Mr. Ben Mims shares his secret

By Kat Kinsman
Updated September 26, 2018
Credit: Photo by Extra Crispy Video

There are many, many things at which Instant Pot excels, but several that it does not, and please don't tell Instant Pot I said that or I will get in trouble, all hail Instant Pot. One of these is frying. Yes, you can load up Instant Pot with oil and heat it with the saute function, but it spatters out and the mortal flesh burns. Luckily, the beautiful Mr. Ben Mims, author of Air Fry Every Day: 75 Recipes to Fry, Roast, and Bake Using Your Air Fryer was kind enough to stop by with his air fryer—a device uniquely suited to such a task—to give us a taste of what life could be like. His ribs were delicious.

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Memphis-Style BBQ Pork Ribs

Credit: Photo by Extra Crispy Video

Serves 2

Growing up near Memphis, I became loyal to their signature “dry” ribs early on in life, preferring them to the “wet,” or sauced, kind found elsewhere. There are many theories about how best to cook ribs (boil first then grill, or barbecue slow and low the whole way?), but in the air fryer, you can have tender, pull-apart ribs in a fraction of the traditional time. The spice rub ensures a crunchy, caramelized exterior “shell” as well, so there’s nothing missing here except the hefty barbecue grill and all the mess that comes along with it.


1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 pounds individually-cut St. Louis–style pork spareribs


In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, mustard powder, and pepper. Add the ribs and toss and rub the seasonings into them with your hands until they’re fully coated.

Arrange the ribs in the air fryer basket standing up on their ends and leaned up against the wall of the basket and each other. Cook at 350°F until the ribs are tender inside and golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 35 minutes. Transfer the ribs to plates and serve hot.