ribs on plate

It’s hard even to imagine what we used to do before air fryers were invented. While ovens may do the trick, there’s just something that is so wonderful about an air fryer, including the fact that it does the work in half the time. Another plus about the air fryer is that your food literally tastes like it’s been deep-fried, but the air fryer method makes it healthier for you. These air fryer BBQ ribs are everything a rib lover could want: They’re easy to make, have plenty of flavor, and can be ready in just 20 minutes!

Recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge came up with this tasty dish that checks all the boxes. She describes her favorite part of this recipe perfectly. "[It’s so easy to make.] I actually used to boil [the ribs] in Coke, [then cook them in the oven]," Olayinka says. "But this process is so much mire streamlined and quicker."

Keep reading to find out how to make these wonderful ribs.

Gather the ingredients for the air fryer BBQ ribs

bbq ribs ingredients on counter

Once you’re in the mindset to make these wonderful ribs, you will need to make a grocery list and head to the store. Be sure to check for ingredients you may already have at home, so you don’t buy something unnecessary. Of course, you will need some ribs, roughly 20 ounces. If you have more guests, you could always double or even triple the recipe.

The only other items you need will add some wonderful flavor to the ribs. Start with salt and garlic powder, then pick up paprika. You will also need about a cup of the barbecue sauce of your choice. That’s it!

Preheat the air fryer

ribs in bowl

If you have used your air fryer before, then you know what a wizard it is in the kitchen. If you haven’t, welcome to the fan club. Trust us, you will love everything air-fried, especially these ribs.

Grab your trusty air fryer and place it on your counter. Make sure it’s in a safe spot where kids or dogs can’t get to the cord. Set the timer to 380 F to preheat the device. That way, it can get hot while you do the rest of the prep work.

Season the ribs

ribs with seasoning

It’s time to add some flavor to your ribs. Grab a bowl big enough to fit your ribs. Toss in the ribs and start adding the rest of the ingredients. Begin with a little bit of oil, followed by salt and garlic powder. Is it just us, or do you think salt and garlic powder make the world a better place?

Next, add the paprika for a little bit of spice. If you want to add even more heat, don’t hold back. Olayinka suggests adding chili flakes if you want to kick the spice up a notch.

Mix the ribs with the spices until the ribs are fully coated.

Air fry the ribs

ribs in air fryer

How easy was that prep? Now, you can go ahead and dump the seasoned ribs into the tray of your air fryer and slide it back in. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and let the machine do its thing. About halfway through (at the 5-minute mark), you’ll want to shake the air fryer tray to turn the ribs over to the other side. That way, both sides cook evenly.

Olayinka says she loves the air fryer method because "It’s quicker and makes the meat crispier." She has just a few tips for checking for doneness. "[Make sure] no blood is seeping out. Or, you could use a meat thermometer in the thickest [part] of the meat (ensuring the thermometer is not touching the bone)," Olayinka says. You’ll want the temperature to be 145 F.

Add the barbecue sauce and enjoy

ribs on plate

Once the 10-minute timer goes off, take the ribs out of the air fryer and coat them with barbecue sauce. Stick them back in the air fryer and crank the heat up to 400 F. Cook for about 5 more minutes.

Once you remove the ribs from the air fryer, you can dig in. Olayinka recommends serving this dish with hearty sides like potato salad, rice, or pasta salad. And if you have anything left over, she says you can store it for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

We hope you enjoy these ribs as much as we do!

When you’re craving homemade barbecue pork ribs, this delicious air fryer BBQ rib recipe can be whipped up in just 15 minutes flat.

  • 20 ounces pork ribs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic power
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  1. Begin by preheating the air fryer to 380 F.
  2. Place the ribs in a mixing bowl followed by the oil, salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Mix together until all the ribs are coated.
  3. Place in the air fryer at 380 F for 10 minutes. Shake the air fryer at 5 minutes to turn the ribs over.
  4. After 10 minutes, take the ribs out of the air fryer and coat them with barbecue sauce before placing them back in the air fryer at 400 F for 5 minutes.
  5. Take them out of the air fryer — they are now ready to be served.