Pork back ribs
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How to cook baby back ribs in an air fryer

Air fried baby back ribs

Plate of air fried baby back ribs

Baby back ribs in under an hour - yep it's possible - at least if you rely on your trusty air fryer. Here's how I make great air fried back ribs, scroll to the end for the notes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • One rack of prepared baby back ribs, cut in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat air fryer to 360F
  2. While air fryer is heating up, prepare ribs (see below)
  3. Cook for 15 minutes at 360F and flip ribs over
  4. Cook for 15 minutes more at 360F and flip once more
  5. Cook for a final 15 minutes at 400F

Half rack of baby back ribs with spice rub

Half rack of baby back ribs air fried

Back back ribs air fried uncut

Plate of air fried baby back ribs

Air fried baby back rib close up

Notes

General rib air frying thoughts

Ill start by saying there are a lot of ifs and buts and caveats when air frying ribs. All baby back ribs aren't created equally and cuts of meat can vary. You'll need to use your common sense here, and as ever, make sure you have a trusty kitchen thermometer to track the progress of your ribs. While pork is generaly regards safe at 145F, rib addicionados reckon the best results come at 195F or so.

The basics of my recipe are to cook the ribs through at 360F then raise the temp to the max to char and crisp things. That 15/15/15 is easy to remember. You might want to tweak things down a little, or indeed up a little more.

What are air fried ribs like?

This recipe won't create fall off the bone ribs. That's not to say these are tough by any means, but the air fryer creates a rib that has more bite to it. You still get some lovely fat rendering, and exterior crisp and char, but if you want that fall apart texture I'd recommend the instapot, oven, or long slow cook on the smoker.

Prepping baby back ribs

You can read about prepping ribs on myriad websites, so I won't go into massive detail on that one. For me, I keep things extrememly simple:

  • Remove ribs from the pack
  • Cut in half (my Cosori will just about manage a half rack place diagonally)
  • Rub down with spice rub (I used some Traeger pork and pultry here)

And that's it. 15/15/15, and test the meat for temp.

Should I add BBQ sauce while air frying my ribs?

In the recipe here I decided not to. I prefer the dryer style rib, becuase after all, you can always add your sauce on the side later. That said, if you do want to use BBQ sauce, I would advise basting the ribs with it, for just the last five minutes of airfrying. BBQ sauce typically has a lot of sugar which will inevitably burn at high heat. With that in mind I would only advise adding the sauce toward the end of cooking.

Please ensure your food is always thoroughly cooked. We recommend investing in a reliable kitchen thermometer. Check out the affordable selection on Amazon - there's something at every price point.

This website and all recipes are presented as a reference only. Many variables may influence your own cooking times. Read this info on using our recipes.

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