Instant Pot Short Ribs

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Served over mashed potatoes, our Instant Pot Short Ribs in a spiced BBQ sauce are a delicious and easy weeknight dinner. They’re so juicy and tender you won’t believe they’re ready in less than an hour!

If you love using your Instant Pot, then you’ll just have to try my super tender Instant Pot Pork Loin and these juicy Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs. These are a couple of my favorite recipes – they are flavorful and perfect for busy weeknight dinners!

Overhead shot of a bowl with Instant pot short ribs served over mashed potatoes and garnished with parsley.


 

The Best Short Ribs Recipe

Served with a homemade BBQ sauce, these instant pot short ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender. Perfectly sweet and savory and loaded with spices like paprika and cayenne pepper, the sauce has a great balance of smokey and spicy flavors. For a bit of tang, there’s apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. To round things out, we couldn’t forget a pinch of brown sugar!

Whisked and tossed into the instant pot for an easy dinner, these short ribs are an effortless meal you’ll make repeatedly. Drizzled with extra sauce and topped with fresh parsley, one taste and no one will believe you barely did any actual “cooking.”

cooked short ribs served on a white dinner plate.

What Are Short Ribs?

Short ribs are cut from the cow’s brisket, chuck, plate, or rib area. Basically, the cow’s belly. They have a bit of bone and all of the surrounding meat and fat. They’re also cut into short pieces, which is where they get their name from. When properly cooked, short ribs are ultra tender and juicy.

Recipe Ingredients

These pressure cooker short ribs are packed with smokey, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. The ingredient list may seem long, but it mostly consists of seasonings and condiments. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.

Ingredients for instant pot short ribs.

For the Sauce

  • Ketchup – Provides a thick, tangy base for the sauce, giving it body and consistency.
  • Dark brown sugar – Feel free to use light brown sugar.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Don’t use white vinegar.
  • Red pepper flakes – You can leave them out to reduce the heat.
  • Spices & Seasonings – Garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, sweet or smoked paprika salt, and black pepper.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds a savory depth and umami richness to the sauce, enhancing its overall flavor.
  • Tomato paste: It provides a concentrated tomato flavor and thickness to the sauce. Don’t use tomato purée.
  • Cayenne pepper – The sauce isn’t ultra spicy, but feel free to skip this.
  • Dijon mustard – Regular mustard works too.

For the Ribs

  • Bone-in Beef Short Ribs – Flavorful meat that becomes tender and juicy during cooking, with the bones adding extra richness to the dish.
  • Salt and pepper – To enhance all the flavors.
  • Dark brown sugar – For a bit of sweetness. Light brown sugar works, too.

How to Make Instant Pot Short Ribs

Ready for some deliciously tender short ribs? Here’s how to make them: Whisk together the sauce, coat the ribs, and set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook.” It’s that simple! Follow the steps below.

  1. Make the sauce. Whisk the ketchup, dark brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl until well combined. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, paprika, salt, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, and Dijon mustard. Whisk until you get a smooth mixture.
  2. Season the ribs. Sprinkle the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place them in the Instant Pot and pour in the sauce. Stir them around with a wooden spoon or your hands until they’re completely coated in sauce.
  3. Cook them. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and select “Pressure Cook.” Set it to High for 40 minutes. Allow the pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lid.
  4. Pour off the sauce. Use kitchen tongs to carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them on a plate. Pour the sauce into a separate large container.
  5. Broil them. Sprinkle the short ribs with 1/2 tablespoon of dark brown sugar and place them back in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and set it to “BROIL” for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Serve warm. Carefully remove the lid from the Instant Pot and set it aside. Serve the short ribs and pour more sauce over them to taste.
wide overhead shot of a bowl with Instant pot short ribs served over mashed potatoes and garnished with parsley. The Instant Pot is placed behind and to the side of the bowl.

Recipe Tips for Success

From soaking them to making them spicier, there are several things you can do to make sure your instant pot beef ribs are absolutely perfect.

