This air fryer pork belly recipe is the quickest and easiest way to get perfectly crispy pork belly that is also succulent and tender. Get ready for the pork crackling of your dreams!
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How to cook pork belly in an air fryer
Pork belly is one of the most delicious cuts of meat you can cook with your air fryer. This is because it can be slow cooked in its own fat to create a delicious crispy skin and succulent meat on the inside.
Cooking pork belly doesn’t need to be complicated. You can get perfectly roasted crispy pork belly by simply cooking it in your air fryer.
There is no need to boil it first, no need to pressure cook in an Instant Pot, or dry it out overnight, no poking holes with a stick, no deep frying. No, that is all unnecessary.
This really is the quick and easy crispy pork belly recipe you have been looking for!
Scroll down for the printable card for this pork belly air fryer recipe, or read on for all the details!
Choose the best quality cut you can afford. Get one that is a nice healthy pink color, and has a white layer of fat, and a firm pork rind on top.
The recipe below just uses salt for seasoning. I like to roast the pork belly unflavored, and then use sauce to add flavor once it is cooked.
If you prefer you can add some other seasoning before cooking. Try a simple spice mix of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper and salt.
This is required to get the pork belly as crispy as possible. The recipe below calls for light olive oil, but you could substitute another cooking oil with a high smoke point (avoid extra virgin olive oil for cooking in an air fryer).
Step 1: Prepare raw pork belly.
To get really crispy roast pork belly, you need to prepare it properly to remove some of the moisture from the skin, and so that the fat and moisture can run out of it during cooking.
This will ensure that the top layer turns into that perfect crispy crackling that we all want.
Score the rind with a knife in a criss-cross pattern, with lines approximately ½ inch/ 1cm apart. You need to be careful just to score the skin, and not cut through to the meat.
Then, rub salt into the pork belly skin, and set aside for 10-20 minutes (you do not need to leave it overnight like some recipes require).
You will notice that moisture appears on the surface of the rind. Blot this off with a paper towel to get the pork skin as dry as possible.
Step 2: Season the pork belly
Mix the oil and salt for seasoning on a plate. Roll the pork belly in it to coat it well on all sides. Season the pork belly with olive oil and salt, and any other spices you want to add.
Step 3: Air fry pork belly
Preheat the air fryer 320°F/160°C. Place the salted pork belly in the air fryer skin side up, and air fry for 30 minutes.
When the time is up, turn the temperature up to 390°F/ 195°C, and air fry pork belly for an additional 5-10 minutes, until the crackling is crispy.
Check it after 5 minutes to see whether the crackling is done to your liking and prevent burning. See section below for more details on cook times.
Note: you can also use this recipe for roasting pork belly in a regular oven use the fan forced setting.
How long to cook pork belly in an air fryer?
When cooking pork belly the best way to get it really tender and succulent is slow roasting at a low temperature, followed by a short blast at at a high temperature to get the skin really crispy.
Pork is cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F/ 74°C. However, for fall-apart-tender meat we are aiming for a much higher internal temperature of around 195-200°F/ 90-95°C.
Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the meat for an accurate temperature reading.
The best way to be sure that you have achieved this is to use a meat thermometer. I’d recommend either an instant read meat thermometer, or a wireless leave-in meat thermometer like the Meater*.
The exact time required will depend on a few factors including exactly how large and thick your piece of pork belly is, and how efficient your air fryer is.
The cook times in the recipe below are usually exactly right for my Philips XXL Airfryer*. If you have another powerful brand of air fryer like the Nuwave or a Ninja Air Fryer, expect cook times to be similar.
How to Serve Pork Belly
To slice the roasted pork belly, turn it upside down on a chopping board and cut through to with a sharp knife. This is the best way to get perfect pork belly slices and to cut through the crispy crackling without shattering it.
I like to serve pork belly as an appetizer, sliced into pork belly bites. A simple dipping sauce is all you need, try:
- BBQ sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Plum sauce
- Sweet soy sauce
Storing and reheating
Store any leftover pork belly in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.
You can reheat the pork belly in the air fryer, air fry for 3-4 minutes until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave, 1-2 minutes on high.
How to cook crispy pork belly in an air fryer.
- 1½ lb/ 700g pork belly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons of kosher/flaked salt
- Score the rind of the pork belly with a sharp knife. Ensure you do not cut through to the meat.
- Rub 1 teaspoon of salt into the skin, ensuring it goes into the scores. Set aside for ten minutes.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt on a plate.
- Preheat air fryer to 320°F (160°C).
- Blot the moisture from the surface of the pork belly, and then press it into the oil/salt mixture so that all sides are covered.
- Place pork belly in the air fryer basket skin-side up, and air fry at 320°F/160°C for 30 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn the temperature up to 390°F/ 195°C, and air fry pork belly for an additional 5-10 minutes. Check it after 5 minutes to see whether the crackling is done to your liking and prevent burning.
- Remove from the air fryer and leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb.
- Once rested, use a sharp knife to slice the pork belly skin-side down on a cutting board.
- Air frying times are an estimate only. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the pork has reached at least 145°F/ 65°C.
- Due to the high fat content of this dish, the air fryer may smoke while cooking. If this happens, note how much cooking time is remaining, stop the air fryer, remove the basket from the air fryer and carefully drain collected fat out of the bottom of the draw. Restart the air fryer for the remaining cooking time.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 556Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 689mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 39g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.
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