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Learn how to make tender fall off the bone ribs in the air fryer with this Air Fryer Ribs recipe. It’s ready in less than 40 minutes and uses my sweet and smoky bbq seasoning! Enjoy this with my keto bbq sauce recipe or any of these keto sides for bbq. Alternatively, top this with any hickory bbq sauce that you wish.
Why Make This
- Tender ribs in a fraction of the time: this recipe comes together in less 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.
- 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.
- Keto BBQ Sauce: to keep this keto-friendly, you can use my homemade bbq sauce recipe. But, any Kansas-city style or hickory barbecue sauce works in this recipe
How to Make Air Fryer Pork Ribs
Prepare the Ribs
- Remove the thin membrane (if it’s there) from the back of the rib racks
- Sprinkle the bbq seasoning all over the ribs. Allow the ribs to marinate for at least 4 hours (ideally, overnight).
Air Fryer Directions
- Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes. Add the ribs to the air fryer basket.
- Air fry at 380 degrees meat side down. 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.
Top Tips & FAQs
- Use pre-brined ribs for best results: fall off the bone ribs take time and are best cooked low and slow or in a pressure cooker. So, the key to getting 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 in 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.
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. 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
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Air Fryer Pork Ribs
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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!