“Deliciously Tender and Healthy: Discover the Magic of Air Fryer Ribs. Indulge in mouthwatering, succulent ribs that are perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside, and juicy on the inside – all with significantly less oil. Elevate your cooking experience and savor guilt-free ribs with the incredible convenience of an air fryer.”

Easy Air Fryer Ribs

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make delicious ribs, look no further than the air fryer. With tender meat and crispy edges, these air fryer ribs will not disappoint. You can use any type of ribs you have on hand, just make sure they fit in your air fryer. Preparing the ribs is simple – remove the silver skin or membrane from the back of the ribs and season them with a dry rub. Preheat the air fryer to 380°F and cook the ribs for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Then baste them with BBQ sauce and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until they are charred on top. Serve with extra BBQ sauce and enjoy!

Air frying allows for even cooking and crispy results without the need for oil. The key to intense flavor in these ribs is a perfectly balanced dry rub that seals in juices and prevents drying out. We recommend using our homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce for a tasty finishing touch. While slow cooking may result in more tender ribs, this fast and easy air fryer method still produces juicy and tender meat without becoming dry.

So why not give these Easy Air Fryer Ribs a try? They are sure to impress with their flavorful taste and perfect texture.

Why You’ll Love It

 

1. Easy and Convenient: Cooking ribs in the air fryer is incredibly easy and convenient. With just a few simple steps, you can have tender meat and crispy edges in no time. Plus, the air fryer allows for even cooking without the need for oil.

2. Intense Flavor: The dry rub used in this recipe adds intense flavor to the ribs, sealing in the juices and preventing them from drying out. Combined with a delicious homemade BBQ sauce, these ribs are bursting with flavor.

3. Versatile: This recipe works with any type of ribs you have on hand, whether it’s spare ribs, country ribs, pork ribs, or baby back ribs. Just make sure they fit in your air fryer and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

4. Quick Cooking Time: Unlike traditional slow-cooked ribs, which can take hours to cook, these air fryer ribs are ready in just 30 minutes. They’re perfect for when you’re craving juicy and tender ribs but don’t want to wait too long.

5. Crispy Exterior: The air fryer gives the ribs a perfect crispy exterior that pairs well with the tender meat inside. It creates a nice char that mimics cooking on an open flame.

Air fryer ribs are a quick and easy way to enjoy deliciously tender meat with crispy edges. With a perfectly balanced dry rub and flavorful BBQ sauce, these ribs turn out amazing every time. Whether you’re cooking spare ribs, baby back ribs, or any other type of rib, the air fryer delivers excellent results without the need for oil or extensive cooking times. Give this recipe a try and enjoy mouthwatering BBQ goodness right at home.

Ingredients In This Dish

The ingredients for this dish include:

  • Ribs (baby back, spare ribs, country ribs, or pork ribs)
  • Dry rub (such as BBQ rib rub or your preferred seasoning blend)
  • BBQ sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Equipment Needed

To make these easy air fryer ribs, you will need the following equipment:

  1. Air fryer: Make sure you have a large enough air fryer to fit your ribs. The size of your air fryer will determine how many ribs you can cook at once.
  2. Fryer-style basket: This is where you will place the ribs in the air fryer. Make sure it is clean and in good condition.
  3. Dry rub: You will need a dry rub to season the ribs and give them flavor. You can use a pre-made dry rub or make your own using spices and herbs.
  4. BBQ sauce: A delicious BBQ sauce is essential for slathering on the ribs after they are cooked. You can use store-bought BBQ sauce or make your own homemade sauce.
  5. Tongs or spatula: These tools will help you flip and baste the ribs during the cooking process.
  6. Meat thermometer: To ensure that the ribs are cooked to perfection, it’s helpful to have a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.

Why Use an Air Fryer

An air fryer is a convenient and efficient way to cook a variety of foods. It uses hot air circulation to cook food quickly and evenly, resulting in crispy exteriors and tender interiors. With an air fryer, you can achieve the same delicious results as deep frying, but without the excess oil.

Using an air fryer has several benefits. First, it reduces the amount of oil needed for cooking, making it a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. Second, it saves time by cooking food faster than conventional ovens. Third, it eliminates the need for preheating, which further cuts down on cooking time. Lastly, an air fryer is versatile and can be used to cook a wide range of dishes, from meats and vegetables to desserts.

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In the case of ribs, using an air fryer delivers excellent results. The hot air circulation ensures that the ribs are cooked through while maintaining their tenderness. Additionally, the rapid cooking process creates a crispy exterior that adds texture and flavor to the dish.

