Sticky Honey Garlic Instant Pot Ribs

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

I’m gonna whisper this one… honestly, I didn’t instantaneously fall in love with the Instant Pot like everyone else seemed to do. I know, I know.

I really bought mine for one sole reason: making the whole experience of cooking up my own homemade broth quicker and less stinkier. So while I routinely used (and use) it for broth making, I wasn’t really blown away by it as a one-stop-shop for cooking all the things. If I’m being completely blunt, I often find recipes that are cooked completely and only in the Instant Pot kind of bland.

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

I don’t find that it sears well on the saute function for things like browning meat and I usually end up browning in a separate skillet anyway, because the insert is too small to get things done in a single batch, because the temperature regulation is pretty much non-existent and because I think you get a better flavor from a real crusty sear.

So there, I admitted it, I’m an Instant Pot Philistine or something.

But, I’ve finally found the thing that’s converted me: weeknight Instant Pot ribs. Let me explain quickly. Usually I slow cook my ribs in the oven and then finish them up under the broiler. They turn out pretty darn well that way, but the long, low & slow cooking time relegates ribs solely to weekends.

But, since approximately 96.74% of what makes ribs taste amazing and addictive is whatever sauce or glaze you slather on them and because you don’t want or need to brown or sear ribs before you cook ’em, the Instant Pot makes short work of replacing that long cook time. You can have easy Instant Pot ribs done in under an hour — less than a third of the time!

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

When it comes to ribs, you can cut them into multi-boned portions if you want before stacking them in the Instant Pot, but I like to cut mine into single-bone portions. That way, they’re perfect as appetizers, as a party or pot luck shared dish, or just easier to portion out come dinner time, especially if you’re feeding a family of different ages and appetites.

The other advantage to this approach — that seals the deal for me! – is that this way, you can toss the ribs in your sauce or glaze so that they get completely covered. Every single side and square inch of porky goodness gets slathered in the flavor making glaze and this yields incredibly delicious, messy, sticky ribs, just as they should be!

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

You’ll want to whip up the glaze for these Sticky Honey Garlic Instant Pot Ribs while they’re hanging out resting in the natural release phase. It’s really simple, but you’ll have to hang out and stir the mixture while it’s on the stove top reducing and thickening.

Make sure to pick a saucepan with high sides, because the glaze will expand, bubble and foam as it’s cooking. It’s ready to go when it’s caramelized in color and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

Because the glaze has a honey base, it will thicken and become less pliable as it cools. So my trick for dealing with that if it happens in between broiling & basting rounds is to add a splash or two of the reserved cooking liquid left behind in the Instant Pot when the ribs are done. That will loosen up the glaze up enough again to brush it on the ribs as a finishing touch.

You can use whichever cut of bone in back (not country style) ribs you like for this recipe. A large rack of untrimmed, back or spare ribs will make up the whole 3 lbs / 1.3 kg of ribs specified in the recipe, or you can use 2 – 3 racks of trimmed baby backs.

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

If you want make a double batch of these Instant Pot Ribs, I’ve found that a standard 6 quart Instant Pot will fit about 5 – 6 lbs / 2.25 – 2.72 kg of ribs in total. You will have to pack them tightly and have some of the ribs touching the sides of the insert to fit them all in. You’ll also have to make sure that your ribs don’t come too close to the “max fill” line. For a double batch, use the same amount of water or broth, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes, increase the resting time to 20 minutes and double the glaze.

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!

This recipe was included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.


