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This Air Fryer Ribs recipe will show you how to make pork ribs in your air fryer. It’s ready in less than 40 minutes. Plus, it uses just three-main ingredients like my sweet and smoky bbq seasoning with any hickory bbq sauce that you wish. Whether you make this easy recipe during the summer months, or just a random Friday, these air fryer BBQ ribs will definitely be a family favorite and the star at your dinner table.
Why Make This
- Tender ribs in a fraction of the time: this recipe comes together with a cook time of fewer than 40 minutes with only an air fryer.
- Homemade bbq dry rub & simple ingredients: this recipe requires just three main ingredients. You can use my DIY bbq seasoning or one that you pick up from the store.
- Tips from a pro: fall off the bone ribs take time and are best cooked low and slow or in a pressure cooker. I give you all the tips you need to make tender ribs quickly.
- Pork Baby Back Ribs: I use one large rack of ribs. Similar to making air fryer turkey breast, this recipe works best for ribs that have been brined. You can identify brined ribs by looking at the packaging. It tends to have water and salt added in the list of ingredients.
- BBQ Seasoning: this recipe is sweet, mildly spicy, and smoky and includes common pantry spices (like black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder).
- Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe: to keep this keto-friendly, you can use my keto bbq sauce. But, any Kansas-city style, hickory barbecue sauce, or your favorite barbecue sauce works in this recipe.
How to Make Air Fryer Pork Ribs
Prepare the Ribs
- Remove the thin membrane or connective tissue (if it’s there) from the back of the rib racks
- Sprinkle the bbq seasoning all over the ribs, including the back of the ribs and the sides of the ribs. Allow the ribs to marinate for at least 4 hours (ideally, overnight).
Air Fryer Directions
- Preheat your air fryer for 3-5 minutes. Place ribs in a single layer in the air fryer basket or air fryer tray.
- Air fry at 380 degrees meat side down. Flip the meat with a pair of tongs. Add sauce to the tops of the ribs. Air fry at 390 degrees for 5-10 minutes more to char the sauce & cook the ribs through.
Top Tips & FAQs
- Use pre-brined ribs for best results: the key to getting the most tender ribs in the air fryer is to use ribs that have been brined. You can identify brined ribs by looking at the packaging. It tends to have water and salt added to the list of ingredients. The brining adds extra moisture, which allows you to cook the ribs at a high temperature and short period of time without drying them out.
- Cut to size: After removing the membrane from the ribs, I used to cut the ribs into smaller, 3 – 4 bone sections. I found that this made it easier for the ribs to fit into the cooking pot. They should be in a flat layer (not stacked) or standing up against the edges of the cooking pot. However, you don’t need to do this if the ribs fit without cutting them.
- Place parchment paper on the bottom of your air fryer basket: this is the best way to help capture some of the drippings, resulting in less cleanup afterward.
Storage & Leftovers
If you have leftover ribs, a great way to store them is in an airtight container for next time. You can also wrap them up tight in aluminum foil for up to 5 days.
It takes about 40 minutes from start to finish to cook pork ribs in the air fryer.
Yes. However, it is best to air fry ribs that have already been brined, which will help result in juicy air fryer ribs. Look for things like salt, water, or brine on the rib packaging and ingredients.
I prefer 380 degrees for most of the cooking, then 390 degrees to finish the ribs.
Recipes to Enjoy This With
- Best-Tasting Keto Side Dishes for BBQ
- Easy Keto Coleslaw Recipe
- Keto Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
- Air fryer beef ribs
If you try this recipe, please stop back and leave it a star rating and/or a review in the comments. Stay connected & share photos of your creations with me & others on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!
Air Fryer Pork Ribs Recipe
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Prepare the Ribs
- Remove the thin membrane (if it's there) from the back of the rib racks.
- Sprinkle bbq seasoning all over the ribs. Cover and allow the ribs to marinate at least 4 hours (ideally, overnight).
Make Pork Ribs in the Air Fryer
- Preheat your air fryer at 380 degrees for 5 minutes (turn it on with the air fryer basket without food inside or use the preheat setting)
- Add the ribs to the air fryer basket in a flat layer for square baskets or position them standing up against the edges for circular baskets.
- Air fry at 380 degrees (meat side down) for 20 minutes or until the thickest part of the ribs reach 135 degrees.
- Flip the meat. Add sauce to the tops of the ribs. Air fry at 390 degrees for 5-10 more minutes to char the sauce & cook the ribs through.
- Brush on more sauce to the tops before serving.
The nutrition facts come from entering the recipe ingredients into Spoonacular API, a database of food ingredients. They may vary for any recipe based on the exact product used. The keto sweeteners I use have 0g net carbs & are not included because sugar alcohols do not impact most people. This is provided as a courtesy, but you can do your own calculations if you wish!