Air fryer BBQ ribs make a quick dinner for those evenings you get back late and don’t have the energy for a complicated supper. The best dry rib rub adds plenty of amazing flavour to pork or beef ribs, and you can cook BBQ ribs in an air fryer which is speedier than oven-roasting them.
Either pork or beef ribs pair are good to use here. Whichever you choose, remove the membrane from the bone side before you start. I usually put the meat in the sink and peel up a corner of the membrane and it comes right off.
You might want to use some paper towels to help you grip the slippery membrane. If you don’t remove it before making air fryer dry rub ribs then you’ll have to peel it off every rib afterwards.
Three pounds of ribs is a good amount if you’re serving four people. This might sound a lot but remember most of that weight is going to be bone. Even if you’re only cooking for two, I’d still use the full amount because you can store and reheat these.
How to Make the Best Dry Rib Rub
I love using a dry rub when making air fryer BBQ ribs. You can add so much flavour this way. The rub is a tasty combination of sugar, paprika, garlic onion, cumin, vinegar, and oil. Add some salt and black pepper as well as some liquid smoke. OK so the vinegar and liquid smoke make it slightly less ‘dry’ and more paste-like, but don’t worry. It’s still the best dry rib rub for making this quick dinner. It’s a rub rather than a marinade so you don’t need to leave it to soak in like you would with a liquid marinade.
How to Cook Air Fryer BBQ Ribs
Once you’ve coated pork or beef ribs in the best dry rib rub it’s time to get cooking! Pop the air fryer dry rub ribs in the air fryer. You’ll want to have a grill insert in the bottom. If you cook BBQ ribs in an air fryer they should take 15 to 20 minutes to cook through. The exact time depends on different factors such as the type of ribs you’re using, your air fryer and how thick the ribs are.
My air fryer is quite large but I can still only cook one rack at a time in there even if I cut it into three pieces, so this is a recipe to make in 2 batches. You can always keep the cooked rack warm while cooking the next batch.
I like to brush BBQ sauce over the air fryer dry rub ribs then cook for another few minutes. This sets the sauce a little. You can use literally any type of BBQ sauce here – sweet, smoky, spicy, or whatever you prefer. You can also omit the BBQ sauce if you only want the rub. It’s totally your call.
What to Serve with Air Fryer BBQ Ribs
I like this quick dinner with simple sides. Consider mashed potatoes or fries. Perhaps add some steamed broccoli, sautéed cabbage or asparagus tips. Salad is always good with ribs too, so take your pick. If you want, you can serve additional BBQ sauce on the side, although the ribs will be juicy and moist without it.
Can You Make Air Fryer BBQ Ribs Keto?
Not only can you cook BBQ ribs in an air fryer but you can trim the carb count right down. First swap the brown sugar in the recipe for Truvia Brown or your preferred keto sweetener. Also use sugar-free BBQ sauce rather than the regular sugary kind. The G Hughes brand has a good one with 1 or 2 carbs a serving.
I love making pork or beef ribs using the air fryer. I’ve also slow-cooked ribs in the oven for hours and they are fall off the bone tender instead. The dry heat of an air fryer, as well as how well the hot air circulates in there, ensures these ribs will cook evenly and fast.
What Temperature Should Air Fryer Dry Rub Ribs Be?
Interestingly, ribs are fully cooked and safe to serve when they reach 145 degrees F. However, this doesn’t make them falling-off-the-bone juicy! For that the internal temperature should be at least 190 degrees F or anywhere up to 205 degrees F.
You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature or else just use a fork and you will see whether the meat is coming off the bone or not. Whether you choose to pair your air fryer BBQ ribs with coleslaw and mashed potatoes, a crisp salad or something else, knowing how to cook BBQ ribs in an air fryer means you can rustle up this quick dinner whenever you want.
If you are a fan of these air fryer BBQ ribs, you might also like Fall off the Bone Slow Cooker Hawaiian Ribs, Delicious Mesquite Smoked Dry Rub Brisket or Flavourful Slow Cooker Salsa Fresca Chicken.
Air Fryer BBQ Ribs Made with the Best Dry Rib Rub Recipe
Air Fryer BBQ Ribs Made with the Best Dry Rib Rub
- 3 Pounds ribs membrane removed, cut in half or thirds
- 1/3 Cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 Teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon cumin
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon liquid smoke
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Cup BBQ sauce
- In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke and olive oil. Spread it evenly over the entire rack of ribs.
- Make sure the rack is in the bottom of the air fryer pot. Place one rack of ribs flat on the rack and put in the air fryer.
- Turn air fryer to 360 degrees F and cook one side for 8 minutes. Flip the ribs and cook an additional 8 minutes. Check for doneness near a bone. If the meat isn’t completely cooked through, cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
- Brush the cooked ribs with BQ sauce. You can cook for another minute.
- Remove and cook the second rack of ribs.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Let me know if you try this easy air fryer BBQ ribs recipe. It has the best dry rib rub and this recipe will become one that you make again and again! It is a tasty quick dinner that everyone loves.
If you are looking for other air fryer recipes, you might like these Air Fryer BBQ Peach Bourbon Wings.