Make a delicious tender and juicy rack of Air Fryer BBQ Baby Back Ribs for dinner tonight with this incredibly easy recipe. You guys, making tender ribs that almost fall off the bone and melt in your mouth has never been so simple. Trust me, making BBQ baby back ribs for dinner will be the best decision you make all day!
Having a quick dinner on the table in just over a half hour thanks to the Air Fryer is something to be proud of. The whole family is going to love these meaty, comforting ribs that have been air fried and lathered up with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Don't have an Air Fryer but still want to make yummy Baby Back Ribs? Try this delicious oven-baked country style ribs recipe. Grab your Pressure Cooker and use this Instant Pot Tender Meaty Baby Back Ribs recipe. Still looking for more ribs? Try these 3 2 1 Ribs!
- Baby Back Ribs: Make sure this is the cut of pork you're getting. This rack of ribs is different than spare ribs as baby back ribs are shorter and leaner. Also know that baby back ribs and country-style ribs are also different. Make sure you're getting the correct cut from the grocery store. Baby Back Ribs are also different than Beef Ribs.
- Dry Rib Rub: If you have your own rub, use it, or you can use my rub recipe made from packed brown sugar, smoked paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, chili powder, and dried mustard. Grab the full recipe below in the recipe card.
- BBQ Sauce: Make your own homemade sauce or use your favorite store bought type of barbeque sauce.
- Start by preheating your Air Fryer to 360 degrees F for a few minutes while you prepare the rack of ribs.
- Remove the silver skin thin membrane from the back of the ribs. Use a paper towel to pat the ribs dry before cutting them into 3 to 4 rib sections.
- Combine the dry rib rub ingredient in a small bowl. Then season the ribs with the dry rib rub, liberally rubbing the species all over the ribs.
- Place the ribs in the Air Fryer basket or Air Fryer tray with the meat side down and cook for 15 minutes before flipping them using a pair of tongs and cooking for an additional 10 minutes.
- Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and cook for 5 more minutes, or until your meat thermometer can be inserted horizontally into the part of the rib with the most meat and the internal temperature reaches at least 180 degrees F. A fork should also be able to be inserted into the meat and easily be turned back and forth.
- Repeat the whole process from step 4 on with all of the rib sections.
- Serve immediately with additional BBQ sauce.
Don't cook your Air Fryer pork ribs until they start to fall off the bone because by then the meat has become mushy. Always use your meat thermometer to make sure your ribs are safe to eat. If you want fall off the bone ribs, you need to cook them in the Slow Cooker.
Always watch your ribs and use a meat thermometer to check that your ribs are done and safe to eat. The time needed to cook them will vary depending on a few things: the quality and size of your ribs, and the make, model, and efficiency of your Air Fryer. Feel free to adjust your cooking time as needed based on these things.
How To Air Fry Rib Tips
- You may have to work in batches to air fry all of the remaining ribs.
- Make sure to cover all sides of the ribs with the spice rub for maximum flavor.
- For easier cleanup, use cut parchment paper to line the basket or tray but make sure it has some holes so the hot air still has sufficient ways to circulate.
- Prep the ribs properly by checking if the thin transparent membrane has been removed or not. If not removed by the butcher and is still intact, use a sharp knife just under the membrane at one end and grasp it with your fingers, and then pull it off with your fingers and toss it out.
- When cutting the rack of ribs into smaller portions, keep your desired number of servings in mind. Also, know that most racks tend to have 10 to 13 ribs each.
Enjoy a caramelized finish on your air fryer BBQ baby back ribs by increasing the temperature to 400° F after you have brushed on the BBQ sauce for the last few minutes of cooking.
Feel free to try this homemade sweet and tangy BBQ sauce for this recipe. Or if you would prefer using a store-bought sauce, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce is always a great choice for air fryer ribs.
Serve these delicious Air Fried Ribs with any of your favorite sides. Here are some easy ideas:
Make sure to wrap leftover air fryer ribs tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in the refrigerator. You may also choose to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftover ribs can be kept for up to 5 days.
If you wish to extend that time, you can wrap the air fryer ribs in plastic, then foil, or in an airtight freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months.
Store extra BBQ sauce in its own airtight container in the refrigerator.
Air Fryer BBQ Baby Back Ribs
- Air Fryer
- 1 rack baby back ribs about 1-½ to 2 pounds
- 6 tablespoons dry rib rub see recipe below
- ½ cup BBQ sauce
Dry Rib Rub
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F.
- Remove the thin membrane from the back of the ribs. Using paper towel, pat the ribs dry. Cut the ribs into 3 to 4 rib sections.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder and dry mustard. Season the ribs all over with the dry rib rub.
- Arrange the ribs in the air fryer meaty side down and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the ribs so the meaty side is up and cook for another 10 minutes then brush the ribs with the BBQ sauce.
- Cook 5 more minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted horizontally into the meatiest part of the rib registers at least 180°F and a fork inserted into the rib meat can be turned easily.
- Transfer the ribs to a serving platter and serve immediately.
- The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145° F. However for ribs, this temperature is not high enough to break down the collagen and fat in the ribs. Without this happening, the ribs will be tough and rubbery.
- For perfectly tender, melt-in-your-mouth ribs the the internal temperature should be between 180° F to 200° F. You will also start to notice that the bones are peaking out more from the end.
- Do not cook the ribs until they are "fall off the bone.” If this does happen, the meat is already over cooked and the meat is mushy. Rely on your meat thermometer and the tenderness of the ribs when a fork is twisted in between them.