Home » How to Reheat Ribs in the Air Fryer - The Ultimate Guide

How to Reheat Ribs in the Air Fryer - The Ultimate Guide

How to Reheat Ribs in the Air Fryer - The Ultimate Guide

Although leftover ribs may be a rarity in your house, there may be a time when you are lucky enough to have a few extra ribs to enjoy for the next day’s meal!

There are several ways to reheat ribs, but a great way to do it is to reheat ribs in the air fryer.

This is a healthy and quick way to heat up your ribs, and can help keep them moist and tender, but still with a light crisp and char on the outside.

How do you reheat ribs in the air fryer? Reheating ribs in the air fryer is pretty easy. It’s best to slice the ribs before putting them in the air fryer, to ensure they heat evenly and not overcrowd the air fryer. If done right, ribs reheated in the air fryer will still be soft as a bone.

Read on for everything you need to know about how to reheat ribs in the air fryer, plus some extra tips for storing them properly!

Reheating Ribs in the Air Fryer

Having an air fryer in your kitchen is amazing as it allows you to cook healthy and offers a great way to reheat food relatively quickly.

The air fryer will help keep your ribs tender as they reheat, so you can enjoy them tasting just as good as when they were first cooked.

Here’s how to properly reheat ribs in the air fryer:

  1. Take the ribs out of the fridge or freezer. If the ribs were stored in the freezer, you’ll need to wait for them to thaw before reheating them.
  2. You will need to start by cutting the ribs if they are still on a rack. Cut each rib individually so you can fit them into the air fryer basket. It’s a good idea to keep ribs of similar size grouped together, as reheating ribs of the same size allows them to reheat evenly and in a similar amount of time.
  3. Set the air fryer to 350°F. It should take about 5 minutes to heat up, but this will depend on the air fryer you use. Make sure the air fryer is heated up properly before placing the ribs in the basket so they will reheat properly in the proper amount of time.
  4. Place the ribs in the fryer basket. Be sure to put them in a single layer and not overlap the ribs. Try putting the same size ribs in the air fryer, so they reheat at the same time. If you have a lot of ribs to reheat, you’ll need to do several batches. If the ribs have dried out in the fridge or freezer, you can drizzle them with a little oil or add more dry rub.
  5. Place the ribs in the air fryer and allow them to reheat for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, take the ribs out of the fryer and glaze them with a little barbecue sauce, olive oil, or more dry rub. Return the ribs to the air fryer for another 5 minutes.
  7. After 5 minutes, take the ribs out of the air fryer and check that they are piping hot and have reheated well. You can put them back in the air fryer for another 5 minutes if needed, but keep an eye on them as the barbecue sauce can burn quickly.
  8. Take the ribs out of the basket and enjoy them.

keep ribs warm

If you have a large number of ribs to reheat, you should reheat them all in batches. The problem with this though is that you would have some hot, reheated ribs, waiting for the rest.

To prevent them from getting cold again, you can preheat the oven to about 240°F and place the reheated ribs on a baking sheet.

Line the baking sheet with some aluminum foil to reduce the mess, and cover the ribs with a little more aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out. Add more batches of ribs as they reheat in the air fryer.

Keep the reheated ribs in the oven so they don’t get cold before they’re all done and hot. Once all the ribs are reheated, take them out of the oven and enjoy them.

Why use an air fryer?

An air fryer may not be your first choice when thinking about how to reheat ribs, but it should be!

Air fryers have many benefits in the kitchen, and not only do they help cook healthier meals with less oil and fat, but they can create foods that are crisp yet still moist and tender on the inside.

Another advantage of using an air fryer, especially when you can’t wait to sink your teeth into your ribs, is that it heats up faster than the oven, so less time is wasted waiting!

How long can ribs last in the fridge?

If you’ve had a good helping of ribs for dinner, but there are still some leftovers, you can store them in the fridge to enjoy at a later meal.

Precooked ribs can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, as long as they are stored properly . To properly store ribs in the fridge, place them in an airtight container or wrap them in aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

Stored in the refrigerator, ribs should be kept below 40°F, to ensure they are kept at a safe temperature.

Store the ribs in an airtight container or wrap and place them in the bottom of the fridge. If you wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and plastic, be sure to wrap them well.

Ribs can have quite a strong odor, and when properly contained, they won’t transfer their odor to other foods in the fridge.

