(GUIDE) How To Cook Ribs In Pressure Cooker?

Using a pressure cooker to cook ribs is a time-saving and convenient method that yields tender and flavorful results. Ribs cooked in a pressure cooker are juicy and succulent, with the added benefit of being ready in a fraction of the time it would take to cook them using traditional methods. Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or simply looking for a delicious meal for your family, cooking ribs in a pressure cooker is a game-changer.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking ribs in a pressure cooker, discussing preparation, cook times, optimal techniques, troubleshooting, and flavoring options. So let’s dive in and discover the secrets to perfectly cooked ribs using a pressure cooker.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Ribs In Pressure Cooker

The cooking time for ribs in a pressure cooker varies depending on the type of ribs and the desired tenderness. On average, baby back ribs take around 20-25 minutes, whereas spare ribs require approximately 25-30 minutes. However, keep in mind that these are approximate times and may vary slightly.


Before we start cooking the ribs, it’s crucial to properly prepare them. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Selecting the Ribs

Choose high-quality ribs with good marbling, as it contributes to the tenderness and flavor of the final result. Baby back ribs come from the top of the ribcage and are shorter and leaner. Spare ribs, on the other hand, are meatier and come from the belly area.

2. Trimming the Ribs

Take a sharp knife and trim any excess fat or loose meat from the ribs. This will help prevent the ribs from becoming overly greasy during the cooking process.

3. Seasoning the Ribs

Season the ribs generously with your preferred rub or spices. Popular choices include a mix of brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Ensure that the spices are evenly distributed over the entire surface of the ribs.

4. Resting the Ribs

Allow the seasoned ribs to sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes. This will not only give the flavors time to penetrate the meat but also ensure more even cooking.

Pressure Cooker Basics For Ribs

Understanding the basics of using a pressure cooker is essential to ensure a successful outcome. Here are a few important points to remember:

1. Liquid Requirement

To create the necessary pressure inside the pressure cooker, you need to add a sufficient amount of liquid. This liquid can be water, broth, stock, or even a combination of flavors like beer or apple juice. Aim to add around 1-2 cups of liquid to the pressure cooker, depending on its size and the specific recipe.

2. Pressure Release Methods

After cooking the ribs in the pressure cooker, there are two common methods to release the pressure: natural release and quick release.

  • Natural release involves letting the pressure subside naturally by turning off the heat and allowing the pressure cooker to sit for around 10-15 minutes. This method is ideal for delicate foods that may overcook if released too quickly.

  • Quick release involves manually releasing the pressure by carefully manipulating the pressure release valve. This method is suitable for sturdy foods like ribs.

3. Safety Precautions

Always prioritize safety when using a pressure cooker. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model and ensure the pressure cooker is in good working condition. Never force open the pressure cooker lid, as this can lead to accidents. Allow the pressure to release fully before opening the cooker.

Cook Times For Ribs In Pressure Cooker

Now let’s look at the approximate cook times for various types of ribs in a pressure cooker:

1. Baby Back Ribs:

Baby back ribs are smaller and leaner than spare ribs, making them quicker to cook. Typically, baby back ribs take around 20-25 minutes to become tender in the pressure cooker.

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2. Spare Ribs:

Spare ribs are meatier and require a bit more time to become tender. On average, spare ribs take approximately 25-30 minutes in the pressure cooker.

These times are approximate and may vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs. It’s always essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure the ribs have reached a safe internal temperature. Look for an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) for pork ribs.

How To Cook Ribs In Pressure Cooker

Now that we’ve covered the preparation and cook times, let’s discuss the step-by-step process of cooking ribs in a pressure cooker:

1. Preheat the Pressure Cooker

Start by preheating your pressure cooker on the sauté or browning function. This will allow you to sear the ribs and develop a rich, caramelized crust.

2. Sear the Ribs

Once the pressure cooker is hot, add a small amount of cooking oil and carefully sear the seasoned ribs on all sides. This step imparts additional flavor and helps with browning.

3. Add Liquid

After searing the ribs, remove them from the pressure cooker and set them aside momentarily. Add around 1-2 cups of liquid to the pressure cooker, such as water, broth, or a flavorful liquid of your choice. This liquid will provide moisture and aid in creating pressure.

4. Return the Ribs to the Pressure Cooker

Place the seared ribs back into the pressure cooker, arranging them in a single layer. Make sure the ribs are not overcrowded, as this may impact the evenness of cooking.

5. Pressure Cooking

Securely close the pressure cooker lid, ensuring it is properly sealed. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure and adjust the cook time according to the type of ribs you are cooking (refer to the previous section for approximate times).

6. Release the Pressure

Once the cooking time is complete, carefully release the pressure using the quick release method. Take caution to avoid any steam burns during this process.

7. Check for Doneness

To ensure the ribs are cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ribs should register at least 145°F (63°C) for pork ribs. If they haven’t reached the desired temperature, you can return them to the pressure cooker and cook for a few additional minutes.

