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Instant Pot Short Ribs with Sticky BBQ Sauce

48 Reviews

Instant pot short ribs so tender they fall right off the bone and melt in your mouth. And if you thought that sounded fantastic, what if I tell you these bbq short ribs are done in just 45 minutes?!

A photo of sticky bbq beef short ribs piled on top of mashed potatoes on a white plate on top of a red and white checkered cloth napkin.

Easy Instant Pot Short Ribs

I can’t stop making short ribs!! When I created the recipe for our oven braised short ribs, it quickly became my most favorite recipe of all time! I immediately had a flood of different short ribs recipe ideas fill my mind. Our Korean oven braised short ribs came next and yowza, they are so decadent! Then I knew I needed to try short ribs in the Instant Pot.

These easy sticky BBQ beef short ribs are full of all your favorite BBQ flavors and are so easy to make. We like to serve them with a side of steakhouse smashed potatoes and a garden balsamic avocado salad.

These Instant Pot beef short ribs are sure to be a new family favorite! We can’t wait to hear what you think!

What’s Needed for Instant Pot Short Ribs? 

The ingredients for these pressure cooker short ribs are mostly pantry staples, making it an easy recipe to whip up at a moment’s notice. Here’s what we used for these Instant Pot beef ribs: 

  • Bone-in beef short ribs
  • BBQ rub
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Liquid smoke
  • Ground mustard 
  • Ketchup
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Red onion
  • Garlic powder
  • BBQ sauce
  • Apple juice

Tip: You can make these nachos with either our Classic BBQ Sauce or our Carolina BBQ Sauce

How Many Bone-In Short Ribs Per Person?

If you’re serving beef short ribs to adults, it’s best to plan on 2 short ribs per person. Kids will eat a little less and if you’re feeding a Cade, it will be a little more. Ha!

A photo of sticky bbq beef short ribs piled on top of mashed potatoes on a white plate on top of a red and white checkered cloth napkin.

How to Make Instant Pot Short Ribs

Cooking BBBQ beef short ribs in an Instant Pot is the same as braising them in the oven, but the Instant Pot does all the cooking in lightning speed. I tell my little guy that the Instant Pot has super powers just like all his favorite super heroes. The Instant Pot really does work miracles! Then cooked in the oven, this BBQ beef ribs recipe takes hours. With the Instant Pot, a mere 45 minutes is all you need!

Here are the steps for cooking BBQ Instant Pot short ribs:

1. Prep the smoky BBQ sauce. The smoky BBQ sauce is what makes these beef short ribs so sticky and finger lickin’ good! We are basically going to take normal BBQ sauce and make it extra sticky and smoky. You can start with our homemade BBQ sauce or whatever your favorite BBQ sauce is.

2. Sear the short ribs. Sprinkle all sides of the beef short ribs with your favorite BBQ rub. Heat your Instant Pot to sauté mode, drizzle a little olive oil in the Instant Pot and brown each side of all the short ribs.

3. Cook the short ribs. Put the apple or pineapple juice in the Instant Pot, place your trivet into the pot and then place the short ribs on top of the trivet. Pour 1 cup of the smoky BBQ sauce on the ribs and then put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the valve to seal and change the Instant Pot to high pressure for 45 minutes.

Once the cook time is complete, allow for a natural release for 10-15 minutes. Then carefully move each rib to a cookie sheet, brush them with a little more BBQ sauce, and broil them for 2-4 minutes in the oven.

Tip: Don’t miss our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet! It has the information you need to cook all the basics in the Instant Pot.

A photo of sticky bbq beef short ribs piled on top of mashed potatoes on a white plate on top of a red and white checkered cloth napkin.

Can You Cook These BBQ Beef Short Ribs in the Oven?

Yes! Beef short ribs cooked in an oven is done with a cooking technique called braising. For all the details on braising beef short ribs, head to our oven braised short ribs post.

Can You Cook These Beef Short Ribs in a CrockPot?