Sticky Honey Garlic Instant Pot Ribs

  • Author: Rachael Bryant / Meatified
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins


  • 3 lbs / 1.3 kg bone-in pork back ribs (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml broth or water
  • optional: fine sea salt & garlic powder, to taste

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp / 90 ml honey
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 3 tbsp / 45 ml gluten free fish sauce
  • 68 large cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 tbsp / 6 g ground ginger or 2 inch / 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled & minced


  1. PREP: Flip the ribs over so that they’re back / bone side up. Check to see if the silvery membrane has been left on the ribs. If so, you’ll want to remove it before cooking to keep the ribs from curling up or being a little tough once they’re cooked. Slip the tip of a sharp knife below the membrane above one of the bones. Work your finger tips into the hole you’ve made until you can feel the membrane starting to pull away from the bone. Use a paper towel to get a good grip and pull the membrane away, then discard it.
  2. STACK: Slice the ribs into single bone portions. Put the removable rack into the bottom of the 6 Quart Instant Pot insert. Pour in the broth or water. Start to stack the cut rib portions inside the Instant Pot, laying the bones perpendicular to the direction of the wire rack so that they don’t fall between the slats into the liquid below. Once the wire rack is covered, begin another layer on top of the ribs, again perpendicular to the direction of the ribs below to create a nice stable stack. Repeat your layering until all your ribs are used up. If you like, sprinkle each layer with a little salt and garlic powder as you go.
  3. PRESSURE COOK: Close the Instant Pot lid and set the vent to the sealing position. Set the Instant Pot to Manual on High Pressure for 35 minutes (for ribs with a bit more bite that come straight off the bone) or 40 minutes (for ribs that are a little softer). When the timer goes off, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the ribs to rest inside the sealed Instant Pot for 15 minutes, then quick release. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. REDUCE: While the ribs are resting, preheat the broiler on high, setting the rack about 6 inches from the element, and make the glaze. Measure the honey into a small saucepan. Add the coconut aminos, lime juice, gluten free fish sauce, garlic and ginger to a mini food processor and blitz until the garlic is finely chopped and the marinade is combined. (You can also finely mince the garlic and mix everything together in the saucepan if you wish). Pour the marinade ingredients into the saucepan with the honey and bring the marinade to a simmer over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the marinade has thickened, deepened in color and reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. The mixture will foam and bubble a lot, so make sure to pick a high sided saucepan to prevent overflowing or splattering! Remove the glaze from the heat.
  5. GLAZE: Line a baking sheet with foil. Add the cooked ribs to a large mixing bowl and pour over the reduced marinade. Use a serving spoon to stir the ribs through the marinade until they’re evenly coated on all sides. Use tongs to transfer the ribs – gently shaking off any excess marinade – to the baking sheet, meat side up and evenly spaced. Broil until the glaze is bubbling and caramelized, about 4 – 7 minutes, depending on your broiler. Brush the ribs with the remaining marinade left behind in the bowl. If it’s cooled down enough to thicken more, add a few splashes of the reserved cooking liquid from the Instant Pot and stir to loosen again. Broil again for a minute or two, then serve immediately.


3 lbs / 1.3 kg will be approximately 1 rack of untrimmed 12 – 13 bone back / spare rib type ribs or about 2 trimmed baby back racks.

If you want to double the recipe, you can fit about 5 – 6 lbs / 2.25 – 2.72 kg of ribs into the insert of a 6 Quart Instant Pot model. You will, however, have to pack them tightly, including down the sides of the insert rather than having them all on the rack, making sure not to get too close to the Max Fill line. Use the same amount of broth or water, double the glaze recipe and increase the cook time to 50 minutes total at high pressure, letting the ribs rest for 20 minutes in the turned off Instant Pot before quick releasing and glazing.

Instant Pot ribs are weeknight ribs! You don't have to wait 'til the weekend to enjoy these easy ribs with sticky honey garlic glaze from, hurrah!


  1. Holy $!&#!!!!! Made these tonight, you totally rocked our socks off!! I never knew AIP could taste this good. Thank you, thank you!!! Non AIP were amazed by it. Side note, I did add a bit of maple syrup and orange juice to the glaze. Prob not the most ideal for AIP but figured I was splitting with others who were non AIP so it wouldn’t effect me too badly. Hours later, we’re all still talking about it!!😍

    1. Hahaha, this is the best comment ever! I’m so glad you guys loved them, it’s so much easier when you can feed everyone the same meal that they enjoy, right?! Personally, I wouldn’t stress out over a little orange juice and extra maple, as long as you didn’t notice any negative side effects for yourself. Sometimes the stress of worrying over things or counting out macros is worse than the little bit of added sugar, you know?