  • Make them spicy. Add a couple of teaspoons of chili oil to the sauce for some heat.
  • Remove the fat. Let the sauce cool completely after you make the ribs, and remove the layer of fat that has formed on top to make your dinner healthier.
  • Save the leftover sauce. You can use it to make pulled pork or any other kind of BBQ-based dishes.
  • Don’t overcook them. Although they should be cooked low and slow, don’t leave them in the instant pot longer than what the recipe states. Overcooking short ribs will make them tough and rubbery.
  • Soak them. Place the meat in a large bowl of cold water for 1-2 hours before cooking. Drain the water and cook the ribs as usual. This will help remove any excess blood from the meat.

Serving Suggestions

These instant pot beef ribs are absolutely dreamy when served over my Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and garnished with fresh parsley. You can also pair them with Air Fryer Corn on the Cob or Air Fryer Frozen French Fries for something a little more casual.

For salad options, try my Dijon Potato Salad or Avocado and Feta Orzo Salad.

Pulled-apart instant pot short ribs on a fork.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To Refrigerate: Once fully cooled, place the short ribs in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat them, pop them into the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or until warm. You can also heat them on the stove over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. An oven is a good option for larger portions. Bake them at 350˚F for 10 to 15 minutes or until warm.

ENJOY!

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5 from 7 votes

Instant Pot Short Ribs

These instant pot short ribs in a homemade sweet and savory BBQ sauce are the easy weeknight dinner you were hoping for!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For the sauce:

For the ribs:

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Instructions 

  • Whisk the ketchup, dark brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl until well combined. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, paprika, salt, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, and Dijon mustard. Whisk until you get a smooth mixture. Set it aside.
  • Sprinkle the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides. Place them in the Instant Pot. Pour in the sauce. Stir them around with a wooden spoon or your hands until they're completely coated in the sauce.
  • Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and select "Pressure Cook." Set it to HIGH for 40 minutes. Then, allow the pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lid.
  • Use kitchen tongs to carefully remove the ribs from the Instant Pot and place them on a plate. Pour the sauce into a separate large container.
  • Sprinkle the short ribs with 1/2 tablespoon of dark brown sugar and place them back in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and set it to "BROIL" for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the lid from the Instant Pot and remove the short ribs.
  • Top with fresh parsley and serve the short ribs with the sauce.

Notes

  • Short Ribs: The key to preparing short ribs is to cook them until they reach a point of just before falling apart tender. Please note that this recipe uses bone-in beef short ribs.
  • BBQ Sauce: I love my homemade bbq sauce that I’ve shared with you in this recipe, but if you’d like to use your own, that’s okay too. If you’d like to cut down on the sugar, I suggest using No Sugar Added Ketchup. You can also use light brown sugar or leave out the brown sugar entirely, though this will impact the overall flavor of the final product. To reduce some fat, remove the layer of fat that has formed on top of the cooked sauce.
  • Save the leftover sauce. If you have any leftover sauce, you can use it to make pulled pork or any other BBQ-based dishes.
  • Don’t overcook the ribs. Although they should be cooked low and slow, don’t leave them in the instant pot longer than you have to. Overcooking short ribs actually makes them tough and rubbery.

Nutrition

Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 986mg | Potassium: 1074mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 843IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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7 Comments

  1. K says:

    This rich and comforting dish was almost effortless to make and incredibly tasty! Nice home cooked meal but also delicious enough to dress up and impress friends and family. The only issue I had was that IP said “burnt food” before it even came up to temperature so I added about an extra cup to cup and half of water and it came out well. Can you freeze leftover sauce at all?, It would be a crime to throw it out if I don’t get to use it before it goes off in the fridge.

    1. Katerina says:

      I’m very glad the dish turned out well and that everyone enjoyed it! Yes, you can freeze the leftover sauce in an airtight container, and it should keep for 2-3 months. Thank YOU! 🙂

  2. Jeanette says:

    From frozen or thawed?

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi!
      I suggest using thawed short ribs. Frozen meat releases excess water, potentially diluting the flavors of the dish, and starting with thawed meat allows for better seasoning, a crucial step for flavor development.

  3. Elisha says:

    Is the cook time the same for boneless?

  4. Lia says:

    Should I pressure cook for less time if only using about half the amount of ribs?

    1. Katerina says:

      Yes, you can halve this recipe but keep the cooking time the same. Don’t halve the sauce ingredients because you’ll need that liquid for the IP to come to pressure.