5 from 3 votes

Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly (Crispiest Crackling Ever!) 

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Who knew you could make pork belly in the airfryer?! The outcome: the crispiest crackling and best texture.
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
£1.12
Makes: 4
mains
British
Freezable

Who knew you could make pork belly in the airfryer?! The outcome: the crispiest crackling and best texture. This savory side is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. 

5 slices of pork belly with a golden browned crackling topping on a wooden chopping board on a blue background.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Less mess – This airfryer pork belly requires minimal clean up. All you need: your airfryer, some foil and a little love!

Faster than oven method – Some pork belly recipes use an oven to roast it, which take up to 2 hours from start to finish. With this recipe, we get a tender and crispy result in less than 1 hour! 

Yummy crackling – Everyone knows that one of the main benefits of utilising an airfryer is a crispy end result. Enter the best pork crackling! It’s crispy, crunchy and delicious! 

Fakeaway classic If pork belly is on a menu, I have to order it! Which is why I love making this recipe at home. It’s affordable and requires minimal effort, so I can save money and eat one of my favourite dishes from the comfort of my sofa! 

Satisfy your meat cravings and try these other recipes; Air Fryer Steak Bites with Garlic Butter, Tender Braising Steak with Gravy and Easy Turkey Steak Recipe

Air Fryer Pork Belly

What is pork belly?
Pork belly is a fatty, boneless cut of meat that comes from the belly of the pig. It is used across many cuisines, but my favourite way to enjoy it is in the Asian style of cooking.

Why use the air fryer?
Pork belly air fryer recipes are popular, as you don’t need to preheat or have your oven on for a long time. This reduces energy costs and effort when cooking. The end result is also tender and crispy – the perfect combo for a pork belly recipe!

Skin on or skinless?
I leave the skin on as the best part of pork belly is the crispy crackling! I do score my airfryer belly pork to increase texture and promote the skin puffing up when cooked. 

Ingredients

Ingredients to make a whole pork belly recipe with brown sugar, spcies and salt laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Pork belly – this recipe calls for a whole piece of pork belly. I also buy pork belly strips for other recipes but this recipe works best by air frying the pork belly whole and then slicing. 

Five spice – if you don’t have five spice, the end result will still be delicious so feel free to omit. You could also add a little ground ginger in replacement of this if you have some instead. 

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

How to make air fryer pork belly

Note: For the crispiest crackling, season the pork with salt and leave uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours to draw out the moisture. 

  1. Season the pork with salt and rub with your hands to encourage the moisture to release (Image 1).
  2. Use a paper towel to remove the moisture (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with a pork belly on foil with a little bowl of salt and the second with 2 hands  on some kitchen roll covering the pork.

3. Season again with salt as the paper towel would have removed most of it, then coat in the oil and sugar. Then score the fat diagonally (Image 3).

4. Sprinkle the garlic powder on the base of the pork, then place in foil. Fold the foil so that the sides are covered, leaving the fat exposed. Pop in the airfryer for 30 minutes at  360°F (180°C) (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with a pork belly with the fat scored diagonnally on foil with a little bowl of salt and the second with 2 hands adding some seasoning to the bottom of the pork.

5. Fold the foil so that the sides are covered, leaving the fat exposed (Image 5).

6. Pop in the airfryer for 30 minutes at  360°F (180°C) (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with a pork belly with the fat scored diagonnally on foil in an air fryer tray and the second the pork now partially cooked.

7. After this time, increase the heat to 390°F (200°C) and cook for 15-20 more minutes (Image 7).

8. Check on the pork belly a few times to see if hot spots are cooking more than others. If they are, place some foil over the parts that may be about to burn (Image 8). 

2 step by step photos, the first with a browned piece of pork belly with the fat scored diagonnally on foil in an air fryer tray and the second the pork now browned to a dark colour.

9. Allow to rest on a chopping board (Image 9).

10. Slice into strips and enjoy! I love to serve mine with rice and steamed pak choi (Image 10). 

2 step by step photos, the first with a large piece of pork belly on a chopping a board and the second with pieces of pork now sliced on the board.

Pair this yummy pork belly recipe with one of these tasty side dishes; Easy Flatbread Recipe, Creamy Polenta with Parmesan or Easy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

A plate with 3 thick slices of pork belly with a golden browned crackling on a bed of rice with some pak choi.

