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air fryer bbq ribs brushed with BBQ Sauce and served with lemon and sauce on the side

Air Fryer BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: 5 Ingredients, Air Fryer, BBQ, Comfort Food, Pork, Southern Comfort Food
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 413kcal
Author: Marilyn
Air fryer BBQ baby back ribs are delicious, melt-in-your-mouth ribs that you are going to love. These ribs are so fuss-free you won't even believe how quickly and easily you can get an epic meal of baby back ribs on your table and ready to devour.
Print Recipe



  • 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.


Check the back of the ribs to see if there is a thin transparent membrane. This membrane may have been removed by the butcher. If it is still in tact, starting at one end insert a sharp knife just under the membrane and grasp it with your fingers. Then, pull the membrane off of the ribs and discard. 
A rack of ribs will typically have 10 to 13 ribs. Cut the ribs into portions that work well with the number of servings you are planning on.
Checking Doneness:
  • 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.
The cooking time of ribs will depend upon the size and quality of your ribs. It will also depend upon the efficiency of your air fryer. For the last 15 minutes of cooking, check your ribs more often to make sure they are done to your liking. You may need to adjust the cooking times suggested in the recipe based up these factors.
For a caramelized finish, increase the temperature of the air fryer to 400° F after you have brushed on the BBQ sauce and during the last 5 minute of cooking.
Victoria, there are a few recipes on the site for other rib rubs and BBQ sauces. If you would, just talk about these with some internal links.


Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 5mg