  2. So delicious, Rach!! I cut the honey to 1/4 cup and did 10 cloves of garlic. I also only had 1 tablespoon fish sauce available but the sauce was still deliciously salty and sticky with these mods!

    1. Yay, I’m so glad to hear that, Alaena! (I totally still get nervous about people trying my recipes, ha!). Extra garlic ftw!

  3. Ah-Mazing! To the point that there was no extra sauce in the bowl to reapply to the ribs because we were literally fighting over the left over sauce while the ribs were broiling. We only had spare ribs, and I have one more package, so I am thinking about keeping them in the slabs next time (which will probably be tomorrow, let’s be serious!). I paired these phenomenal ribs with your delightful potato salad with the parsnip puree (genius!) and your roasted green salsa verde (I could drink this stuff!). If I need a group dish or have company, this will be my menu, no question!

    1. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed them, Jessica! You can definitely do them in slabs and the glaze will go a little further that way. If you’re still instant pot-ting them (totally a word), I usually chop a rack into thirds or so and just stack ’em that way. The salsa verde is one of my favorites, too! I keep thinking that I need to get going on a red salsa, too, but I haven’t tested that one out yet 🙂

  4. I’m making these now and the sauce never thickened. I”m wondering what I did wrong?

    1. Hi Carol, this one stumps me a little, because I’ve made these at least six times and not experienced this problem. Did you change any of the ingredient amounts at all? Did it ever bubble up like in the photo?

  5. For the love of all things holy…. this is the BEST IP recipe I have tried yet! I admit – I am not a huge fan of the IP, and mostly use it for soup and cooking squash.
    I find most meat recipes I’ve tried to be stringy and (unless it’s pulled pork or pulled chicken), that’s not how I prefer my meat! Not to mention, without nightshades, a lot of the recipes out there are not anything I can have. This, however, is a game changer. I love this. My picky kids loved this. I will be making this on the regular! Thank you so much for this!!!!

    1. Yep! Coconut aminos is usually used to replace soy sauce for those of us who can’t eat it 🙂 But, I would say that coconut aminos has a milder flavor than I remember soy sauce, so perhaps start out with a little less and adjust to taste!

  6. Sounds amazing and it’s going on my list for this week. One question first…I hate, hate, hate, fish sauce. Is there a good substitute?C

    1. Leave it out and add a splash or two of broth to thin it out if the glaze gets too thick without it 🙂

  7. AH-MAY-ZING!! Oh my goodness, these were delicious! My husband bought center chops instead of ribs because they were on sale, and it worked perfectly with those as well! I made it exactly as written except I forgot to put the lime juice in the sauce, so squeezed it over the chops after they came off the broiler. It gave the perfect balance. I will do it right next time…lol. WOWSERS these are great. My husband said it was the best thing I’ve ever made. In 38 years of marriage that’s a good compliment on the recipe!

  8. Wowza! this was a delicious recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be making this again and again!

  9. I was a little lost as to what to for ribs in a post-nightshade diet, but holy cow, these saved the day! Even if I could eat traditional barbecue sauce I would pick these in a heartbeat. The whole family thought they were fabulous. We have a fish allergy in the house so I left out the fish sauce, which still rendered a delicious end product. Tonight I made the sauce again but this time tossed it with chicken thighs (cooked until tender in the instant pot) another winner! Really I think I’m just a step away from drinking the sauce…

  10. Ok, so I messed up the sauce and had to literally throw the pan out cause i turned it into tar! But second attempt was a winner! Down a favourite pan but up a favourite recipe so oh well lol. Loved this recipe, and my husband said it was better than a local Aip friendly restaurant we order ribs at all the time! So all in all, we loved them! Thank you!

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