Air fryer pork belly is an easy way to cook crisped, crackly, and incredibly juicy pork in no time. Seasoned with a simple salt rub, it’s the perfect snack, appetizer, and protein-packed main dish.
My air fryer is the best tool to use when me or my family are craving some crispy pork belly! Just like air fryer chicken wings and pork chops, this air fryer pork belly recipe yields a beautifully seared crust and melt-in-your-mouth meat.
Most pork belly recipes will have you grill, smoke, or slow roast the pork to give the layer of fat enough time to render and tenderize the meat. However, my simple, 3-ingredient alternative yields the same succulent slab of pork belly using nothing more than salt and cooking spray. No heavy oils or long cooking times needed!
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- It’s healthy-ish and mess-free. Air frying achieves the same mouthwatering meat and crisped crackling as deep frying but with a fraction of the oil and significantly less mess.
- Mostly hands-off. The air fryer does most of the work in this recipe, and there’s almost no babysitting needed, unlike pan-searing and deep-frying.
- Goes well with anything. I sometimes serve this pork as the main dinner meal for my family, but it’s also a fun appetizer or afternoon snack.
This list of ingredients is short and sweet because pork belly is naturally flavorful. Here’s what you need:
- Skin-on Pork belly. The quality of your pork belly matters. Look for slabs that are evenly marbled with fat and are bright pink with no signs of discoloration. I find getting pork belly from an actual butcher VS a local grocery store to be so much better. The meat is typically fresher and doesn’t contain any preservatives.
- Sea salt. For seasoning.
- Olive oil spray. Or any non-stick cooking spray to grease the air fryer basket and prevent sticking.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to cook pork belly in an air fryer
What I love about this recipe is just how hands-off it is. Once the pork is prepped, the air fryer works its magic.
Step 1 – Season the pork belly. Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel, then rub it with salt.
Step 2 – Air fry. Place the pork belly in the greased air fryer basket. Air fry at 200ºC/400ºF until the skin crackles, then lower the temperature to 160ºC/320ºF and continue cooking until the pork is cooked through.
Step 3 – Rest, slice, and serve. Transfer the cooked pork belly to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. When the time is up, slice it and serve!
Tips to make the best recipe
- Always pat it dry. Use paper towels to pat the pork belly dry before cooking. This helps the salt stick to the surface and gives you crispier results.
- Use a sharp knife to score the top layer of skin in a criss-cross pattern. This helps the fat render out while the skin gets nice and crispy.
- The safe internal temperature for pork belly is 63ºC/145°F. To check this, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest end of the slab.
- Let it rest before slicing. This allows the delicious juices to soak back into the meat.
Salt is all you really need to infuse more flavor into the pork, but you can experiment with different spices and flavoring agents to suit your taste buds. Here are some ideas:
- Glazed. My 3-ingredient ham glaze, hot honey sauce, katsu sauce, and pork tenderloin marinade would be great as a glaze. Just be sure to baste the meat during the last 2 to 3 minutes of the cooking time to preserve the crackly skin.
- BBQ. Slather on your favorite BBQ sauce and broil for the final 2-3 minutes.
- Candied. Brush maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar syrup over the meat during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Hot and spicy. Rub the pork with red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and chili powder before cooking.
- Garlic. Rub the pork with salt mixed with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
To store: Once cooled, refrigerate the pork belly in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: If you want to freeze leftover pork belly, let it cool, wrap it in foil or plastic, and then freeze it in a sealed bag for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
To reheat: Return the leftover pork belly to a preheated 200°C/400°F air fryer for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Frequently asked questions
The cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your pork and your air fryer model. I used a 2-pound pork belly in this recipe, which took about 40 minutes to cook.
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. For the best texture, it’s best to thaw frozen pork belly fully before cooking.
Feel free to cook bite-sized pieces of pork belly instead of an uncut slab. To do this, place the meat in the freezer for about 20 minutes so it’s easier to slice. Cut the slab into 1-inch bite-sized pieces and air fry them at 200ºC/400ºF for 8 to 10 minutes, tossing the basket a few times as they cook.
More air fryer recipes using pork
- Air fryer pork tenderloin– The fastest way to cook this lean and tender cut.
- Air fryer ribs– Fast, sticky, and seriously addictive.
- Air fryer bratwursts– Say goodbye to oil splatter and mess.
- Air fryer sausage Links– The perfect breakfast meat or dinner.
- Air fryer pork chops– The juiciest and fastest way to cook pork chops.
Air Fryer Pork Belly
- 1 pound pork belly
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oil or cooking spray
- Preheat the air fryer to 200C/400F. Spray cooking oil inside the basket.
- Pat dry the pork, then rub salt all over it.
- Place the pork belly in the air fryer basket and air fry for 20-25 minutes, or until the skin crackles.
- Reduce the air fryer temperature to 160C and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
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