(GUIDE) How To Cook Pork Ribs In Pressure Cooker?

When it comes to cooking delicious and tender pork ribs, using a pressure cooker can be a game-changer. Not only does it save you time, but it also helps to lock in all the flavors and moisture, resulting in succulent ribs that practically fall off the bone. Whether you’re a busy home cook or simply looking for a convenient way to prepare this beloved dish, the pressure cooker method is worth exploring.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about cooking pork ribs in a pressure cooker. From preparation to cooking techniques, we will cover it all. So, let’s dive in!

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Pork Ribs In Pressure Cooker

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s first determine how long it takes to cook pork ribs in a pressure cooker. On average, pork ribs take around 25-30 minutes of pressure cooking time. This ensures the meat becomes tender while still retaining its juiciness.

However, it’s important to note that the cooking time may vary depending on factors such as the thickness of the ribs, desired tenderness, and the specific pressure cooker you’re using. It’s always a good idea to consult your pressure cooker’s manual or follow a reliable recipe for more precise cooking times.


Before you jump into cooking your pork ribs, a bit of preparation is necessary to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Choose the right ribs: When it comes to pork ribs, there are two popular cuts – baby back ribs and spare ribs. Baby back ribs are more tender and leaner, while spare ribs have more fat and connective tissue, which gives them a rich flavor. Choose the cut that suits your preferences.

  2. Trim excess fat: While some fat is desirable for flavor, trimming excess fat from the ribs helps prevent the meat from becoming greasy. Use a sharp knife to remove any large pieces of fat.

  3. Remove the membrane: If you’re using spare ribs, you’ll need to remove the tough membrane on the bone side of the ribs. This membrane can hinder the absorption of flavors and make it harder for the meat to become tender. Gently pry up the edge of the membrane using a butter knife or your fingers and pull it off in one piece.

  4. Season the ribs: To enhance the flavor of your ribs, generously season them with a dry rub or marinade of your choice. Common spices for pork ribs include garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat by refrigerating the ribs for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  5. Prep the pressure cooker: Ensure your pressure cooker is clean and in good working condition. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembling and filling the pressure cooker, and make sure to use the appropriate amount of liquid as specified in the recipe.

With the preparation steps complete, you’re now ready to start pressure cooking your pork ribs.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Pork Ribs

To achieve tender and flavorful pork ribs in a pressure cooker, it’s essential to understand a few basics:

  1. Liquid requirements: Pressure cookers rely on steam to cook food, and therefore, a sufficient amount of liquid is necessary. Typically, a minimum of 1 cup of liquid is recommended for pressure cooking pork ribs. This liquid can be water, broth, juice, or any other flavorful liquid to enhance the taste.

  2. Using a trivet or rack: Placing a trivet or rack at the bottom of the pressure cooker is beneficial when cooking pork ribs. It helps elevate the ribs, preventing them from sitting directly in the liquid. This ensures that the heat is distributed evenly, and the meat doesn’t get soggy.

  3. Natural pressure release: Once the pressure cooking time is complete, it’s important to allow for a natural pressure release. This means letting the pressure naturally decrease without manually releasing it. Allowing the pressure to release naturally helps the meat relax and become even more tender.

  4. Final finishing step: After the natural pressure release, you have the option to further enhance the texture and flavor of the ribs. This can be achieved by broiling or grilling the ribs for a few minutes to develop a caramelized crust.

Understanding these pressure cooker basics will ensure that your pork ribs turn out exquisite and mouthwatering.

Cook Times For Pork Ribs In Pressure Cooker

As mentioned earlier, the average pressure cooking time for pork ribs falls between 25-30 minutes. However, cooking times can vary depending on several factors. Here is a breakdown of the cooking times for different types of pork ribs:

  1. Baby back ribs: These ribs are smaller and more tender, requiring less time to cook. On average, baby back ribs should be pressure cooked for around 20-25 minutes to achieve the desired tenderness.