Yes! To cook these BBQ beef ribs in a slow cooker instead of the Instant Pot, follow the same cooking instructions listed below and then cook on low for 4-5 hours. We still like to crisp them up in the broiler for a couple of minutes just before serving them, though. 

What Temperature Should Short Ribs Be Cooked to?

The USDA says that short ribs are done at 145°F, but you want them to be at a much higher temp to get them juicy and tender. Look for an internal temperature between 190-203°F for optimum melt-in-your-mouth-ness!

A photo of sticky bbq beef short ribs piled on top of mashed potatoes on a white plate on top of a red and white checkered cloth napkin.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Short Ribs

Beef short ribs can be boneless, but we prefer bone-in beef short ribs for this recipe. They end up more flavorful and tender. When you’re at the store, look for bone-in short ribs that have already been cut up into individual ribs. If you can only find boneless, then those work great too!

Make sure to not crowd the ribs while browning them. Give them each their own little space while browning them. Note that it will take a few batches to brown them all.

Lastly, we know that beef short ribs can be quite spendy. As such, we tend to save them for special occasions or load up when they are on sale. Then, we Food Saver them and freeze them. 

More RIB RECIPES:

More INSTANT POT RECIPES: 

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney
155 days

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Sticky BBQ Instant Pot Bone-In Beef Short Ribs

4.15 from 48 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Beef short ribs so tender they fall right off the bone and melt in your mouth. Even better: these BBQ Instant Pot Short Ribs are done in just 45 minutes!

Ingredients

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups Ketchup
  • 1 1/4 cup  Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup  Minced Red Onion
  • 1 teaspoon  Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 cup  BBQ Sauce

For the short ribs:

  • pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ Rub
  • 1/2 cup Apple juice (or pineapple juice)

Instructions

Make the BBQ sauce:

  • In a pot, add the vinegar, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, ground mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, red onion, garlic powder and bbq sauce. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make the short ribs:

  • Sprinkle all sides of the ribs with the bbq rub.
  • Heat an Instant Pot with the saute mode on more heat and add a drizzle of oil.
  • Brown each side of the ribs and set aside.
  • Place the apple juice or pineapple juice in the bottom of the Instant Pot and set in a trivet.
  • Add the ribs on top and pour over 1 cup of the smoky bbq sauce that you just made in the pot. Place the lid on and set the valve to seal.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high, setting the time for 45 minutes.
  • Allow a natural release for 10-15 minutes, then remove the lid.
  • Set the ribs on a baking sheet and brush with a little sauce, then broil for 2-4 minutes in the oven.
  • Brush with more sauce and serve over smashed potatoes.

Notes

May be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Nutrition Facts
Sticky BBQ Instant Pot Bone-In Beef Short Ribs
Amount Per Serving (1 rib)
Calories 370 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 91mg30%
Sodium 328mg14%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 24g48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

A photo of sticky bbq beef short ribs piled on top of mashed potatoes on a white plate on top of a red and white checkered cloth napkin.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating




34 comments

  • Absolutely amazing!!! I was not expecting instant pot ribs to be this good. My husband told me to make sure to save this recipe and my kiddos ate it up!

    • Reply
    • Best thing I’ve heard all day!! Thank you Jami!

      • Reply
  • I was wondering, how do you keep your short ribs from being greasy? We tried some in the crock pot a few years ago and they were awful. We pulled off all the extra fat.

    • Reply
    • Hi Jamie! If the short ribs are cooked properly, they fat should render and become party of the sauciness around the ribs. Occasionally, there will be some fatty areas left behind. That’s just the nature of short ribs.

      • Reply
  • Made these about a month ago and they were great!!!! I put the BBQ sauce together the day before to let all the flavors meld together plus I added an two tablespoons of Tiger Sauce. Thought I wouldn’t have to make the BBQ sauce again for the next time I made them but I was wrong. L0L My wife and I have been using that sauce on everything we make that calls for a sauce!!! Just got through making a new batch. I’m making the short ribs again tonight. The first time I made them I put them bone side down and when I went to get them out after cooking the bones stayed on the trivet!! They were so so tinder and tasted so good. Great recipe and have been passing it on to friends.

