pressure cooker ribsPressure cook meat before grilling, broiling or baking for tender-to-the-bone results and flavor that just won’t quit! Our tips for pre-pressure cooking any meat plus this Tandoori BBQ rib pressure cooker-to-grill recipe.

5 Reasons to pressure cook meat for your next BBQ:

1. Tender to the core – No more fear of slicing into a beautifully scorched meat, to find a raw spot near the bone.  The meat will be perfectly cooked and tender inside (thanks to the pressure cooker) and out (thanks to the grill).
2. Flavor Upgrade – Infuse flavor into the flesh of the meat instead of just coating the outside.
3. Melt that Fat – A little less fat never hurt anyone! Plus, pre-pressure cooking  melts away most of the surface fat -reducing grill flare-ups.
4. Goodbye Toxic Tongs – You won’t need to keep track of separate “raw meat contaminated” pair and a “cooked meat” pair of tongs to keep your guests from getting food poisoning.  The meat is already cooked, so you only need one pair. Whew!
5. Less grilling, more eating – 2-hour BBQ ribs are amazing but they’re not convenient for EVERY barbecue. Pre-pressure cooked ribs only need 10 minutes on the grill.

How to pre-pressure cook meat:

The goal is to have meat that is “just” cooked so that it doesn’t fall off the bone and is still easy to handle on the grill.

  • Add cold meat, aromatics, and spices, dry rubs or BBQ sauce to the pressure cooker.
  • Add just enough cold water (from the tap) to cover – measure it one cup at a time and add about  1 teaspoon of salt for every 2 cups of water.
  • Pressure  cook for about 1/4 little less time than recommended – to ensure the meat is easier to handle on the grill (and the bones won’t fall out) – for example, while ribs usually need 20-25 minutes to be fall-off the bone tender we’re only pressure cooking them for 15-20.
  • Strain the meat and pat dry.  Save and refrigerate the cooking liquid to de-fat and make crazy-delicious rice.
  • Bring to the grill or let cool and cover tightly and stick in the cooler to bring to the picnic.
  • Cover with your favorite marinade or dry rub paste. Grill until the outside is crispy and charred to taste.
  • Enjoy the best BBQ – ever!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3L or larger none 15-20 min. High(2) Natural

4.3 from 6 reviews
Pressure Cooked Tandoori BBQ Pork Ribs
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe makes the ribs spicy inside from the spice, and tasty outside from the BBQ sauce. If you're really brave (i.e. you can take the heat) instead of BBQ sauce make a Tandoori spice paste to slather on the ribs. To make the paste just mix four tablespoons of Tandoori spice with three tablespoons of lemon juice (about one lemon) and one of water to make a paste to slather onto the ribs before tossing them on the grill.
  • 2 pounds (1kilo) Pork Short-Ribs (also called Baby Back Ribs)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" (3cm) ginger, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons Tandoori Spice Mix (or your favorite dry rub)
  • 3 cups water, or as needed
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce (your favorite kind)
  1. Slice rib slabs to fit in the pressure cooker and position them in the cooker as flat as possible (this means you'll use the least amount of water- it will pressure cook faster and concentrate the flavors).
  2. Add bay leaves, ginger, garlic, salt and two tablespoons of the spice mix.
  3. Pour-in enough water to cover the meat (about 4 cups).
  4. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  5. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 18-22 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 15 minutes pressure cooking time.
  6. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes). For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and begin counting 10 minutes of natural open time. Then, release the rest of the pressure using the valve.
  7. Carefully lift the tender ribs out of the pressure cooker and lay them on a cutting board. Cover with foil and let them cool down further for another 5 minutes.
  8. Pat dry and paint on the BBQ Sauce (or spice paste).
    Make ahead: Stop here and wrap the meat tightly - refrigerate for up to three days.
  9. Grill, broil or barbecue for about 5 minutes per side.
  10. Serve immediately.

