Air Fryer Ribs: Get Tender, Juicy Ribs in Less Time

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We all know that ribs are perfect for barbecues and family gatherings. They are easy to prepare, inexpensive, and can feed a crowd of hungry people in no time. But if you want to make them for dinner without having to spend hours standing around the grill cooking them, then you will need an air fryer

The air fryer makes it possible to make ribs in a much healthier way because they do not contain as much grease as those cooked on an open grill for instance. 

There are many benefits to using an air fryer, but there is also a bit of preparation that needs to be done before you chop the meat and place them into the cooking basket.

How do you cook ribs in your air fryer? Do you get the same flavors and textures? What do I need to know? We find out…

How To Make Ribs In An Air Fryer

Many people are afraid to cook ribs because it can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. The truth is that making great tasting ribs in your air fryer is very easy if you follow these simple steps:

1. Preparing the Ribs

If you want tender, fall-off-the-bone meat, then you need to carefully prepare the ribs before placing them into the air fryer. The best way to do this is by preheating the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit because it will allow for an even cook throughout.

You should use a cooking rack that has been placed on top of a baking sheet. Make sure you line the baking sheet with foil so that cleaning up is much easier later.

2. Seasoning the Ribs

Ribs do not require much preparation, but you should always season them before cooking them. The best thing to use is dry rub because it gets into every nook and cranny of the meat allowing it to absorb for maximum effect.

ribs with seasonings

Keep in mind that the best dry rubs are made with paprika, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, ground mustard seed, thyme leaves and cumin.

3. Cooking the Ribs for an Hour

After you have seasoned the ribs with your preferred dry rub, place them onto the cooking rack and bake them in the preheated oven for an hour. By this time, they should be cooked perfectly because it takes at least half an hour to cook them thoroughly.

4. Evenly Coat with BBQ Sauce

You can use any type of sauce you want when making ribs in your air fryer, but it is best to choose one that has no added sugar. This will allow the ribs to caramelize and enhance their flavor without tasting too sweet. Coat each side of the meat with an even amount of sauce and then place them back into your air fryer, but this time on high heat for 8 minutes per side.

5. Ready to Serve

After you have finished cooking the ribs, remove them from your air fryer and serve. Your ribs should be moist and full of flavor because they were cooked evenly on all sides without becoming dry or tough. 

3 Secrets For Making Tender Air Fryer Ribs

1) Choosing The Right Rub

The best thing about cooking ribs in an air fryer is that you can use a dry rub because it will allow the flavor to seep into every nook and cranny of the meat. It is important to choose a dry rub that does not contain added sugar because it will prevent the ribs from becoming too sweet.

ribs with dry rub

If you are using store-bought dry rub, then make sure that you only use 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat for a well-balanced taste.

2) Combining Flavors

If you want to add more flavor to your ribs, then try mixing some BBQ sauce in with them before cooking them in the air fryer. This will allow the taste of the BBQ sauce to evenly coat every bite of meat so that it tastes great from top to bottom.

3) Resting Time

The ideal amount of time you should wait is at least 10 minutes. This will allow the meat to cool off enough so that you can easily serve it.

How Long Does It Take To Make BBQ Ribs? 

The exact amount of time it takes to make ribs in an air fryer depends on the size of the rack that you are using. On average, you should cook your ribs for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can check whether they are done by sticking a fork into them easily. If the meat pulls right away from the bone, then your ribs are finished cooking.

This includes preheating time which will be around 15 minutes and then cooking them for 45 minutes or so. After this, you need to flip the meat and continue cooking at high heat for another 8 minutes per side. This will give you tender and delicious ribs that are ready to serve.

Which Side Do You Cook Ribs?

The side that you cook ribs on depends entirely on your own preference. The best thing about cooking them in an air fryer is that both sides will come out tender and juicy after being cooked evenly at a high temperature for approximately 1 hour.

What About Barbecue Sauce?

You can use any type of sauce you want when making ribs in your air fryer, but it is best to choose one that has no added sugar.

barbecue sauce

This will allow the ribs to caramelize and enhance their flavor without tasting too sweet. Coat each side of the meat with an even amount of BBQ sauce and then place them back into your air fryer, but this time on high heat for about 7 minutes per side.

How to Remove the Membrane/Skin Off Ribs?

The best way to remove the membrane or skin from ribs is by inserting a thin knife under it and pulling it off in one piece. If you want to, then you can use a dry paper towel to rub oil onto the surface of the meat before placing it back into your air fryer to finish cooking.

How Long Do You Cook Pork Ribs in The Air Fryer?

On average, you should cook your pork ribs for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can check whether they are done by sticking a fork into them easily. If the meat pulls right away from the bone, then your barbecue pork ribs are finished cooking.

Do You Always Cut Them Into Individual Rib Pieces?

You do not have to slice the meat into individual rib pieces if you don’t want to. A lot of people will cook ribs in their air fryer but then cut them up into pieces before serving. The best thing about cooking them in your air fryer is that you can use a dry rub, combine flavors with BBQ sauce, and cook them evenly on all sides so they are very flavorful.

This will allow the taste of the BBQ sauce to evenly coat every bite of meat so that it tastes great from top to bottom.

Do Ribs Need Resting Time?

The best idea is to rest the ribs before you cut them into individual pieces. The ideal amount of time you should wait is at least 10 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle throughout the meat so that it tastes great.

This resting time also allows the meat to cool off enough so that you can easily serve it.

How To Cook Country Style Ribs In An Air Fryer?

1. Preheat your air fryer to 355 degrees Fahrenheit/180 Celsius.

2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a cooking rack on top of it so that the ribs do not touch the bottom of the pan.

3. Coat each side of the ribs with dry rub and place on the cooking rack on top of the baking sheet.

4. Cook for 20 minutes per side at 355 degrees Fahrenheit/180 Celsius.

5. Coat with BBQ sauce and cook in your air fryer once more at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 Celsius for 10 minutes per side. Serve when ready.

2 Air Fryer Ribs Recipes You Have To Try  (And Are Easy To Make)

1. Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs

cooked ribs with sauce on a chopping board

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • BBQ sauce (optional)

Instructions:

1. Remove the membrane from the underside of each rack, then pat dry with paper towels. Apply a layer of dry rub to both sides of each rack, then place into the air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes per side.

2. Brush the BBQ sauce onto both sides of the ribs, then cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for another 10 minutes per side. Coat with more sauce and pair these with some baked beans, cheesy corn, or your favorite side dish (delicious with potato salad).

2. Air Fryer Boneless Pork Ribs

ribs on white plate with garnish

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork ribs, cut into individual pieces
  • 1/4 cup of water or beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • BBQ rub (optional)

Instructions:

1. Remove the membrane from the underside of each rack, then pat dry with paper towels. Rub water or broth onto the ribs before applying a layer of BBQ rub, then drizzle the oil over each piece.

2. Place into your air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 Celsius for 20 minutes per side.

3. Brush on more barbecue sauce if desired, then place back in the air fryer for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble. Coat with more sauce and serve with a side of chips, mashed potatoes, or salad.

Conclusion

Cooking ribs in an air fryer is a great way to minimize how much fat you have when you eat them as none or little oil is used. To make the most of your meal, choose dry rubs that do not contain added sugars and then serve with BBQ sauce for extra flavor. Rest your ribs for at least 10 minutes before serving because it will allow them to cool off enough so that they are easier to eat.

No matter what kind of meat you use, the process is the same because you just have to choose a dry rub, cook them in your air fryer, and then coat with whatever sauce you want for extra flavor.

Overall, cooking ribs in an air fryer is a great way to reduce calories and fat while maximizing on taste.

Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions!

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