These short ribs are so tender and flavorful and ready in just over an hour in the Instant Pot. They’re the perfect dinner solution for a set-it-and-forget it meal or an impressive dinner for friends.
I love making short ribs in the slow cooker, but sometimes I really don’t have time for that. To get it right, it’s a day-long endeavor. That’s why I almost always turn to the Instant for making tender, fall-apart short ribs.
>> You might also like this beef ragu pappardelle.
The Instant Pot is a great tool to cut down the cooking time of dishes like this one that typically take all day to make. In the slow cooker or on the stovetop, short ribs need at least 5 hours to cook. But in the Instant Pot, they’re ready in just over an hour.
These short ribs reach fall-apart tender status in a fraction of the time they take in the slow cooker. And the flavor is incredible. In fact, cooking them in the Instant Pot actually increases the flavor due to the intensified maillard reaction.
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I’m super impressed with the quality of the meat from ButcherBox and won’t go back to purchasing meat at the grocery. Plus, it’s way easier to have it delivered to your door.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet (go directly to Amazon and order one!), you really should consider it. We have a free Instant Pot starter guide when you join our mailing list. You can also check out our Instant Pot page for more information.
How to Make Instant Pot Short Ribs
Short ribs are often sold in pieces that are about 3-4 inches long. When you’re shopping for beef short ribs, those are the perfect size for cooking in the Instant Pot. Sometimes they come in much longer pieces, which won’t fit in the pot, so be mindful of that.
Rinse and pat dry the ribs. Then you’re ready for the dry rub.
Mix together the dry rub.
Use all of the rub to coat the ribs. You can proceed immediately, or leave them to marinate in the rub for 15-20 minutes.
Turn on the saute mode on the Instant Pot. Add some cooking oil to the pot and let it get hot.
As soon as the oil is shimmering, add the ribs, meat side down and sear for about 3 minutes on each side. You want to get a nice dark sear on the meat, as this adds flavor and rich color.
As soon as you’ve seared each side, turn off saute mode. Remove the ribs to a plate.
Deglaze the pan by adding the beef stock and red wine. Whisk the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
Return the meat to the pot. Top with the carrots, onion, garlic and thyme.
Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Set to pressure cook on high for 50 minutes.
When done, allow for a natural pressure release, which takes about 10-15 minutes. Then you can open the pot and serve it up.
The bones can be removed from the meat. As you’re doing that, you’ll notice there is a spongy membrane between the bone and meat. I like to remove that as well. If you don’t mind that texture, you can leave it on.
I like to serve the meat over a bed of mashed potatoes, with the carrots and onions on the side. It’s such a delicious plate of food!
Can I Cook Instant Pot Short Ribs From Frozen?
You can make these short ribs in the Instant Pot, even if your short ribs are frozen. Just note that they won’t develop as much flavor this way, because you will have to skip the browning step.
Browning the short ribs before cooking them adds a tremendous amount of flavor, so I really don’t recommend skipping this step, but if you’re really strapped for time and don’t have time to defrost the ribs beforehand, don’t let that stop you.
You’ll need to add an additional 10 minutes to the cook time when using frozen meat.
Can I Skip Natural Pressure Release?
It can be a bit frustrating to have to wait the entire 30 minutes it takes to naturally release the pressure from the Instant Pot. However, when cooking meat that you want to be tender, it’s better to allow the pressure to naturally release.
This is because the meat needs a resting period to relax and rest. If you’re really strapped for time, you can cut down the pressure release time and it won’t negatively affect the outcome. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then you can quick release the rest of the pressure.
What Should I Serve Short Ribs With?
The ribs can be served with mashed potatoes or cauliflower, rice, or pasta. The carrots cook along with it in the pot and those make a great veggie side.
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Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs
- 1.5 lb beef short ribs
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 small onion quartered
- 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into sticks
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine or bourbon
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme optional
For the rub
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Rinse and pat dry the ribs.
- Mix together the dry rub ingredients. Use all of the dry rub to coat the ribs.
- Press the "saute" mode on the Instant Pot. Allow it to heat up for 3 minutes. Add the cooking oil. When the oil is hot, add the ribs, meat-side down, and brown on all sides.
- Cancel saute mode and remove the ribs from the pot. Pour in the beef broth and red wine. Whisk to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Place the beef ribs into the liquid in the Instant Pot. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic on top of the meat. Toss in the thyme sprigs, if using.
- Secure the lid on the pot and set the vent to sealing. Press the "pressure cook" button on the Instant Pot and set the time to 50 minutes. After the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally (about 15-20 minutes).
- You can use either red wine or bourbon in this recipe. Both are very good. If you don’t wish to use either, just add a bit more beef broth to the pot.
- If you wish to serve the gravy with the meat, strain it through a sieve and skim off the fat. It can be thickened in the pot, if desired.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.