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Air Fryer Roast Pork (with perfect crackling)

Mouth-wateringly tender roast pork with no-fail perfectly crispy, golden crackling. Good news: no more family fights over the best bits of crackling – with this air fryer roast pork recipe it’s all perfect!

Air fryer roast pork with perfect golden crackling.

Best. Crackling. Ever.

The first time I made this recipe I was so excited to share it with everyone I knew. The pork is always ultra-tender, and the crackling is the actual best ever. The best. Ever.

Every single piece is crunchy, glistening, salty perfection. You can’t imagine how much willpower it took for me to wait until I had taken the photos for this recipe before getting into it.

Tip tip: if your family is like mine, make sure you keep the crackling out of sight until dinner is served, or it just might disappear…

Air fryer pork loin roast on a wooden board.

Just three ingredients

A small pork roast

You can use any small pork roasting joint. However, because of the quick roasting time, a more tender cut of pork will be your best choice.

Boneless leg roast or pork loin roast are both excellent choices. Perhaps stating the obvious: if you want pork crackling, choose a roast with a rind (skin).

Make sure you choose a pork roast that will fit in your air fryer. I usually find that a 1kg pork roast fits nicely in my air fryer, and is perfect for serving four (with some leftovers for roast pork sandwiches the next day!).

>> Related recipe: air fryer pork tenderloin

Rolled vs unrolled?

Pork roasts are often rolled and tied to keep them a consistent shape so they cook evenly. However, I generally unroll them to cook in my air fryer as the crackling turns out better if it is lying flat, and a consistent distance from the heat. And I’m alllll about the crackling! (you may have guessed!)

Salt

Salt is used for seasoning and to make the crackling really crispy. I used fine sea salt for this recipe, but you can substitute kosher salt or cooking salt.

You will need approximately one teaspoon of kosher salt per 500g/ pound of pork. Note: If you only have table salt (not recommended), decrease the amount to ½-¾ teaspoon per 500g/lb pork, as the grain size is so much smaller.

Oil

I normally use light olive oil when roasting pork in my air fryer. You can substitute another cooking oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil, or corn oil.

Tip

Choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.

Let’s cook this pork roast in the air fryer!

1

Score the skin.

Pat the pork roast dry, then score the skin/ rind with a sharp knife at 1cm/ ½-inch intervals. Take care to cut only through the skin into the fat beneath, and not into the meat.

2

Salt the rind.

Sprinkle the salt over the pork and rub it in, ensuring it gets into the scores in the rind. Set aside for ten minutes.

After ten minutes, pat the pork roast dry again (the salt will have drawn some moisture out of the pork skin), then drizzle with oil and rub in so the pork roast is well covered with salt and oil.

Images showing the pork roast being prepared.

3

Pop it in the air fryer.

Preheat the air fryer to 360°F / 180°C. Then place the pork roast in the air fryer basket, skin side up.

Uncooked pork roast in the air fryer basket.

4

Air fry pork roast.

Air fry the pork for around 50 minutes (25 minutes per 500g/ 22 mins per lb). See calculator below to estimate cook times for other size roasts.

When the cooking time is up, check that the pork is cooked correctly by ensuring it has reached 65°C/ 145°F or higher in the center of the thickest part, and that the crackling is done to your liking.

Roasted pork joint in air fryer basket.

Note: If the pork is cooked through but the crackling needs longer, carefully remove the crackling and place it back in the air fryer for 5 minutes while the meat rests. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

4

Rest.

Finally, remove the pork from the air fryer, tent it loosely with foil, and leave it to rest for ten minutes before serving so the juices can reabsorb into the meat.

How long to cook pork roast in the air fryer

The exact cooking time will vary according to the size and shape of the cut of pork you are cooking, and with different air fryers.

My rule of thumb is to air fry a pork roast for around 25 minutes per 450g/ pound. So a 900g/ 2lb pork roast needs around 50 minutes. Use the calculator below to estimate the cooking times for different sized pork roasts.

Use a meat thermometer to confirm that your pork roast is cooked correctly. It should be at least 63°C/ 145°F (medium-rare), measured in the center of the thickest part. I usually cook pork to medium: 65°C/ 150°F.

Roast pork air fryer cooking times calculator

Use this calculator to estimate how long to air fry your pork roast for. Remember it is an estimate only, and you should monitor the roast closely, especially towards the end of cooking – you don’t want to burn the crackling!! 😱

Roast pork loin in air fryer with golden crispy crackling.

