Air Fryer Pork Belly is crispy, crunchy and delicious! A super easy recipe to make, with crackling that rocks, this is the perfect Sunday roast. Air Fried Pork Belly pairs well with roast or air fried potatoes and a simple apple sauce!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised the reasons why you will love this recipe in the points below:
- Smells amazing: the smell of the pork cooking is one of the most delicious smells that can come from your kitchen!
- Crispy crackling: the air-fried pork belly is succulent and juicy, the crackling crispy and crunchy. The combination is absolutely irresistible.
- Easy side serving suggestions: round the pork out by serving with my Air Fryer Potato Cubes and Apple Sauce for pork belly to make a balanced dinner with a bit of delicious this, that and yum on the plate.
- Convenience: the Air Fryer works wonders to roast the pork in less time than the oven can, all with the touch of a few buttons! You will soon find this air fryer pork belly recipe the easiest way to get the Sunday roast dinner sorted.
- Supermarket shopping for everyday ingredients: almost every local store from Tesco to Walmart, Woolies and Coles will sell pork belly. You can also grab it from your local butcher if you like. In the USA, it might be referred to simply as bacon or streaky bacon. It is from the belly of the pig.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Pork belly: You will be able to find this at your local grocery store or butcher. It is a fatty cut of meat with tons of flavor when cooked. Keep in mind the size of your air fryer when selecting this as some portions are longer than others and you want the pork to rest flat on the Air Fryer basket or tray.
- Salt: you can use regular table salt or sea salt. It absorbs the moisture on the skin of the pork to ensure the crackling bursts and crackles.
Tasty tip: I am using an 800 gram (approximately 1.5 pounds) piece of pork belly for the recipe and my Air Fryer is a 7 litre basket version. For this recipe, I don't recommend the use of oil at all. As I tried and tested it along the way, my experience taught me that the recipe needs to be kept very simple without fan fair and that a trick or 2 achieves the crunchiest crackling around town!
Here are the step by step instructions to make Air Fryer Pork Belly. We take simple steps to prepare the pork belly and we need to lay it on a cooling rack as we pour boiling water over the skin.
- Remove pork from packaging and use a sharp knife to score (Photo 1)
- Place on cooling rack and pour boiling water over the pork (Photo 2)
- Use paper towel to pat the pork dry (Photo 3)
- Wrap the base of the pork in alfoil (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Pork Belly
If you have time, you can take the optional step to remove the packaging and leave the pork uncovered in the fridge prior to cooking (up to 24 hours).
For step 2, boil the kettle, ensure the pork is raised on a cooling rack and when the kettle boils, pour the boiling water over the skin. This ensures that the fat can render from the pork.
Once prepped place pork belly into the base of the air-fryer basket as shown in the photos below.
- Sprinkle salt over the skin (Photo 5)
- Cook pork belly till skin crackles and meat is soft and white (Photo 6)
When Air Frying, I often don't use baking paper or aluminum foil. However, I found the very 1st time I made pork belly in the air fryer the underside of the meat wasn't as soft as I would like and the clean up took longer than I would like with a greasy layer of fat in the bottom of the air fryer.
Another thing was that the smell of the pork stayed in the Air Fryer whilst cooking anything since then and I wanted that to have less of a lasting effect (delicious but not permeating).
By using tin foil and folding it up around the base of the pork, I found the juices were kept in with the pork, making it soft and tender and I saved clean up by about 20 mins!
I will only ever cook it like this now in the Air Fryer as to nail it each and every time and I recommend you also use these tips to ensure your pork is perfectly cooked with no lingering effects!
For this recipe, I don't recommend using baking paper as the pork is so juicy that the paper would become very wet and stick to the skin as it is not able to form resistance to the volume of moisture throughout the cook time.
Nor do I recommend spraying either the base of the Air Fryer, basket or tray with oil. I further do not recommend spraying the crackling with any oil.
🍖 Pork Belly in Air Fryer
Often revered due to the crispy crackling skin, pork belly cooks to absolute perfection in the air fryer. There is something about the simple approach to cooking a cut of meat that is often a little intimidating. Once you try it however, you will see that it is so effortless and easy resulting in delicious juicy pork that you will want to make it again and again!
As you can see from the photos above, your pork belly will fit snuggly in the Air Fryer in one flat not curved up or squished in layer. The tin foil wraps around it like a pillow and in the cooked photo you can see the juices as they sit in that pillow ensuring juicy, moist mouthfuls of pork!
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
When you purchase the pork belly, it will be in sealed or vacuum packed packaging. You can remove it from the packaging 24 hours before cooking as this will allow the skin to dry out.
To store cooked pork belly, place it in an air tight container. It will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
How to Freeze
You can freeze the sealed packet of pork belly as purchased. Or you can cook it, allow it to cool and portion into air tight containers for later use.
How to Reheat
To reheat the pork belly, you can use the microwave.
If wanting to reheat from frozen, ensure that you use containers which allow you to cook from frozen. Or alternatively, allow the pork to defrost and then reheat and eat.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
If you want a different serving suggestion to the potato cubes and apple sauce you see in the photos, you could also try the Horseradish Yogurt Sauce or Garlic Yogurt Sauce. Or I won't stop you from slicing it into bite-sized cubes and serving it with your favorite dipping sauce 😉.
