How to cook air fryer pork belly or salt pork so it’s full of flavor with a great crispy texture on the outside. Enjoy it for dinner or as a savory side dish for dinner too. Our pork belly in the oven is great but this is better!
Want to make air fryer pork belly or salted pork? Here’s how to get it crispy and OH SO amazingly wonderful. Just one of our favorite easy air fryer recipes here on The Typical Mom blog. (affiliate links present, originally published 9/20)
Ninja Foodi Pork Belly
There are many hot air small kitchen appliances out there. I have a Cosori, AirWave and Ninja Foodi as well. They all work similarly so use whichever you chose yourself. With a Foodi you can make both this and the pressure cooker Instant Pot pork belly method. Air crisp is the only way to get it crisp though.
The biggest difference in all the brands is the size of the air fryer basket really. Beyond that it is just the appearance on the outside. I always recommend preheating your machine so it cooks evenly the entire time.
If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
- THIS is my Favorite Air Fryer!
- You can find more Air fryer recipes here, we have Ninja Foodi recipes as well; bookmark them both!
What exactly is pork belly?
The piece starts out from the underside or the belly of the pig. It’s the flesh that runs under the pig. Sometimes ignored by consumers, it can be quite tasty if cooked right.
Can I use pork belly instead of bacon?
Of course. It has a similar yet more complex flavor. Sliced for breakfast or diced and added into our Instant Pot potato corn chowder is amazing too.
It actually has more meat and healthy fat than a slab of bacon. Sought after by chefs it can come out incredibly tender if cooked low and slow, or have cracklin’ crispy outer skin that’s fabulous.
Salt pork is cured pork using the belly piece that prolongs the shelf life. Resembling uncut slab bacon it has a similar taste but is fattier overall. Buying pork belly is quite easy in your local grocery store, by the ham.
We chose salted pork for this time. Crispy all over was the goal since that is what an air fryer recipe does best.
Is pork belly hard to cook?
I wouldn’t say the difficulty is high. You just have to figure out how you want it. If very tender is what you desire with crispy skin I’d follow this slow roasted recipe.
That is kept whole and not sliced like you see here. But if you like it crispy all over with tons of flavor, I’d air fry pork belly like we did here.
Air fryer salt pork
Time needed: 13 minutes.
Air fryer pork belly
Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
Slice pork belly or salted pork into 1″ thick pieces for an overall crispy texture on all sides. Rub olive oil on all sides of each piece, then sprinkle pepper all over. If you have pork belly that isn’t salted then sprinkle salt on all sides too.
Place slices inside air fryer basket without overlapping. Cook at 400 degrees F for 13 minutes total flipping after minute 5 and 10. Remove when it is as browned and crispy on the outside as you’d like.
Thicker pieces will take longer, maybe 15 minutes total. Ensure it is cooked all the way thru before consuming since it is pork.
You always want to leave a bit of room in between each piece of food, and never overlap. A single layer is vital for the very hot air to circulate adequately and brown it all the way around. Crispy is key especially with this type of pork.
This is how it turns out! Patted dry at the end your pieces of pork belly should be crispy just like you enjoy your bacon. Cut the pork belly into bite size pieces and enjoy as you wish.
Plain is our preference but some like a thin layer of bbq sauce on top. This is the best way to cook the pork belly in my opinion because the grease drains away which gets each bite really really crispy.
Air Fryer Pork Belly Bites
If you wanted to make pork belly bites they would cook faster and be bite sized. You would want to cut it into 1×1″ pieces or so right at the beginning and toss every 3 minutes or so until they are crispy bits of heaven to your liking. Total time would be around 6 minutes, depending on how large your chunks were.
To make it a bit candied you could drizzle with maple syrup during the last few minutes to sweeten them up. I know, OMG! You need little to no seasoning for this if you ask me but to each their own. Red pepper flakes can add heat.
Pork Belly in Air Fryer without Boiling
If you want to make a crispy pork belly recipe with Chinese five spice and a crunchy coating on the outside you can follow these directions. For those who want to cook it in one large piece, follow these directions:
They’re provided by a member of the Ninja Foodi EASY Recipes Facebook page.
- Score and salt your pork belly. Leave in fridge uncovered overnight and allow to dry out.
- Rub in salt and olive oil and leave in fridge uncovered for 2/3 hours.
- Pre heat on air fry at 180 degrees F. Use the rack, in your Foodi.
- Place pork skin side down at 180 degrees F for 25 minutes
- Turn up air fryer to 200, place belly skin side up and air fry for 20 mins.
Allow it to rest for a bit and enjoy perfect crackling.
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Air Fryer Pork Belly Crispy
You could easily make air fryer pork belly bites by slicing as I did and then cubing into smaller pieces. Similar to our air fryer steak bites you could make it salty and sweet with a bit of soy sauce and brown sugar coating.
For breakfast I definitely prefer it this way. Sometimes I will toss it in with our scrambled eggs and some diced bell peppers to make a sort of pork belly hash of sorts. I mean I throw in whatever I have on hand, onions, shallots, keep going….
Bite size pieces of anything are always fun and make cooking time really quick! Use a whole piece as shown above, scored, and it will take closer to 30 minutes (depending on the size) but I assure you it will blow you away.
Air Fryer Pork Belly
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
- Slice pork belly or salted pork into 1" thick pieces. Rub olive oil on all sides of each piece, then sprinkle pepper all over. If you have pork belly that isn't salted then sprinkle salt on all sides too.
- Place inside air fryer basket without overlapping.
- Cook at 400 degrees F for 13 minutes total flipping after minute 5 and 10. Remove when it is as browned and crispy on the outside as you'd like. Thicker pieces will take longer. Ensure it is cooked all the way thru before consuming since it is pork.