Flanken Short Ribs Air Fryer Recipe : A Comprehensive Guide

flanken short ribs air fryer recipe

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on cooking flanken short ribs in an air fryer! With the help of this informative article, you’ll learn all about the food science, culinary details, selection, cleaning, preparation, tips, variations, doneness checks, and the fabulous recipe itself. Get ready to indulge in mouthwatering, succulent short ribs that are incredibly tender and full of flavor. Let’s dig in!

Food Science

Before we jump into the cooking process, let’s understand the science behind flanken short ribs. Flanken ribs are cross-cut sections of beef short ribs, typically taken from the chuck area. The cut includes both the meat and bone, resulting in a delightful combination of flavors when cooked. The marbled meat contains connective tissues that, when cooked slowly, break down to create soft, tender ribs.

When using an air fryer for cooking ribs, the circulating hot air ensures even heat distribution, resulting in a crispier exterior while retaining the meat’s juiciness. This efficient method reduces cooking time when compared to traditional methods.

Culinary Details

Flanken short ribs are a staple in many cuisines due to their versatility and rich flavor profile. Often used in Asian and barbecue recipes, they can be marinated, braised, grilled, or, in our case, air-fried. The goal is to achieve a caramelized crust without compromising the tenderness of the meat.

Selection and Cleaning

flanken short ribs

When selecting flanken short ribs, look for well-marbled meat with a vibrant reddish color. Avoid any ribs with excessive fat, as it can hinder the cooking process. It’s best to choose ribs with a balance of meat and fat, ensuring both tenderness and flavor.

Cleaning the ribs is a crucial step before cooking. Rinse the ribs under cold water to remove any surface impurities or bone fragments. Pat them dry with a paper towel to ensure a better sear during cooking.


flanken short ribs


Marinating the ribs adds a depth of flavor and helps to tenderize the meat even further. Here’s a simple marinade recipe to enhance the taste:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes for heat

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes (if using). Place the ribs in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for intense flavor infusion.

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Preheating the Air Fryer

To ensure proper cooking and a crispy exterior, preheating the air fryer is essential. Set your air fryer to the recommended temperature (usually around 400°F/200°C) and let it preheat for approximately 5-7 minutes. This step guarantees consistent cooking throughout the process.

Tips for Air Frying Flanken Short Ribs

close up view of air fried flanken short ribs

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore some helpful tips for achieving perfectly air-fried flanken short ribs:

  1. Patience is key: Remember that the air fryer cooks food faster than traditional methods. However, ribs require a longer cooking time due to the connective tissues breaking down. Be patient and resist the temptation to rush the process.

  2. Don’t overcrowd: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket, as it restricts airflow and hampers the cooking process. Air should circulate freely around the ribs to achieve that desirable crispy exterior.

  3. Flip halfway through: Flip the ribs halfway through the cooking process to ensure even browning on both sides. This step contributes to the ribs’ overall texture and appearance.

  4. Baste for extra flavor: While not necessary, basting the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce or marinade during the cooking process can add an extra layer of flavor. Use a silicone brush or spoon to carefully brush the ribs, ensuring they are evenly coated. This step is best done when flipping the ribs.

  5. Rest and serve: Once the ribs are done cooking, allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. This step allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in enhanced tenderness. Serve the flanken short ribs hot, accompanied by your favorite side dishes.

Doneness Check

close up view of air fried flanken short ribs

To determine the doneness of the flanken short ribs, follow these guidelines:

  1. Visual cues: The ribs should have a nicely browned, caramelized exterior. The meat should be slightly pulled away from the bone, indicating tenderness.

  2. Internal temperature: Using an instant-read meat thermometer, check the internal temperature of the ribs. For medium-rare, aim for 145°F/63°C. For medium, 160°F/71°C is the target. However, due to the connective tissues, ribs tend to require a higher internal temperature to reach optimal tenderness. Aim for around 175°F/79°C for fall-off-the-bone goodness.

Remember that these recommended temperatures serve as guidelines, and personal preference may vary. Adjust to your desired level of doneness while ensuring safety.

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Now that you’ve mastered the basic technique for air frying flanken short ribs, let’s explore some delicious variations to enjoy:

  1. Asian-inspired: Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and a sprinkle of Chinese five-spice powder to the marinade. Serve with a side of steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables for an Asian fusion feast.

  2. Smoky barbecue: Rub the ribs with a combination of paprika, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, and a touch of cayenne pepper for heat. Baste with your favorite barbecue sauce during cooking and serve with coleslaw and cornbread.

  3. Honey-glazed: Add 2 tablespoons of honey to the marinade for subtle sweetness. Baste the ribs with a mixture of honey, soy sauce, and garlic while cooking to create a tantalizing glaze.

Feel free to experiment with different spices, marinades, and sauces to create your own signature dish.

The Recipe

Now, let’s dive into the recipe itself:


  • Flanken short ribs (desired quantity)
  • Marinade (see previous section for a simple marinade recipe)
  • Optional: barbecue sauce, for basting


  1. Prepare the marinade by whisking the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Place the ribs in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight for intense flavor infusion.

  2. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F/200°C for approximately 5-7 minutes.

  3. Remove the ribs from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. You can reserve the marinade for basting, if desired.

  4. Place the ribs in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.

  5. Air fry the ribs for approximately 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking process. Check for visual cues and use an instant-read meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature.

  6. Optional: If using barbecue sauce for basting, brush it onto the ribs during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

  7. Once done, remove the ribs from the air fryer and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving.


Congratulations! You’ve now learned all about cooking flanken short ribs in an air fryer. From exploring the food science behind the succulent meat to mastering the tips and variations, this comprehensive guide has equipped you with everything you need for a delicious rib-tastic experience. Prepare to impress your friends and family with the flavorsome, tender goodness of air-fried flanken short ribs. Enjoy!

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  • FAQS On Flanken Short Ribs Air Fryer Recipe

    Can Flanken Short Ribs Be Cooked In An Air Fryer?

    Yes, flanken short ribs can be cooked in an air fryer for a delicious and crispy result. The air fryer’s high heat and circulating air can help achieve the perfect texture and flavor.

    What Is The Best Type Of Air Fryer For Cooking Flanken Short Ribs?

    Any type of air fryer can be used for this recipe, but a larger capacity one may be more convenient for cooking multiple ribs at a time.

    Do I Need To Marinate The Flanken Short Ribs Before Air Frying?

    Marinating the ribs is optional but highly recommended for maximum flavor. You can use your favorite marinade or a simple combination of salt, pepper, and garlic for a delicious result.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Flanken Short Ribs In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the ribs, but on average, it takes about 25-30 minutes at 400°F to achieve a nicely browned and cooked through result.

    Can I Stack The Ribs In The Air Fryer Basket?

    It’s best not to stack the ribs on top of each other to ensure even cooking and prevent overcrowding in the basket. However, you can layer them in a single layer, slightly overlapping if necessary.

    Should I Flip The Ribs While Cooking In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, it’s recommended to flip the ribs halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning and cooking on both sides.

    Can I Add Barbecue Sauce To The Ribs Before Cooking In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can add your favorite barbecue sauce to the ribs before cooking in the air fryer for a tasty and flavorful result. Just make sure to brush the sauce on both sides of the ribs.