Instant Pot Country Style Pork Ribs are dry rubbed with a delicious Cajun seasoning and are pressure cooked until they are perfectly fork tender. Serve them smothered in sweet or smoky barbecue sauce and have an impressive dinner on the table in no time.

We love making country-style ribs in our Instant Pot because they come out so perfectly tender in a fraction of the time it takes to cook them any other way. Country-style ribs must be cooked slow and low, or they must be pressure cooked – otherwise, they will be tough and chewy. When cooked properly, these juicy ribs just melt in your mouth.

These ribs are fairly inexpensive and are pretty much foolproof to make, which makes this recipe so great. They are an easy dinner recipe, and these ribs have so much flavor – I know it is one that your whole family will enjoy.

A white bowl of instant pot country style boneless ribs coated in sauce and broth.

(If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make my Slow Cooker Boneless Country Style Ribs Recipe. The recipe is similar, but the cooking method is quite different.)

🥘 Ingredients Needed

The ingredients in Instant Pot country style ribs, laid out and labeled.
  • Olive Oil
  • Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs – Make sure to use boneless pork ribs, as the cooking time and method will be different for bone-in ribs.
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cajun Seasoning or Your Favorite BBQ Dry Rub
  • Onion, sliced
  • Chicken Broth – You can also use beef broth, apple juice, or half a cup of water. I like to use chicken broth because it tastes good, and I always have it around.
  • Barbecue Sauce – You can use whatever your favorite BBQ Sauce is. We like to use Sweet Baby Ray’s.

What cut of meat are country-style ribs?

In a surprising twist, country-style ribs aren’t actually ribs at all. They are a cut of pork that comes from the shoulder area of a pig. It’s a very muscular piece of the end of the loin that is pretty fatty, which is what makes it a great candidate for a pressure cooker.

Country-Style ribs are thick and are normally about half a pound each. (THICK!)

Why are they called country-style ribs?

The name is confusing, but these “ribs” got their name because their flavor and consistency are pretty similar to actual ribs once they are done cooking. (These are sometimes also called Western ribs.)

How do you season them?

Seasoning these ribs is a several-step process. When cooking country-style ribs in an Instant Pot, I like to coat them with a simple dry rub that is made of homemade Cajun seasoning and brown sugar, then I sear the ribs on all sides. Searing the ribs locks the seasoning onto the ribs and caramelizes the brown sugar. This also helps the ribs to stay really juicy.

When the ribs are finished cooking, the pork is then shredded and tossed in a mixture of their cooking liquid and barbecue sauce. You can use a sweet or smoky sauce, depending on your family’s preferences or what your favorite barbecue sauce is. Sometimes I get so crazy that I even make homemade barbecue sauce for my ribs.

For our dry rub, I love to use Homemade Cajun Seasoning – it is a combination of garlic powder, thyme, paprika, oregano, onion powder, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, chili powder, and black pepper. The flavors complement the pork so well.

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • An Instant Pot or Electric Pressure Cooker
  • A Cutting Board and Knife
A white bowl of Instant Pot country style ribs in front of an Instant Pot.

🥣 How to Make Them

  • Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode, then add & heat oil. (Picture 1)
  • Coat the ribs on all sides with the dry rub and brown sugar, massaging it in while the oil heats. (Pictures 2 – 3)
  • Once the ribs are coated, and the oil is hot, sear the ribs on all sides (you will have to do this in batches), then remove the ribs and set them off to the side. (Pictures 4 – 7)
A collage of images showing how to make country style ribs in an Instant Pot, steps 1 - 5.
  • Look at all the leftover flavor on the bottom of the pot! You don’t get that with a crockpot. (Picture 7)
  • Add the sliced onions to the Instant Pot and Sauté them in the leftover oil. (Picture 8)
  • Deglaze the Instant Pot with the broth and scrape any meaty bits off of the bottom of your Instant Pot. (Picture 9) This will prevent a burn message.
  • Lay the ribs on top of the onions and cancel Sauté mode. (Picture 10)
A collage of images showing how to make country style ribs in an Instant Pot, steps 6 - 10.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the vent to the “Sealing” position.
  • Cook the ribs at High Pressure for 45 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.)
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15-20 minutes.
  • Carefully open the lid.
Three images showing how country style ribs are cooked in an instant pot for 45 minutes, then shredded.
  • Scoop the onions and ribs into a bowl using a slotted spoon. Shred the ribs – you can serve them in big chunks or really tear them apart with a fork.
A white bowl of instant pot country style pork ribs before being coated in sauce.
  • Mix some of the cooking juices from the pot with barbecue sauce and use that to coat the ribs before serving. (I like to only coat the portions that we are eating right away, so we can use leftover meat in different recipes.*)
A white bowl of instant pot country style boneless ribs coated in broth and sauce.
  • If you want to get a little crisp on the ribs, you can spread the meat out onto a baking sheet and broil it in the oven for a few minutes until it browns a little. We like to just eat it as is, saucy and juicy, but I know some people like it crispy, so I’m including that option!
  • Finally, serve & enjoy!

*I like to only sauce the ribs right before serving and keep the rest of the ribs as a blank slate to use for leftovers – we use them as you would use pulled pork – we like to make them into burritos, quesadillas, carnitas, or pulled pork sandwiches.

