Significantly improved carrier lifetimes in very long-wave infrared (VLWIR) InAs/GaInSb superlattice (SL) absorbers are demonstrated using time-resolved microwave reflectance (TMR) measurements. A nominal SL structure that produces an response at 10 K has a minority carrier lifetime of at 18 K, which is an order-of-magnitude improvement compared with previously reported lifetime values for other VLWIR detector absorbers. This improvement is attributed to the strain-engineered ternary SL design, which offers a variety of epitaxial advantages and ultimately leads to the improvements in the minority carrier lifetime by mitigating defect-mediated Shockley–Read–Hall (SRH) recombination centers. By analyzing the temperature dependence of TMR decay data, the recombination mechanisms and trap states that currently limit the performance of this SL absorber were identified. The results show a general decrease in the long-decay lifetime component, which is dominated by SRH recombination at temperatures below and by Auger recombination at temperatures above . Since the strain-balanced ternary SL design offers a reasonably good absorption coefficient and many epitaxial advantages during growth, this VLWIR SL material system should be considered as a competitive candidate for VLWIR photodetector technology.