Country Style Boneless Ribs in Air Fryer are meaty, juicy with a perfect balance of sweet and saucy. Made in 30 minutes, this air fryer ribs recipe is the easiest and fastest way to having succulent finger-licking ribs that will soon become everyone’s favorite!
Ribs do well on our site! If you love ribs as much as the rest of us, you have got to try our Oven Baked Beef Ribs and our Country Style Ribs (boneless) They are consistently in our top posts for good reason!
The other day a reader emailed me to ask if they could do ribs in an air fryer. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it yet, so you best believe I made that my mission! Air Fried Country Style pork ribs in about 30 mins totally work!
There are some key factors that need to happen to get a fantastic rib outcome.
Juicy pork, well-seasoned meat that permeates the flavor all the way to the inside and tender enough to melt in your mouth. It’s pretty rare to find a rib not adored by all. I mean, what’s not to love?! Use a homemade BBQ sauce and elevate your country style status an extra notch!
By the end of this post, you will know:
- What are boneless ribs exactly?
- What Temperature works best for air fried ribs
- How to cook country style ribs fast
- How to get a nice caramelized BBQ sauce on your ribs in the air fryer
What is a boneless rib?
Boneless ribs are not technically possible. In order for them to be ribs, they must have rib bones in them. Although Country Style Pork Ribs are called ribs they really aren’t ribs at all.
What is commonly referred to as boneless ribs are really a cut of pork shoulder that is then cut into rib-like pieces.
They are great to eat because they are super meaty and thus give you a substantial meal. Perfect for little appetites and those who have a hard time eating around the bone.
You might find them at the market marked as pork shoulder country style ribs or just plain country-style pork ribs. I’ve also seen them marked as boneless ribs. Whatever they call them you’ll really love how delicious and tender the country-style ribs recipe is when you’re done cooking them!
The Easiest Way To Perfect Boneless Ribs
There is a multitude of ways to make mouthwatering ribs and I tested these several ways and had people taste test for me. Usually, I believe in low and slow cooking any ribs, but I was surprised at how tender these ribs turned out in the air fryer. Not only were they fork tender, but they held a lot of moisture and were very juicy inside.
The taste testers picked the method that takes about 30 minutes as their favorite. Every. Single. Time. The shorter time in the air fryer led to tough ribs and the longer cooked ones– about 45 minutes were a little too dry.
Air fryer pork ribs are a brilliant answer to convenience and taste.
Boneless ribs are great finger foods for entertaining or watching the Superbowl or basketball game. They’re filling, satisfying comfort food, and not only are they crowd-pleasers during gatherings but they are great for weeknight meals after a long day of work. They are total comfort food.
How to cook country style ribs fast
The fastest way to cook ribs is definitely by using an air fryer. It goes against the low and slow cooking of ribs, but the smaller space and the continual movement of the air cook the ribs really well. They cook quickly and remain juicy. You will want to cook the ribs at two temperatures to ensure a nice crust of the sauce on the ribs.
- Country Style Pork ribs – Trim the majority of the excess fat.
- Seasoning – I used our pork seasoning. I encourage you to do the same! Cajun seasoning or our coffee rub from our tri-tip would also work really well. But of course, use whatever you’d like.
- BBQ Sauce – We have a Carolina Mustard sauce coming up that would work great or any BBQ sauce.
How to Make Boneless Ribs in the Air Fryer
- Preheat the oven for approximately 5 minutes and in the meantime generously season the ribs by massaging each piece with the pork seasoning. Make sure to get all the sides coated.
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer with an oil spray or brush with olive oil. This will help to prevent sticking. Both the meat and the sauce can get sticky.
- Once the air fryer is hot, place pieces of rib inside, leaving enough space in between each for the air to circulate. You may have to work in batches, depending on how many ribs you’re cooking.
- Cook and flip once. Once your cooking time is done, remove the ribs from the air fryer and turn up the heat.
- Brush ribs with BBQ sauce and place back into the air fryer for another 10 minutes, just enough time for the sauce to caramelize.
- Remove from the fryer and serve with additional sauce on the side.
Tips for Air Fryer Ribs
- Be sure and spray the air fryer before you use it to help the meat from sticking to the rack.
- Cut the ribs into similar sized pieces for even cooking.
- Give the ribs some space so the air can move all around. Don’t stack them. They need to have room for them to cook properly.
- Cooking the ribs at 2 temps is purposeful. Lower temp to cook the riblets so they stay juicy and don’t dry out and the last blast of cooking with the added bbq sauce at a high temp is to caramelize the bbq sauce.
- Don’t be tempted to put the sauce on before the last 10 minutes, the sugar in the BBQ sauce will just burn.
How to get a caramelized BBQ sauce on your ribs?
Brush on the sauce you use at the last 10 minutes of cooking. At the same time increase the temp to 390°. This gives the ribs a great caramelized sauce. I used our Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce, but you could use our homemade teriyaki sauce or any store-bought sauce too!
How many boneless ribs per person?
When hosting game day parties we love serving these because each rib has so much meat on them, they really do go a long way. It works out to about 2-3 ribs per person.
Common Questions you might have when making these ribs
Can I make air-fried ribs ahead of time? Definitely. You can make these ahead of time and then reheat the ribs in the air fryer. Put them in at 350° for about 5-10 minutes until heated throughout. You can turn the temp up to 390° for an additional 3 minutes if you want to get a nice crust on the BBQ sauce.
I found bone-in country ribs can I use these in this recipe? You can absolutely use this recipe if they are the really meaty thick ones. Note these ribs are at least 1” thick, so make sure if you have bone-in ribs that they are the thicker ones. If you have super thin ones the times in this recipe will be too long for them. Cooking thin ribs for the times listed will give tough overcooked ribs.
What Sides to serve with the Air Fryer BBQ
More Recipes for Ribs you might enjoy!
- 2 pounds country style boneless pork ribs
- 3 tablespoons Pork Seasoning Rub (any seasoning salt will work)
- 3/4 cup BBQ Sauce (any will do- we like this Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Preheat Oven to 370° (5 minutes )
- Trim off big excess pieces of fat from the boneless ribs A little is fine, just no large chunky pieces.
- Cut into smaller pieces, about 5 inches in length max.
- Generously season the ribs with the pork seasoning by massaging the ribs with the rub on all sides.
- Spray the bottom of the air fryer with an oil spray or brush with olive oil to help prevent sticking.
- Once the air fryer is hot, place the ribs with space in between so the air can circulate. (it's better to cook in batches than to overcrowd them.) .** see notes
- Cook for 20 minutes, flipping once.
- At the end of 20 minutes remove the ribs from the air fryer, then raise the heat to 400° (or 390° if your oven only goes up to that,)
- Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce, then place back into the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes- the sauce will start to caramelize.
- Remove from oven and serve. Serve with additional sauce on the side.
While it's tempting to fill the air fryer to the top, your meat will not cook correctly if you overcrowd the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to cook in batches. If the air fryer is over crowded steam is created and it changes the texture of the ribs and the crust.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 566mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 18g
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.