Air Fryer BBQ Ribs – tender and saucy with crispy edges – air fried and slathered with your favorite BBQ sauce. Bonus: They’ll be on your dinner table in under 30 minutes.
This recipe is for grillmasters AND those making ribs for the first time.
I’ve grilled ribs in the past. If they don’t cook long enough they’re tough. Slow cook in the crockpot all day and they’re falling apart.
Like Baby Bear, these ribs are just right – tender with just the right amount of give when you bite into them.
It’s an easy, no fail recipe you’re going to love. You may even declare them the best ribs ever.
For small families – or singles – this air fryer ribs recipe is ideal. No firing up the grill and standing outside watching them just for a few bones.
Once in the air fryer set the timer, pour a glass of wine (my personal choice) and decide which sides you’ll serve with them (see below for ideas!).
Ribs freeze easily (plain or seasoned), so cook only as much as you want and enjoy the taste of grilled ribs anytime. It’s my new favorite way to make ribs because it’s incredibly simple with delicious results.
WHAT’S IN BBQ AIR FRYER RIBS?
- Slab of ribs (I prefer St. Louis style ribs, but Baby Back is good too)
- Your favorite dry bbq spice rub (or your own homemade dry rub)
- Barbecue sauce – homemade OR your favorite bottled sauce
- Cooking spray
PREPPING THE AIR FRYER RIBS:
Remove the silver skin/membrane before cooking. It runs along the back of the ribs and can be tough if left on.
To remove, turn the ribs over and peel back one corner of the membrane until you have enough to hold onto.
If you have trouble getting it started, slide a sharp knife between the membrane and ribs to get it started then pull until it’s completely removed. If you find it’s too slippery to hold onto, grab it with a paper towel.
This will also give the ribs plenty of time to come to room temperature before air frying which lets the meat cook more evenly.
Next cut the ribs into pieces that will fit in your air fryer (this will vary with air fryers). Because I only needed two pieces, I froze the remaining two.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER BBQ RIBS:
Preheat the air fryer to 375 then lightly spritz the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
Lay the cut ribs on a sheet of parchment paper (for easier cleanup) then sprinkle on the dry bbq rub seasoning. Give it a good rub to cover all sides of the ribs.
Place the ribs meat side down into the air fryer basket and air fry for 15 minutes. They can overlap a bit and don’t have to be in a single layer.
Using a pair of tongs, turn the ribs over and continue cooking another 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, crank the heat to 400 degrees, slather the ribs with bbq sauce then air fry another 2-4 minutes.
NOTE: cooking time will vary with the size of your air fryer and size of the ribs. Watch closely so they don’t burn!
Serve right away in slabs or cut into individual ribs. I like have extra bbq sauce at the table – and plenty of napkins!
WHAT SIDE DISHES GO WITH AIR FRYER BBQ RIBS?
Old Fashioned Potato Salad – like grandma used to make but better (shhh!) – with hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon and real mayo. Readers call it “amazing!”
4 Ingredient Homemade Coleslaw – just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes for crunchy slaw with a creamy tangy-sweet homemade dressing.
Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks – soft bread with crispy bottom brushed with garlic-parmesan butter and finished with gooey melted mozzarella cheese. Way better than the local pizzeria!
Creamy Macaroni and Cheese – super creamy – easy homemade mac and cheese from scratch. Stovetop or baked with a buttery crisp breadcrumb topping.
LOOKING FOR MORE AIR FRYER RECIPES?
Air Fryer Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower bites – crazy good, boldly delicious air fried in minutes! Easy, healthy perfect appetizer or side dish.
Homemade Air Fryer Pizza Bagel Bites – mini bagels topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese + all your favorites. Easy 10 minute recipe kids of all ages will love.
Air Fryer Quesadillas – quick, easy weeknight meal, snack or appetizer in 10 minutes! Crispy tortillas with melty cheese + any protein – chicken, beef, shrimp – even roasted veggies or beans.
WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS:
Store any leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. They can be reheated in the microwave or air fryer on the reheat setting.
Enjoy – and check out the printable recipe card below for more details!
If you tried this delicious recipe for Air Fryer Pork Ribs or any other on the blog then I hope you’ll leave a comment and some stars!
Air Fryer BBQ Ribs
- Approx. 2 1/2 pounds rack of ribs I prefer St. Louis but Baby Back is good too
- 3-4 tablespoons your favorite dry BBQ spice
- 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce plus more for serving
- cooking spray
Prepping the Ribs:
- Remove the silver skin/membrane before cooking. Turn the ribs over and peel back one corner of the membrane until you have enough to hold onto. Pull until it's completely removed. It helps to hold it with a paper towel when pulling.
- Cut the ribs into pieces that will fit in your air fryer (size varies with air fryers).
Air Frying the Ribs:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 then lightly spritz the air fryer basket with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle on the dry bbq rub seasoning. Give it a good rub to cover all sides of the ribs.
- Place the ribs meat side down into the air fryer basket and air fry for 15 minutes. It's okay if they overlap slightly.
- Turn the ribs over and continue cooking another 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, increase air fryer temp to 400 degrees, brush with bbq sauce then air fry another 2-4 minutes.
- NOTE: cooking time varies with the size of your air fryer and ribs. Watch closely so they don’t burn!
- Remove from the air fryer basket and serve with your favorite sides.