Air fryer pork belly is the quickest and easiest way to get perfectly crispy pork belly that is also succulent and tender.
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. This slow roasted pork belly is a variation on my popular air fryer roast pork loin recipe (which you should also try by the way).
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. No need to boil it first, or pressure cook in an Instant Pot, or dry it out over night, no poking holes with a stick. No, that is all unnecessary.
This really is the quick and easy crispy pork belly recipe you have been looking for!
Note you can also use this recipe for roasting pork belly in a regular oven use the fan forced setting.
Scroll down for this pork belly air fryer recipe card, or read on for detailed description of how to cook pork belly in an air fryer.
How to Cook Pork Belly in an Air Fryer
How to prepare 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 prepare it so that the fat and moisture can run out of it during cooking.
This will ensure that that top layer turns into that perfect crispy crackling that we all want.
- Step 1: score the rind with a knife in a criss-cross pattern, with lines approximately 1/2 inch (1cm) apart. You need to be careful just to score the skin, and not cut through to the meat.
- Step 2: rub salt into the pork belly skin. Leave 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 3: season the pork belly with olive oil and salt.
- Step 4: Place the salted pork belly in the air fryer. Now you are ready to air fry.
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).
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 XL Airfryer*. If you have another powerful brand of air fryer like the Nuwave or a Ninja Foodi then expect cook times to be similar.
Resting the meat
Once the cooking time is up it is important to rest it for approximately ten minutes. Simply put it on a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat and ensures that it is succulent and tender.
How to Serve Pork Belly
To slice the 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, or
- kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).
Air Fryer Pork Belly Recipe
How to cook crispy pork belly in an air fryer.
- 1.5 lb 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.
- Pre heat 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 (200°C), and air fry pork belly for an additional 10 minutes. Check it after 5 minutes to see whether the crackling is done to your liking and prevent burning.
- Once the pork belly is roasted to perfection, remove it from the air fryer and cover with aluminum foil to rest for ten minutes.
- 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 65C.
- 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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