Make these sweet and buttery corn ribs quickly in your air fryer! Quartered corn smothered in a buttery spice mixture and air fried, just so good!
I love making corn ribs! I bought corn ribs ready-made a while ago and I decided to try to make them myself and I have loved them since. They're super easy to make at home and a great way to prepare corn on the cob.
I have included tips about parboiling the corn cobs or microwaving them before cutting them. I also tested the corn ribs without softening them beforehand, and the results were interesting! See below for my verdict on whether softening the corn before cutting it into ribs is worth the time and effort.
Try my Air Fryer Corn on the Cob in Foil for another super easy air fryer corn recipe! For more healthy vegetable sides that you can have on the table in minutes, check out my Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges and my Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes - they are fan favorites!
Whole corn cobs, butter, and a handful of seasonings are all you need to make these sweet, crunchy ribs of buttery corn!
To make the best air fryer corn ribs, you'll need:
- Corn on the cobs
- Unsalted or salted butter
- Garlic powder
- Lemon juice
- Salt & pepper
See the recipe card for precise quantities and instructions.
🔪 How to Cut Corn Cobs Safely
To cut the corn cobs safely, use:
- A stable, non-slip surface
- A sharp knife life a chefs knife
My recommendation is that you should cut the corn on a very stable surface that won't move. Your knife should also be very sharp. Sharpen your knife a few times as you cut the ribs to make sure you cut through the corn straight and keep your fingers safe!
I tested a couple of things to make the corn cobs easier to cut into ribs as they were very hard. I parboiled some corn cobs and I also microwaved some to see if that helped.
Unfortunately, I didn't see much of a difference when softening the corn on the cobs as they couldn't soften enough to be easy to cut while also staying firm enough to make into corn ribs.
📖 How to Make Air Fryer Corn Ribs
Prep and cooking for this recipe takes just 15 minutes in total - a simple, quick and easy snack or healthy vegetable side dish!
Cut the cleaned corn cobs into ribs by placing the corn vertically on a stable surface and cutting straight down through the centre with a sharp knife.
Once the corn cobs are halved, lay them down flat and cut down the middle again so the corn is in quarters.
In a small bowl, mix or whisk together the melted butter and seasonings for the corn.
Brush the butter and seasoning over the corn ribs, covering the corn. Only brush butter on the yellow corn parts.
Air fry the corn ribs for a total of 12 minutes at 400 °F (200 °C), flipping halfway through.
Serve the corn ribs immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice! They go with so many great sauces like ranch dressing and sweet chilli sauce.
Hint: Save some of the seasoned butter and brush it on the corn ribs halfway through air frying, doubling the flavor! You can also allow the seasoned butter to cool and harden just a bit so that when brushed on the corn ribs, it doesn't run off too quickly.
Corn ribs are meant to be eaten just like normal ribs, hence the name! Grab a corn rib at each end and eat as you normally would corn on the cob. The shape of the corn ribs makes it easier to eat the corn off too!
Corn ribs curl up slightly as they cook, making them curved and similar to how normal ribs look. They are also eaten similarly, by hand. This is why they call them corn ribs!
12 minutes in the air fryer is all that is needed to make these slightly spicy and buttery corn ribs. Air fryer temperatures and cooking times may vary so keep an eye on the corn ribs in the last few minutes of cooking.
400 °F (200 °C) is the perfect temperature for making corn ribs in the air fryer as the high heat cooks them quickly and also gives them some color too!
Here are some substitution suggestions so you can make these corn ribs with what you have on hand!
- Multicoloured corn - You can use any type of corn for this recipe and they will all taste just as buttery and delicious! You can use yellow corn, or wild multicolored corn if you manage to find it at your supermarket.
- Salted or unsalted butter - Use either butter for the same flavor, and add more salt if using unsalted butter.
- Vegan-friendly - use vegan butter or oil to make this recipe vegan-friendly!
Try out these delicious variations to keep the recipe fresh and exciting!
- Want some spice? - Add a ½ tsp. chili powder or cayenne pepper to add a spicy kick to your corn ribs. Adjust to your preference.
- Deluxe - Serve the corn ribs drizzled with ranch dressing and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces like sweet chili sauce, honey mustard sauce or simple ketchup.
- Street corn style - take these corn ribs to the next level by making them street-style! Brush the corn ribs with a creamy mayonnaise sauce after cooking them, and serve with crumbled cojita cheese, a sprinkle of chili powder and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
If you want to skip cutting the corn cobs completely, check out my recipe for Air Fryer Corn on the Cob in Foil - they're ready super quickly and are also easy to clean up after!
Air Fryer: This recipe has been made and tested using a Cosori Max XL Large Cooker. It has a capacity of 5.8 quarts which is quite large. You can use any air fryer for this recipe, but all air fryers are different so adjust cooking times accordingly.
Oven Thermometer: Another piece of equipment I find useful for air fryer cooking is an oven thermometer. It can be placed inside the air fryer and measure the temperature very accurately. You can also use it in your test batch as mentioned to make sure the temperature is perfect for this recipe.
Air fryer temperatures vary a little between air fryer models so a thermometer is the best way to make sure your air fryer is the correct temperature for each recipe.
Allow the corn ribs to cool completely to room temperature before storing them for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Corn ribs don't freeze well so I wouldn't recommend it!
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
- Make sure to turn the corn ribs over halfway through the air frying time for even cooking and crisping of the corn edges.
- Air fryers can vary slightly so make sure to check the corn ribs in the last couple minutes of cooking so they don't burn.
Air Fryer Corn Ribs
- 3 ears of fresh corn, shucked
- 4 Tbsp. Melted butter
- 1 tsp. Ground paprika
- 1 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
- ½ tsp. Sea salt
- ½ tsp. Black pepper
- Clean the corn by completely removing any of the green husk. Rinse under cold water to get rid of any fibre tendrils and slice off the ends with a sharp knife. *see notes below for info about par-boiling the corn or microwaving it to make it easier to cut.3 ears of fresh corn, shucked
- Cut the cleaned corn cobs into ribs by placing the corn vertically on a stable surface and cutting straight down through the centre with a sharp knife. Once the corn cobs are halved, lay them down flat and cut down the middle again so the corn is in quarters.
- In a small bowl, mix or whisk together the melted butter and seasonings for the corn.4 Tbsp. Melted butter, 1 tsp. Ground paprika, 1 tsp. Garlic powder, 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice, ½ tsp. Sea salt, ½ tsp. Black pepper
- Place the corn ribs in the air fryer basket, leaving some space around them. Fit in as many as you can.
- Brush the butter and seasoning over the corn ribs, covering the corn. You dont need to brush any over the white parts as they won't be eaten. Save some of the butter for brushing on halfway through air frying.
- Air fry the corn ribs for a total of 12 minutes at 400 °F (200 °C), flipping halfway through. Quickly brush on some leftover butter when flipping the corn ribs.
- Serve the corn ribs immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice! They go with so many great sauces.
This recipe was tested with these air fryers: