Why Country-Style Pork Rib Belongs In The Air Fryer

As you might expect, a recipe entitled air fryer country-style ribs does, in fact, involve the ribs being cooked in the eponymous appliance. This three-ingredient recipe from developer Angela Latimer is one of the simplest you'll find on our site (or anywhere), as all you need to do to prepare the meat is to sprinkle it with a premade seasoning blend. Latimer favors the McCormick Grill Mates brand of honey hickory seasoning made with sugar, salt, onion, garlic, pepper, dried honey, and smoke flavoring, but if you want to DIY your spice mix, we have our own recipe for a zesty rib rub made with orange zest, paprika, and chipotle powder.

Once the ribs are seasoned, stick them in the air fryer, cutting them to fit if need be. (Latimer also likes to trim off the fat.) As Latimer explains, she feels that the air fryer works so well for meat ribs "because I can get the outside nice and crisp, but the ribs are still wonderfully juicy." Each batch of ribs takes about 20 minutes to cook and, once the meat is done, the only thing that's left to do is coat it with bottled barbecue sauce. Here's our ranking of 15 different grocery store brands, but if you're feeling slightly more ambitious, we also have a recipe for homemade barbecue sauce.

How alternative cooking methods compare to the air fryer

If you don't own or want to use an air fryer, Angela Latimer allows that you can still cook the ribs over an outdoor grill or in the oven, although she notes that the timing may differ. Actually, not so much with the grilling, since country-style ribs can cook up nice and crispy in just 20 to 25 minutes, and they'll even be smoky-tasting if you use a charcoal grill instead of a gas one. Should you choose to oven-braise your ribs low and slow as we do in our easy country-style ribs recipe, it may take a few hours, but the payoff will be incredibly-tender meat.

If you happen to have a convection oven, you can essentially air fry your ribs without an air fryer since the two appliances use the same combination of heat and circulated air to do the cooking. It will probably take longer to cook the ribs, though, since oven-baked ribs generally take around 3 hours, and the general rule with convection ovens is to reduce the cooking time by 25%. You'd need 2 ΒΌ hours to get the job done. The good news is that there's no need to mess around with multiple batches as you might in an air fryer since an oven is big enough to cook all of the ribs at one time.