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!
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, don’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.”
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.
These short ribs are packed with smokey, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
For the Sauce
- Dark brown sugar: Feel free to use light brown sugar. No white sugar, please.
- Apple cider vinegar: Don’t use white vinegar.
- Red pepper flakes: You can leave them out to reduce the heat.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Ground cumin
- Paprika: Smoked or sweet; use your favorite kind.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Ground black pepper
- Tomato paste: Don’t use tomato purée.
- Cayenne pepper: The sauce isn’t ultra spicy but skip it if you can’t take the heat.
- Dijon mustard: Regular mustard works too.
For the Ribs
- Bone-in Beef Short Ribs
- Salt and pepper
- Dark brown sugar: Light brown sugar works too.
How to Make Pressure Cooker Short Ribs
Whisk the sauce, mix it with the ribs, and set the instant pot to “Pressure Cook.” You’re done! ✅
- 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. If any dry spices clump together, break them up with a spoon. Set it aside.
- Season the ribs. Sprinkle the short ribs with salt and pepper to taste 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 sauce.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tips for Success
From soaking them to making them spicier, there are several things you can do to make sure your short 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.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Beef Ribs
These short 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.
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.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Instant Pot Pork Loin
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs Recipe
Instant Pot Short Ribs
- 1½ cups ketchup
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 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.
- 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.
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.