8. Rest the Ribs

After the ribs have reached the desired internal temperature, remove them from the pressure cooker and allow them to rest for a few minutes. This resting time helps the juices redistribute within the meat, resulting in tender and succulent ribs.

9. Optional Finishing Step

For an added layer of flavor, you can opt to finish the ribs under the broiler or on the grill. This step will give the ribs a beautiful caramelized crust while adding a smoky flavor. Brush the ribs with your preferred barbecue sauce or glaze and cook them for a few minutes until nicely charred.

Optimal Pressure Cooking Techniques For Ribs

To achieve the best possible results when cooking ribs in a pressure cooker, consider the following techniques:

1. Searing the Ribs

While not necessary, searing the ribs before pressure cooking adds depth of flavor and enhances the overall appearance of the final dish. Take a couple of extra minutes to sear the ribs on all sides until they achieve a golden brown color.

2. Adding Aromatic Ingredients

Consider adding aromatic ingredients, such as onions, garlic, herbs, or spices, to the liquid in the pressure cooker. These ingredients will infuse the ribs with additional flavors during the cooking process. Be creative and experiment with different combinations to suit your taste preferences.

3. Broiling or Grilling for a Finishing Touch

To elevate the ribs’ appearance and add a smoky flavor, finish them under the broiler or on the grill. This step will caramelize the barbecue sauce or glaze, creating a mouthwatering crust. Just make sure not to overcook the ribs during this final step.


While cooking ribs in a pressure cooker is generally straightforward, a few issues may arise. Here are some common troubleshooting tips to help you overcome them:

1. Ribs Are Not Tender Enough

If the ribs are not as tender as desired, it could be due to undercooking or using low-quality ribs. Increase the cooking time by a few minutes and ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C) for pork ribs. Additionally, make sure you’re using high-quality ribs with adequate marbling.

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2. Ribs Are Overcooked and Falling Apart

If the ribs become too soft and are falling off the bones, it’s an indication of overcooking. Reduce the cooking time by a few minutes and consider using a quick release method to prevent further cooking.

3. Insufficient Flavor

If the ribs lack depth of flavor, try adding more spices or a flavorful liquid to the pressure cooker. You can also experiment with different rubs or marinades to enhance the taste.

Variations And Flavoring Options

While cooking ribs in a pressure cooker produces delicious results on its own, you can experiment with various flavoring options to enhance the taste even further. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Barbecue Sauce

Brush the cooked ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce and finish them under the broiler or on the grill for a sticky and smoky finish. This classic option never fails to satisfy.

2. Dry Rubs

Experiment with different dry rubs to add a burst of flavor to the ribs. Popular choices include a combination of brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper.

3. Asian-Inspired Glazes

For an Asian twist, you can prepare a glaze using soy sauce, ginger, garlic, honey, and a hint of chili. Brush the glaze on the cooked ribs and broil them for a few minutes to create a glossy, caramelized coating.

4. Herb Infusion

Infuse the ribs with fragrant herbs like rosemary, thyme, or bay leaves. Adding these herbs to the liquid in the pressure cooker will impart a wonderful aroma to the meat.

5. Spicy Cajun Style

For those who enjoy a kick of heat, create a Cajun-inspired rub or seasoning mix using paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and other spices. This blend adds a bold and spicy flavor to the ribs.

The beauty of cooking ribs in a pressure cooker is the versatility and ease of adapting the flavors to suit your personal taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment and discover unique combinations that make your ribs truly unforgettable.

In conclusion, cooking ribs in a pressure cooker is a fantastic method for achieving tender, juicy, and flavorful results in a fraction of the time. By following the preparation steps, understanding the basic principles of pressure cooking, and utilizing optimal techniques, you can create delicious ribs that will wow your family and friends. So, fire up your pressure cooker, get your ribs ready, and prepare to indulge in a mouthwatering feast!


What Are The Advantages Of Cooking Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

Cooking ribs in a pressure cooker is a great way to achieve tender and flavorful meat in a shorter amount of time than traditional cooking methods. Additionally, the pressure cooking process helps to infuse the meat with additional flavors from any marinades or seasonings used.

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

The specific cooking time will vary based on the size of the ribs and the pressure cooker being used. However, as a general rule of thumb, it takes about 25-30 minutes to cook baby back ribs and 30-35 minutes for spare ribs.

Is It Necessary To Use A Specific Liquid When Cooking Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, it is important to add a liquid to the pressure cooker when cooking ribs. This helps to create steam, which is what allows the meat to cook evenly and become tender. Common liquids used include stock, apple cider vinegar, beer, or tomato sauce.

Should The Ribs Be Sautéed Or Seared Before Pressure Cooking?

While it isn’t necessary to sauté or sear the ribs before pressure cooking, doing so can help to develop a richer and more complex flavor. Additionally, it can help to create a nice caramelized crust on the meat.

Is It Possible To Overcook Ribs In A Pressure Cooker?

Yes, it is possible to overcook ribs in a pressure cooker, which can result in meat that is dry and tough. It’s recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the ribs is at least 145°F before removing them from the pressure cooker.