because we’re cooking these in our fabulous Instant Pot, it’s fall-off-the-bone style.  We’re talking the most tender, flavorful, messy and to-die-for ribs – they way they should be!

Here’s How I Made It!:

Let’s start off with some unseasoned/unsauced baby back ribs (or pork loin backribs).  You can really use up to two racks if using a 6 qt or three if you use an 8 qt.  I get mine from Costco and they come three in a pack for a very reasonable price!

Plus, the membrane is already removed.  BUT if you don’t have a Costco membership, no worries!  Just get however many racks you want from your supermarket and peel off the membrane (the tough film on the underside of the ribs) if it’s still on it.

You may also want to cut each rack in half for easy removal when done cooking since they will be SUPER tender by that stage.

Lay the ribs in a coil fashion in the Instant Pot.

Now we’re gonna add the magical ingredients that make these ribs so fall-off-the-bone tender and out of this world.  Start with some apple juice.

Then add in some apple cider vinegar…

…and some liquid smoke.  Secure the lid and cook em up.  It will take a bit of time to come to pressure due to the amount of liquid and volume in the pot – but not to worry!  It’s SO worth it.  Just set it and forget it!

When done cooking, your ribs are going to be super delicate due to how tender the meat has become!

Using two sets of tongs (or a set of tongs and a spatula), CAREFULLY transfer the ribs from the IP…

…to a foil-lined baking sheet.

Brush on a generous amount of a fantastic barbecue sauce of your choosing.

Doesn’t that look pretty?!

And pop it in the oven to roast up and caramelize for a few.

Then take those beauties out of the oven…


You’ll never make ribs any other way again.  Because it’s (yes) that easy and (yes) that good!

  • 3-6 pounds (up to 2 full racks) of Baby Back Ribs (Pork Loin Backribs), unseasoned and membrane removed (I got mine at Costco – three racks came in the pack and they already have the membrane removed. They are excellent quality so I suggest those if you can get them!)
  • 64-ounce bottle of Apple Juice (NOTE: you can halve this or even just reduce to 2 cups. I just like to use the full bottle so ALL the meat gets infused)
  • 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of Liquid Smoke (either Hickory or Mesquite is fine)
  • Barbecue Sauce to slather the ribs in (a few cups worth. I only use Sweet Baby Ray’s because it’s the best!)

Have a barbecue and don’t want to use the oven?  Feel free to throw the sauced ribs on there too when done to make it extra crispy. But be careful – these ribs are SUPER tender and can easily come apart if handled roughly!

Want to make the most insane rib sandwich ever?  We’re talking a McRib but actually made out of ribs.  Once cooked and before coating with the barbecue sauce, cut off 1/4 of the rack and pull out the bones (they should slide right out) and then brush on the bbq sauce, cook in the oven or bbq and place on a hero or semolina roll.  Top with some Provolone, Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese to really set it over the edge!

Want a GREAT side to go with it?  Try my Ultimate Macaroni Salad or this amazing Mac & Cheese!


  1. If your ribs come with a membrane layer, peel/slice it off the best you can (it’s fine if you don’t get it all)
  2. Take the ribs and coil them so they fit in the Instant Pot lined against the perimeter of the pot.  The 6qt should be able to handle up to 1.5 racks of ribs where the 8qt can handle 2 full racks.  If you wish to cut each rack in half before inserting for easier removal once cooked, feel free to do so
  3. Add the apple juice, apple cider vinegar and liquid smoke
  4. Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 30 minutes for 5-6 lbs/1.5-2 racks of ribs (25 minutes for 2-4 lbs/1 rack).  Go for only 23 minutes for 5-6 lbs/1.5-2 racks of ribs if you want the ribs slightly firmer (18 minutes for 2-4 lbs/1 rack). HOWEVER, I do suggest you go for the longer cooking time in order to achieve that super tender, fall-off-the-bone bite ? NOTE: THIS MAY TAKE ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO COME TO PRESSURE DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF LIQUID IN THE POT.  YOU AREN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG!
  5. As the ribs are cooking, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees (or to Broil if you want them slightly crispy/burned)
  6. When done, allow a 5 minute natural release followed by a quick release. (NOTE: Although mine did not, if it splatters while releasing, you can throw a dish towel on top of the nozzle to absorb any splatter OR allow a full natural release meaning you never turn the release nozzle and let it release on its own until the pin drops)
  7. Since the ribs are going to be super duper tender, CAREFULLY remove the them from the pot to a baking tray lined with non-stick tin foil (bone side down).  I used two sets of tongs to make this happen and it’s okay if the rack splits in half when doing this – just try to be delicate.  Discard the juices from the pot after the ribs are removed (or freeze it if you have the space in your freezer for a future encore!)
  8. Using a basting brush, generously coat the tops of the ribs with the barbecue sauce.  Slather it real good! (Note: In my video, I dip the brush right into the big container of sauce – which was fine because I used it all by making many more ribs after.  If only using some of the sauce, pour it into a separate bowl before coating ?)
  9. Pop them in the oven and cook for 10 minutes (if you are broiling, keep a closer eye on them so they don’t burn too much).  The sauce will caramelize
  10. Take them out of the oven and slice em up however you want
  11. Grab lots of napkins and enjoy!

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