Sticky, sweet, and smoky air fryer corn ribs!! This fantastic side dish is incredibly delicious, so simple to make, and requires only TWO ingredients. Whip this up in no time.
Sweet corn is a popular snack in the summer months, when it’s fresh and in season. But luckily it’s available in most stores, all year round.
To make these amazing air fryer corn ribs, I’m using my homemade BBQ sauce, but you may use store bought if you prefer. Pair these “ribs” with burgers or hot dogs in warmer months, or this chickpea meatloaf when you’re craving comfort food.
Why you’ll love it
- It fits a healthy diet! Corn is naturally low in calories and virtually fat free. Plus you won’t need any olive oil or butter here, making this a diet friendly side dish.
- SO easy! Truly, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Just cut your corn into “ribs”, brush with sauce and toss in the air frying basket. Just two ingredients and a few minutes of hands on time.
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free. Just make sure the sauce you choose is also gluten-free, if needed.
- Delicious!! This fun twist on corn on the cob will have you licking your fingers! And check out how cute they look with that curl!
Ingredients + Substitutions
All you need to make air fryer corn ribs is fresh corn on the cob and your favourite BBQ sauce!
- Corn on the cob: Choose corn with bright green husks that are tightly wrapped for the freshest and best tasting corn.
- BBQ sauce: I’m using homemade to avoid high fructose corn syrup typically found in store bought versions, but choose your favourite version for this corn ribs recipe.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Start by removing the husks and then cutting each ear of corn in half horizontally.
Then place the flat side down (the cut side) on a cutting board for stability. (photo 1)
Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the corn cob in half vertically. Repeat with other half. (photo 2)
NOTE: I prefer this cutting method because it prevents the kernels from getting squished. However, use extreme caution when cutting the corn this way.
Now place the flat side down again as shown above. (photo 3)
And slice in half one more time for each piece. (photo 4)
NOTE: Each ear of corn will give you 8 pieces for 16 corn ribs in total.
Brush each piece of corn with the BBQ sauce. (photo 5)
Then arrange the corn ribs in your fryer basket and air fry. (photo 6)
Serve your air fryer corn ribs immediately as these taste best warm. If you’d like, you may serve with extra bbq sauce for dipping.
This simple dish for air fried corn ribs can be customized to your taste.
- Make it spicy: Add red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your bbq sauce before brushing the corn riblets.
- Make it smoky: Add smoked paprika or liquid smoke to your mixture for a smoky flavour.
- Make it sweet: Add some maple syrup to your sauce for a sweet maple flavour.
- Jazz it up: Serve with a drizzle of cashew crema fresca, a sprinkle of cilantro, and/or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Or check out this version of air fried corn on the cob.
I’m using a Ninja Foodi 8qt (affiliate link) to make these corn ribs. However, this recipe will work with most fryer models.
Since different models operate at different speeds, start checking on your corn around the 8 minute mark and continue until desired doneness is reached.
Can I make these in the oven?
Yes. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake these in your oven.
Follow the same preparation directions and then arrange the corn riblets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 400°F/204°C for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!
In the unlikely event you have leftovers, store them in a sealed container in your fridge for up to 4 days.
- Choose corn that is fresh, with thicker kernels. The husks should be tightly wrapped, bright green, and not turning yellow or dry.
- Use extreme caution when cutting your corn into “ribs”.
More delicious air fried recipes
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- 2 corn on the cob
- 3-4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- Remove the husk and use a sharp knife to cut each corn in half to make them easier to quarter. Then stand each piece upright (the flat side that you just cut down on the cutting board for stability) and slice in half vertically. Then place those pieces core side down and cut in half again. You will end up with 8 corn ribs from each corn on the cob for 16 pieces in total. The goal is to not squish the kernels so this cutting method works best. See the process shots above for clarity.
- Brush each corn rib with bbq sauce and place them in the basket of your fryer in an even layer. It's okay if they are overlapping a little. Air fry at 380°F/193°C for 10-12 minutes and enjoy.