InstantPot or Instant Pot recipe


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  1. i’d been meaning to try this just boiling in water but i was afraid the meat would loose flavor. i didn’t even think about using my dry rub. definitely going to try it this weekend. Thanks


    1. I prefer to elevate them in the cooker, so you’re not making what are pretty much boiled ribs with most of the flavour getting left behind in the water. I use one of those expandable veggie steamers that you can get from the dollar store. Lean the ribs against the wall all the way around and then against each other all the way around again and then pile on top if you’re cooking for an army! 20 mins. for firm, 25 for fall off the bone. I find 24 mins. is perfect for my liking. Add a couple more mins. to these numbers if you’ve got a full load in the pot. Follow the rest of the recipe and you could put Montana’s out of business! Oh….I also add some liquid smoke(tiny bottle in spice isle) and Monteal Steak spice to my bbq sauce. I mix them up in a coffee mug and then brush it on. Yummy! Everyone thinks I got up at sunrise and smoked them all day…LOL!

      1. Thanks for sharing your technique with us, Homer!



  2. I made this last night. It was a smashing success with my husband. He and I fought over the last rib. This is the first time I’ve ever managed to make really good pork ribs, and it was so fast and easy! It was too hot outside to fire up the grill, so I just broiled them after painting on the BBQ sauce. They were perfect. I also love the idea of using Tandoori mix for the seasoning. That added a wonderful layer of flavor and aroma.

  3. We made these this past Sunday and they were absolutely wonderful! I did it fairly simply, using a barbecue dry rub mix that I had on hand, omitting the ginger, and Red Tail Hawk BBQ sauce. 5 minutes per side on our gas grill was plenty to crisp up the pork and get it all sizzly. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and absolutely delicious with very little work. I did miss the smoky flavor of slow-smoked ribs so next time, I’ll add a little liquid smoke to the water. I’ll never make ribs any other way again!!

    I’ve done ribs on our gas grill using the smoker box and cooking them for a long time and frankly, it was more work than the ribs were worth. Unless you’re a real purist and/or just love to fuss around with barbecuing or slow-smoking ribs, pressure cooking is the way to go.

  4. This recipe looks good,

    My goal today is to pressure cook some St Louis ribs, almost like suggested in this recipe,
    I will use 1 beer, 1 table spoon of Apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup of white wine, 1 or 2 table spoons of Brown sugar, (I will omit the BBQ sauce) once done pressure cooking then take them out to the smoker and smoke them for 1 hour at 190 degrees with hickory wood.

    1. How is your recipe “almost like suggested”?? It has nothing that the original recipe does. If you want to post your recipe make your own blog.

      1. Boy what a crybaby, I SMOKE them untill 140f internal then IP 15mn, then 5 min direct heat and serve with honey BBQ. Baked potatoes and corn on the cob, I don’t know how to make a blog so a reply is unnecessary.

  5. Sounds yummy! We love grilled chicken. Can I use the method and timing in your Ligurian Lemon and Olive Chicken recipe? You simmer the chicken in the sauce at the end. Or still back the pressure time off a bit? and should I include or skip the browing at the beginning? Thanks for your advice. My husband no longer fears unidentifiable bean something when the pressure cooker is going.

  6. In the United States; there’s a distinction between grilling and barbecuing. To US; barbecuing is slow cooking over indirect heat. The flare ups, lack of tenderness, and flavor upgrade wouldn’t apply here. -Still a great idea to speed things up.

  7. Made ribs and pulled pork in my Instant Pot a few times each now. My results were superb. I put my rub on the meat and let it sit overnight in the fridge before cooking. The flavors from the rub penetrate the meat much better by leaving it sit overnight. A quick rub before cooking also works well if you are in a time cruch but, if you have the time, the results are worth the extra time and effort.

