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Cooked and sliced BBQ baby back ribs on a white cutting board.
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5 from 4 votes

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs are a super easy fall off the bone tender dinner and tailgating idea with a delicious spicy date sweetened (no added Sugar) BBQ sauce for the win.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizers/ Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 439kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • 1 rack baby back ribs
    approximately 1.5 - 2 pounds

Dry rub ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • red chili flakes
    dash or to your desired heat level - optional

Pressure cooker (Instant Pot Liquid) Wet Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Caramelized Onion BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
    peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup Tomato sauce
    (with no added sugar- We used Hunt’s brand)
  • 3 tablespoon date paste
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • red chili pepper flakes
    to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Wash your ribs and dry them. Remove the skin membrane from the back side of your ribs (This is a very important step. If you do not remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, it will make your ribs tough and prevents the ribs from soaking up the flavors of the rub. I put my ribs meat side down on the cutting board and take one of my very sharp knives and run in very shallow to start the end of the membrane and then I use my fingers to pull off.)
  • Put the dry rub ingredients (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika and dried red chili flakes) into a small bowl and mix.
  • Sprinkle the dry rub ingredients all over the ribs. Rub the dry ingredients all over front back and sides of ribs to get the flavors into the meat.
  • Place the wire rack into your pressure cooker (instant Pot) Set your ribs in a semi-circle around the edge of the pressure cooker.
  • Mix the pressure cooker (instant Pot) Wet ingredients (chicken broth and apple cider vinegar) together. Pour into the bottom of the pressure cooker.
  • Set your pressure cooker to high pressure and make sure the vent is closed for 24 minutes. Allow the natural release of pressure for 10 minutes. Then, you can do a quick release of pressure. Stay safe and use an oven mitt to protect your hand and turning the vent away from your face.
  • In the meantime, make your homemade Caramelized onion BBQ sauce: In a small pan place olive oil and onions and sauté slowly and gently until slightly golden. Add garlic and stir until aromatic. Then, add tomato sauce, date paste, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, dried hot red pepper flakes (optional) and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Taste BBQ sauce and adjust seasonings as required. If you want it sweeter, add a little more date paste. Cook on stove top over low heat for about 10-15 minutes until the flavors have a chance to mingle. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to broil or you can Preheat outdoor grill, if you prefer. Broil your ribs for 2-4 minutes until they are lightly browned. Keep a super close eye on them so they do not burn. You can also finish your baby back ribs off on the grill just 5-8 minutes on each side or until lightly browned or a few grill marks.
  • Step 9: Serve up Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs with plenty of napkins as this is one finger licking good experience. Enjoy!


You can fit 2 full racks of baby back ribs in an 8-quart pressure pot (instant Pot) However, in a 6-quart pressure your cooker you can only get in about 1.5 racks of baby back ribs. If you want to increase the amount of ribs, double to dry rub and caramelized onion BBG sauce ingredients too.
Learning How To Make Date Paste is super easy. You will want to use it in many recipes so make a larger batch as it can keep for at about 1 month in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. 
Ribs can be made in advance and then reheated in the oven or on the grill before serving. Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In addition, you can freeze up to 2 months and then reheated.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1442mg | Potassium: 846mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 839IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3mg