If you are looking for a new twist on ribs these Air Fryer Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce will fill the bill. (Oven instructions also provided.)
I was intrigued but a bit skeptical at the same time.
I love my Bar B Barn Copycat Ribs so much and I love to make the ribs fall-off-the-bone-tender in my pressure cooker and then finish by caramelizing the sauce. It is hard for me get past that recipe to try another.
But my Pampered Chef Air Fryer is a new toy for me and so far absolutely EVERYTHING I have tried in it has been outstanding.
So...I knew I had to try my hand at ribs in the air fryer. This recipe from Bon Appetit March 2005 had caught my eye. So I made a few adjustments and Voilà! A new rib recipe that deserves to be in the rotation!
I adjusted the time and temperature for the Air Fryer. As I said-mine is a Pampered Chef so you will want to use your judgment for your specific machine.
The original recipe calls for ½ cup of minced, fresh ginger !! I assumed it was a typo and used 2 Tbsps. You can definitely taste the ginger at 2 Tbsp. I actually have trouble imagining what a half cup would be like.
I also reduced the hot pepper sauce to 1 teaspoon.
The original recipe with its half cup of ginger and 2 tsps of hot sauce would generate a LOT or heat. So... brave rib warriors.... feel free to go whole hog on the sauce if you like!
The blackberry flavour is subtle. If you didn't know what was in it I am not sure you could guess. But they definitely add a depth and subtle fruitiness to the sauce. I checked the reviews for the recipe as written and many reviewers halved the ginger. I think the original recipe would be defined as 'ginger' ribs....
Some reviewers also raved about substituting blueberrries for the blackberries.... that might be my 2.0 version!
So skepticism #1 about the sauce was alleviated with my adjustments based on my knowledge of our household's tastes.
Skepticism #2 was around my predilection for fall-off-the-bone texture. There isn't much more disappointment for me than biting in to a tough rib. I am happy to say skepticism #2 was alleviated as well. The ribs came out of the air fryer evenly cooked, juicy on the inside, nicely glazed on the outside. The texture is closer to slow cooked ribs on a BBQ - so a bit firmer but you didn't have to fight with them to get the meat off the bone.
Wow... whole new rib world opened up for me now!!
Wine Pair for Air Fryer Ribs with Spicy Blackberry Sauce
These ribs are fun to pair! The blackberry glaze is savoury with subtle fruit and not overpowering heat. I would choose a full-bodied Malbec with its dark fruit profile.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, Shiraz or Bonarda would also work. A Portuguese blend with Touriga Nacional is another good candidate. Look for a full-bodied red wine with smooth or low tannins - spicy heat and tannins are not a good combination.
Air Fryer Ribs With Spicy Blackberry Sauce
- Air fryer or oven
- 2 slabs baby back pork ribs about 3 lbs
- 4 tsps chili powder
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt (if you are conscious of sodium intake reduce salt to ½ teaspoon see Note 2.)
- 2 ½ cups blackberries about 12 ounces
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup honey
- 2 Tbsps minced fresh garlic
- 2 Tbps balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce up to 2 if you like really spicy
- Preheat air fryer to 380°. For regular oven see Note 1 below.
- Remove any silver skin from back of rib slabs.
- Mix chili powder, garlic and salt together and rub mixture onto the ribs-mostly on the meaty side and ends.
- Separate ribs as needed to fit on your air fryer tray(s). Try to keep at least 2 ribs together. Position ribs meaty side up to start.
- Air fry 40 minutes, flipping ribs and trays at mid point.
- Brush sauce on ribs and air fry at 350° for about 7 minutes, switching trays mid way.
- While ribs are air frying purée all sauce ingredients in a blender. Strain over a sieve into a medium saucepan. You will need to press the mixture in order to make it pass through the sieve. Discard solids from sieve. Heat sauce over medium high heat until reduced to 1 cup. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your saucepan. Stir frequently during cooking.
Note: My Air fryer is a Pampered Chef one and I absolutely love it! I have not tried others but based on my research the Pampered Chef with its 2 tray and cube configuration is more versatile than others. You can actually do a 2-3 lb rotisserie chicken in it! it toasts, roasts, bakes, reheats, dehydrates besides air frying. No folks... this is not a sponsored post - I am just sharing my enthusiasm! If you are in Kitchener -Waterloo Ontario, Canada region you can check out Pampered Chef products here https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/karenlair or contact a local Pampered Chef rep at firstname.lastname@example.org.