Cook up quick, easy, and tender Air Fryer BBQ Ribs for game day! These baby back ribs are seasoned with a homemade dry rub and brushed with BBQ sauce for the ultimate sweet, smoky, sticky combination.
Tender BBQ Ribs
These pork ribs are seasoned with a brown sugar spice rub, cooked until perfectly tender, and brushed with BBQ sauce. They are fall off the bone tender and couldn’t be easier to make.
Why You’ll Love this Air Fryer Ribs Recipe:
- QUICK: Air fried ribs come together quickly and easily. Serve up these ribs in less than 45 minutes!
- PARTY FOOD: I love serving these ribs for a crowd. They’re an easy-to-eat finger food perfect for game day, happy hours, and more.
- TENDER: These ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender. You’ll love them!
Game day eats don’t get much better than these deliciously sticky and satisfying BBQ ribs!
How to Make Air Fryer BBQ Ribs
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Make the spice rub.
- Prepare the ribs and coat them with the spice rub.
- Brush BBQ sauce onto the ribs.
- Cook for another 5 minutes and serve.
I love using pork baby back ribs for this air fryer recipe. They’re less fatty than spare ribs so they get really tender as they cook.
Yes! While the method remains the same, the cook time and temperature changes when using spare ribs. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F and cook the spare ribs for 40 minutes in step 6. Continue with step 7 as written.
Cook these ribs at 370°F in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes before adding the ribs so they cook through evenly.
Ribs are done cooking when the bones start to peek out and the internal temperature is between 180°-195°F.
These air fryer BBQ ribs are great served with other game day appetizers and snacks like:
No matter how you serve them, these BBQ ribs are always a hit!
- To remove the silverskin membrane from the back of the ribs, use a sharp knife to lift it away from the ribs and pull to remove it. Your butcher can also complete this step for you!
- Use your favorite BBQ sauce or make homemade BBQ sauce (my go-to).
- Feel free to mix up the spices in the spice rub by adding dried herbs or a little cayenne pepper.
These air fryer ribs are perfectly tender every time!
Can I use a pre-made spice rub?
Absolutely! I love making my own spice mix to customize the blend of flavors, but a store-bought spice rub will be just as delicious. Use about 2-3 tablespoons of a pre-made spice mix!
How do I remove the skin off of the ribs?
Often, baby back ribs come with a thin membrane on the back of the ribs. You can certainly keep the membrane on, but the ribs will be chewier. To remove the membrane, use a sharp knife to life it away from the ribs and pull to remove it. Check out this slow cooker ribs post for a video at the bottom showing how to remove it. Your butcher can also complete this step for you!
Can I make these ribs ahead of time?
Definitely. Make the spice rub and rub it over the ribs. Keep the ribs covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Continue with the recipe and cook as instructed. Cooked ribs are best enjoyed fresh, but reheat any leftovers in the air fryer at 300°F for 5-10 minutes.
More Game Day Recipes We Love
If you’re looking for a quick and delicious addition to game day, these air fryer BBQ ribs have you covered!
More Easy Ribs Recipes to Try:
- Crockpot Hawaiian Ribs
- Instant Pot BBQ Ribs
- St. Louis Grilled Ribs
- Oven Baked Ribs
- Honey Bourbon Short Ribs
- Maple BBQ Ribs
If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!
Air Fryer BBQ Ribs Recipe
- 3-3 ½ pounds baby back pork ribs
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅓ cup BBQ sauce plus more for serving
Preheat the air fryer to 370°F for 5 minutes.
- Spray the inner basket of the air fryer with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cumin. Set aside.1 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon ground cumin
Strip the silverskin membrane from the back of the ribs. Cut the rack into 4 equal portions. Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs.3-3 ½ pounds baby back pork ribs
Place the ribs meat side down in the air fryer basket.
- Cook the ribs for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes.
Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with more BBQ sauce, as desired.⅓ cup BBQ sauce
- Ribs: To remove the silverskin membrane from the back of the ribs, use a sharp knife to lift it away from the ribs and pull to remove it. Your butcher can also complete this step for you!
- BBQ Sauce: Use your favorite or make homemade BBQ sauce (my go-to).