Air Fryer Pork Belly is crispy, crunchy and delicious! Super easy to make, with crackling that rocks, this is the perfect Sunday roast.
Pork belly is the ultimate roast dinner.
With crunchy crackling that is audible to bite down on and soft, juicy pork meat, it is an indulgent choice that makes a decadant meal.
The pork melts in your mouth and the aroma wafts through the house.
The Air Fryer works wonders to roast the pork in less time than the oven can, all with the touch of a few buttons!
The ingredients you need are shown in the photo below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- pork belly: 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.
I am using an 800 gram 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!
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.
Here are the step by step instructions to make Air Fryer Pork Belly. We start by preparing 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 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)
If you have time, you can remove the packaging and leave the pork uncovered in the fridge prior to cooking (up to 24 hours).
For step 2, I use a trick my sister taught me which is to 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.
- Sprinkle salt over the skin (photo 5)
- Cook pork belly till skin crackles and meat is soft and white (photo 6)
Roast pork crackling in Air Fryer
When Air Frying, I often don't use baking paper or alfoil. 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 tips and tricks
My pointers are to keep it really simple, use the boiling water trick and a little salt and your pork will have the best crackling around town!
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!
Frequently asked questions
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.
- this is an easy recipe
- the cook time is 45- 50 mins
- pair with potatoes on the side
- serve with apply sauce
- the recipe uses no oil
In the photos you will see the pairing with my Air Fryer Potato Cubes and apple sauce. You could also try the Horseradish Yogurt Sauce or Garlic Yogurt Sauce if you are after a creamy white sauce for the pork.
The crackling is the best part as you munch down on the salty crispy skin that literally bursts in your mouth!
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
- 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
More Air Fryer recipes
If you love Air Frying, 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 read through all Air Fryer recipes on the blog.
PIN and save this recipe for later!
Air Fryer Pork Belly
- Air Fryer
- Chopping board
- Cooling rack
- Baking tray
- 800 grams 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 Choose a piece of pork belly that is between 800 grams - 1.2 kg.
- Note 2 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 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.
Pork on your fork!
So lately we have been talking about the creamy, saucy stuff.
By all means, you can get saucy with this recipe as the apple sauce literally sings its sweet self onto the plate.
The pork will melt in your mouth and the air fryer delivers yet again, heaven sent juicy deliciousness (have you bought one yet, as you ought to!!)
I would LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments below, please let me know if you make the recipe!
It's getting a little bit porky around here my friends and you are going to enjoy every single bite.
Go get your pork on your fork my friends!