The crackling is the best part as you munch down on the salty crispy skin that literally bursts in your mouth!
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my ins and outs that you might like to consider when making the recipe.
- We only need salt to cook the pork, but you can season with black pepper for serving.
- Try serving with the Quick Potato Bake.
- Or try the Mashed Peas.
- You can use gravy for a sauce if you don't want to make a homemade sauce.
- If you want more ideas for the sauce, you can check out all of my homemade sauces.
- If you want more of a take out style dinner, pair with the Gravy Fries.
💡 Tasty Tips
This is what I have learnt that will help you master the recipe from the 1st time and every following time:
- If you have time, remove the packing from the pork and sit it on a plate in the fridge for a bit (the pork).
- Score the pork skin diagonally by cutting the skin and not the meat under it.
- Ensure you pat the pork dry with paper towel so there is no moisture on it whatsoever.
- Sprinkle salt all over the skin, but not too much as it won't brush off.
- For your information my air fryer is a 7 litre basket version.
- Ensure your pork belly portion fits in your air fryer, flat and not curved at sides.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
How long does pork take in the air fryer?
It takes 45- 50 mins to cook pork in the Air Fryer.
We cook the pork at 2 different temperatures as we want to achieve crispy crackling as well as juicy, melt in your mouth pork.
So we begin with a higher temperature for the 1st 20 - 25 mins of the recipe, focusing on the crackling.
Then we reduce the temperature to cook the remainder of the pork for a further 20 mins.
What temperature do you cook pork in an air fryer?
Start cooking the pork at 200 degrees, 400 Fahrenheit, gas mark 6. This is for 20 - 25 mins and we are looking to see the skin crackle during that time.
After this, reduce the temperature to 180 degrees, 350 Fahrenheit, gas mark 4 and cook the pork for a further 20 mins.
The desired result is crunchy crackling and soft, white meat.
How do I cook pork belly?
You can cook pork belly in the oven or air fryer.
It is similar to cooking roast meats and takes just under an hour to be cooked properly when using the air fryer.
Pouring boiling water over the pork prior to cooking ensures the fat can render from the pork and this is an essential step to perfect the crackling.
For both cooking methods, the pork skin needs to be thoroughly dried for best results.
I use a paper towel, folded into 4 and pat along and over the pork to ensure there is no moisture on the skin in preparing to cook it.
Why is pork belly so popular?
Pork belly is a very popular choice of meat.
Commonly found in Australia, New Zealand and across some Asian countries, it is enjoyed for both its succulent juicy meat and the crisp crackling on top.
Renowned for being audible to bite into, the crackling is a much loved indulgence and way to honour using as much of the fillet as possible by not discarding the skin.
In Australia, pork belly is often made at Christmas time with a feast of both tender meat and crunchy crackling (mind the teeth!) on tables around the country.
😍 More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
If you love Air Frying, (hey, me too ❤😁 ) then check out the following recipes for inspiration:
- Air Fryer Roast Chicken
- Easy Air Fryer Salmon with Skin
- Air Fryer Chicken Legs
- Air Fryer Sausages
- The perfect side of Air Fryer Onions
- Easy Air Fryer Portobello Mushrooms
- Air Fryer Roasted Red Peppers
- Air Fryer Chips
Or you can find all of my Air Fryer recipes in the one spot so can read and find something right up your alley to cook tonight.
Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly
- 1 Air Fryer
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Knife
- 1 Cooling rack
- 1 Baking tray
- 1 Kettle
- 1 Alfoil
- 800 grams/ 1.7 pound pork belly Note 1
- 2 teaspoon salt
- Remove packaging from pork belly and place on plate (if time, rest in fridge for a little while to dry out skin).
- Place pork belly on chopping board, skin side down. Use a knife to cut horizontal strips into the pork meat (stop before you get to the skin).
- Place a cooling rack into a baking tray and rest pork on top. Boil the kettle and once boiled, pour the boiling water over the pork. Note 2
- Use folded paper towel to pat the pork skin dry, ensuring no moisture is left on the skin.
- Use tin foil to make an open envelope to wrap around the pork, folding at the sides with the top open.
- Place pork skin side up into the Air Fryer basket, push basket into Air Fryer and cook at 200 degrees, 400 Fahrenheit, gas mark 6 for 20 - 25 mins till the skin has noticeably cracked Note 3
- Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees, 350 Fahrenheit, gas mark 4 and cook the pork for a further 20 mins.
- Remove basket from Air Fryer and use kitchen tongs to remove pork belly from alfoil, rest on plate for 3 - 5 mins before slicing
- Serve with potato cubes and apple sauce
- Note 1 - Pork belly: Choose a piece of pork belly that is between 800 grams - 1.2 kg.
- Note 2 - Pork skin: We want to cover the skin of the pork with boiling water, but not the pork meat itself, so we raise the pork as the water will flow down to the baking tray and as the pork is elevated it won't be sitting in the water.
- Note 3 - Pork crackling: This step will become obvious to the eye. The skin will be a golden colour and have bubbles across it. Use can use a nail tip (or tip of fork) and tap the pork and you will hear a tap back. If it is not hard after 20 mins (and taps back), cook for a further 5 mins.
Recipe published August 2021, updated June 2023 to make it easier for you to read 😁❤.