  2. Spare ribs: Spare ribs are larger and contain more connective tissue, so they need slightly more time to become tender. Pressure cooking spare ribs for 25-30 minutes is usually sufficient to achieve a juicy and tender result.

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Keep in mind that these cooking times are approximate and should be used as a starting point. Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness and desired tenderness of the ribs. It’s always a good idea to consult a reliable recipe or refer to your pressure cooker’s manual for more precise cooking times.

How To Cook Pork Ribs In Pressure Cooker

Now that we’ve covered the preparation steps and cooking times, let’s dive into the process of cooking pork ribs in a pressure cooker. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Preheat and season: Preheat your pressure cooker on the sauté mode or as directed by the manufacturer. Season the ribs with your desired dry rub or marinade.

  2. Sear the ribs: When the pressure cooker is hot, add a small amount of oil and sear the seasoned ribs on all sides. This step helps enhance the flavor and develops a nice crust. Searing can be done in batches if necessary.

  3. Add liquid and seasonings: Once the ribs are seared, pour in the required amount of liquid, such as broth or juice, to the pressure cooker. You can also add flavorings like onions, garlic, or herbs for added taste.

  4. Place the trivet/rack: Insert the trivet or rack into the pressure cooker, ensuring there’s enough space for the ribs to rest on it without touching the liquid.

  5. Add the ribs: Carefully place the seared ribs on the trivet or rack, ensuring they are in a single layer and not overcrowded.

  6. Secure the lid: Close and secure the pressure cooker lid according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the valve is set to the sealed position.

  7. Pressure cook: Set the pressure cooker to the appropriate setting, usually high pressure, and select the cooking time. Start with the average cooking times mentioned earlier, and adjust based on your preferences.

  8. Natural pressure release: Once the cooking time is complete, allow for a natural pressure release. This will take roughly 10-15 minutes.

  9. Optional finishing step: After the natural pressure release, remove the ribs from the pressure cooker and place them on a baking sheet. Brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce and broil them in the oven for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce and develop a delicious crust. Alternatively, you can grill the ribs over medium-high heat for a few minutes.

  10. Serve and enjoy: Allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes before serving. Cut them into individual portions and serve them with your preferred sides, such as coleslaw, cornbread, or mashed potatoes.

By following these steps, you can achieve tender and flavorful pork ribs using your pressure cooker.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Pork Ribs

While the basic steps mentioned above are sufficient for cooking pork ribs in a pressure cooker, employing a few additional techniques can elevate the final result. Here are some tips to ensure optimal pressure cooking for pork ribs:

  1. Marinate for longer: To intensify the flavors, consider marinating the ribs for a longer period, such as overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in more delicious ribs.

  2. Add aromatic ingredients: Enhance the taste of your pressure-cooked ribs by adding aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, or herbs to the cooking liquid. This infuses the meat with additional flavors and adds depth to the dish.

  3. Brown the ribs: As mentioned earlier, searing the ribs before pressure cooking helps develop a rich flavor. Take the time to brown the ribs on all sides, even if it means working in batches. The extra effort will be worth it in the end.

  4. Rest before finishing:
    Let the ribs rest for a few minutes after the natural pressure release before proceeding with the optional finishing steps. This allows the meat to relax and reabsorb some of the flavorful juices.

  5. Adjust the cooking time: Cooking times can vary depending on the thickness and desired tenderness of the ribs. If the ribs aren’t as tender as you’d like after the recommended cooking time, you can always return them to the pressure cooker for a few more minutes.

By applying these techniques, you can achieve outstanding results when cooking pork ribs in a pressure cooker.


While cooking pork ribs in a pressure cooker is generally a straightforward process, a few issues may arise. Here are some common troubleshooting tips:

  1. Ribs aren’t tender enough: If your ribs are not as tender as you would like after the recommended cooking time, there are a few potential reasons. Firstly, make sure you’re using the correct cooking time and adjust as needed. Additionally, check the quality and thickness of your ribs – thicker ribs may require more time. You can always return the ribs to the pressure cooker for additional cooking if needed.

