Air Fryer Beef Ribs: Easy to Make Air Fryer Recipe

Air Fryer Beef Ribs

Wanting to try a new, delicious, and easy-to-make recipe for your next meal? Look no further! Air Fryer Beef Ribs are the perfect dish for you. This scrumptious recipe will have you craving more as you savor the tender, juicy, and flavorful ribs cooked to perfection in your air fryer. Say goodbye to the long hours spent grilling or waiting for your oven to do the job. With air fryer ribs, you can enjoy a mouthwatering meal in no time.

Cooking ribs has never been so simple and hassle-free. The air fryer's innovative technology ensures that your ribs are cooked evenly, leaving them with a crispy outer layer and a succulent, tender interior. The best part? You can customize this dish by smothering your ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce, giving them that finger-licking good taste you love.

This air fryer ribs recipe is perfect for those who want a quick yet flavorful meal, whether it's for a family gathering, a weekend treat, or simply to satisfy your craving for some good ol' BBQ. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your air fryer, some beef ribs, and your favorite BBQ sauce, and get ready to experience a whole new level of deliciousness.

Keep reading to find out how to make this irresistible dish that will have you wondering why you didn't try it sooner!

Beef Short Ribs or Baby Back Ribs, What to Choose?

When it comes to cooking ribs, the age-old question remains: should you choose beef short ribs or baby back ribs? With the popularity of air fryers on the rise, it's essential to know which type of ribs will give you the best results. Both options have their distinct characteristics, so let's dive in and explore the differences between air fryer short ribs and baby back ribs.

Beef short ribs come from the lower part of the ribcage, making them a more substantial and meatier option. These ribs are known for their rich, beefy flavor and succulent texture. If you're planning to make beef short ribs in your air fryer, you'll be delighted by the tender, juicy meat that falls off the bone. The air fryer's high heat and quick cooking times ensure that the ribs are cooked to perfection, with a crispy outer layer and mouthwatering tenderness. For those who love a hearty, satisfying meal, beef short ribs are the way to go.

On the other hand, baby back ribs, also known as pork loin back ribs or simply back ribs, come from the upper part of the ribcage. These ribs are smaller and leaner than beef short ribs, with a more delicate flavor. A rack of ribs from this cut is perfect for those who prefer a lighter, more subtle taste. When cooked in an air fryer, baby back ribs turn out incredibly tender and flavorful, with a deliciously crispy exterior. The air fryer's efficiency ensures that the ribs are cooked evenly and quickly, making it a fantastic option for those short on time.

In summary, the choice between beef short ribs and baby back ribs comes down to personal preference. If you're a fan of robust, beefy flavors and a more substantial meal, then air fryer short ribs are your best bet. However, if you prefer a lighter, more delicate taste, then baby back ribs are the way to go. Whichever type of ribs you choose, you can't go wrong with the convenience and delicious results of an air fryer.

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How to Make Beef Ribs in Your Air Fryer: Step-by-Step Guide

In this recipe, we will be focusing on beef ribs, specifically beef back ribs, which are known for their rich, meaty flavor and tender texture. Cooking ribs in an air fryer is a quick and efficient way to achieve perfectly cooked ribs with minimal effort. Follow this step-by-step guide to make delicious beef ribs in your air fryer.


  • 1 rack of beef back ribs (about 3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)


  • Air fryer
  • Wood cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Tongs
  • Meat thermometer
  • Pastry brush (optional)
  • Aluminum foil (optional)


  1. Preparation: Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs. This will ensure that the seasoning penetrates the meat better and that the ribs are more tender. On a wood cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut the ribs into individual pieces or smaller sections, depending on the size of your air fryer basket.

  2. Season the ribs: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to create a dry rub. Rub the seasoning mixture evenly onto the ribs, making sure to cover all sides.

  3. Preheat the air fryer: Set your air fryer to 380°F (193°C) and let it preheat for about 5 minutes.

  4. Place the ribs in the air fryer basket: Arrange the seasoned ribs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. You may need to cook the ribs in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

  5. Cook the ribs: Cook the ribs in the air fryer at 380°F (193°C) for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, use tongs to flip the ribs and cook for another 25 minutes.

  6. Check for doneness: After the ribs have cooked for a total of 50 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ribs. The ribs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C) to 200°F (93°C). If the ribs have not reached the desired temperature, continue to cook them, checking the temperature every 5 minutes.

  7. Optional - Add BBQ sauce: If you prefer saucy ribs, remove the ribs from the air fryer basket and brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce. Return the ribs to the air fryer and cook for another 5 minutes to caramelize the sauce.

  8. Let the ribs rest: Once the ribs are done, remove them from the air fryer and let them rest on a wood cutting board for about 5 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute, ensuring that the ribs remain tender and juicy.

  9. Serve and enjoy: After the ribs have rested, cut them into individual pieces, if you haven't done so already, and serve with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy your perfectly cooked beef back ribs, made effortlessly in your air fryer!

Useful Tips When Making Beef Back Ribs in the Air Fryer

Useful Tips When Making Beef Back Ribs in the Air Fryer

Though making beef back ribs in an air fryer is a relatively simple process, there are a few tips that can help ensure your ribs turn out perfectly cooked and full of flavor. Here is a list of useful tips to keep in mind when preparing beef back ribs in the air fryer:

  1. Choose the right cut of beef: When selecting your beef back ribs, look for a cut with a good amount of meat on the bones. This will ensure that your ribs taste juicy and flavorful. You can also opt for boneless beef ribs if you prefer.

