This Instant Pot baby back ribs recipe gives a flavorful spice blend, perfectly tender ribs, and no sugar! But don’t let that deter you. The flavor is incredible.
Originally posted January 9, 2019; Updated tips and FAQ’s on November 12, 2019.
I don’t usually eat my ribs without sauce. Really almost never. But every now and then we give up sugar in our diets for a short season, like now. So I decided to develop a seasoning blend that would make ribs tasty even without the sugar. Not sure if you’re aware or not, but pretty much every rib rub and sauce are packed full of sugar! Well, this Instant Pot baby back ribs recipe leaves out the sugar but remains interesting enough to even be eaten without the sauce. At least I think so.
Why this recipe works:
- Cooking ribs in the Instant Pot produces tender, fall off the bone ribs in a fraction of the time. Finishing the ribs under a broiler adds a satisfying char.
- This recipe is low sugar. Though the recipe includes 1 cup of apple cider, the ribs are separated from it by the trivet while cooking. It’s just enough to give the ribs a slightly sweet flavor, without any of the added sugar.
More Ribs Recipes:
And this is the AMAZING Result…
- Not everyone takes the time to remove the silver membrane from ribs before cooking. Do not skip this step! Removing the silver membrane allows the ribs to absorb more flavor, become more tender, and will make the ribs easier to cut and eat.
- Take the time to do a natural pressure release. I find that a quick pressure release causes meat texture to change, becoming tough and chewy. According to this article by The Kitchn, you should use a natural release when cooking meat.
Can I use frozen ribs? No. They will not fit in the Instant Pot. You can see in the process shots above that both racks of ribs are curled to fit inside the pot, which is not possible with frozen ribs. If you have frozen ribs, you will need to take the time to thaw them. This article from LiveStrong.com has information on thawing frozen ribs quickly.
Are these beef or pork ribs? Anytime you see “baby back ribs” it’s referring to pork. This article from Spices Inc. is a great reference for information on different kinds of ribs.
Do you use apple cider or apple cider vinegar? Apple cider, not apple cider vinegar. Our grocery store carries it year round. We find it near the OJ.
Can I substitute something else for the apple cider? Apple juice, water or broth would work.
★ Did you make these Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs?Please give it a star rating below! ★
Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs - Dry-Rubbed
- 4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. all spice
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 racks of baby back ribs
- 1 cup apple cider
- Add all spices to a small bowl and combine well.
- Using a knife, remove the silver skin membrane on the bone side of the ribs.
- Liberally season ribs with seasoning mix on both sides.
- Add one cup of apple cider to pot, along with trivet. Place both racks of ribs on top of trivet. Lock lid and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
- Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to release naturally (will take about 25 minutes.)
- Transfer ribs to baking sheet and place under high broiler for 5-7 minutes, until desired char is achieved. Watch closely to prevent burning.