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I Used the Ninja Foodi to Make a Rack of BBQ Ribs, and They Were Delicious

Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Cooker | $119 | Amazon

Anyone who knows me understands that I love to cook, and I also love to eat what I make. A few weeks back, I actually made seared duck breasts with roasted potatoes, made in duck fat, as well as broccoli seasoned with Old Bay. I even recorded a TikTok of the whole process. I’m not famous yet, but you know, I’m working on it.

My recent cooking obsession has been directly correlated to the addition of the Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Cooker that pressure cooks, air fries, and tender crisps whatever your little heart desires. And I’m not being dramatic, you can cook whatever you want as long as you have the audacity.

At first, I mostly used the air fryer to make lemon pepper wings and french fries without the extra grease. Once those turned out amazing, I thought, what if I threw a rack of ribs in this bad boy?


Obviously, a rack of ribs is ... cumbersome to say the least, so you will have to cut it in half to fit in the 5- or 6.5-quart cooker. Because I’ve been doing a bunch of cooking lately (caused 1,000% by the ongoing pandemic), I invested in a Wusthof Gourmet 7-piece knife block set. I’ve had the same knives for over seven years and they were dull AF, which is more dangerous as the super sharp German knives I have right now. When I snagged the knife set, they were on sale for $110, which is decent since they usually go for $150 on average.

Once I cut the rack in half, I seasoned it with pepper, Adobo (the ribs were made before the Goya boycott), onion and garlic powder, and a splash of Himalayan pink salt. I let both halves sit to marinate for about an hour.

Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Cooker | $119 | Amazon
Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Cooker | $119 | Amazon
Image: Ignacia Fulcher

In order to first make ribs in the Foodi, you’ll need to place the ribs inside of the tray and set the pressure cooker for about 30-35 minutes. While they’re cooking you’ll smell all the spices and get hungry, but don’t worry, they’ll be done soon. I had already prepped some pasta salad to go with the BBQ ribs, so I literally watched a bit of 90-day fiancèe while the food was cooking. You can set the amount of time on your Foodi, and it’ll beep when it’s done. Whenever you cook anything in the pressure cooker option, you’ll have to wait a couple of minutes for the pressurized air to leak through the separate top. No, it isn’t made like the cursed pressure cookers of the past that ruined stovetops everywhere, but the same rule applies: Don’t remove the top until it’s ready!

After the ribs are cooked through using the pressure cooking function, you’re gonna want to then baste the ribs with your choice of BBQ sauce. My favorite is Sweet Baby Rays, which gives you a nice sweet, smokey flavor. When you’re done basting, you’ll turn on the air fryer for about 15-20 minutes. It’ll give the outside just the right amount of crispness, and set the BBQ sauce you applied.


Once the Foodi beeps, you’ll have tender, fall off the bone, baby back ribs you’ll wanna die for. I’m telling you, there’s nothing better.


Commerce Editor. Brooklyn born. Black and Latina. Obsessed with skincare and '90s R&B. Actually went to Journalism school. Cares about social justice and Black writers.

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