Grill ribs indoors on the Ninja Foodi in only 30 minutes! Here you’ll learn the easy steps and top tips to grill perfectly fall-off-the-bone tender baby back ribs with your Ninja Foodi XL.
You might have noticed that I am a big fan of modern kitchen devices. From air fryers to pressure cookers, if it makes cooking easier I want to check it out. So I was super excited to get my hands on the newest Ninja Foodi XL to grill ribs… And I am in love!
While it is by no means a small appliance, it does easily fit on the countertop. Because the Ninja Foodi XL has the ability to air fry, dehydrate, bake, broil, roast and grill, you can easily replace several appliances for this one marvelous cooking machine!
The first time you grill indoors I promise you’ll fall in love, too. In only 30 minutes the Ninja Foodi grills baby back ribs that are mouthwateringly tender, flavorful, and just as good – if not better! – than any outdoor barbecue. This fantastic recipe even includes a simple spice rub seasoning blend that is sure to please everyone.
Here I share tips and easy steps to make the best Ninja Foodi grill ribs from the comfort of your kitchen any time of the year!
Baby back ribs. Remove the membrane prior to rubbing with spices and grilling.
Brown sugar. Caramelizes the meat to browned and crisp perfection.
Spices. Paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. These classic spices create a ribs rub that is smoky, savory, and utterly irresistible!
BBQ sauce. Use your favorite brand and spice level. I typically go for a mild sauce that is on the sweeter side versus vinegary.
Cayenne pepper. This is optional and adds a delicious kick of spicy flavor.
How to make Ninja Foodi grilled ribs
If baby back ribs are frozen you will need to thaw them first. Leave them in the fridge overnight or on the counter for few hours. Once defrosted, rinse with cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
Now, remove the membrane. This step is optional but the result will be more tender ribs. To remove the membrane, slide a knife under the membrane, lift it, grip with a paper towel, and pull it off the ribs.
Make a rub using all the seasonings listed (paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Rub ribs all over with the seasonings. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat Ninja Foodi grill ( i used Ninja Foodi XL grill) at MAX for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile brush ribs with bbq sauce. Place ribs on the grill and close the hood.
Cook for 15 minutes. Open, carefully flip ribs and brush more bbq sauce. Cook for another 15 minutes. Check on the meat, if it will start burning too much, pull it out.
Frequently asked questions
Technically, yes you can. Rinse under cold running water to remove any ice crystals, and then pat the baby back ribs dry with a clean towel. Then add the spice rub and continue with the recipe directions. However, you will need to add another 10-15 minutes to the total cook time for frozen ribs.
It is not necessary to wrap the ribs in foil before grilling on the Ninja Foodi. Typically ribs are wrapped to keep them from drying out and the ends from burning. However, using a temperature-specific indoor electric grill practically guarantees that your ribs will grill evenly!
Rubbing the baby back ribs with spices and allowing the rack to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to cooking is key. This lets the smoky flavors really set into the meat… Also, pork cooks more evenly and quickly when it is not fridge-cold.
The electric Ninja Foodi grill will take it from there! Set to the proper temperature, allow the grill to fully preheat, and cook just until done – and not a minute more!
The best method is to add barbecue sauce before and during! Brush on half of the sauce before placing spice-rubbed ribs on the grill. Then brush on more sauce after flipping halfway through cooking. I also serve extra sauce on the side!
Baby back pork ribs should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Check with a meat thermometer, and remove the rack promptly when that temp is hit. Let rest for several minutes, and then pull two ribs apart: You know they are ready to devour when the meat falls off the bone!
Yes, you can. Spare ribs are larger than baby back ribs, so you just are not able to cook as many portions at one time on the Ninja Foodi XL.
There are lots of side dishes that will pair well with grilled pork ribs, here are just some of them:
- Coleslaw: A classic side for ribs, coleslaw adds a refreshing, tangy, and crunchy contrast to the rich flavors of the meat.
- Baked beans: Slow-cooked with a sweet and savory sauce, baked beans complement the smoky taste of barbecue ribs.
- Cornbread:This slightly sweet and crumbly bread is a traditional accompaniment to Southern-style ribs and other barbecue dishes.
- Potato salad: Creamy, flavorful potato salad, whether it’s made with mayonnaise or a vinegar-based dressing, is a satisfying side that pairs well with this Ninja Foodi XL grill ribs.
- Allow the ribs to cool: Before storing leftovers, let the ribs cool to room temperature.
- Wrap or place in an airtight container: Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or place them in an airtight container to preserve freshness.
- Refrigerate or freeze: Store the wrapped or containerized ribs in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Label the container with the date to keep track of storage time.
- Reheating. When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover ribs, reheat them in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F for safe consumption.
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- Ninja foodi pork tenderloin
- Ninja Creami banana ice cream
Hope you will like this Ninja Foodi grill ribs as much as we do. Please rate the recipe if you made it and leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
- 1 rack baby back ribs
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper, each
- ½ cup bbq sauce
- pinch of cayenne (optionally)
- Peel the membrane of the ribs. Make a rub using all the seasoning ingredients (except bbq sauce) and rub meat all over. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Brush with ½ amount of bbq sauce.
- Preheat the Ninja Foodi XL grill at MAX for about 15 minutes. Place ribs on the grill. Close the hood.
- Cook for 15 minutes. Open, carefully flip ribs and add more bbq sauce. Cook for another 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 511mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 15g