Get ready to have your taste buds blown away with this air fryer pork belly recipe! It’s the quickest and easiest way to perfectly succulent, tender pork belly. And let’s not forget about the pork crackling of your dreams – it’s all here in one delicious dish!
Why you’ll love this recipe
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 deliciously 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.
This really is the quick and easy crispy pork belly recipe you have been looking for!
What do you need?
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 and pepper for seasoning. I like to roast the pork belly unflavored, and then use the 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. Or add some Chinese five-spice for an Asian-inspired crispy pork belly.
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).
Tip : When air frying, choose a cooking oil with a high smoke point to reduce the chance of your air fryer smoking.
How to cook pork belly in the 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 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
Drizzle oil over the pork belly and rub the oil into the scores in the skin, and all over the meat.
Flip the pork belly over and season the underside with salt and pepper, and any other spices you want to add.
Step 4: Wrap the pork belly
Place the pork belly on a large piece of kitchen foil skin side up, and wrap the sides up to form an open container that fits the pork belly snuggly, leaving the skin exposed. Fold the corners tightly to seal them to keep the juices close to the pork while it cooks.
Alternatively, you can cook the pork belly in a small pan, but choose one that fits the pork belly closely so that the pork cooks in the fat rather than losing it all to the pan. A small loaf tin is ideal.
Step 4: 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 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?
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.
When cooking pork belly the best way to get it really tender and succulent is slow roasting at a low temperature until the meat is succulent, followed by a short blast 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
Tip: Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the meat for an accurate temperature reading.
To slice the roasted pork belly, turn it upside down on a chopping board and cut through 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.Print
Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly
How to cook crispy pork belly in an air fryer.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main dish
- Cuisine: British
- 1½ lb/ 700g pork belly
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of kosher/flaked salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Score the rind of the pork belly with a sharp knife. Ensure you only cut through into the fat, not into the meat.
- Rub 1 teaspoon of salt into the skin, ensuring it goes into the scores. Set aside for ten minutes. Then blot the moisture from the surface of the pork belly using paper towels.
- Preheat air fryer to 320°F (160°C).
- Drizzle the pork belly with oil and rub in, flip the pork belly skin side down and season with the remaining salt, and the pepper.
- Place the pork belly skin side up on a large piece of kitchen foil, and wrap the sides of the foil up to enclose the meat. Leave the skin uncovered. Make sure the corners are folded tightly together so it does not leave during cooking.
- Place pork belly in the air fryer basket, 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 10 minutes. Check it after 5 minutes to see whether the crackling is done to your liking and prevent burning. [Note 1]
- Remove from the air fryer and leave to rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb.
- Once rested, remove from the foil, then use a sharp knife to slice the pork belly (skin-side down) on a cutting board.
- Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!
Air frying times are an estimate only. The target internal temperature of the pork is 195°F / 90°C. Pork needs to be at least 145°F/ 65°C for safe consumption. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.