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Instant Pot Short Ribs with Sticky BBQ Sauce

93 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. 



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Sticky BBQ Instant Pot Bone-In Beef Short Ribs

4.25 from 93 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!


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)


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.


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


  • Can I use this recipe for cooking beef brisket instead of short ribs?

    • Reply
    • Hi Charina! I haven’t tried it, but I doubt it. You could use the same sauce, but I would research cooking times for brisket in an instant pot.

      • Reply
  • In looking for a (black raspberry) short rib recipe I came across this one. I used my home made black raspberry BBQ sauce (called for in the recipe for the 3/4 cup BBQ needed). It turned out spectacular. So good, I made more and canned it. (Mainly because I have gallons of black raspberries right now. The next time I’m ready for some Short ribs, we will just pop open a jar. Great recipe, can’t wait to make short ribs again soon.

    Also, I noted someone mentioned greasy short ribs in an earlier post. We happened to buy ours at two different stores, because we ended up having guests and had to pick up more. You could tell a real difference between the two stores. One was way fattier and less meat on them, the other cooked out the fattiness and were really lean, all in the same pot. I believe there is something to using a good butcher/store.

    • Reply
    • Lori, you are 100% correct. The quality of meat makes a huge difference! I’m so glad you loved this recipe and your black raspberry BBQ sauce sounds amazing! Thank you so much for taking time to leave a comment!

      • Reply
  • I do not like smoke flavor anything. Can I just omit the liquid smoke or do I have to add something else in its place?

    • Reply
    • Hi Cristy! You can just omit it!

      • Reply
  • I want to make these tonight but I don’t have the egg trivet. Would the steam basket that fits in the instant pot work?

    • Reply
    • Oh shoot! I’m sorry I’m so late getting back to you! Yes, that should work. You just want something to keep the ribs up off the bottom.

      • Reply
  • Excellent! Fall off the bone tender! Literally, when I went to pull the ribs out of the instant pot to put them in the oven, the bones pulled out of the meat. One thing I always forget when using an instant pot is the time it takes to come to pressure. So 45 minutes was really more like an hour and 15. So plan accordingly! Dinner was late but we’ll worth the wait. I paired them with baked Mac and cheese and steamed broccoli. Delish!

    • Reply
    • Hi Maureen! That sounds like the perfect meal! I’m so glad you enjoyed the ribs. I think I’ll put them in my dinner rotation this week!

      • Reply
  • My first time with ribs, and my mini-insta-pot was way too small. Our butcher was very helpful. Also, I used Pleasoning “Franks Best” for rub. 5 hours in my crock pot, 4 minutes under the broiler and sweet, sticky goodness!

    • Reply
    • Awesome! Thank you so much for the feedback Ann!

      • Reply
  • OMG These were the most delicious short ribs. I almost followed your recipe
    To the T, I didn’t have any BBQ rub. So I replaced it with the barbecue sauce
    I made from your recipe. My ribs were big so I put them in the Instant pot for
    50 minutes left it on natural release, but after waiting a bit, I turned it to quick
    release as I was starving. They came out so tender & moist full of flavor.
    My husband & I just loved them. Thank you for the recipe will definitely be
    Making them again. Today I’m going to make your Sour Cream Banana Bread
    Can’t wait to try it.

    • Reply
    • Yay! Love to hear this Robin! I hope you enjoy the banana bread too!

      • Reply
  • Can I substitute the apple/pineapple juice for some Red wine? I have a pre-jarred Blueberry BBQ sauce I want to try with Short Ribs and I think the Red-Wine would pair nicely.. Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Beth! Sure! Let us know how it goes!!

      • Reply
  • I was looking for a sauce and was pulled in with your title “Sticky”. It was exactly what I wanted to see. So my comment is for your sauce only. Guys this stuff is so damn good I made 2 quarts. My wife she can’t get enough. She told me to plan on handling the recipe to the hens at work, lol. Thank you so much. Peace.

    • Reply
  • I don’t have any apple or pineapple juice. What can I use instead?

    • Reply
    • Hi Bree! There are a few possible options, but it’s going to change the flavor. You could try lemon juice, white grape juice or orange juice. If you like vinegar, you could try apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.

      • Reply
  • Am I use apple sauce instead of the juices?

    • Reply
    • Hello! No, I don’t think that will work. You will need more liquid. You could use pineapple juice or even beef broth.

      • Reply
  • This bbq recipe is so good. Husband is not a big bbq person but said put this on the menu again. So good. Did just as the recipe said. I was glad I read the reviews as one gentleman said he did the sauce ahead. I did that also and saved some time.
    I only had 2# but for my 6qt they fit just fine. Cooked for 41 minutes
    I am 76 yrs young and have never made a better bbq rib meal. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. 😂
    Thank you for the great recipe

    • Reply
    • Linda!! You’ve made my day! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the feedback and for taking time to leave us a comment!

      • Reply
  • I am trying your recipe for my first time with ribs in insta pot
    How long can you keep the bbq sauce. Smells great

    • Reply
    • Thank you Linda! BBQ sauce lasts a long time in the refrigerator. It should be fine for up to 6-9 months. We would love to hear what you think of the ribs!

      • Reply
  • I have tried this 3 times and it came out perfect each time. Granted I seared mine on the stovetop the second and third time. I like a good sear which the instant pot doesn’t give. Husband was impressed and gets excited when he sees short ribs being thawed. This is just so good. Its great without liquid smoke too

    • Reply
    • LOVE to hear this! Thank you Shawna!

      • Reply
  • These were way over cooked and too tough to eat

    • Reply
    • They should be falling off the bone and perfectly juicy delicious if cooked as stated in the instructions. They were probably under not over cooked. The longer they cook the more the meat falls off. It’s possible that that you had thicker ribs or it was older or fattier meat.

      • Reply
  • I just made these tonight and Wow! They turned out great! I had boneless shortribs and did them 42 minutes and they were falling apart yumminess! I made sure and basically deglazed the pot with the pineapple juice before putting them back in to pressure cook.

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Sally! Love to hear this!

      • Reply
  • 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?

    • 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!

Cozy Christmas Movie & Snack Nights 🎥🎄