These pork ribs are seasoned, slathered in BBQ sauce, and caramelized in the air fryer. Say goodbye to a messy kitchen and hello to effortless cleanup!

Plated Air Fryer Ribs.

Air Fryer Ribs Video

How To Make Air Fryer Ribs

Pull out your air fryer and a handful of seasonings — these air fryer ribs take only five minutes to prep! You’ll be feasting in no time.

  • Season the ribs: In a large bowl, toss the ribs with the seasonings until they are evenly coated.
  • Preheat the air fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 370°F.
  • Cook the ribs: Place the ribs meat side down in the basket and air fry them for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Add the sauce and finish cooking: Take the ribs out and brush or toss them with the BBQ sauce. Place the ribs back in the air fryer and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until they are fully cooked. Allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes before serving, then enjoy!

Hot tip: For a clean cut, remove the membrane on the back of the ribs and use a sharp knife to slice through the meat between each bone and separate the ribs.

Choosing the Best Ribs

Do you feel stuck at the grocery store or butcher? Let’s get to the meat of the matter and look at three different types of ribs to help you choose the best ones.

  • Baby back ribs: Baby back ribs are our go-to choice — they’re incredibly tender and the perfect size to fit in the air fryer. Why are they called “baby?” Well, it’s not because they come from a baby pig! Baby back ribs are simply the shortest and smallest cut.
  • Spare ribs: Spare ribs are larger and flatter than baby back ribs. The most common cut of spare ribs is St. Louis ribs, which are trimmed down to uniform rectangles. They cook evenly and contain lots of juicy, yummy fat.
  • Short ribs: Are you in the mood for beef? Buy a rack of short ribs and sink your teeth into the tender, deeply flavorful meat. Keep in mind that short ribs may have to cook longer to achieve the same texture as pork ribs.
Air Fryer Ribs on a plate with herbs.

Tips for Unbeatable Air Fryer Ribs

There’s no need for complicated techniques or hours of slow cooking in this recipe. Follow these tips for easy ribs that are bursting with flavor, super juicy, and fall off the bone!

  • Add more spices. Go to flavor town with a punchy dry rub — add brown sugar, garlic powder, or cayenne pepper to adjust the flavor to your liking.
  • Check the internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the ribs reach 190-200°F.
  • Get saucy. Drench the ribs in homemade BBQ sauce for the perfect tangy-sweet flavor. Or, use your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce.
  • Air fry the ribs in batches. Avoid overcrowding the air fryer, as this prevents the hot air from circulating and cooking the ribs evenly.
  • Marinate the ribs overnight (optional). This is the best way to ensure the seasonings permeate through the ribs. If time allows, toss the ribs with the spices in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Ways To Serve

Barbecue ribs tend to be a bit messy and sticky, but they make an irresistibly delicious main dish. Serve them fresh out of the air fryer with hot sides like corn on the cob, mac and cheese, or buttery garlic green beans. Are you looking for a cooler pairing? Dig in to purple cabbage salad or olivier potato salad to refresh your palate. Don’t forget the dinner rolls to clean off all the yummy sauce on your plate!

Storage & Reheating

Are you lucky enough to have leftover ribs? Use this guide to ensure your leftovers “meat” your expectations for days (or months) to come.

  • Refrigerator: Allow the ribs to cool completely, then place them into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
  • Freezer: To store for up to three months, freeze the leftover ribs in an airtight container. Thaw the ribs in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Reheating: Reheat the ribs in the air fryer at 350°F for 3-5 minutes until sizzling, or use the microwave.

Hot tip: To restore the juiciness, brush extra BBQ sauce onto the ribs before reheating them.

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About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.