Air Fryer Pork Ribs with AIP BBQ Sauce (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Air Fryer Pork Ribs with AIP BBQ Sauce (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

These delicious, tender air fryer pork ribs are rubbed with a flavorful seasoning, cooked to perfection in an air fryer, then smothered with an awesome AIP BBQ sauce. It's a fairly easy recipe and only takes about 30 minutes to make.

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Ingredients for Air Fryer Pork Ribs

  • Pork Ribs (St. Louis style or baby back)- I used my St. Louis style pork ribs from ButcherBox for this recipe. This type of ribs tends to be fairly thin ribs. If you are using thicker ribs, it's worth noting that you may need to extend your cooking time a little longer to make sure they are done. The internal cooking temperature of ribs should be at least 145° F.
  • Garlic Powder- The garlic powder, sea salt, and onion powder are combined to make a rub which will be applied to both sides of the ribs.
  • Sea Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • AIP BBQ Sauce- The barbecue sauce I created for this recipe is cherry-based (cherries to the rescue again!). It's pretty easy and I think it tastes pretty close to actual BBQ sauce.

I also have a couple of other barbecue sauce recipes on this site if you are interested in checking them out: Pineapple Bacon Dipping Sauce and Nightshade Free BBQ Sauce

If you don't feel like making a barbecue sauce, the rub on these ribs is amazing and they will be super flavorful even without a sauce. 

Your other option is to go with a store-bought BBQ sauce. KC Naturals has an AIP-friendly barbecue sauce. Of course, if you're not doing AIP/ Paleo there are plenty of other barbecue sauce options out there.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

  • Sweet Dark Frozen Cherries- I just use frozen cherries because they are easy to find any time of year and they are already pitted. I just put them in the microwave for about a minute and then they are ready to go. You can of course use fresh cherries if you prefer- just be sure to remove the pits
  • Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • Balsamic Vinegar- You could sub in apple cider vinegar if necessary but I'd recommend using the balsamic for best results.
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Ginger
  • Coconut Aminos- This really helps to pull the BBQ flavor together.
bbq sauce in a food processor made with cherries.

How to Make Air Fryer Pork Ribs

  1. Remove the silverskin from the back of the ribs (see below on how to do this).
  2. Cut the rack of ribs into 2-3 sections so they can fit into the fryer basket.
  3. Make the spice rub. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Pat the ribs dry and rub the mixture onto all sides of the ribs.
  6. Once the air fryer is ready/hot, place the ribs into the fryer basket meat-side down and cook for 12-15 minutes minutes.
  7. Make the BBQ sauce while the ribs are cooking. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small food processor or blender cup. Blend until smooth.
  8. Flip the ribs with tongs, brush with BBQ sauce and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temp of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Remove the ribs from the basket and allow them to cook for a few minutes before serving. Add more sauce if desired.
raw butcherbox pork ribs on a white and gray marble counter

What Kind of Ribs to Use for the Air Fryer

This recipe calls for St. Louis style ribs (I got mine from ButchBox) or spare ribs but you can also use baby back ribs. Note that baby back ribs are generally smaller than St. Louis style and spare ribs so the cooking time will be lower. 

What’s the Difference Between St. Louis Style Ribs and Spare Ribs?

St. Louis-style ribs are basically just spare ribs that have been cut down to form a more uniform shape. St. Louis style are a little easier to cut and work with but either will be fine for this recipe. 

What is Silverskin and How Do You Remove It?

Silverskin is the thin white layer of connective tissue found on the back of most ribs. To remove it, flip the ribs over meat-side down then use a butter knife to get under the silverskin from one of the edges. Once you get under it slightly, use a finger to separate the two layers and pull it off. 

gloved hands peeling the silverskin off the back of raw pork ribs

Notes

*Note that cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of your ribs. The ones I used for this recipe were fairly thin. If you find that your ribs are not quite done cooking at the end of the recommend cook time, just continue cooking a little longer until the internal temp of the ribs is at least 145 degrees F.

Conclusion:

I hope you love this recipe  Please leave a comment below and let me know what you thought!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @foodcourage for the latest AIP/Paleo recipes, autoimmune nutrition info, and Food Courage happenings!

air fryer pork ribs covered in bbq sauce on a tan platter with sweet potato fries in the background.
air fryer pork ribs with bbq sauce on a tan platter surrounded by sweet potato fries, brussels sprouts, a dish of bbq sauce, and a plate of ribs and veggies.

Air Fryer Pork Ribs with AIP BBQ Sauce

Arika | FoodCourage
These delicious, tender ribs are rubbed with a flavorful seasoning, cooked to perfection in an air fryer, then smothered in an amazing homemade BBQ sauce. It's a very easy recipe and only takes about 30 minutes to make.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 683 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

AIP BBQ Sauce (or use BBQ sauce of choice)

Instructions
 

  • Remove the silverskin from the back of the ribs. See below on how to do this.
  • Cut the rack of ribs into 2-3 sections so they can fit into the fryer basket.
  • Make the spice rub. Mix the garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pat the ribs dry and rub the mixture onto all sides of the ribs.
  • Once the air fryer is ready/hot, place the ribs into the fryer basket meat-side down and cook for 12-15 minutes minutes.
  • Make the BBQ sauce while the ribs are cooking. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small food processor or blender cup. Blend until smooth.
  • Flip the ribs with tongs, brush with BBQ sauce and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until the meat reaches an internal temp of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the ribs from the basket and allow them to cook for a few minutes before serving. Add more sauce if desired.

Video

Notes

*Note that cooking times will vary depending on the size and thickness of your ribs. The ones I used for this recipe were fairly thin. 
Silverskin is the thin white layer of connective tissue found on the back of most ribs. To remove it, flip the ribs over meat-side down then use a butter knife to get under the silverskin from one of the edges. Once you get under it slightly, use a finger to separate the two layers and pull it off. 
*Note- I tweaked the BBQ sauce recipe a bit more after making the video so the ingredients in the recipe are slightly different than those shown in the video.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Pork Ribs with AIP BBQ Sauce
Serving Size
 
4 ribs
Amount per Serving
Calories
683
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
56
g
86
%
Saturated Fat
 
18
g
113
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
9
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
20
g
Cholesterol
 
191
mg
64
%
Sodium
 
1502
mg
65
%
Potassium
 
660
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
2
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
37
g
74
%
Vitamin A
 
890
IU
18
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
42
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword air fryer ribs, babyback ribs, pork ribs, ribs
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Air Fryer Pork Ribs with AIP BBQ Sauce (Paleo, Gluten-Free)


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