Tips for the best result

  • Season the pork generously with salt, then pat dry with paper towel vigorously to make sure it’s very dry before air frying. 
  • All air fryers cook slightly differently.  Be sure to check on your pork belly.
  • If the skin begins to burn, cover it with a little foil.

Serving Suggestions

This pork belly in airfryer is so versatile. Here’s how you can enjoy it. 

Served with noodles, it would go well with these recipes in particular: Thai noodle salad, Wagamama’s Chicken Ramen and Gochujang Noodles

Or with rice – as you can see I’ve serve the pork belly over some simple white rice in this post. This really lets the flavours of the belly pork in airfryer shine through. 

And stir fry vegetables – for a light option, you could serve with vegetables such as pak choi, baby corn, spring onions and mangetout. Or serve with my; Easy Mexican Street Corn, Crispy Smashed Broccoli and Easy Diced Air Fryer Potatoes

5 slices of pork belly with a golden browned crackling topping on a wooden chopping board.

Leftover Storage and Reheat Instructions

Storage: Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months. 

Reheat: You can reheat pork belly multiple ways. Reheat in the microwave using 30 second increments until piping hot. Reheat in the airfryer set to 390°F  (200°C) for 5-7 minutes or until heated through. Or in the oven set to 370°F  (190°C) for 10-15 minutes. 

FAQs

Can pork belly be made in the oven?

You sure can.  Some pork belly recipes that use an oven to roast it take up to 2 hours from start to finish though. With this recipe, we get a tender and crispy result in less than 1 hour! 

Why is my crispy pork belly not crispy?

This might mean that the skin wasn’t dried enough before airfrying which prevents a crispy crust. 

Should you add oil to the pork belly?

Pork belly and the skin of pork belly is already quite fatty, so I only use a tiny bit of oil to help the crispiness along.


Should I pour boiling water on the pork belly?

Not with this recipe! This recipe is all about maximizing texture and a crispy crackling, meaning we don’t want to involve water in the equation!

If you tried this Air Fryer Pork Belly recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

 

Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly

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5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
£1.12
mains
British
Freezable
Servings: 4
Who knew you could make pork belly in the airfryer?! The outcome: the crispiest crackling and best texture.

Ingredients

  • 800 g whole pork belly piece (£5.60)

Cupboard Essentials

  • ½ tbsp five spice
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Salt

Method

Note: For the crispiest crackling, season the pork with salt and leave uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours to draw out the moisture.

  • Season the pork with salt and rub with your hands to encourage the moisture to release. Use a paper towel to remove the moisture, then score the fat diagonally.
  • Season again with salt as the paper towel would have removed most of it, then coat in the oil and sugar. Sprinkle the garlic powder on the base of the pork, then place in foil. Fold the foil so that the sides are covered, leaving the fat exposed. Pop in the airfryer for 30 minutes at 360°F (180°C)
  • After this time, increase the heat to 390°F (200°C) and cook for 15-20 more minutes. Check on the pork belly a few times to see if hot spots are cooking more than others. If they are, place some foil over the parts that may be about to burn.
  • Slice into strips and enjoy! I love to serve mine with rice and steamed pak choi.

Notes

  • Generously season the pork with salt and pat it dry with a paper towel to ensure it is very dry before air frying.
  • Monitor the pork belly while cooking, as all air fryers cook differently.
  • Cover the pork skin with foil if it begins to burn.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 53g
Calories: 618kcal
Carbohydrates: 2g
Protein: 36g
5 from 3 votes

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Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

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Comments

  1. Monica Shields | 1 month ago

    Was sceptical about this recipe but just cooked the book belly in the air fryer and oh my it was so good! I didn’t add the sugar into half way through the cook time and the crackling came out so well.5 stars

    1. Mimi Harrison | 4 weeks ago

      Ahhh that’s so great to hear, Monica! I was surprised too when I first tried it out. Thanks for the lovely message x

  2. Peter Dickenson | 1 month ago

    Wow this air fryer pork belly was so good! We served it as a roast dinner with gravy and the family loved it.5 stars

    1. Mimi Harrison | 4 weeks ago

      Ahh that’s so great to hear- thanks Peter!

  3. First time trying pork belly in the air fryer and we weren’t disappointed. Crispy crackling, and delicious pork. Perfect family dinner. Thank you5 stars

    1. Mimi Harrison | 4 weeks ago

      That’s so lovely to hear! Thank you Sean

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