Tips for really sharp crackling

  1. Score the rind carefully to avoid cutting into the meat. Cutting into the meat means moisture will get into the rind preventing it from reaching its crunchiest potential.
  2. Rub the salt into the scores well. The salt will draw more moisture out of the pork skin, which you can blot away with paper towels.
  3. Remove moisture before adding oil. Pat the pork roast as dry as possible before adding the oil.
  4. Rub the oil in. The oil reacts with the salt and the fat under the rind making it puff up for ultra crispy crackling.
  5. If all else fails, you can carefully remove the crackling from the roast when the meat is cooked, and crisp it up in the air fryer for 5 minutes or so.
Closeup of crispy golden crackling.

Serving ideas for roast pork

I usually serve roasted pork as a traditional roast dinner with crispy roast potatoes, a selection of steamed vegetables, and homemade gravy (made from stock). Here are some more side dish pairings that we love:

Note: If you also want to cook side dishes in the air fryer, you can pre-cook them for part of the cooking time before the pork, then put them back in the air fryer to finish cooking for 5-10 minutes while the pork is resting.

Air fryer roast pork with perfect golden crackling.

Air Fryer Roast Pork With Crackling

4.5 from 659 votes
Mouth-wateringly tender roast pork with no-fail perfectly crispy, golden crackling. Good news: no more family fights over the best bits of crackling – with this air fryer roast pork recipe it's all perfect!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Serves6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 kg / 2.2 lb pork roast (Note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (kosher salt, cooking salt)

Directions

  • Pat the pork roast dry. If the pork roast has a rind, score the skin with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern, cutting into the fat beneath, but not into the meat.
  • Sprinkle salt over the skin and rub in. Leave the pork roast for 10 minutes to allow the salt to draw the moisture from the skin.
  • Pat the pork roast dry again, then drizzle with oil and rub in.
  • Preheat air fryer oven to 360°F/ 180°C.
  • Place pork roast in air fryer basket, and cook for around 50 minutes [Note 2]. 
  • When the cooking time is up, check that the pork is cooked to ensure it has reached at least 145°F/ 63°C in the center of the thickest part [Note 3].
  • Remove pork roast from air fryer, cover with kitchen foil and leave to rest for ten minutes before serving [Note 4].
  • Carve into slices to serve [Note 5].

Notes

  1. Try pork loin roast, boneless leg roast, pork shoulder, rolled roast or any other small pork roast.
  2. Cook for 25 minutes per 500g/ 22 minutes per lb:
    Size of pork roast Approx. air fryer cook time
    500g/ 1.1lb 25 minutes
    750g/ 1½lb 38 minutes
    1kg/ 2lb 50 minutes
    1.2kg/ 2½lb 1 hr 5 minutes
    1.5kg/ 3lb 1 hr 15 minutes
    1.8kg/ 4lb 1 hr 30 minutes
    2kg/ 4.4lb 1 hr 40 minutes
    See main article for calculator for other weights
  3. Use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature in the thickest part.
  4. If the crackling is not quite as crisp as you would like it at this point, remove it before resting the meat, and put back into the air fryer for 5-10 minutes until crisp.

Nutrition

Serving: 1  Calories: 461kcal  Protein: 35g  Fat: 35g  Saturated Fat: 12g  Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g  Cholesterol: 136mg  Sodium: 490mg

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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FAQs & Tips

Can you cook frozen pork loin in an air fryer?

According to the USDA it is safe to cook frozen pork in an oven, on the stove or grill without defrosting it first – this would also apply to an air fryer (it is a countertop oven). They recommend that the cooking time may be about 50% longer. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure it reaches the safe temperature (145°F / 63°C). 

How do you keep pork roast from drying out?

Quick roasting in an air fryer is the best method to cook a pork roast without it drying out. Also, using a meat thermometer to ensure that it doesn’t get overcooked is key to keeping this cut of meat moist and tender. It is also really important to rest it for at least ten minutes after cooking.

Gina T.

Monday 7th of February 2022

My favourite go to recipe for roasting pork. Come out perfect every time 👍. Crackling is perfect! This is the best way to cook pork roast, I’m never going back to the oven.

Ange

Thursday 4th of April 2019

Have made this twice, and it turned out great both times, the crackling is perfect!

Comments are closed.

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