BBQ Sauce & Dry Rub for Ribs

 

The key to giving these air fryer pork ribs intense flavor is the dry rub. A perfectly balanced dry rub does wonders for flavor, but also seals in the juices and keeps the ribs from drying out. You can use this BBQ rib rub, which adds just the right amount of spice to the ribs. It’s also great on all types of meat, not just ribs.

The second most important thing is the bbq sauce. We recommend using this homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce that is so tasty, you’ll be licking it off the spoon. Once you air fry the ribs, slather them with this sauce and set them on the highest setting for a few minutes to get a nice char that will make you think you’ve just cooked them on an open flame.

Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs – Tips

1. Choose the right type of ribs: You can use any type of ribs in the air fryer, such as spare ribs, country ribs, pork ribs, or baby back ribs. Just make sure they fit in your air fryer.

2. Use a dry rub: A well-balanced dry rub adds intense flavor to the ribs and helps seal in the juices. Try using a BBQ rib rub or create your own with spices that you enjoy.

3. Preheat the air fryer: It’s important to preheat the air fryer to ensure even cooking and prevent sticking. Set it to 380°F (195°C) and preheat for 3-5 minutes before adding the ribs.

4. Cook time and temperature: In this recipe, baby back ribs are cooked at 380°F for 20 minutes. Adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the rack of ribs. Smaller racks may take around 18 minutes, while larger ones can take up to 30 minutes.

5. Baste with BBQ sauce: After 20 minutes of cooking, baste the ribs with BBQ sauce on both sides and continue cooking at a higher temperature (390°F/200°C) for an additional 3-5 minutes until slightly charred.

6. Remove silver skin/membrane: Before cooking, remove the thin silver skin or membrane on the back of the ribs to ensure tenderness and better eating experience.

7. Don’t cover the ribs: There’s no need to cover the ribs or use parchment paper when cooking in an air fryer. The hot air circulation helps achieve crispy edges.

8. Check internal temperature: The best way to know if your ribs are done is by checking the internal temperature. Once it reaches 175°F (80°C), the meat will be tender but not dried out.

9. Experiment with different rubs and sauces: While this recipe recommends a specific dry rub and BBQ sauce, feel free to customize it to your preference. Try different rubs or sauces to find your favorite combination.

10. Consider alternative cooking methods: If you prefer even more tender ribs, consider slow cooking them in the oven or an Instant Pot before finishing them off in the air fryer for crispy edges.

How to Make Baby Back Ribs in the Air Fryer

 

Making baby back ribs in the air fryer is a simple process that yields delicious results. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Start by preheating your air fryer to 380 degrees F (195 C) for about 3-5 minutes.

2. While the air fryer is preheating, prepare your ribs by removing the silver skin or membrane from the back of the ribs. You can use a small knife to loosen and peel off the membrane.

3. Sprinkle a dry rub all over the ribs, making sure to season them liberally. You can let them sit with the rub for added flavor, but it’s not necessary.

4. Once preheated, place the ribs into the air fryer basket, meat side down. Cut larger racks in half or thirds if needed to fit into your air fryer.

5. Cook the ribs at 380 degrees F for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking time.

6. After 20 minutes, remove the basket and coat both sides of the ribs with BBQ sauce. Return them to the air fryer, meat side up.

7. Increase the heat to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C) and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until slightly charred on top.

8. Remove from the air fryer and brush with more BBQ sauce if desired before serving.

By following these steps, you’ll have tender and flavorful baby back ribs cooked to perfection in your air fryer.

1. Remove the Membrane (silver skin)

To prepare the ribs, start by removing the thin silver skin or membrane on the back of the ribs. This can be done by gently pulling it off with your hands or using a small knife to loosen and lift it away. Removing this membrane is important as it can make the ribs less tender and enjoyable to eat.

Next, season the ribs with a dry rub of your choice. A well-balanced dry rub not only adds flavor but also helps seal in the juices and prevent the ribs from drying out during cooking. You can use a homemade rub or store-bought options, ensuring that you generously coat both sides of the ribs with the seasoning.

Before cooking, preheat your air fryer to 380°F (195°C) for about 3-5 minutes. Preheating allows for even cooking and prevents sticking of the food to the basket.

Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your rack of ribs and personal preference for tenderness. In general, cook baby back ribs in an air fryer at 380°F (195°C) for 20 minutes. Adjust cooking time accordingly if using different types of ribs or if you prefer them more tender.

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After 10 minutes of cooking, flip the ribs over to ensure even browning and caramelization. At this point, you can also baste both sides of the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce for added flavor.

To achieve crispy edges, increase the heat of the air fryer to 390°F (200°C) for an additional 3-5 minutes. This high heat will create a nice char on top of the ribs.

The ribs are done when the internal temperature reaches 175°F (80°C). Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to check for doneness. The meat should be tender but not dried out.

