How Long to Cook Beef Ribs in Instant Pot for Tender, Fall-Off-the-Bone Ribs

Cooking beef ribs in the Instant Pot is a great way to get incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional braising or barbecue methods. But how long should you cook beef ribs in the Instant Pot to get the best results?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cooking times for beef ribs in the Instant Pot and other pressure cookers to help you nail the texture and flavor every time.

Factors That Affect Beef Rib Cooking Time

There are a few key factors that impact how long beef ribs need to cook under pressure:

  • Type and size of ribs – Back ribs, short ribs, spare ribs all have slightly different cooking times. Thicker, meatier cuts take longer.

  • Amount of ribs – The more ribs stacked in the pot, the longer the cooking time.

  • Pressure cooker size – An 8-quart cooker needs a bit more time than a 6-quart.

  • Cook mode – Manual vs. Meat/Ribs mode can vary cooking time.

  • Pressure release method – Natural vs. quick release impacts total cook time.

  • Doneness preference – Fall-off-the-bone tender ribs take longer than just tender.

Taking these elements into account lets you dial in the perfect Instant Pot beef ribs every time.

Recommended Cook Times for Beef Ribs

Based on the above factors, here are the recommended cook times for common beef rib varieties:

  • Back ribs – 25-30 minutes then natural release 10-15 minutes

  • Short ribs – 25-35 minutes then natural release 10-15 minutes

  • Spare ribs – 25-35 minutes then natural release 10-15 minutes

These times are for 6-8 beef ribs (3-4 lbs) stacked in a 6-quart Instant Pot. Add 5 minutes to the cook time if cooking a full rack of ribs or using an 8-quart Instant Pot.

Always use natural release for at least 10 minutes to allow the collagen in the ribs to break down fully, ensuring tender and juicy results.

cooking tips for Beef Ribs

Follow these tips for foolproof beef ribs every time:

  • Trim excess fat to prevent scorching. Leave a thin layer for moisture.

  • Cut racks into individual ribs or 2-3 bone sections if needed to fit in pot.

  • Season ribs well with salt, spices, and rubs for great flavor.

  • Stack ribs vertically, meaty-side down, in pot. They can be close but not tightly packed.

  • Add 1⁄2 cup broth or water to pot to create steam.

  • Use manual high pressure for time recommended based on rib type.

  • Allow at least 10 minutes natural release to finish cooking.

  • Check doneness after cooking. Meat should be pull-back-from-bone tender.

  • Broil or grill ribs after cooking for crispy, caramelized exterior (optional).

Sample Beef Rib Instant Pot Cooking Times

To give you an idea of cooking times, here are some examples for common beef rib options:

  • 4 bone-in beef short ribs (2 lbs), stacked – Cook 25 minutes + natural release 10 minutes

  • Full rack of 7 bone beef back ribs (4 lbs) – Cook 30 minutes + natural release 15 minutes

  • 8 bone-in beef spare ribs (5 lbs), cut into 2-3 bone pieces – Cook 35 minutes + natural release 15 minutes

Remember to take into account the amount of ribs, how close together you can fit them, and your model of Instant Pot when setting the time.

How to Know When Beef Ribs Are Done

Checking for doneness is important to prevent undercooked or overcooked beef ribs. Here’s how to test when they’re ready:

  • Meat should pull back from the ends of the bones slightly.

  • Meat tears easily when poked with a fork.

  • An instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat (not touching bone) reads 200°F-205°F.

  • Bones wiggle easily when gripped with tongs.

  • Cut between bones to check meat is very tender when pierced.

When ribs are properly pressure cooked, the meat should be fall-off-the-bone tender but still attached. If they seem undercooked, put them back in on manual for 5-10 minutes.

Sample Beef Rib Instant Pot Recipe

To see beef rib cook times in action, here is a sample Instant Pot beef rib recipe:


  • 1 rack beef back ribs or 4-5 lbs short ribs
  • 1⁄2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp barbecue seasoning rub
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Remove membrane from back of ribs. Cut into pieces as needed to fit Instant Pot.
  2. Season ribs all over with salt, pepper and barbecue rub.
  3. Pour broth into Instant Pot. Add ribs stacked on their sides.
  4. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes (back ribs), 35 minutes (short ribs).
  5. Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes. Quick release remaining pressure.
  6. Check ribs for doneness. Cook longer if needed.
  7. Broil or grill ribs to caramelize exterior before serving.

Cooking Time Tips:

For 4 bone-in short ribs (2 lbs), start checking at 25 minutes. For 1 rack back ribs (4 lbs), start checking at 30 minutes. Add 5 minutes to cook time for 8 quart Instant Pot.

Get Perfectly Cooked Instant Pot Beef Ribs Every Time

Now that you know approximate cook times for beef back ribs, short ribs, and spare ribs, you can adapt any Instant Pot beef rib recipe to your ingredients and model of cooker.

Key tips are seasoning the ribs well, stacking them properly in the pot, using the manual high pressure setting, and allowing a full natural release.

With the simple guidance provided in this article, you can look forward to incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone beef ribs cooked to perfection in your Instant Pot on a regular basis.



Why are my ribs tough in Instant Pot?

This means that they’re not cooked long enough. Be sure to cook the ribs for the full 30 minutes on high, and let the pressure release for 15 minutes before removing the lid. If you did this and the ribs are still tough, I recommend cooking them for an additional 5 minutes on high in the Instant Pot.

How long do beef ribs take?

Good bbq takes time and this will be no different. For an average 3 bone rack of smoked beef ribs, you’re looking at a cook time of anywhere between 6-8 hours. All you have to have to do during this time is just make sure the smoker temperature stays in the 250-275 range.

Are ribs better in slow cooker or pressure cooker?

Nothing that a little sauce can’t fix, and it does mean you get more of the pork flavor, but they’re not as nuanced. And the winner is: The slow cooker, but just by a hair (by a rib?). If you’re pressed for time, pressure cooker is the way to go.

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