Air Fryer Pork Belly
Air fryers have taken our kitchens by storm, and new ways of cooking traditional dishes are being tried and tested at phenomenal pace. Pork belly is one of them, and we’re going to show you why the air fryer is the best way to cook pork belly and achieve perfectly seasoned meat and pork crackling.
This new and popular kitchen appliance offers a fast way to cook. And to top it off, air fryers provide a safe and healthier cooking method. It is equipped for high heat without the need to use the vast amounts of oil that are usually used for deep frying. So, when you prepare and cook the pork belly, it doesn’t need to be soaked or dripped in a lot of oil. It will naturally cook with its own fat, and you will get the tastiest crunch while not losing any of the juiciness of the belly’s fat. That said, we won’t stop you from adding as much oil as your heart desires ;)
What is pork belly?
Pork belly is the boneless, fatty cut of meat taken from the belly of the pig. It is inexpensive and usually sold as a long, thick portion. It is quite popular in parts of northern Europe, Asia, and the Americas. There are countless recipes for smoked, sticky, BBQ pork belly, but we think ours is the best.
What is the best way to cook pork belly?
Pork belly can be cooked in a variety of ways, but all of them take a lot of preparation and cooking time. Air fryers offer a quicker way to cook pork belly, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time relaxing.
Air fryer pork belly takes only 5 minutes to prepare and less than an hour to cook in the appliance. There’s no need to pre-boil it or have it prepared overnight. You can just use our gourmet Smokey Q BBQ rubs, let it marinate a little and it’s ready to go into your air fryer. It’s a very easy way to feed a table of four and leave them wanting for more! The good thing is that you can make a second one just as quickly.
How do you marinate pork belly?
Before seasoning your pork with our meat rubs, you’ll want to sprinkle the meat with some salt and then pat it with a paper towel. This will remove some of the meat’s moisture and allow it to get crispy while cooking. Of course, don’t pat the paper towel as much if you’re looking for less crispiness and more chewiness.
Score the pork so the inside cooks better and to ease slicing when it’s done. You might want to pat the paper towel again on the fringes to make sure it will crisp inside.
Our BBQ rubs and seasonings will add an incredible smoky and sweet flavour to your BBQ pork belly. We advise the Smokey Q Rib Rub and the Smokey Q Honey & Bacon Rub for this dish. These will give your pork belly a beautiful blend of sweetness and saltiness to the meat.
Grab a bit of olive oil and rub some on the pork. Then generously sprinkle our Rib Rub and Honey & Bacon Rub over every side of the meat and massage in. Let it marinate for 5 to 10 minutes for maximum flavour absorption.
How to cook pork belly in the air fryer
Let’s get you started. First, preheat your air fryer between 180ºC to 200ºC while you prepare the pork belly.
Place your marinated pork belly onto a wire rack and then into the air fryer. Make sure that the skin is facing up to produce perfect pork crackling every time. Leave the air fryer at 200ºC for 20 to 25 minutes. After that, reduce the temperature to 170ºC and cook it for 30 more minutes, depending on the thickness of the pork belly.
Add some vegetables for a complete dish
While the pork is in the air fryer, take the time to cook some vegetables to accompany the meat. Our suggestion is to cook some broccoli, capsicum, and carrots in the air fryer along with the pork.
Simply coat the veggies in some olive oil and sprinkle one of our Smokey Q BBQ rubs for more flavour. Place the vegetables in the air fryer when reducing the temperature to 170ºC to be sure they don’t overcook. They will soak in the belly’s fat to enhance their flavour even more.
Slice it up and enjoy
Once the time is up and the meat is cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes outside the air fryer. Then slice it along the scores, or take it further and slice it into smaller bite-size chunks. Garnish it with some sliced sweet pepper on top and serve. Bon Appetit!
If you still want more flavour, you can always add one of our hot sauces available at our Smokey Q stores. Our Mofo BBQ Chipotle Hot Sauce goes well with anything and adds an incredible kick to the pork belly. But some need more potency, and our Mofo Reaper Xtra Hot sauce will provide just that. Even a light glazing of our Bull’s Head Sriracha BBQ Sauce will do the trick and provide a nice spicetoo. Any hot sauce will be a great addition to the dish, the spiciness will blend just right with the Smokey Q sweet rubs we advised you to use!
What to do with pork belly leftovers
If there happen to be any leftovers, you can store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It will last for around 3 days. When you’re ready to eat it again, reheat it in the air fryer for 3 to 4 minutes to maintain ultimate crispiness. You can also reheat it in the oven for a while longer, or just use the microwave (1 or 2 minutes) for the fastest heating.
We hope you enjoy this new way of cooking pork belly! Highly convenient, it can be your go-to whenever you don’t feel like being in the kitchen for a long time, and still want a delicious meal for your family.
Air Fryer Pork Belly
Air Fryer Recipes
You've not had pork belly, until you've had this pork belly from an air fryer. It's prepped in 5 minutes and on the table in an hour - and that crackling is something else!
Heat an air fryer to 200c.
- Pat pork belly dry with paper towel and score skin in 1cm spaces to make it easy to cut once cooked.
- Rub pork with olive oil, then rub skin side with SPG and the bottom side with Rib rub, making sure all sides are coated.
- Place the belly onto a wire rack, and place this into the Air fryer skin side up. Cook at 200c for 20-25 mins then reduce to 170c for a further 20-30 mins depending on thickness, the internal temp of well done cooked pork should be 145 f.
- Once cooked remove from air fryer and let rest for 10 mins before slicing.
A little tip: I always cut from the bottom side as it's easier to cut through the crackle this way with out it breaking!