Air fryer baby back ribs

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Cooking baby back ribs in an air fryer offers a fantastic combination of convenience and flavor. The air fryer’s rapid air circulation allows the ribs to cook evenly, developing a beautifully caramelized exterior while keeping the inside tender and juicy. Here’s a detailed recipe to make succulent air fryer baby back ribs.

1 rack of baby back ribs (about 2 to 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons of olive oil or your preferred cooking oil
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional, adjust for spice preference)
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is a crucial step to ensure they become tender. Slide a knife under the membrane at one end and peel it away.
Cut the ribs into sections that will fit into your air fryer basket, usually 3-4 ribs per section.
In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Brush the ribs with olive oil, then evenly rub the spice mixture all over the ribs, ensuring both sides are coated well.
Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (193°C). Most air fryers have a preheat setting, but if yours does not, simply run it at 380°F for about 5 minutes.
Place the rib sections in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding to ensure they cook evenly.
Cook at 380°F for about 25-30 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, open the air fryer and flip the ribs to ensure even cooking.
After the ribs have cooked for 25 minutes and are nearly done, brush them generously with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Increase the air fryer temperature to 400°F (204°C) and cook for an additional 5 minutes. This will help caramelize the sauce and give the ribs a delicious glaze.

Once done, let the ribs rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, making the ribs even more tender.
Serve the ribs with extra barbecue sauce on the side and your choice of sides, such as coleslaw, cornbread, or a fresh salad.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Baby Back Ribs
Membrane Removal: Don’t skip removing the membrane; it’s essential for achieving tender ribs.
Spacing: Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the air fryer. This ensures the hot air circulates evenly around each piece.
Checking Doneness: The ribs are done when the meat is tender and easily separates from the bone. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (not touching the bone) should read 145°F (63°C), but cooking beyond this temperature can make the ribs even more tender.
Sauce Options: Experiment with different barbecue sauces, from sweet to smoky to spicy, to find your favorite combination.
Enjoy your air fryer baby back ribs with your favorite sides for a delicious meal that’s sure to impress family and friends alike.

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