BBQ Ribs In The Air Fryer (Yummy)

Air-fried BBQ ribs are a tender, saucy, extremely healthy, and yummy meal! It fulfills your daily protein requirement and is ideal for all festivals.

These tasty ribs with crispy and flesh edges are ready in only 40 minutes. When you air fry them, they become extremely juicy and tender. It is convenient when you’re not ready to bake or use a grill.

Today we’ll be discussing the recipe for air-fried BBQ ribs in detail! Also, I’ll address some queries related to this recipe.

Let’s get started!

Can You Cook BBQ Ribs in an Air Fryer?

Pork ribs can not only be cooked in an air fryer, but they also cook extremely nicely in one.

Cooking delicate, juicy baby back ribs in an air fryer oven takes very little time and work, making it a fantastic alternative for a quick and flavorful BBQ dinner.

Simply preheat a 3.5-quart air fryer to 350°F. Transfer the ribs to the fryer basket and cook for 40 minutes, or until tenderized and golden brown.

Can You Cook Using Foil in an Air Fryer?

Yes, aluminum foil can be employed in an air fryer.

Your aluminum foil and the dish and its accompanying will not be harmed by the air fryer’s cooking procedure, which consists of rushing hot air.

Due to the hot air, the foil must be attached to the food or the air fryer basket. Otherwise, the foil may become loose and flutter around the gadget as your food cooks.

The Recipe

Here’s a list of all the ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of pork ribs: Cut them in half and remove their membranes.
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce: Use your favorite BBQ sauce for this recipe, or make one at home!
  • 3 tbsp of BBQ rub
  • Ground black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Cajun seasoning: Cajun seasoning is used to develop the taste and flavor of the ribs.
  • Homemade dry rub: Make a dry rub to season the ribs. You can buy one from a grocery store too. It’s a secret to the rich flavor of the meal.
air fried BBQ ribs with cheery tomatoes and sacue on a wooden board
Air-fried BBQ ribs tossed with barbecue sauce and honey!

How to cook BBQ ribs in an air fryer?

  • Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Take off the membrane from the back of the ribs. Make sure they are dry before adding the seasoning. Now, season both sides of the ribs with BBQ rub.
  • Combine onion powder, black pepper, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Place the ribs in the air fryer basket with the meat side down. Cook for 20 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit, then turn upside down and cook for another 12 minutes.
  • Pour BBQ sauce on top or apply with the help of a brush after the cooking time has been completed.
  • After that, air fry for another 10 minutes.
  • Check the ribs’ internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Take the BBQ ribs out of the air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy with barbecue sauce or any dipping sauce you like.

Tips & Suggestions

  • It is very helpful to preheat the air fryer before starting the cooking process. This prevents food from sticking to the basket and enables it to reach the proper temperature for even cooking.
  • You may need to chop the rack of ribs in half or 1/3rd to fit in your air fryer. It depends on the size of your air fryer.
  • Larger air fryers can accommodate them as it is. Chop it in half to fit in a 4.5-quart air fryer.
  • Cooking times may vary depending on the model and size of your air fryer. On average, it takes 30 to 35 minutes to cook a rack of ribs in a 4.5-quart air fryer.

Nutritional information

Air-fried BBQ ribs contain 576 calories per serving. These calories are a mixture of several nutrients, such as:

NutrientsAmount (g/mg)
Vitamin C2mg
Nutritional Information


What’s the membrane lining in pork ribs?

Make sure you take off the membrane from the back of the ribs.

The thin silver lining runs along the back of the ribs to hold them together. It’s rough and leathery, hindering the cooking process. So, it’s better to remove it before starting the cooking process.

How to remove the membrane from the ribs?

It’s very simple to remove! You have to;

Flip the ribs over and look for the membrane that starts around the margins of the meat. The smaller part acts as a handle to remove the entire membrane. Insert a knife between this handle and the ribs to loosen the silver skin completely.

Does an air fryer tenderize the ribs?

