Air Fryer Spare Ribs are finger licking good! These pork spare ribs in air fryer make a delicious roast style dinner without the BBQ or oven needed.
There are so many reasons why you will love this recipe. Here is a summary of a few key points:
- Quick, easy and juicy ribs recipe!
- Less effort involved than BBQ or Oven baked ribs.
- Fast cook time at low heat for tender meat.
- Kid friendly, Family Friendly and Freezer Friendly recipe.
- Restaurant quality food at the comfort of home.
- Variety in meat and a nice change from sausages or roast chicken.
- Serve with your favourites by pairing with salad and or easy sides.
- Simple, easy to find everyday grocery store ingredients.
- Portable cooking, travel with your air fryer only needs a power point!
- Alternative cooking method to others, if you really want ribs, you can have them!
The photo below shows you the basic ingredients needed for the recipe. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for specific measurements.
- Spare ribs: I am using pork spare ribs for this recipe. These have much more meat on them than baby back ribs.
- Rib dry rub spices: I recommend making your own dry rub for the ribs. The combination you see in the photo above is brown sugar, onion powder, garlic power, celery salt, mixed spice and salt and pepper. This simple few ingredients seasons the ribs with maximum flavour and taste.
- Olive oil: this is one of the few recipes where I think it is better to use a spray or 2 of this in the the air fryer basket than not. It will aid clean up and we only need to use a small amount of it.
Top Tip 1: As much as we are flavour packing our ribs with spices, it is also a good idea to serve them with BBQ sauce for seriously saucy lip licking ribs!
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by combining our spices for the dry rub. I use a mini whisk to combine.
- Dry rub spices (Photo 1)
- Whisk to combine the dry rub spices (Photo 2)
- Pat both sides of the ribs dry with paper towel (Photo 3)
- Add spare ribs to plastic bag (Photo 4)
Top Tip 2: If you have any chunky bits of spice use a flat based glass to break up and combine. (See this picture).
- Add dry spice rub to spare ribs (Photo 5)
- Massage spice rub into ribs (Photo 6)
- Cook the ribs for 10 mins, then use kitchen tongs to flip (Photo 7)
- Cook for a further 10 mins (Photo 8)
Top Tip 3: Once the ribs are cooked, allow them to rest on paper towel. This will ensure the juices return to the meat.
Get your hands ready and BYO a bib! These fingers and our face are going to get messy (in the tastiest way possible).
Don't forget the sauce and check out all of my homemade sauces for one you can easily whip up!
How to Guide
How to Store
Once the ribs are cooked, you can store them in an air tight container for 2 days. They need to be reheated prior to consumption.
How to Freeze
Freeze store bought spare ribs in the packet and the remove at a later date, defrost and cook according to the steps above.
Cooked spare ribs can also be frozen in the case where you may want to dice left over meat and freeze for use in wraps or sandwiches.
How to Reheat
Reheat the full ribs in the air fryer for 2 - 3 mins till hot again.
Alternatively cut meat from leftover ribs and dice. Then reheat in the microwave for 1 - 2 mins if using for a sandwich, roll or wrap.
Substitutions and Variations
There are a variety of both ribs and style of ribs available at the supermarket as well as butcher's.
You will commonly find beef, lamb and pork ribs.
You will find spare ribs, baby back ribs, short ribs, loin and country style ribs.
It is also common to see ribs that have been prepared differently to others. For example a rack that has been cut into individual ribs or riblets, or the full rack.
You can try a store bought dry rub, a wet marinade or different sauces.
- Ensure you pat both sides of the ribs dry with the paper towel.
- Season the ribs with spice mix prior to cooking, but also serve the ribs with BBQ or smokey BBQ sauce.
- Garlic powder tends to clump. Use a flat based glass to push and break these clumps apart prior to combining.
- Celery salt will be with the herbs and spices section at the store. It is a combination of salt, celery seed, rice flour, capsicum, paprika, vegetable oil and parsley.