Once cooked to your desired level of tenderness, remove the ribs from the air fryer and brush with additional BBQ sauce if desired. Let them rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to settle. Enjoy your easy and delicious air fryer ribs!

2. Add the Dry Rub

2. Add the Dry Rub: Sprinkle the dry rub across the ribs and rub it all over. You can let it sit overnight in the refrigerator with the rub for even more flavor, but it’s not necessary. The rub adds an extra layer of intense flavor to the ribs. I highly recommend using it.

After preheating the air fryer to 380 degrees F (195 C), place the ribs into the basket, meat side down. Cook for 20 minutes, turning them over after 10 minutes.

Once the initial cooking time is up, pull out the basket and baste both sides of the ribs with BBQ sauce. Return them to the air fryer, meat side up, and increase the heat to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C). Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until they are slightly charred on top.

Brush with additional BBQ sauce and serve hot. The internal temperature of the ribs should reach 175° F (80° C) when they are done cooking.

Remember to remove any silver skin or membrane from the back of the ribs before seasoning them with your preferred dry rub. This will ensure tender and enjoyable meat.

While longer cooking times typically result in more tender ribs, this air fryer recipe produces juicy and tender meat without drying it out. If you prefer even more tender ribs, try our recipe for oven-baked bbq ribs that cook for 2 hours in a slow oven.

Overall, air frying ribs is a quick and easy method that yields delicious results with crispy edges and flavorful meat. Give it a try and enjoy these mouthwatering ribs!

3. Air Fry the Baby Back Ribs

3. Air Fry the Baby Back Ribs

To air fry the baby back ribs, preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees F (195 C). While it’s heating up, prepare the ribs by removing the silver skin or membrane from the back. Sprinkle a dry rub all over the ribs, making sure to season them liberally. Once the air fryer is preheated, place the ribs in the basket with the meat side down. Cook for 20 minutes, turning the ribs over after 10 minutes.

After the initial cooking time, remove the basket and baste both sides of the ribs with BBQ sauce. Return them to the air fryer, this time with meat side up. Increase the heat to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C) and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until they develop a bit of char on top. Brush with more BBQ sauce if desired, and serve hot.

Note that cooking times may vary depending on the size of your air fryer and rack of ribs. Smaller racks will take around 18 minutes, while larger racks can take up to 30 minutes. If you’re cooking multiple racks at once, add an extra 5-8 minutes to ensure they are fully cooked.

Remember not to cover the ribs or use parchment paper in the air fryer, as this can hinder proper airflow and affect even cooking. The internal temperature should reach 175° F (80° C) for tender meat without drying it out.

While slow cooking is known to make ribs more tender, air frying offers a fast and easy method that still produces juicy and flavorful results. If you prefer fall-off-the-bone tenderness, you can try oven-baking them for two hours instead.

Overall, air frying baby back ribs is a convenient way to achieve crispy edges and tender meat without requiring hours of slow cooking or outdoor grilling. Enjoy these delicious ribs with your favorite sides and sauces for a satisfying meal.

4. Baste the Ribs

4. Baste the Ribs

Once the ribs have cooked for 20 minutes in the air fryer, it’s time to baste them with BBQ sauce. Use a brush to evenly coat both sides of the ribs with the sauce. This step adds even more flavor and helps create a delicious char on the outside of the ribs.

After basting, return the ribs to the air fryer, this time placing them meat side up. Increase the heat to 390 degrees F (200 degrees C) and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. This high heat will give the ribs a nice crispy finish and enhance their overall texture.

Brush on some additional BBQ sauce before serving, if desired. The result will be juicy, tender ribs with a mouthwatering caramelized coating that will leave you wanting more.

So go ahead and give these easy air fryer ribs a try. You’ll be amazed at how well they turn out, with perfectly cooked meat and irresistible crispy edges. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or just craving some delicious ribs, this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Questions About the Recipe

 

1. What temperature should ribs be cooked at in the air fryer?

The recommended temperature for cooking ribs in the air fryer is 380°F (195°C).

2. Should I cover ribs when cooking in the air fryer?

No, there’s no need to cover the ribs or put any parchment paper underneath them. The air fryer circulates air around the food to cook it evenly, and covering them will prevent proper airflow.

3. How do you know when ribs are done in the air fryer?

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Ribs are considered done when the internal temperature reaches 175°F (80°C). This is when the meat is tender but not dried out. It’s important to use a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked to the correct temperature.

4. Don’t ribs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Yes, ribs do become more tender the longer they cook, which is why slow cooking methods are preferred for achieving fall-off-the-bone tenderness. However, cooking ribs in the air fryer at a higher temperature for a shorter time can still yield juicy and tender results.

