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BBQ Air Fryer Ribs

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These Tender and Saucy BBQ Air Fryer Ribs are the perfect quick and easy recipe for pork ribs. These ribs can be ready for your dinner table in less than 40 minutes and they’re full of amazing flavor.

air fryer ribs stacked with bbq sauce dripping from brush

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Every once in awhile, someone in my family gets a hankering for ribs. We used to pile in the car and head on over to a bbq spot but then I realized, no, we need to make ribs at home. My initial rib recipe would have me cook ribs low and slow in the oven. But one day, I said…let’s try these ribs in the air fryer. We all agreed, that air fryer ribs are pretty darn good. 

The benefit of ribs in the air fryer is that they cook quickly and easily. They are tender with a little bit of tug but they are not fall off the bone. If fall off the bone ribs are more your speed, I’d suggest trying another cooking method.  

How to make Ribs in an Air Fryer

First, take a full rack of pork baby back ribs and cut it in half so it can fit into the air fryer basket. Then remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.

hand removing membrane from the back of ribs

I’ll be honest here, I’m still not sure why I remove the membrane as I’ve never really noticed a huge difference the times I removed them or left them on. But removing them is quite easy so I just get rid of them. 

Then season the ribs with your favorite bbq spice rub, covering both sides of the ribs.

ribs on board seasoned with bbq rub

Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes, then place the ribs in the basket, meat side down and cook for 20 minutes. 

ribs in air fryer basket meat side down

Once the 20 minutes is up, grab a pair of tongs and flip the ribs over, and cook for an additional 10 minutes on 380 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Once the timer is up, open the basket and cover the ribs with your favorite bbq sauce.

ribs in air fryer basket with sauce being brushed on it

Close the Air Fryer basket and cook for 5 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

finished bbq ribs in air fryer basket

Remove and allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes. Feel free to cover with additional bbq sauce if you like saucy ribs. 

ribs on white cutting board already cut into sections

And there you have it, amazing tender bbq ribs.

Looking for more air fryer recipes? Try these out:

These ribs are great served with these recipes:

This Recipe has a full Length Video Tutorial. You can watch the full video on YouTube by clicking HERE.

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5 from 5 votes

BBQ Air Fryer Ribs

These tender and saucy bbq ribs come out perfect when cooked in the air fryer. Make air fryer ribs in less than 40 minutes. It’s perfect for any weeknight meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer ribs
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 576kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 1 3 lb rack of pork baby back ribs cut in half, membrane removed
  • 3 Tbsp bbq rub
  • ½-1 cup bbq sauce

Instructions

  • Season the ribs with bbq spice rub, covering both sides of the ribs.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes, then place the ribs in the air fryer basket, meat side down and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Once the 20 minutes is up, grab a pair of tongs and flip the ribs over, and cook for an additional 10 minutes on 380 degrees.
  • Once the timer is up, open the basket and cover with the bbq sauce. Return to Air fryer and cook for 5 minutes on 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove and allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes. Feel free to cover with additional bbq sauce if you like saucy ribs.

Video

Notes

  • The cook times in this recipe are for pork baby back ribs. Beef ribs will likely take longer to cook.
  • I used my large air fryer (5.3qt) to ensure all my ribs would fit into the basket.

Nutrition

Calories: 576kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 557mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 419IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 6mg
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Recipe Rating




Kathryn Hornsby

Friday 31st of July 2020

Would also like the receipe for a Pork Tender Lion for Air Fryer for my new Cuisinart (gift from my daughter) Whole new world for me. 78, it is about time for me to venture out. :) Thanks for the advice on the Thermapen 4K. Ordering today from Amazon. How to I let them know that you recommend it.

Susan

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

Have become a fan of my air fryer and looked for a recipe for baby back ribs to try out. Seasoned with garlic powder and paprika and added the BBQ sauce at the end. Loved it that I could have great tasting ribs in a half hour. They were absolutely delish!

Tanya

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

Thank you so much Susan! I love how fast these are too. It's my go to way to make ribs now.

Beth

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Full disclosure, I got here because I bought a pre-seasoned half rack of spare ribs on sale at my store and had no idea how to cook them in my air fryer. Your method was totally spot on. The ribs were super juicy, and tender, without being fall off the bone. I didn't add additional sauce, since I didn't have any I wanted to use. I'm so glad I found your page.

Tanya

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Thank you Beth! So glad you liked the recipe. And there's nothing wrong with pre-seasoned ribs, especially if they were delicious :)

M E Banks

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Thank you Tanya for an outstanding recipe that got dinner on the table in a flash. My husband and I are in North Carolina BBQ country. He raved about this! There are a couple of tweaks I will use next time, but this is wonderful as is. I omitted celery salt because I didn’t have any. I only used 1 teaspoon of salt but it was still a bit salty for my taste, although I am more sensitive than most. After reading lots of articles about Ribs and their membrane, I simply scored the membrane with three light cuts. Next time I will use a light salty brine, rinse well and dry, and omit the salt all together from the rub and drop the temperature down to 350 for the first few minutes because I was getting a good char a little early. I used good bottled barbecue sauce cut with a little apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid smoke during the last minutes. The two of us devoured the entire rack! I am new to air frying, and I have never commented on any recipe ever. My compliments to you Tanya.

Tanya

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

Thank you so much! I love your use of the brine and scoring the membrane. Much less work lol. So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)

Chet

Sunday 5th of July 2020

Cooked the ribs for dinner on the 4th! They were fantastic! Took about 35 minutes cooking time. Pulling off that membrane is a Booger! I finally got a pair of pliers and got it off that way. 😳 We will enjoy this again and again! Thanks.