Be sure to eat the ribs within 3 days, and if you don’t have a chance to do so, throw them away.

Can I keep leftover ribs in the freezer?

You can freeze leftover ribs, as long as they haven’t been reheated. The best way to freeze ribs would be to put them in a plastic freezer bag, squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible, and close it tightly.

You can also place the ribs in an airtight, freezer-safe container and wrap it with plastic wrap, or wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and then more plastic wrap.

Whichever way you choose to store your ribs in the freezer, be sure to label the container with the contents and release date.

Ribs stored in the freezer should be consumed within 3 months.

After this time, they will still be safe, but the quality will start to decline, and that doesn’t do justice to those delicious ribs that are supposed to be tender, soft and juicy!

Be sure to seal the ribs tightly in their container to prevent them from transferring their odor to other foods in the freezer.

Can I reheat the ribs twice?

It is not advisable to reheat ribs, or any other food, more than twice. The more you reheat the ribs, the greater the chance of food poisoning. 

Changing the temperature of meat too many times increases the chance of bacteria growing, which can lead to foodborne illness.

By reheating the food several times, the nutrients in the meat will also decrease, as well as its quality.

Reheat only the amount of ribs you will eat at that time, and do not store reheated ribs in the refrigerator to reheat later.

If you’re not sure how many ribs you’re going to eat in one session, reheat a few and then judge if you want to reheat more from there. Once reheated, the ribs must be eaten or thrown away.

How to thaw frozen ribs

If you store leftover ribs in the freezer, you’ll need to thaw them before reheating them in the air fryer.

The best, and safest, way to do this would be to leave the ribs in the fridge to thaw overnight.

This obviously requires some time and planning ahead, but it offers a safe way to thaw your ribs without getting them to a temperature that can lead to bacteria growth.

If you’re really desperate and can’t let the ribs thaw in the fridge overnight, there are two other options.

Keep in mind that they are not as safe as thawing ribs in the refrigerator, and the quality of the ribs may decrease with these methods.

You can thaw the ribs in the microwave if your microwave has a defrost function, or use the microwave on low heat.

Do this until the ribs have thawed enough to reheat in the air fryer, but don’t let them thaw too long that they start to dry out.

The other option is to place the ribs in their container in a bowl of water.

Do not put them in hot water, as the change in temperature could cause a greater risk of spoilage. Use cold water instead, which will help to gradually thaw the ribs.

It’s not a good idea to reheat frozen ribs in the air fryer, so plan ahead and place the ribs in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours, to thaw and be ready to reheat.

Can you reheat ribs in the microwave?

If you don’t have an air fryer at home and don’t want to wait for the oven to heat up, you can reheat the ribs in the microwave.

This can be a little tricky, as you don’t want the ribs exploding barbecue sauce all over the inside of your microwave, which can be a nightmare to clean.

However, it is still a huge advantage to be able to reheat ribs in a short time, compared to reheating them any other way.

If not done correctly, or left in the microwave for too long, the ribs can become dry, which won’t be appetizing, and means most of the flavors will be lost!

However, there are a few ways to prevent your ribs from drying out when reheating them in the microwave, so you’ll have tender, juicy warm-up ribs in no time. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Moisten a few paper towels with hot water.
  2. Place the ribs in a microwave-safe bowl, but do not cover with a lid.
  3. Place the damp paper towels under the bowl in the microwave, also placing one or two on top of the bowl.
  4. Microwave for 3 minutes on high heat.
  5. After 3 minutes, check to see that the ribs have fully heated through.
  6. If not, microwave the ribs again for 45 seconds at a time until heated through.

The paper towels create steam in the microwave, ensuring the ribs stay juicy and moist and not dry out. It also prevents barbecue sauce from flying through the microwave and making a mess.

Now that we’ve gone over how to properly reheat ribs in an air fryer, let’s take a look at some related questions!

How do you reheat ribs in the oven?

To reheat the ribs in the oven, you must baste them again and then cover them with aluminum foil. Reheat them slowly in the oven so they keep their soft, juicy texture and great flavor without drying out.

How long should precooked ribs cook in the air fryer?

The pre-cooked ribs should cook for about 25-30 minutes in the air fryer and should be turned halfway. This ensures that they are super soft, but still slightly charred on the outside.