- A zip lock bag or freezer bag is ideal to use to add ribs and rub and massage to coat. Glad wrap will work if no bag available.
- You can refrigerate the seasoned ribs for an hour or so if you want the flavours to develop further.
- You can coat the ribs in the sauce towards the end of the cook time and then cook for a further 2- 4 mins if you want the sauce warm/cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do ribs get tender in air fryer?
To get tender ribs when using an air fryer, we need to reduce the temperature to lower than what we use to cook many other foods.
What temperature do you cook ribs in an air fryer?
For tender meat, ribs are better cooked at a lower temperature. Set the temperature 150°C/300 F for 2-3 mins to allow the appliance and then cook the ribs for 10 mins each side.
You will find that the ribs will be more tender than if you cooked them at a higher heat for less time.
How should spare ribs be cooked?
Spare ribs should be rubbed in a dry rub or wet marinade and then cooked in the oven, in the slow cooker, on the BBQ or in the Air Fryer.
Is it hard to use an air fryer?
No, it is not difficult to use an air fryer.
Many people get confused and think that they are frying their food like a deep fryer (See Air Fryer versus Deep Fryer (Deep fryer vs Air Fryer) for more info).
An air fryer works by air moving around in the appliance which cooks the food.
Using an Air Fryer is very easy!
It is a simple electric cooking appliance with preset functions and an in built timer. It will have an adjustable cooking temperature and instruction guide with tips and tricks to get you started.
How do you know when spare ribs are done?
The ribs will shrink back exposing the bone when they are cooked. You can also pierce them with a skewer and see if it comes back easily. It it seems to hold the meat, they are not cooked yet.
Can you put foil in an air fryer?
You can use tin foil in an air fryer, however, it is not necessary for this recipe.
Once the ribs are cooked, remove them and place on paper towel so they reabsorb their own juices.
What are country-style spare ribs?
Country-style spare ribs have either very little bone or are boneless.
They come from a different part of the animal, up near the shoulder. If there is bone in them, it is not rib bone, rather shoulder or scapular bone.
Here are some more recipes to get you to use your air fryer daily!
- Air Fryer Roast Chicken
- Easy Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Air Fryer Fish Fingers (Fish Sticks)
- Teriyaki Salmon Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Salmon with Skin
You can also check out all of my Air Fryer Recipes in the one place.
PIN and save this recipe for later!
Air Fryer Spare Ribs
- Air Fryer Basket or tray oven style
- Zip lock bag For adding ribs and seasoning
- Side plate To combine rub ingredients
- Mini whisk To whisk together rub ingredients
- Paper towel For resting cooked ribs
- 1kg 2-3lb spare ribs Note 1
- BBQ sauce to serve
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery salt Note 2
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic power
- Preheat the Air Fryer at a temperature of 150°C/300 F for 2-3 mins.
- Combine herbs and spices for the dry rub. Break down any lumps in the mix with a flat based glass.
- Use paper towel and pat both sides of the ribs dry.
- Add dry spare ribs to plastic bag and sprinkle with dry rub. Massage rub into ribs to cover.
- Spray air fryer basket with olive oil. Place ribs in one flat layer, slight spread apart.
- Maintain the same temperature setting and cook the ribs for 10 mins, then remove and use kitchen tongs to flip to the other side. Return the basket to the slot and close the appliance. Cook for a further 10 mins.
- Remove cooked spare ribs from air fryer basket with kitchen tongs. Rest on paper towel to allow the juices to run back into the meat.
- Serve with BBQ sauce.
- Note 1 Pork spare ribs are commonly available and the ones I am using for this recipe. They come from the belly of the pig and are known to be tender and packed full of flavour.
- Note 2 Celery salt will be with the herbs and spices section at the store. It is a combination of salt, celery seed, rice flour, capsicum, paprika, vegetable oil and parsley.