The Ultimate Guide to Reheating Ribs in the Air Fryer: Mastering the Art of Delicious Leftovers

How to reheat ribs in an air fryer: The Ultimate Guide

Reheating leftover ribs can be a fun way to enjoy a tasty meal the next day. While there are several methods for reheating ribs, using an air fryer can be a healthy and efficient option. In this ultimate guide, we will walk you through the process of reheating ribs in the air fryer to perfection.

Preparing the ribs

Before reheating the ribs, it is important to prepare them properly. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator or freezer. If the ribs are frozen, allow them to thaw before reheating.
  2. Cut the ribs individually to ensure even heating and prevent overcrowding in the fryer.
  3. Preheat the fryer to 350°F. The exact preheating time may vary depending on the model of your fryer.
  4. Place the ribs in a single layer in the fryer basket. Avoid overlapping the ribs to ensure even reheating. If the ribs are dry, you can drizzle some oil or add more dry rub to increase the moisture.
  5. Place the ribs in the fryer and reheat for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove from the fryer and brush with BBQ sauce, olive oil, or more dry rub.
  7. Return the ribs to the fryer for another 5 minutes.
  8. After reheating, check that the ribs are piping hot and thoroughly cooked.

Keeping the ribs warm

If you have a large number of ribs to reheat, it may be necessary to reheat them in batches. However, you must make sure that the reheated ribs stay warm while you wait for the rest. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to approximately 240°F.
  2. Place the reheated ribs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil to reduce mess.
  3. Cover the ribs with more aluminum foil to keep them from drying out.
  4. As you reheat more ribs in the fryer, place them on a baking sheet in the oven.
  5. Keep the reheated ribs in the oven to keep them warm until all the batches are done.
  6. When all the ribs are reheated, remove them from the oven and serve.

Why use an air fryer?

There are several advantages to using an air fryer to reheat ribs. Here are some reasons why an air fryer is a good choice:

  1. Healthier cooking: Air fryers require less oil and fat than traditional methods, resulting in healthier reheated ribs.
  2. Crispy outside, tender inside: Air frying can create a crispy and charred texture on the outside of the ribs while keeping the inside moist and tender.
  3. Quick reheat: Air fryers heat up faster than ovens, reducing waiting time and allowing you to enjoy your reheated ribs sooner.

Store ribs in the refrigerator

If you have leftover ribs that you want to enjoy later, it’s important to store them properly in the refrigerator. Follow these guidelines for storing ribs in the refrigerator:

  1. Place the ribs in an airtight container or wrap tightly in aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
  2. Ensure ribs are kept below 40°F to prevent bacterial growth and maintain food safety.
  3. Store ribs in the back of the refrigerator to maintain a consistent temperature.
  4. Eat chilled ribs within three days to ensure optimal freshness. Discard ribs that have been stored longer than this.

Freezing Leftover Ribs

If you want to freeze leftover ribs for an extended period of time, follow these steps:

  1. Freeze the ribs before reheating.
  2. Place the ribs in a plastic freezer bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Alternatively, use an airtight, freezer-safe container or wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil and plastic wrap.
  3. Label the container with the contents and freezing date.
  4. Frozen ribs can be safely stored for up to three months, although quality may deteriorate over time.
  5. Make sure ribs are sealed tightly to prevent odors from transferring to other foods in the freezer.

Reheat ribs multiple times

It is not recommended to reheat ribs or any other food more than twice. Reheating food increases the risk of bacterial growth and can lead to foodborne illness. Follow these guidelines to maintain food safety and quality:

  1. Reheat only the amount of ribs you intend to eat immediately.
  2. Avoid returning reheated ribs to the refrigerator for reheating.
  3. If you are unsure of the number of ribs to reheat, start with a few and see if you want to reheat more.

Cooking Tips

Here are some additional tips for reheating ribs in the air fryer:

  • To prevent the ribs from drying out during reheating, you can add a small amount of liquid, such as broth or apple juice, to the fryer basket.
  • Experiment with different seasonings and sauces to add variety to your reheated ribs. Consider using a dry rub, BBQ sauce, or your favorite marinade.
  • If you prefer a charred and crispy exterior, increase the temperature of the fryer or add a few minutes to the reheating time.
  • Remember to preheat the fryer before placing the ribs in it to ensure even and efficient reheating.
  • If you’re reheating ribs that were previously sauced, be careful with the reheating time to prevent the sauce from burning.


Reheating ribs in the air fryer is a convenient and effective way to enjoy leftover ribs with a crispy exterior and tender interior. By following the steps outlined in this ultimate guide, you can achieve perfectly reheated ribs that are delicious and satisfying. Remember to store and reheat your ribs safely to maintain food quality and minimize the risk of foodborne illness. With the help of an air fryer, you can enjoy your reheated ribs in no time.


Can I reheat frozen ribs directly in the fryer?

Yes, you can reheat frozen ribs in an air fryer. However, it is important to allow the ribs to thaw before reheating them to ensure even heating and avoid the risk of undercooking.

Can I reheat sauced ribs in the fryer?

Yes, you can reheat sauced ribs in an air fryer. However, be careful with the reheating time to prevent the sauce from burning. You may also consider applying additional sauce or glaze after the initial reheating to enhance the flavors.

How long does it take to reheat ribs in the air fryer?

The reheating time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs, as well as the specific model of fryer. As a general guideline, it typically takes about 10-15 minutes to reheat ribs in the air fryer. However, it is recommended that you check for doneness by ensuring that the ribs are thoroughly heated and piping hot.

Can I reheat a large quantity of ribs in the air fryer?

If you have a large quantity of ribs to reheat, it is best to reheat them in batches to ensure even heating. Overcrowding the fryer basket can result in uneven reheating and may affect the final texture and flavor of the ribs. Consider using the oven to keep reheated ribs warm while waiting for subsequent batches.

Can I store leftover ribs after reheating them in the air fryer?

It is not recommended to store reheated ribs or any food for further reheating. Repeated reheating of food increases the risk of bacterial growth and may compromise food safety. It is best to reheat only the amount of ribs you intend to consume immediately, and avoid placing reheated ribs back in the refrigerator for later consumption.

Can I use an air fryer to reheat bone-in spare ribs?

Yes, you can use an air fryer to reheat boned ribs. However, it is important to ensure that the ribs are cut individually before reheating to promote even heating. This will help prevent overcrowding and ensure that the ribs heat up evenly, resulting in a tender and flavorful result.