  8. Here is the ultimate method , combining several of your previous posts. I just cut up and dry rubbed a whole slab of spareribs. put them in the fridge overnight. tomorrow, I will take them out, and use westgl reycipe of ” 1 beer, 1 table spoon of Apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup of white wine, 1 or 2 table spoons of Brown sugar”. I will also add bay leaves, garlic, salt and two tablespoons of my spice mix. PC it for 20 min on high, then just unplug and let sit for at least an hour, before taking them out to a nice hot grill, placing them on the opposite side of the heat, of course, and then @ 5 minutes per side…TWICE…while slathering them with my special sauce…containing liquid smoke, of course!

    1. Fantastic! Just awesome ribs. I dry rubbed and added liquid smoke to pressure cooker.
      Thank you!

      1. You’re welcome, I had them again last night!

        1. Chris Harton
          What was your rib recipe?
          Don’t see it here.
          Thx! Barbara

          1. Hey Barbra, the dry rub and sauce varies each time, using whatever’s in the cupboard and fridge, sorry I can’t be more specific. The ingredients I listed are what goes in the PC as liquid to cook in.

  9. I tried this with chicken stock and a butterflied whole chicken yesterday in my stovetop cooker with six minutes under high pressure and a natural release. The chicken came apart as I removed it from the cooker in four perfect pieces so I didn’t mind. It was SO wonderful after ten minutes on the grill! It’s the best thing I’ve ever cooked and I enriched my stock with the carcass while the chicken grilled. Thank you so much for this post! I can’t wait to try another meat like pork or goat. Keep up the good work.

    1. That’s great, Paul! Let us know how the goat turns out – haven’t pressure cooked that, yet, but the technique should work just the same!



  10. Is it 4 T or 2 T of Tandoori Spice Mix? The ingredient list says 4 T, but the directions state 2 T. I am going to make these anyway today, so will choose only use 2 T, but thought you’d want to know. Thanks for another great recipe.

    1. Laura uses 2T of the spice paste during the pressure cooking phase. Then she puts the rest on just after taking them out of the PC and before grilling… Step 8 of the recipe – the spice paste is in parentheses.

  11. Paul Stern made delicious chicken .. was he referring to tandorri recipe?

    I just received my Instant Pot 8qt for late Christmas gift.
    I’m new to pressure cooking..
    cat wait to try ribs & chicken.
    I’m a bit intimidated:(

    I have taken several of Laura’s Visio courses already.

  12. Homer or Laura …

    Homer: I made your rib recipe adjustments and it was YUM. Thank YOU.. I will be cooking more this Father’s Day. I’m not sure how many pounds I can safely put in the cooker the way you’ve suggested by standing them up and then laying on top. Thank You Homer…
    By the way, Your ribs were the first to christen my new Cooker.

    I’m I cleaned my pressure cooker but the steam value still has the smell of ribs. It’s been 2 weeks now since I cooked them. Is there a method of cleaning this each time using the pressure cooker or just ignore?

    I am going to do Ribs for Father’s Day this coming 18th. I’d appreciate knowing before then.

    Thank You, Barbra.

    1. Barbara, I’ve found that you can braise (instead of boiling as illustrated here, or steaming) about three racks of ribs – of course, it depends on the size of the pig. You can do that without a steamer basket, just stand up the entire rack in the pressure cooker and spiral them in there – again always making sure they are not too crowded. The braising is not as flavorful as the boil (unless you coat the part that is not in the cooking liquid) but you can get many more ribs at a time in there.

      If you need to do more, you can always make several batches ahead of time and refrigerate before finishing on the BBQ or in the oven. ; )



      P.S. Unfortunately, some stains will remain in the silicone bits of the pressure cooker. Soak the gasket and parts in hot water and vinegar overnight (about 50/50) it won’t completely remove the smell but it will greatly decrease it.

  13. Thank You Laura, Nice to meet you :)

    Its a shame they take on orders.
    But I love my Instant Pot so far. LOL .. all of one recipe done.

    I’m gonna try your Artichoke recipe. Mine are very large. I’m thinking add 1 more minute..