The ribs are juicy, tender, and delicious when cooked in an air fryer. Although they can be cooked in a grill, oven, or smoker, they take much more time than an air fryer.

Air-fried BBQ ribs are simpler and quicker! It enriches the seasonings and dry rub and gives your meat a crispy exterior and a tender, juicy interior.

Should I air-fry pork ribs with foil?

In my opinion, using foil is not mandatory. But wrapping the ribs in foil will make cleanup easier. Additionally, it prevents the ribs’ sides from burning as the meat shrinks and becomes softer.

Follow the instructions carefully to get the desired taste and texture.

How long should you cook the BBQ ribs?

Cook the BBQ ribs for 20 to 30 minutes in the air fryer.

Although the majority of people think that shorter cooking time at high temperatures makes the meat more tender and juicy! But it’s just a misconception. It’ll make them rough, dry, and unpleasant!

Longer cooking times and a moderate temperature render the ribs more tender and juicy. Air fryers guarantee you a slower and even cooking process. It helps keep the meat moist and soft and prevents it from drying.

Cook the ribs bone side up for the first 10 minutes. Then, turn over and cook with the bony side down. It makes the ribs crunchy on the top and soft on the bottom.

Baby back ribs on a plate
BBQ ribs contain a lot of protein and sodium.

When do we apply the dry rub in this recipe?

Add the dry rub right after removing the membrane lining. Apply it to the ribs and rub it with your hands. It’s better to use gloves for rubbing it.

This dry rub adds a strong flavor to the recipe. After this step, refrigerate the ribs overnight so that the ribs absorb the richness of this rub.

There are many dry rub recipes available online. You can use them to make one at home. But using salt and pepper is the easiest.

What should we serve with BBQ ribs?

You can pair BBQ ribs with the following:

  • Vinegar coleslaw
  • Mash potatoes or baked potatoes
  • Any coleslaw and iceberg salad
  • Tomato and cucumber salad
  • Mac & Cheese

What are the health benefits of BBQ ribs?

BBQ spare ribs contain a lot of nutrients. Iron and zinc are two of them. These nutrients play a significant role in boosting the immune system.

Zinc and iron aid in the transport of oxygen to cells and tissues via the bloodstream. 

Does the oven cook better BBQ ribs?

Air fryers are best for making BBQ ribs. There are many reasons to say so.

You get an amazing blend of crisp and tender air-fried BBQ ribs. In addition, there is no strenuous cleaning of air fronts. Check the food anytime to ensure it is perfectly cooked and juicy.

Ovens get the same tenderness and juicy ribs, but the crunch is not as good as air fryers. Plus, you need mittens to check each of them. The cleanup needs some effort too!

BBQ platter with ribs, chicken and sausages
A platter of air-fried BBQ ribs with some variations

Where to find seasonings for the spice rub?

You can simply make the spice rub at home. You’ll need to use onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, dry mustard, and crushed black pepper. You can add or subtract any ingredient, depending on your preferences.

Plenty of other dipping sauces for air-fried ribs can be made at home. Red wine vinegar, paprika, dry mustard, and Worcestershire sauce are easily available. You can combine them to create a delicious BBQ sauce and top your air-fried ribs.

Creating a balanced dry rub is significant as ribs have a considerable amount of sodium. Therefore, properly measure the ingredients and do not exceed the quantities!

Check out this video on the Air fryer BBQ ribs recipe:

BBQ ribs In the air fryer

Final thoughts

  • Air-fried barbecue ribs are a fantastic source of tender, juicy meat!
  • It contains the right amount of spice and sauce! This recipe is an amazing blend of balanced ingredients with no extremes of spice or sweetness. In 30 to 40 minutes, you can have crispy barbecue ribs.
  • Use your favorite barbecue sauce to top the ribs, or make one at home. It’s always smart to vary the ingredients according to the number of people you serve.
  • Make air-fried BBQ ribs for dinner, lunch, or any family gathering! It’ll be loved by one and all!

More Air fryer recipes

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