Air Fryer Dominican Ribs

by Chef Zee

Dominican Goodness Made Right In Your Air Fryer

Dominican Style Ribs are truly something special and unique. Unlike traditional ribs, Dominican Ribs are generously seasoned and then fried to perfection. Yes, you read that correctly. Dominican Ribs are deep fried and not slow roasted, smoked, or baked like traditional ribs. And the sauce? Well, that’s as simple as freshly squeezed limes! 

Dominican Ribs are fried goodness and honestly an indulgence. Who doesn’t love fried crispy pork that’s drizzled in deliciously tart fresh limes? However, if you eat this over and over – trust me, the pounds and the cholesterol will come calling! That’s why I’ve figured out how to modernize this traditional recipe for my air-fryer. 

Using my air fryer for traditional and authentic Dominican recipes is honestly one of my favorite things to do. There’s something about recreating my grandmother’s recipes using modern tools that makes me giddy inside. It allows me to enjoy all of the flavors that I grew up eating with the evolving tech of today. These Air Fryer Dominican Style Ribs are no different! 

I remember watching my grandmother make these spare ribs for Sunday dinners. Pork was some of the cheapest meats that we could buy so pork dishes were always in heavy rotation. Ribs were always a special treat. My grandmother always had to make more than she thought because no one could ever get enough. Neighbors would come by as they could smell fritura from down the block. 

Today, I use cooking gloves to season any kind of meat. Back then, I would use my bare hands to marinate the meat with fresh garlic, Dominican orégano and lime. The smell would stay with me for days as a reminder of good times and good food that was had. I still use many of those ingredients to make my Air Fryer Dominican Style Ribs. However, as with many air fryer recipes, you do have to change a few things. 

I make my Traditional Dominican Ribs with all fresh ingredients so they come alive in my boil-braise-fry method. However, the air-fryer skips over all of those steps, which means that I need to change course. Nonetheless, the impact and the flavor is still supreme. Instead of using fresh garlic, which can burn and taste bitter in the air fryer, I use garlic powder, onion powder, Dominican Orégano and fresh lime. 

The fresh limes still add a freshness to this dish. I also like to add some orange juice or even fresh oranges for a sour orange flare. Sour oranges are a must in Caribbean cooking and you can actually make your own at home by mixing the juice of one lime and one orange. Together they form a juice that’s subtly sweet yet tart. It’s an amazing ingredient to season beef, chicken, and especially pork! 

The marinade for Dominican Style Ribs is actually very similar to that of Dominican Style Pernil. These classic ingredients never disappoint and they always result in meat that’s well seasoned and flavorful. As with many dishes, feel free to generously salt the ribs with kosher salt. Pork has the tendency to sweat off any salt that you add, so you can add a hint more than you think that you need. 

Now if you’re wondering if you can make this dish in any air fryer – the answer is YES! I use my Ninja Foodi to make these ribs, but you can honestly use any air fryer that you have. The settings that I use are practically universal and will work on any device. The key is to keep an eye on the meat and adjust if needed. Feel free to add more time or reduce. In fact here are some key tips: 

  • Tip #1: Set your air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow your ribs to cook perfectly and not dry out 
  • Tip #2: Add an extra 2 minutes to your timer. Allowing the air-fryer to heat up for 2 minutes before adding any food gives you the best results 
  • Tip #3: Add a tiny bit of oil to your food before air frying. This will give you the crispiest result that you will love 
  • Tip #4: Don’t overcrowd your air fryer. You want to allow the food to have some space and even air flow throughout for the best result 
  • Tip #5: Cook the food in batches if needed. I find that the 2nd batch is always the best since the airfryer has fully come up to temperature 

Cook with me as I show you how to make these Air Fryer Dominican Ribs on my YouTube Channel – Chef Zee Cooks! 

And now for the recipe!

Air Fryer Dominican Style Ribs | Dominican Recipes | Chef Zee Cooks

Serves: 5 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 3.8/5
( 8 voted )


  • 2lbs Spare Ribs
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tbsp Ground Dominican Orégano
  • 2 Limes
  • ¼ cup Orange Juice
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • Olive Oil


  1. Combine onion powder, garlic powder, Dominican orégano, kosher salt, fresh lime, orange juice, and oil into bowl and mix 
  2. Season ribs with homemade marinade. Let sit for 20 minutes 
  3. Set the air fryer to air fry at 375 for 32 mins. After the air-fryer warms up for 2 minutes, add ribs. Be sure to not overcrowd the air fryer. Feel free to air-fry in batches if needed 
  4. Flip spare ribs halfway
  5. Once the timer has turned off, remove the ribs and serve with fresh lime. Feel free to add extra time to air-fryer if you want the ribs to be crispier

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