    So… My response was at 3:41 AM … So your either a early riser, a late sleeper or you live not in the NE… giggle..

    1. I’m writing from Italy. : )



  14. Hi Paul Stern or Laura :)

    I see Paul Stern posted:

    Paul Stern SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 AT 12:17 AM · REPLY
    I tried this with chicken stock and a butterflied whole chicken yesterday in my stovetop cooker with six minutes under high pressure and a natural release. The chicken came apart as I removed it from the cooker in four perfect pieces so I didn’t mind. It was SO wonderful after ten minutes on the grill! It’s the best thing I’ve ever cooked and I enriched my stock with the carcass while the chicken grilled. Thank you so much for this post! I can’t wait to try another meat like pork or goat. Keep up the good work.

    What method is being used … and is 6 min long enough for electric cooker .. weight of chicken.

    I have a 8qt PC

    Thanks ! Barbra… :))

    1. Hello Barbara, I simply look at Laura’s timing chart for the meat that I’m cooking and pressure braise or boil it for 75% of the time listed. Then, I finish it on the grill. I did a whole Turkey last year cooking the dark and white meat in separate batches. It was awesome and so fast.

      Laura says dark meat pieces of bone-in chickenshould be pressure boiled for 8 minutes with a natural release to be cooked through, so I precook them – for this method – 6 minutes and then finish on the grill. If you were only using white meat, you could cook it for a slightly shorter time. Thanks for your interest and thanks again to Laura for the original post, book, and everything else!
      I’m now used this for beef, pork, chicken, and turkey but still haven’t gotten around to goat. I’m looking for a good supplier.

      1. Oh also, I use a stove-top cooker. Seems to me that an electric cooker would use the same timing but I’m not totally sure. The weight of the chicken doesn’t seem to matter very much as long as it’s either broken down in pieces or butterflied so heat can be evenly and and easily distributed in the cooker.

  15. I forgot to ask if you change the juice out for each batch of ribs I steam?
    ty Barbra

    1. Keep it the same, then top it off if you need more.



  16. I just made baby back ribs last night in the pressure cooker. I have only used 1 cup of liquid along with seasonings, always turns out great. I cook them for almost 15 minutes. Never lose flavor!

  17. Laura is there recipe for cooking whole chicken in the Instant Pot.
    Also chicken cut up?

    1. Barbara, yes I have both a whole chicken and cut-up chicken recipes. You can see them all here:



  18. How would you modify this recipe if cooking thick chops (1 1/4”). I generally use a rub, Brown in an iron skillet 4 minutes per side and then finish in a 400F oven. I want to finish on the grill. No bar-b-que sauce.

    1. Marilyn, follow my thick-chop recipe for cooking time guidance. If you’re going to finish it on the grill or BBQ you’ll want to decrease the cooking time!



  19. Laura, I have made country style pork ribs (very meaty) several times and they have turned out great. However, so far I’ve only put the meat in a single layer on the rack (about 3+ pounds). This is enough for about 4-5 servings. For a larger crowd, how much meat can I cook at a time? Can I just pile it to the fill line? Will it take the same amount of time (45 minutes on high is what I’ve done so far, with a 15 minute natural release)? I know I could do two batches, but it’d obviously be easier to do them all at once, if possible. So what’s the max amount of this type of meat I can cook well in the Instant Pot? Thanks!!

    1. Sylvia, the technique on this page doesn’t necessarily require a rack – but I do have a stacking recipe in my cookbook that does. No matter what recipe you follow, the important thing to note is that all ribs need to cook evenly. You can ensure this by sitting the ribs up vertically so that the most steam (or cooking liquid) can bet between them. If you pile them in layers the middle layer of ribs will be under-cooked.

      I hope this helps!



      1. I wonder if anyone has tried this method with duck legs? I’m pretty sure I’d like to steam them first and then finish under the broiler, or maybe just hot air coming from the top (my convection oven can do this), I am just not sure about the timing. How long do duck legs take, normally?

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