  2. Lack of flavor: If you find that your cooked ribs are lacking flavor, it could be due to insufficient seasoning or not allowing the meat to marinate for long enough. Ensure you season the ribs generously and consider marinating them overnight to enhance the taste.

  3. Dry ribs: Dry ribs are an unfortunate outcome that can be caused by overcooking or low-quality ribs. Be mindful of the cooking time, and if in doubt, slightly undercook the ribs to ensure they remain juicy. Choosing high-quality, well-marbled ribs can also help prevent dryness.

  4. Falling-off-the-bone texture: While fall-off-the-bone ribs are often desired, they can be a sign of overcooking. If you prefer ribs with a bit more chew, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes or adjust it based on your personal preference.

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Remember, practice makes perfect, and fine-tuning your technique will lead to consistently outstanding pork ribs in the pressure cooker.

Variations And Flavoring Options

While classic barbecue-style ribs are always a hit, there is plenty of room for experimentation and customization. Here are a few variations and flavoring options for your pressure-cooked pork ribs:

  1. Different spice rubs: Explore a variety of spice rubs to suit your taste preferences. You can try Cajun-inspired rubs with paprika, cayenne pepper, and thyme, or opt for a sweet and spicy blend with brown sugar, chili powder, and garlic powder.

  2. Sauces and glazes: Experiment with different sauces and glazes to add an extra layer of flavor. Traditional barbecue sauce, honey mustard glaze, or Asian-inspired glazes like teriyaki or hoisin are all excellent options.

  3. Smoking:
    If you want to infuse your pressure-cooked ribs with a smoky flavor, you can use liquid smoke or add wood chips or chunks to the pressure cooker. Follow your pressure cooker’s manual for instructions on using wood chips safely.

  4. Different cooking liquids: Expand your flavor profiles by using different cooking liquids. Instead of plain water or broth, consider using apple juice, pineapple juice, or even beer for a unique twist.

  5. Finish on the grill: While broiling the ribs is a popular finishing option, you can also transfer the pressure-cooked ribs to a preheated grill and brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce. Grill over medium-high heat for a few minutes per side to achieve a smoky charred flavor.

These variations and flavoring options allow you to add your own personal touch to your pressure-cooked pork ribs, making them even more enjoyable and versatile.

In conclusion, cooking pork ribs in a pressure cooker is an excellent way to achieve tender and flavorful results in a fraction of the time compared to traditional cooking methods. With a little bit of preparation and the right techniques, you can enjoy mouthwatering ribs that will impress your friends and family. So, fire up your pressure cooker and get ready to enjoy some of the best pork ribs you’ve ever tasted!


How Long Does It Take To Cook Pork Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

The cooking time for pork ribs in a pressure cooker can vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs, as well as the specific pressure cooker model. However, on average, it takes between 25-30 minutes to cook pork ribs in a pressure cooker.

Do I Need To Add Liquid When Cooking Pork Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, it is important to add at least 1 cup of liquid (such as broth or water) to the pressure cooker when cooking pork ribs. This liquid helps create steam and build pressure, which helps cook the ribs faster and keeps them from drying out.

Can I Use Frozen Pork Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, you can use frozen pork ribs in a pressure cooker. However, you will need to add extra cooking time, about 10-15 minutes more, to account for the frozen meat. It is also important to make sure the ribs are not stuck together and are evenly distributed in the pressure cooker to ensure they cook properly.

How Do I Know When The Pork Ribs Are Done Cooking In A Pressure Cooker?

The best way to know when pork ribs are done cooking in a pressure cooker is to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of pork ribs should reach at least 145°F for safe consumption. If you do not have a thermometer, you can also check if the ribs are tender and easily pull apart with a fork.

Can I Brown Or Sear Pork Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

Many pressure cooker models now come with a browning or sauté function, allowing you to brown or sear the pork ribs before cooking. If your pressure cooker does not have this function, you can also brown the ribs in a separate pan before transferring them to the pressure cooker. This will give the ribs a nice, crispy exterior.