You're never going to want ribs any other way after making these Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs! With just five simple ingredients needed and only 30 minutes of cooking time, this easy rib recipe will have everyone reaching for "just one more"!
Is there anything better than eating ribs right off the bone? I'm a huge fan of beef ribs as well as these air fryer pork ribs, too. There's something so fun about just picking up a rib from the air fryer and chowing down. Maybe it's because you don't have to share that rib with anyone else. It's all yours to enjoy.
The key to good spare ribs is making sure that they're nice and tender and the air fryer is the perfect appliance to do just that. I actually prefer to use my air fryer to cook ribs over the oven because of the texture and how quickly they cook.
You can also use this Smoked Ribs Rub as an awesome dry seasoning to apply to the ribs before adding them to your air fryer basket. It gives a great smoky flavor from smoked paprika when making Keto Smoked Ribs is not an option.
Baby back ribs - I always use two pounds for this recipe because we can go through some air fryer ribs!
Garlic powder - Be generous with the seasonings to really add the flavor.
Onion powder - Don't confuse this with onion salt. Onion powder pairs perfectly with the other spices.
Smoked paprika - This gives the ribs an amazing smoky flavor. It is my secret ingredient when making meats that are great on a smoker in the house instead.
Salt - Adding the salt enhances the flavor and helps tenderize the ribs as well.
How To Make Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs
Cooking a rack of ribs in the air fryer is such a simple process. Just a few steps and you'll be eating in no time at all.
Step One: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees and spray the air fryer basket with nonstick spray.
Step Two: Mix together the rub ingredients and apply them all over the ribs.
Step Three: Put the ribs into the air fryer and air fry for 15 minutes.
Expert Tip: You will need to cut the ribs to get them to fit. Don't layer them! They won't get crisp if you stack them on top of each other. If you have a small air fryer you may need to cook them in batches.
Step Four: Flip the ribs and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Cut the ribs, serve, and enjoy.
BBQ Sauce - If you don't want a dry rub, you can always add on some barbecue sauce during the cooking process or slather it on at the end. Use a brush to add on the sauce. I have recipes for three different flavors of keto bbq sauce you are going to want to try: white bbq sauce, yellow mustard barbecue sauce, and a classic red sauce.
Sweetness - To add a bit of sweetness, add a little bit of brown sugar or brown sugar sweetener to the mix. Honey is also a great addition if you aren't doing keto and adds a natural sweetness to the flavor, too.
Heat - For spicy ribs add cayenne pepper, ground chipotle pepper, or chili pepper to the rub.
What side dishes do you serve with this keto air fryer bbq ribs recipe?
If you're wanting to continue with a low carb theme, there are some great side options to serve. Steamed veggies like broccoli or cauliflower are great!
You can also grill up some corn on the cob and have a true Southern meal! And if you're not worried about carbs, cooking up some fries will pair perfectly as well.
What internal temperature are pork ribs done cooking at?
For the ribs to be cooked and safe to eat, they need to be at least at 145 degrees. I would highly recommend using a meat thermometer so that you get an accurate reading. For true fall-apart tender ribs, you need to cook them to a higher temperature so they begin to break down. They actually need to be cooked until between 190 and 205 for the best texture.
Make sure that you check the reading in a thick part of the meat and don't have it close to the bone. The bone will be hotter than the meat and will throw off the reading.
Do you need to wrap the ribs with foil before putting them in the air fryer?
Nope, not at all. Just follow the printable recipe below and I can assure you that they're be cooked perfectly every single time.
I do think that wrapping them in foil AFTER they're done cooking and taken out of the air fryer is totally fine. I've done this numerous times and it's a great way to keep the heat in place and keep the ribs nice and warm while the rest of dinner is being cooked or the table is being set.
How do you reheat ribs so you don't dry them out?
You do have to be careful when reheating ribs because if you heat them for too long, you're going to dry them out. I do think that you can reheat them in the air fryer, just stay close and keep a close eye on them.
Using the microwave is also a fast way to reheat the ribs but you're going to want to not do it for too long or the heat will overcook the ribs very quickly.
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- 2 lb baby back ribs
Smoked Paprika Rub
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat air fryer to 400. Spray basket and rack with cooking spray.
- Mix together rub ingredients and rub on the ribs.
- Place ribs in the air fryer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Flip. Cook an additional 15 minutes.
what if you don't have smoked paprika? and I do not have an air fryer. I do have a toaster oven/convection/rotisserie all in one
You can use regular paprika but they won't have a smoky flavor. You can make it in your cooking appliance, but I'm not sure how to adjust the time and temp.
A winner!! The spice rub was really good. Easy to make... a rack is needed for efficiency! We will be making these again soon. Great recipe! Thanks.
So easy and perfectly fall-off-the-bone tender. Loved that added spice rub for extra flavor!
My husband and I couldn't get enough of these ribs. This was my first time making them in the air fryer and they came out perfect!