Beef short ribs that fall apart and are bathed in a tangy mustard based BBQ sauce from South Carolina! And you only need 30 minutes and an Instant Pot!

A photo of beef short ribs smothered in mustard Carolina BBQ sauce over a pile of mashed potatoes.

Cade grew up in South Carolina so we are always trying to find new ways to get back to his roots through delicious Southern food. These Instant pot beef short ribs smothered in mustard Carolina sauce is our latest and greatest! And our mustard sauce is the best with a couple of surprising ingredients you won’t believe!

You all have loved our world’s best Carolina pulled pork, so you’re going to go crazy for these short ribs! Pile them on top of some steakhouse smashed potatoes!

So make a side of Southern macaroni and cheese or this Southern English pea salad, and get all your favorite people around the table the for this one!

Before we jump into the recipe for these Instant Pot short ribs, you need to make the Carolina Barbecue Sauce. It is the most fabulous combination of ingredients you’re already going to have on hand.

Pull out your yellow mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and Texas Pete’s hot sauce (you can use Franks if you absolutely must, but no other brands will do!). Stir those all together, and then it is time for the surprise ingredients…melted butter and nutmeg! I could almost drink this stuff it’s so good!

A photo of beef short ribs smothered in mustard Carolina BBQ sauce over a pile of mashed potatoes.

Ok, you’re also going to want some BBQ rub. We love our BBQ rub because it’s the best ever, but feel free to use whatever your favorite BBQ rub is! Once the sauce and rub are ready, then we can start the ribs!

How to Make Mustard Carolina BBQ Short Ribs

  1. Prep the ribs
    • Sprinkle the ribs on all sides with the BBQ rub.
    • Turn the Instant Pot to “saute” mode and put a little oil into the pot. Sear the ribs on each side and then remove them to a plate.
    • Pro tip: Don’t crowd the ribs when you are browning them. You are going to have to do them in a few batches, so be patient!
  2. Cook the ribs
    • Pour the pineapple juice in the Instant Pot and add the trivet to keep the ribs up out of the juice. Place the ribs on the trivet and pour some of the Carolina sauce all over them
    • Add the lid, set the valve to seal, and turn the Instant Pot to high pressure for 30 minutes
    • Allow for a 15 minute natural release
  3. Crisp the ribs
    • Once the short ribs are done, remove them from the Instant Pot and place them on a cookie sheet and stick them in the broiler for a couple of minutes so they get all crispy delicious.
    • Then brush some more Carolina mustard BBQ sauce all over those babies and serve them immediately.

A photo of beef short ribs smothered in mustard Carolina BBQ sauce over a pile of mashed potatoes.

Can Carolina Short Ribs Be Made Ahead?

Yes! I actually think Carolina beef short ribs taste better the next day, and they reheat super well. If you have the patience of Job and can resist eating them right away, store them in an airtight container in their juices. Scrape off solidified fat, and reheat them the next day on the stove top at a low simmer.

How Long Will Short Ribs Keep?

Uncooked short ribs will keep in the freezer for 6 to 12 months if they are stored properly. Once they are cooked, they will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. They can also be stored in the freezer once they are cooked for up to 3 months.

Are Carolina Short Ribs Different Than BBQ Short Ribs?

If you’ve had our sticky BBQ beef short ribs, you will find that the only difference between those and these Carolina style short ribs is the sauce used. The BBQ short ribs use a ketchup and brown sugar based sauce while the Carolina style is uses the mustard based sauce.

Are Carolina Short Ribs Baked?

Carolina short ribs can be cooked in an oven using a technique called braising. Follow the instructions in our Korean oven braised short ribs recipe but use the Carolina mustard BBQ sauce in place of all the Korean ingredients.

Can Carolina Short Ribs Be Cooked In A Slow Cooker?

Yes! Follow all the same instructions and then cook the short ribs in a slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours and no more than 8. I still like to crisp them in the broiler right before eating them to get those crispy delicious bits!

A photo of beef short ribs smothered in mustard Carolina BBQ sauce over a pile of mashed potatoes with a fork full being taken out.


Can BBQ Sauce Be Frozen?

Left over BBQ sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.

How Long Will BBQ Sauce Keep?

Homemade BBQ sauces don’t have the shelf life that store bought sauces have. This Carolina mustard sauce will last about a week in the refrigerator. And yes, it should be refrigerated!

How Do You Get BBQ Sauce Out Of Clothes?

I have found that club soda does the best job at getting mustard based stains out of clothes. If that doesn’t work, then I always go for Oxy Clean…it is a miracle worker in my book!

We are all about the Instant Pot these days and making delicious dinners quickly! You can find all our Instant Pot recipes here. Don’t miss our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet that has all information you need to cook all the basics in the Instant Pot.

What Should I Eat with Carolina Mustard Beef Short Ribs?

Here are just a few ideas of what to eat with this dish:

My mouth is watering thinking about these beef short ribs covered in Carolina mustard BBQ sauce! The Instant Pot makes them totally doable for a weeknight meal! Take a trip to the South with this one!

More Ribs Recipes You Should Try:

Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs

4.75 from 4 votes
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


A tangy mustard based bbq sauce from South Carolina smeared all over tender, fall apart beef short ribs and you only need 30 minutes and an instant pot!



  • Prepare the bbq rub and set aside.
  • Prepare the mustard bbq sauce and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the rub (see note) on all sides of the ribs.
  • Heat the instant pot to the saute mode on more. Drizzle in a little oil and brown the ribs on each side. Remove to a plate.
  • Pour in the juice and add a trivet to keep the meat off of the bottom of the pan.
  • Set in all of the ribs and pour over 1 cup of the Carolina sauce. Add the lid and set the valve to seal. Turn the instant pot to high pressure for 30 minutes and allow a 15 minute natural release.
  • Remove the ribs to a pan and place under the broiler for 2 minutes to re-crisp the meat.
  • Take the pan from the oven and brush with more sauce. Serve immediately.



You can use any bbq rub that you like, we just prefer our rub recipe because it's the best. 😉
Short ribs will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1gCalories: 588kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 63gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 216mgPotassium: 1220mgSugar: 3gVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 7mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Over 500 Family Dinner Recipes Ideas

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A photo of beef short ribs smothered in mustard Carolina BBQ sauce over a pile of mashed potatoes.