Air Fryer Pork Belly is crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. This flavorful version is coated in a sweet-savory hoisin glaze that caramelizes as the pork belly cooks. And the best part is that it’s cooked in the air fryer—so easy!
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Crispy, rich, and fatty, pork belly is a favorite ingredient among chefs, and for good reason. It is absolutely packed with flavor.
The skin gets shatteringly crisp and the fatty layers become melty and luscious when cooked. Once you’ve tried air fried pork belly, you will forever crave its unique deilciousness.
Why cook pork belly in an air fryer?
Pork belly can be cooked in the regular oven to crispy perfection, but the process is guaranteed to make a mess of your oven and kitchen. will be a mess afterward. Cooking pork belly in the air fryer keeps the grease splatters inside the air fryer, so cleanup is much easier.
Air fryer pork belly also cooks faster than pork belly in a traditional oven. The air fryer heats up faster and cooks as much as 25 percent faster than a traditional oven. And who doesn’t love saving time? This air fryer pork belly takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
What is pork belly?
Pork belly is the fatty meat that comes from a pig’s belly. It has an outer layer of fat as well as fat marbled with meat throughout.
What is the difference between pork belly and bacon?
Bacon is made from pork belly! Pork belly is the cut of meat that comes off of the pig—it is uncured and unsmoked and still has its outer layer of fat. To make pork belly into bacon, you remove the outer layer of fat on a slab of pork belly, then cure and/or smoke it and slice it into thin strips.
Where can you buy pork belly?
It’s pretty easy to find pork belly these days. Many supermarkets and local butchers carry it. Clubs like Costco also carry it.
I usually like to buy my pork belly from an Asian market because it is more likely to have the skin still attached. Crispy skin is well worth an extra market trip!
When I can’t get to the Asian market, I often buy my pork belly from Costco because the quality is great and it’s much cheaper than buying it from the butcher counter in my local grocery store.
The only downside, if you can call it that, is that you have to buy it in 3-ish pound slabs (or larger). The good news is that pork belly freezes well, either before or after cooking.
Ingredients you need
This air fried pork belly is crispy and delicious on its own. The hoisin glaze in this Air Fryer Pork Belly recipe takes it over the top with just a few more ingredients. Here’s what you need to air fry pork belly:
- Pork belly—You can buy this in a slab and cut into strips (about 1 inch wide) yourself. If you buy it from a butcher counter, you can ask the butcher to cut it into strips for you.
- Garlic and ginger—These give the glaze a punch of bright flavor.
- Hoisin sauce—This jarred sauce adds sweet, savory, umami flavor. It also caramelizes into an irresistible sticky, savory-sweet glaze.
- Rice vinegar—This balances the sweetness of the hoisin sauce with a bit of acid.
- Sesame oil—Adds a touch of nutty flavor.
How do you make it?
You will be shocked by how easy it is to make crispy pork belly in the air fryer. You may never go back to bacon or “regular pork” again! Here’s how:
- Slice the pork belly into strips and then cut lengthwise to fit it into your air fryer. If you prefer to make air fryer pork belly bites, cut the strips into bite size pieces (see note about reducing the cooking time for pork belly bites).
- Arrange the pork belly in the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving a bit of room between the slices to ensure the entire outside gets nice and crisp. You will likely have to cook the pork belly in two batches.
- Air fry the pork belly for about 15 minutes, then flip and cook for about 7 more minutes until browned and crisp.
- While the pork belly is cooking, mix together the hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
- Brush the sauce mixture onto the pork belly strips in the air fryer basket, covering them well, including the edges, and then cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, until the sauce bubbles and caramelizes.
- Remove the crispy pork belly from the basket and slice for serving.
Tips for success
Here are my best tips for success with this recipe:
- If possible, buy a slab that still has the pork belly skin attached. You can find skin-on pork belly at most Asian supermarkets. The crispy skin is so good!
- For the crispiest pork belly, slice the meat the day before cooking and toss it with a bit of salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or platter and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. This helps to dry out the skin or outer layer, giving you a crispier result.
- For easier cleanup, use a parchment paper liner or a silicone liner in the basket.
- If you love the crispy outer layer of this pork belly, try making pork belly bites. To make pork belly bites, cut the pork into bite size pieces instead of strips.
How to serve air fryer pork belly
You will have a hard time keeping your family from eating the pork belly pieces straight off the cutting board.
If there is any left once you’re done cutting it up, you can add pork belly pieces to a Pork Belly Banh Mi with Pickled Daikon Radishes, Pork Belly Bao, Singapore Noodles, Spicy Miso Ramen, or Pork Fried Rice.
More air fryer recipes you’ll love
If you are looking for more air fryer recipes, look no further. I’ve got delicious recipes for snacks, meals, and even desserts that you can make in the air fryer.
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Slice the pork belly into strips about ¾-inch to 1-inch wide. Halve lengthwise, as needed, to fit into the air fryer basket (you’ll likely need to cook in 2 batches).
- Arrange the pork belly in the air fryer and air fry at 400°F for 15 minutes. Flip the strips over and air fry for another 7 minutes at 400°F, until browned and crisp.
- In a small bowl, mix together the hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil and stir to mix well.
- Brush the sauce mixture onto the pork belly strips in the air fryer basket, covering them well, including the edges.
- Air fry for 3 to 4 minutes more at 400°F, until the sauce bubbles and caramelizes.
- Remove the crispy pork belly from the basket and slice for serving.
1. If you prefer, you can make air fried pork belly bites. Cut the pork belly into bite-size pieces before cooking them. This way they will get crispy all over, as well as coated on all sides with the glaze. If you do this, you’ll want to shorten the cooking time, starting with just 10 to 12 minutes to start, 5 minutes or so after flipping, and then another 3 minutes or so to finish it after adding the glaze.
2. It is very difficult to overcook pork belly because the fat keeps it from drying out, but you can overcook the hoisin glaze, so do keep an eye on it and check it to make sure it isn't burning. You can also reheat cooked pork belly but again, be careful not to burn the glaze.
3. You can refrigerate leftover pork belly for up to 3 days. You can also store leftover pork belly in a resealable plastic bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Amount Per Serving Calories 371Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 96mgSodium 334mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 0gSugar 4gProtein 27g
Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.