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A white bowl of instant pot country style boneless pork ribs coated in barbecue sauce.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use frozen ribs for this recipe?

Yes. The Instant Pot is a great tool for cooking frozen meat. The best way to ensure that you end up with really tender meat is to slather the ribs with your dry rub and sear them on all sides as best you can. If they are stuck together in a giant blob, do the best you can.
Add 15 – 30 minutes to the cooking time, and remember, do not quickly release the pressure. If you find that the ribs do not seem like they are done cooking when you eventually do open the Instant Pot, you can just add on 15 more minutes. It will come back to pressure quickly because the contents are so hot.

For best results, I do recommend letting the ribs thaw if possible, but this method will work in a desperate situation.

Are country-style ribs tough?

Country-style ribs are a cut of meat that can definitely be tough when not cooked properly. They either need to be cooked for a long time at a low temperature or with a pressure cooker. They will be melt-in-your-mouth tender and perfectly delicious if cooked properly. (If you cook them using high heat for a short amount of time, they will be like chewing through leather.)

Does cooking ribs longer make them more tender?

Yes, but you can achieve the same results by pressure cooking them. The longer you cook pork ribs, the more tender they will become and the better they will be, but high pressure can do the same thing while also retaining the meat’s natural moisture.
Muscle and collagen in meat start to “break down” or denature when it hits 160°F, and the longer it cooks, the softer and more tender it will get. When the meat hits around 190°F to 200°F, it will be so tender that it just melts in your mouth. A pressure cooker speeds up the rate that this happens without sucking the moisture out of the meat.

At what temperature are ribs cooked?

The safe internal temperature for pork is 145°F, but for ribs to be “fall-off-the-bone” or “melt-in-your-mouth” tender, they need to reach an internal temperature of around 185/190°F. (Collagen is what makes meat tough, and the collagen in the ribs will begin breaking down at around 160°F but needs to get to around 185/190°F to really tenderize. An Instant Pot makes helps speed this process up without drying out the meat!)

Are country-style ribs boneless or bone-in?

The country-style ribs used in this recipe are boneless.

A white bowl of instant pot country style ribs with a bowl of sauce.

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How to Store Leftovers

Once cooled, leftover cooked ribs need to be refrigerated in an airtight container. We like to store the meat in the broth leftover from cooking to help keep the meat from drying out. (We reheat the meat in the broth as well.)

The ribs will be good for 5 – 7 days, or the meat can be frozen in the broth for an easy freezer meal for a busy night.

Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Do not quick release the pressure on the Instant Pot – give it time to do a natural pressure release. A quick release will pull the moisture out of the meat, and you will be left with tough, dry meat – which we don’t want.
  • Store the leftover meat (and reheat it) in the cooking broth to keep them from drying out.
  • Use the leftover meat as you would use carnitas or a shredded pork shoulder – yum!

What to Serve on the Side

A white plate with shredded country style ribs and a scoop of buttermilk mashed potatoes with a fork.

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A white bowl of instant pot country style ribs coated in sauce.

Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

4.86 from 7 votes
Instant Pot Country Style Pork Ribs are dry rubbed with a delicious Cajun seasoning and are pressure cooked until they are perfectly fork tender. Serve them smothered in sweet or smoky barbecue sauce and have an impressive dinner on the table in no time.
Author: Kari
Servings: 10
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Pressure Release: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 lbs boneless country style pork ribs
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup Cajun seasoning linked here & below
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce for serving

Instructions 

  • Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode, then heat the oil.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coat the ribs on all sides with the seasoning mixture and brown sugar, massaging it in while the oil heats.
    3 lbs boneless country style pork ribs, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ cup Cajun seasoning
  • Once the ribs are coated, and the oil is hot, sear the ribs on all sides (you will have to do this in batches) then remove the ribs and set them off to the side.
  • Add the sliced onions to the Instant Pot and sauté them in the leftover oil and seasoning.
    1 onion
  • Deglaze the Instant Pot with the broth and scrape any meaty bits off of the bottom. (This will prevent a burn message.)
    ½ cup chicken broth
  • Lay the ribs on top of the onions and cancel Sauté mode.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the vent to the "Sealing" position.
  • Cook the ribs at High Pressure for 45 minutes. (It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.)
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Carefully open the lid.
  • Move the onions and ribs to a bowl using a slotted spoon and shred the ribs up. You can serve them in big chunks or really tear them apart with a fork.
  • Mix some of the juices from the crockpot with the barbecue sauce and coat the ribs with it. (I like to only coat a portion of the ribs so I can save some of the meat for use in other dishes.)
    ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • Serve & enjoy!

Notes

Note: There is no need for any extra liquid if you use an 8-quart Instant Pot, as the ribs release a lot of juice.

Helpful Tips

  • Do not quick release the pressure on the Instant Pot – give it time to do a natural pressure release. A quick release will pull the moisture out of the meat, and you will be left with tough, dry meat – which we don’t want.
  • Store leftover ribs (and reheat them) in the cooking broth to keep them from drying out.
  • Use leftover country-style ribs as you would use carnitas or a shredded pork shoulder – yum!
Cajun Seasoning – Use ½ cup for this recipe, and check out this cajun seasoning post for ways to use the leftover seasoning!
  • 2.5 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Special Equipment Needeed

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 23gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 513mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 2700IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 4mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: country-style ribs, instant pot country style ribs
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I'm Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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