  2. Trim excess fat: Before seasoning, trim any excess fat from the ribs. This will help prevent flare-ups and smoke in the air fryer and result in a more evenly cooked and tender rib.

  3. Cut the rack of ribs in half: If you have a smaller air fryer, you may need to cut the rack of ribs in half to fit them in the basket. This will allow for even cooking and prevent overcrowding.

  4. Place ribs bone-side down in the air fryer: When placing the ribs into the basket, ensure that they are bone-side down. This will help the meat cook more evenly and prevent the ribs from sticking to the basket.

  5. Monitor cooking time: Keep an eye on the ribs as they cook, as different air fryers may require slightly different cooking times. Check the internal temperature of the ribs regularly to ensure they reach the desired doneness.

  6. Rotate the ribs: If you're using an air fryer oven with multiple racks, make sure to rotate the ribs halfway through the cooking process. This will help them cook evenly and achieve that perfect tenderness.

  7. Rest the ribs: After the ribs have cooked, let them rest for a few minutes before cutting and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure a tender, juicy bite.

  8. Experiment with flavors: Feel free to get creative with your seasonings and sauces. You can try different dry rubs or even marinate the ribs before cooking for an extra flavor boost.

  9. Add a BBQ fix: If you're craving that smoky BBQ flavor, consider adding a few drops of liquid smoke to your dry rub or BBQ sauce. This will give your air-fried ribs a delicious, smoky taste without the need for a grill.

  10. Reheat leftovers properly: If you have leftover ribs, reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes at 350°F (175°C) to maintain their crispiness and tenderness.

Best Side Dishes to Serve With Your Air Fried Beef Ribs

garlic mashed potatoe

Air fried beef ribs are a delicious and satisfying main course, but to complete the meal, you'll need some tasty side dishes. Here are some of our favorite recipes that pair perfectly with those succulent, tender beef ribs:

  1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy, garlicky mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that complements the robust flavors of beef ribs. Whip up some potatoes with butter, cream, and roasted garlic for a comforting and delicious accompaniment.

  2. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Grilled corn, with its slightly smoky and sweet flavor, is a fantastic addition to your beef ribs meal. Brush the corn with butter and your choice of seasonings, then grill or air fry until tender and slightly charred.

  3. Coleslaw: A crisp, tangy coleslaw adds a refreshing contrast to the rich, meaty beef ribs. Combine shredded cabbage, carrots, and your favorite coleslaw dressing for a simple yet satisfying side dish.

  4. Baked Beans: Slow-cooked baked beans, with their sweet and smoky flavors, are a natural partner for beef ribs. Either make them from scratch or use a store-bought version to save time.

  5. Macaroni and Cheese: A creamy, cheesy macaroni and cheese dish is always a crowd-pleaser and pairs well with the bold flavors of beef ribs. Choose your favorite recipe and watch it disappear from everyone's plates.

  6. Roasted Vegetables: A medley of roasted vegetables, such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes, adds a healthy and colorful element to your meal. Toss the vegetables in olive oil and your choice of seasonings, then roast or air fry until tender and caramelized.

  7. Cornbread: Warm, buttery cornbread is a comforting and delicious side dish that pairs beautifully with beef ribs. Bake up a batch of your favorite cornbread recipe to serve alongside your air fried beef ribs.


How long to cook short ribs in the air fryer?

To cook short ribs in the air fryer, set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 6 minutes per side, for a total of 12 minutes. Make sure to check the internal temperature to ensure the ribs reach the desired level of doneness.

How to cook beef ribs quickly?

To cook beef ribs quickly, you can use the air fryer or a pressure cooker. The air fryer method, as described in the previous sections, involves cooking the ribs at a high temperature for a shorter period. Using a pressure cooker can also significantly reduce the cooking time while still producing tender and juicy ribs. Simply follow your pressure cooker's instructions for cooking beef ribs, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Are ribs better in an air fryer compared to a griller and smoker? (smoker is still the best)

While the air fryer can produce delicious and tender ribs, the smoker remains the best option for achieving that authentic, smoky flavor and fall-off-the-bone tenderness. The griller can also create great-tasting ribs with a nice char on the outside. However, the air fryer offers convenience, speed, and ease of use, making it a great alternative for those who don't have access to a smoker or griller, or for those short on time.

Do you need to flip the ribs in the air fryer?

Yes, it's recommended to flip the ribs halfway through the cooking process to ensure even cooking and browning. Place the ribs bone-side down in the air fryer and cook for half of the total cooking time, then flip them over and continue cooking until the ribs reach the desired internal temperature.

How to properly store leftover air fryer beef ribs?

To store leftover air fryer beef ribs, follow these steps:

  1. Allow the ribs to cool completely at room temperature.
  2. Cut the ribs into individual pieces or smaller sections to fit in an airtight container.
  3. Place the ribs in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  4. Store the ribs in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

To reheat the leftover ribs, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the ribs for a few minutes until heated through and crispy on the outside. This will help maintain the texture and flavor of the air-fried ribs.


In conclusion, air frying beef ribs is a convenient and efficient way to enjoy tender, flavorful meat without the need for a smoker or griller. By following our tips and pairing your ribs with delicious side dishes, you'll create a memorable and satisfying meal for your family and friends.

The air fryer offers a great alternative for those short on time or without access to traditional BBQ equipment, allowing you to enjoy mouthwatering beef ribs with ease.

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