Skip to content

Instant Pot BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs

June 5, 2018

By Kath Dedon


Yes! You can use your Instant Pot to make really good BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs! I really love my recipe for Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Ribs, but it takes 4½ – 5 hours. Sometimes you don’t have time for “low and slow”.

I had wanted to make baby back ribs after finding Amy and Jacky’s great looking recipe for Easy BBQ Instant Pot Ribs. They look perfect and have rave reviews. But, alas, the only baby back rack of ribs at Safeway was frozen solid and it was already 3:00. I bought a St. Louis Style rack of ribs and headed home to figure out how to adjust the recipe.

As it turns out, all I had to do is add a bit of time. In a comment to a question about using St. Louis Style ribs, Amy and Jacky replied to simply add 5 – 8 minutes. Bingo!

We prefer ribs with a dry rub and no sauce. I skipped the BBQ sauce and substituted my favorite Southern Barbecue Rub for the salt and pepper to season the ribs. I already had a jar of the rub, so that saved some prep time.

Amy and Jacky recommend using a trivet in the Instant Pot. I used the one that came with the pot and placed the ribs on top of it. It turns out that the St. Louis Style ribs are too tall when they’re placed on the trivet in my 6-quart pot. Baby back ribs would have fit fine. I’m sure you could probably use a trivet with the taller ribs in an 8-quart Instant Pot. I didn’t use the trivet and the ribs turned out fine.

Instant Pot BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs took 1 hour and 45 minutes from the start to sitting down to dinner. That might sound like a long time, but it was only about 20 minutes of active time. And it’s much quicker than my Slow Roasted St. Louis Ribs.

I started the recipe at 5:10. Sealed and started the Instant Pot at 5:25. It was done cooking at 6:10 and the Natural Pressure Release finished at 6:30. I moved the ribs to a baking sheet and roasted them for 15 minutes. As they roasted I put together side dishes, a quick cabbage salad and peas. Everything was done, served and on the table by 6:55. That’s what I call an easy weeknight meal!

I hope you’ll try these tasty ribs. Bob and I loved them! Bob twice enthusiastically said how much he liked them and said they are definitely “blog-worthy”! And do look at Amy and Jacky’s post. They have a great video that shows you just how easy it is to make.


Instant Pot BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs.jpg


Instant Pot BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs

(Adapted from Amy+Jacky’s recipe on their Pressure Cook Recipes blog)


(print the recipe)


For baby back ribs follow the recipe, shortening the cooking time to 25 minutes.


Serves 3 – 4   (Baby back ribs will most likely serve 2 – 3.)


1 rack St. Louis Style ribs

About ½ cup of Southern Barbecue Rub (recipe below), or your favorite BBQ rub

1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce (Optional. I didn’t use sauce.)

1 cup water (1½ cups of water if you’re using an 8-quart Instant Pot)


  1. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs using a blunt knife and a paper towel. (A sharp knife is not recommended because it’s too easy for it to slip and cut you. Watch this video to see the method I use.)


Ribs with the membrane removed. You can see the dinner knife I used.

St. Louis style pork ribs, membrane removed.jpg


2. Spread the rub all over both sides of the ribs.

Covered with spice rub.jpg


3. Put the ribs in the Instant Pot.

In the Instant Pot


4. Add the water. Seal. Make sure the pressure release handle is in the sealing position. Press the Manual button and set the time for 33 minutes. (For baby back ribs, set the time for 25 minutes.)


33 minutes, high pressure


5. When the ribs are done, do nothing and let the pressure release naturally. (Natural Pressure Release) This will take about 20 – 25 minutes and the float valve will go back down. While the pressure is releasing, preheat the oven to 450°.

6. Remove the ribs from the pot and lay them on a baking sheet. If using BBQ Sauce, spread it over the ribs.


Falling-off-the-bone done.jpg


7. Roast for 10 – 15 minutes to add a bit of color. Cut the ribs and serve!


Southern Barbecue Rub

(Adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking)


¼ cup sweet paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder (You could use smoked paprika instead.)

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons ground pepper

2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. The rub can be used with pork or beef.


In the Instant Pot - Copy


Instant Pot BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs - Copy.jpg


13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2018 1:10 am

    nicely done !

  2. June 9, 2018 5:00 am

    These do look delicious! I don’t have an Insta-Pot but I do have a similar Breville electric multi-cooker. I’ll try it in there, and perhaps finish them off on the grill. (Just switched from gas to charcoal and loving the difference!)

    • June 9, 2018 5:08 am

      I’m sure finishing them over your charcoal grill would take them to the next level, Frank!

  3. June 12, 2018 2:33 am

    Saint Louis style ribs are hard to come by here, but we do have “Tjocka revben” (think baby back with lots of meat on them) and this recipe works great in our Instant Pot. We too prefer a dry rib and omit the BBQ sauce. I like your rub and will be giving it a try next time we IP some Tjocka revben.

  4. Delia Bailey permalink
    June 15, 2019 11:31 am

    Wow! Thank you, thank you so much. It was my first time doing ribs in the instant pot and they came out fabulous. My husband and boys (3 and 1) loved them.

    • June 15, 2019 12:35 pm

      I so glad you and your family liked them, Delia! Thanks for your comment to let me know. 🙂

  5. Angela Cave Black permalink
    May 15, 2020 9:00 pm

    Wow! I made these tonight. I cooked 8lbs of St. Louis ribs in my 6 qt instant pot. My husband loves the dry rub, better then with bbq sauce. I put bbq on top of 2 racks before finishing in the oven and the 3rd just with the rub. This was my 1st time cooking ribs in my instant pot and I loved it. Super quick and super easy! I had lots of liquid in the pot after. Is it supposed to be like that or should I use less next time? I started with 1 cup chicken stock. Thank you so much for posting recipes, I love using them.

    • May 16, 2020 1:17 pm

      That’s fine to have all of the liquid, Angela. The pot needs a cup of liquid to come to pressure. (I like your idea of using chicken stock instead of water!) There’s very little evaporation with a pressure cooker so you’ll end up with most of the liquid left, plus some juice and rendered fat from the ribs. That’s why I would have used a rack to elevate the ribs a bit if they would have fit with the rack. They turned out fine without using a rack. I’m so glad you enjoyed the ribs! Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂

  6. Michael Monteleone permalink
    May 16, 2020 1:02 pm

    Going to try this tonight. Sounds delicious!

  7. Phil permalink
    May 29, 2021 7:19 pm

    Instead of putting them in the oven, I set my grill to about 450 and finished cooking them there (one side 5 minutes, turned grill off and turned the ribs). The result was ribs better than restaurant ribs. Thanks for the recipe!!!!

Leave a Reply to Angela Cave Black Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: