Fork Tender Instant Pot Country Style Ribs | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Fork Tender Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs are country style pork ribs cooked to fork tender in your Instant Pot (pressure cooker) and then smothered in your favorite BBQ sauce. They are meaty and economical and are the perfect choice for a delicious country dinner any day of the week!

Overhead shot of Instant Pot Country Style Ribs on a white platter garnished with parsley ready to eat

I've partnered with my friends at Ohio Pork Council to create this delicious recipe and blog post for you. Make sure to visit for more delicious pork recipes!

If you've been here on my blog before, you know I love to cook with pork. Some of my favorite recipes include this Pork Ribeye Roast with Mushroom Gravy and these delicious Sauerkraut Balls. But today, I am going to showcase country pork ribs! 

Move over baby backs, because there's another pork rib in town and it's ready to take it's place at the dinner table. I'm talking about the bone-in country style rib! They are easy to find at your local grocers, economical, and downright delicious. Did you know a 3 ounce serving of country style ribs is packed full of 22-24 grams of protein too? 

Finished Instant Pot Country Style Ribs on a white platter with blue and white checkered cloth

What are country style ribs?

If you aren't familiar with country style pork ribs, you really need to be! They are much meatier than their "cousins" the baby back ribs, pork spare ribs, or St. Louis cut ribs and they are priced much better too. You can read more about the different types of pork ribs on my blog post Country Style Ribs with Sauerkraut. (This is also a great recipe for those who might be looking for a country rib recipe that doesn't use BBQ sauce.) 

Country style ribs are cut from the area near the front of the pig, by the shoulder. They have more meat than bone and generally need to be cooked low and slow for best results. You can find them with the bone-in and boneless. The meat is tender, flavorful, and falls right off the bone when cooked properly. You'll want it to fork tender because these ribs are best eaten with a knife and a fork, rather than in hand. 

Country style pork ribs generally need to be cooked low and slow to get fully tender. Cooking them in the Instant Pot, because it cooks under pressure, can reduce that cook time greatly! That's why these pork ribs are perfectly suited for Instant Pot cooking. I have found cooking with an Instant Pot helps keep my kitchen from heating up when it's warm outside because I don't have to run the oven for hours. Plus, I can get dinner on the table much quicker when I cook country style ribs in my Instant Pot. 

Can I use boneless country style pork ribs in this recipe?

I've used bone-in country style ribs in this recipe, but it will work with boneless country style ribs too! Instant Pot boneless pork ribs are good, but I prefer to use bone-in country style ribs in this recipe because I think the bones add flavor. 

Raw country style pork ribs ready for seasonings for Instant Pot Country Style Ribs
Bone-in Country Style Pork Ribs

Can I use Western Style Pork Ribs in this recipe? 

Yes! You can use Western Style Pork Ribs in this recipe too! Although western style ribs aren't really ribs at all, they do work in this Instant Pot country ribs recipe. Western style pork ribs are cut to look like ribs. They originate from the pork shoulder, which is the same cut you might use to make pulled pork or carnitas. You'll notice your finished "ribs" will be more stringy than the finished country style ribs. 

Can I use Country Style Ribs that are frozen in this recipe for Instant Pot Country Style Ribs?

Technically, you could start with frozen country ribs. But I wouldn't advise it. You'll end up with tougher and less tastier ribs. With this recipe, you will create a dry rub for the ribs. The rub contains sugar, which is a natural meat tenderizer. This rub will sit on the pork ribs for 4 hours, up to overnight, to allow it to give the ribs an extra boost of flavor and tenderization. 

I've experimented over the past couple of years cooking various types of meat from frozen in the Instant Pot and honestly, I am overall disappointed with the results most of the time. Yes, the meat does cook, but it's always missing that under layer of flavor. If you like flavor, I would just say no to cooking from frozen. 

How to cook Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

The first thing you'll need to do is purchase a package of bone-in country style pork ribs from your grocery store. You'll want to look for a package that weighs about 3 to 4 pounds. Look for marbling in the meat. The more marbled with fat and the more "dark pink" colored pork on the ribs, the more tender and moist they will be. You'll also want to pick up a jar of your favorite BBQ sauce to finish the ribs with, if you want them to be saucy! 

Food Blogger Tip--> Plan ahead! The ribs need to marinade in a dry BBQ rub for a minimum of 4 hours. This step will give your ribs maximum flavor and tenderness.

Next, you'll need to mix up the BBQ rub that goes on the ribs. I like to let the ribs sit in this rub for at least 4 hours wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Overnight would be even better! Here's the ingredients you'll need for the BBQ dry rub:

  • brown sugar 
  • Chipotle chili powder (for extra smokiness - regular chili powder will work too!)
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • smoked paprika (again, for extra smoky flavor - regular paprika will work too)
  • granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • onion powder

White plate with seasonings to make BBQ dry rub for Instant Pot Country Style Ribs
BBQ rub for country ribs

Coat the ribs all over with the BBQ rub. Don't be shy! Use it all up on every inch of those country style ribs. Then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours (or overnight). 

Seasoned country style ribs wrapped in plastic wrap and ready for refrigerator

When you are ready to cook the ribs in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, start by inspecting your Instant Pot and making sure it's in tip top shape. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for your make and model when cooking with an Instant Pot pressure cooker. 

If you are good to go, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and place in the inner metal pan. Do not place them directly into the Instant Pot without the inner metal pan!

Can I stack the meat in the metal pan of my Instant Pot?

Yes! You can stack the ribs to get them to fit inside. It won't matter, the top ones will come out just as tender and completely cooked as the ones on the bottom. Just make sure they don't go higher than up 2/3 the side of the inner pan.  

Seasoned Country Style Ribs inside inner metal pot of Instant Pot ready to cook

What liquid is best to use when making country style ribs in the Instant Pot?

If you are familiar with your Instant Pot, you know you need to add at least 1 cup of liquid to the pan.

Here's where it gets fun! For this recipe, you can use just about any kind of clear liquid you like. Water is fine. But why not get creative and try apple juice, your favorite cola, beer, broth, or even grape juice?

 For the liquid, I like to use either some sort of fruit juice or cola in this recipe. 

You are also going to add liquid smoke for another layer of smoky flavor. I like to use the Mesquite flavor.

How long do I cook Country Style ribs in the Instant Pot?

Once you've got the ribs and the liquid in the pot, you are ready to seal the top (check to make sure you've got the ring seal in the lid correctly), and make sure the tab on the top is turned to "sealing". 

Next, you'll need to set manual "pressure cook" high pressure for 40 minutes. Your Instant Pot will now build pressure. Once up to pressure it will then begin to cook the ribs and the timer will count down. 

Front of Instant Pot showing settings for Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

After 40 minutes of cook time, your Instant Pot will beep and then start to count up on the timer. You'll want to allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then a quick release.

At this point, if you prefer to serve the country ribs without BBQ sauce, they are ready to eat. 

If you want to finish them with BBQ sauce, you'll need to turn your oven's broiler on high and cover a sheet pan with foil. With tongs, carefully lift each rib out of the inner metal pan of the Instant Pot and place onto the prepared sheet pan. 

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs on sheet pan ready for BBQ sauce

Brush your favorite BBQ sauce onto the ribs and place in broiler for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the sheet pan out from the broiler and carefully turn the ribs over to the other side. Brush with BBQ sauce and broil for another 3 minutes. 

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs slathered in BBQ sauce on sheet pan ready for broiler

Bon Appetit! 

If you're a pork rib lover, you are going to love this preparation for country style ribs. Whether they are smothered in BBQ sauce or not, this recipe delivers on flavor and tenderness. 

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs on a white plate with sides ready to eat

What to serve with Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

Getting dinner on your table is a labor of love, find out why in: A Day on an Ohio Hog Farm

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs, country ribs Instant Pot, Country Style ribs in Instant Pot
main, pork
Yield: 6
Author: Renee Paj
Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 MinInactive time: 4 H & 20 MTotal time: 5 H & 10 M
Instant Pot Country Style Ribs are cooked to fork tender in your Instant Pot (pressure cooker) and then smothered in BBQ sauce for a delicious meal any day of the week.


  • 3 - 4 pounds of Bone-in Country Style Pork Ribs
  • 2 1/2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Chipotle chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup liquid of choice (water, broth, juice, or cola)
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke (I like Mesquite)
  • 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce


  1. In small bowl, combine the brown sugar, Chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, granulated garlic, and onion powder.
  2. Sprinkle all of the mixture onto all sides of the bone-in country style pork ribs. Rub the mixture in and wrap well in plastic wrap than place in a leakproof container. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours up to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook the country style pork ribs, inspect your Instant Pot to make sure it's in tip top shape. To avoid injury or damage, always follow the manufacture's instructions when cooking with an Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  4. Pour your liquid of choice (water, broth, juice, cola, etc.) into the inner metal pot. Add the liquid smoke and stir to combine.
  5. Remove ribs from refrigerator. Unwrap ribs from the plastic wrap and place ribs in the inner metal pot. You can stack them, but make sure they do not come up higher than 2/3rds the side of the inner metal pot.
  6. Make sure the silicon ring seal is inserted into the lid properly and place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn to lock. Check to make sure the valve is turned to "sealing."
  7. Set the Instant Pot to manual HIGH PRESSURE FOR 40 MINUTES.
  8. When the Instant Pot is up to pressure, the timer will begin to count down. When it's done, it will beep and then begin to count up. Allow NATURAL RELEASE for 10 minutes, then a QUICK RELEASE. (Follow manufacture's instructions)
  9. You can enjoy these ribs straight from the Instant Pot at this time OR you can finish them with BBQ sauce.
  10. Turn oven broiler on HIGH. Line a large baking sheet with foil and carefully place ribs on prepared pan with tongs. Brush the ribs with 1/2 of the BBQ sauce and place under broiler for 3 - 4 minutes. Take out and flip ribs over, coat with rest of BBQ sauce and place under broiler for another 3 minutes.

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Nutritional Information provided is an estimate.

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