What temperature should ribs be cooked at in the air fryer?

To cook ribs in the air fryer, you should set the temperature to 380 degrees F (195 C). This temperature allows the ribs to cook evenly and develop a crispy exterior while keeping the meat tender. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the rack of ribs, but it typically takes around 20 minutes. If you’re cooking two racks at once, add 5-8 minutes to the cooking time.

There is no need to cover the ribs when cooking them in the air fryer. The air fryer circulates hot air around the food, so covering them would prevent proper airflow and affect the cooking process.

To determine if the ribs are done, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 175° F (80° C). At this temperature, the meat will be tender but not dried out. It’s important to note that unlike slow-cooked ribs, they won’t recede from the bone or fall apart as an indication of doneness.

While longer cooking times can make ribs more tender, using an air fryer provides a fast and easy way to cook juicy and tender ribs without drying them out. However, if you prefer even more tender results, you can try oven-baked bbq ribs that cook for 2 hours in the oven.

How long to cook ribs in the air fryer?

When cooking ribs in the air fryer, the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the rack of ribs. In this recipe, baby back ribs are cooked at 380°F for 20 minutes. Smaller racks may take around 18 minutes, while larger racks can take up to 30 minutes. If cooking two racks at once, add an additional 5-8 minutes to the cooking time. The internal temperature of the ribs should reach 175°F when they are done.

It is not necessary to cover the ribs or use parchment paper when cooking them in the air fryer. The hot air circulation in the fryer allows for even cooking and crispy edges.

To determine if the ribs are done, check that the internal temperature reaches 175°F. This is when the meat is tender but not dried out. However, unlike slow cooking methods, the meat may not recede from the bone or fall apart.

While longer cooking times can make ribs more tender, using an air fryer provides a fast and easy way to cook juicy and tender ribs without drying them out. For those looking for fall-off-the-bone tenderness, oven-baked BBQ ribs are recommended as they cook for 2 hours and produce amazing results.

Should I cover ribs when cooking in the air fryer?

No, there’s no need to cover the ribs or put any parchment paper underneath them. The air fryer circulates air around the food to cook it evenly. Covering them will prevent the air flow.

How do you know when ribs are done in the air fryer?

To determine if ribs are done in the air fryer, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ribs should reach an internal temperature of 175°F (80°C) for tender meat that is not dried out. Keep in mind that the meat won’t recede from the bone or fall apart like it does with slow cooking, so rely on the temperature instead. Additionally, you can look for a nice char on top of the ribs for added flavor and texture. If you prefer a more tender result, you can cook them for longer in the air fryer or try other cooking methods like oven baking or slow cooking.

Don’t ribs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Don’t ribs get more tender the longer you cook them?

Yes, ribs do tend to become more tender the longer you cook them. This is why slow cooking methods, such as smoking or oven baking, are often preferred for achieving fall-off-the-bone tenderness. However, cooking ribs in an air fryer offers a faster and easier alternative that still results in juicy and tender meat.

While the air fryer may not provide the same level of tenderness as slow cooking methods, it does produce deliciously crispy edges and a well-cooked interior. The key is to adjust the cooking time based on the size of your rack of ribs. Generally, baby back ribs cooked in an air fryer at 380°F for 20 minutes will yield tasty results.

It’s important to note that the doneness of the ribs should be determined by their internal temperature rather than visual cues like meat receding from bones. The ribs should reach an internal temperature of 175°F to ensure they are tender but not dried out.

Overall, while slow cooking may offer the most tender ribs, cooking them in an air fryer can still provide flavorful and juicy results in a fraction of the time.

Should ribs be cooked bone side up or down?

When cooking ribs in the air fryer, it is recommended to cook them with the bone side down for the first 10 minutes and then flip them over for the remaining cooking time. This allows for even cooking and helps to develop crunchy bits on top of the meat. Cooking them bone side up initially also helps to prevent sticking to the air fryer basket.

Cooking the ribs bone side down also allows the meat to absorb more flavor from the dry rub and BBQ sauce, resulting in a more flavorful end result. The dry rub helps to seal in juices and keep the ribs from drying out, while the BBQ sauce adds a delicious charred finish.

Overall, cooking ribs in the air fryer is a fast and easy way to achieve tender meat with crispy edges. While slow cooking methods may produce even more tender results, using an air fryer can still yield delicious ribs in just 30 minutes.

In conclusion, air fryer ribs offer a healthier and convenient way to enjoy this delicious dish. With their ability to reduce oil usage and still achieve crispy results, air fryers provide a guilt-free alternative for rib lovers. Whether you’re looking for a quick meal or hosting a gathering, air fryer ribs are a tasty option that won’t disappoint.

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