This Air Fryer Ribs recipe is the quickest way to make a juicy and tender rack of St. Louis style ribs. Just rub them with a simple dry rub and cook quickly in the air fryer.
Delicious Ribs in the Air Fryer? Yes!
I promise you can make finger licking delicious air fryer ribs. My favorite advantage to the air fryer, a smaller countertop convection oven, is the quickness!
It preheats much faster than a standard oven and it cooks your food even faster. Ribs can take hours on the grill, but these are equally delicious and cook in just thirty minutes!
The convection aspect of the air fryer makes these ribs nice and crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside – just as ribs should be. See below for some of my favorite barbecue sauces to use for air fryer pork ribs.
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Mixing bowls
- Air fryer
- Flat butter knife
- Baster or basting brush
Different kinds of barbecue sauces and styles
The United States has several regions with specific barbecue styles, all with their own take on the “best” sauce (or dry rub) to use. The most popular are:
- Texas Style: mostly brisket with a more simple salt and pepper rub, sometimes accompanied by a tomato based sauce.
- Kansas City Style: many different kinds of meats, always coated with a sweet thick tomato based sauce with molasses and brown sugar.
- North Carolina Style: most often pork shoulder with a thin vinegar sauce.
- Memphis Style: ribs and pork are most popular, often with a dry rub full of spices.
While many people believe that their region’s barbecue is the best, some people like to mix and match their meats and sauces. I love the combination of a Memphis style dry rub paired with a wet and thick sauce!
Air Fryer Ribs Ingredients
- St. Louis style ribs
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Barbecue sauce of choice
St. Louis Style versus Baby Back Ribs
The two more common styles of ribs – St. Louis and Baby Rack – have differing qualities and sometimes the type you use matters! We are using a St. Louis style rib in this recipe, which is the meatier and flatter version from the belly of a pig.
Baby back ribs come from the upper ribs of the pig and are shorter in nature, making them tender but less meaty. You can use either cut you like, but I prefer a St. Louis style for air fryer pork ribs.
How to make air fryer ribs
Step 1: prepare Ingredients
To begin, cut the ribs into pieces that will fit on the rack of your air fryer. Then, remove the thin layer of silver skin on the bottom of the ribs using a flat butter knife.
Next, prepare the dry rub. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne together in a small bowl.
Step 2: Prepare the ribs and air fryer
Then, preheat your air fryer. Spray the air fryer basket with a nonstick cooking spray. Rub the seasoning over all sides of the ribs in an even and thick layer.
Step 3: Cook the ribs
Place the rack of ribs in the air fryer tray and cook for fifteen minutes. Flip the ribs and air fry for another fifteen minutes.
Step 4: Baste with barbecue sauce
Remove the ribs from the air fryer and allow to cool slightly. Baste them with your favorite barbecue sauce and serve.
Storage and Reheating
Allow ribs to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat these in your air fryer at 350 for 5-10 minutes, until warm.
Delicious barbecue pork ribs are best served alongside a bowl of mac and cheese and some coleslaw. Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve with air fryer ribs.
- Classic Creamy Coleslaw
- One Pot White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
- Grilled Watermelon Salad
- Honey Mustard Three Bean Salad
Check out these other Air Fryer Recipes
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- 2.5lbs St. Louis style ribs
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce of choice
- Cut the rack of ribs into pieces small enough to fit on the air fryer rack. Remove the thin layer of silver skin off the bottom of the ribs using a flat butter knife. Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika and cayenne together in a small bowl.
- Preheat an air fryer to 350F and rub the seasoning over the ribs on all sides. Place ribs in the air fryer tray.
- Air fry at 350F for 15 minutes. Flip ribs and air fry for another 15 minutes
- Remove from the air fryer and allow the ribs to cool slightly. Baste with your barbecue of choice and serve
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
- Removing the silver skin from the back is a key step, be sure not to skip this
- If you are using a small air fryer you may need to cook the ribs in batches
- I prefer to us St. Louis style ribs, but you can use baby back ribs instead. They may cook faster