    • Reply
    • Awesome!!! I love it!!!

      • Reply
  • Dinner was ruined. My pot sealed but never came to pressure. Try two. Burn notice. Try 3. Never came to pressure. Dry tough beef ribs that cost a fortune and my husband was looking forward to. I am incredibly upset at the time this took me to prepare only to have my husband and 3 boys want to go out to eat 😭

    • Reply
    • Darn it! I’m so sorry, I hate it when the devices don’t work right!!

      • Reply
    • IMHO! Always deglaze the pot after your brown your meat. Should have put the juice into the pot and then simmered while scraping the fond off the bottom of the pot. Then you can proceed without the burn notice. Just make sure you put the BBQ sauce on top of the meat and not into the bottom of the pot.

      • Reply
      • Great advice!!

  • Sounds awesome, I’d love some pics of more specific instructions…

    I usually would use oven & cast iron, or the grill for dishes like this we have an Instant Pot but I’ve not cooked with it a whole lot. More tips on the use of the trivet etc would be great.

    • Reply
    • If you follow the instructions as stated in the recipe card, it should given you all the information you need to make these successfully! We have a few posts on the blog for short ribs, including one for braising them in the oven. https://ohsweetbasil.com/oven-braised-short-ribs-recipe/

      • Reply
  • Would the cook time be the same if you cut the recipe in half?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Cassie! Hmmmm…It’s a little tricky. With less meat, you will want a little less time but not much because they are still bone in. I’d check them at 30 and add 10 min if they aren’t quite done yet. Enjoy!

      • Reply
      • Bone came out, but meat not tender. Kind of stringy. Sauce is awesome tho!

      • Thank you for the feedback Dixie!

  • I dont have a trivet. Any substitute suggestions?

    • Reply
    • You want something to keep the ribs up off the pot and out of the liquid. I’m not sure what could be used instead of a trivet. Anything that is metal and heat resistant.

      • Reply
  • Hi is the trivet a must?

    • Reply
    • Yes! You don’t want the ribs sitting down in the liquid while they cook.

      • Reply
  • I have boneless beef short ribs. Would the time be the same for boneless?

    • Reply
    • Decreasing the time by about 5 minutes will do the trick…so 40 minutes instead of 45. Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • Made last night and such a success! The flavors well deep and satisfying. The choice of rub and sauce will let you customize the tone but the recipe nails it! So easy to make and so fall apart delicious. The remaining fat melted in your mouth. No knife required! Will DEFINITELY make again!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the feedback David! So glad you enjoyed them!

      • Reply
  • Absolutely DELICIOUS! The BBQ sauce is sooooooo good! Easy too… I’ll be making these again!

    • Reply
    • Yippee!! Love to hear this Leanne! Thank you!

      • Reply
  • These were amazing! I served them with cheese grits and honey glazed carrots. Needless to say, dinner was a big hit that day. I did cook the ribs for 7 minutes less than the recommended time and the ribs were perfect.

    • Reply
    • Thank you for the feedback! That sounds like the perfect meal for sure!

      • Reply
  • Could you do this in a crockpot? And if so, do you have any tips to adapt for that? Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Yes! Follow the same cooking instruction and then cook on low for 4-5 hours. We still like to crisp them up in the broiler for a couple of minutes just before serving them.

      • Reply
      • I did and it was great! The whole family loved it-thank you!

      • Yay! That’s great news!

      • I made this now with boneless short ribs. I didn’t reduce cooking times at all and wow… So melt in your mouth tender. No need for a knife. The sauce is amazing. This is definitely a keeper and 10 plus. Thanks

      • Thank you so much Andrea! I’m so obsessed with short ribs lately! So glad you enjoyed it!

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