Get ready to treat your tastebuds to one of the best ways to cook pork, ever. Air Fryer Pork Belly is the perfect combination of sweet and salty in every single bite.
If you're new to the world of pork belly, get ready to be impressed. When I try and explain what pork belly tastes like to someone who's never had it, you definitely need to.
You will hear some people compare pork belly to bacon but in my mind, pork belly is just a whole other level of flavor. Not only is it tender, but cooking it in the air fryer adds the perfect crisp to each and every bite. Pork belly tastes like the best bacon you've ever had. This air fryer pork belly recipe will be on your forever list once you try it.
Using an air fryer is a great way to cook fatty foods. Since you're not having to add any grease into the air fryer, the air fryer basket is also extremely useful in holding the foods up and having the grease drip down below. This helps the pork belly crisp up and not be soggy.
- Pork belly - I find my pork belly at Costco. But you can try the meat market at your local grocery store. If you can't find it at the supermarket a local butcher should have it on hand as well. It will be more expensive than regular bacon but worth it!
- Sugar-free maple syrup - The syrup is optional but I recommend you try it at least once. This gives each bite that balance of sweet and salty goodness. You can use my homemade keto pancake syrup.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
How To Make Air Fryer Pork Belly
You gotta admit that your air fryer is one amazing kitchen appliance that can really cook it all!
Step One: Slice the pork belly so that it fits in the air fryer basket without having to be bent. This may depend on the size of your air fryer. I have an Instant Pot with an air fryer lid.
Expert Tip: Make sure to grease the air fryer rack or basket that you're using so that the pork belly doesn't stick.
Step Two: Air fry the pork belly pieces in the air fryer for up to 30 minutes of time. It will be safe to eat much before 30 minutes. But if you want crispy pork belly just keep cooking until it's as crisp as you like.
Step Three: Once done, remove the pieces of pork belly and drain on a paper towel. They won't release much grease but will release a little.
Step Four: Drizzle with the syrup or add salt and pepper.
I told you that this pork belly recipe was simple to do! And trust me when I say - it's amazing to eat!
Syrup - There really isn't a ton of variety that you can do with this pork belly but you can change up the syrup flavoring or even try a bit of honey instead if you aren't keto.
Brown Sugar - Brown sugar or a brown sweetener added during the last 5 minutes is delicious. You can have a bowl of it next to the air fryer and coat each piece and then add it back for that to glaze on.
Seasoning - If you want to season your pork belly before cooking it, do so! Just add on your favorite seasonings and cook for the time on the directions. Onion powder and garlic powder are natural choices as well as smoked paprika.
Barbecue Sauce - This is also delicious dipped in some keto bbq sauce.
Bites - Want small air fryer pork belly bites instead of strips? Just cut the strips into bite-sized cubes with a sharp knife before cooking.
Do I need to boil pork belly before air frying it?
Nope! Just put it raw right into the air fryer. You can have air fryer CRISPY pork belly without messing up the kitchen boiling it first.
Is pork belly the same as bacon?
While it's cut from the same part of the big for the most part, it's not the same. This is because most bacon is cured already while pork belly is not.
What do you serve with pork belly?
This is why pork belly is so good! You can easily eat it for any meal of the day which means that it can be paired up with a wide variety of foods!
Pork belly goes well with beans, salad, steamed veggies, rice, and just about anything else that you want to serve it with.
Can you eat pork belly for breakfast?
You can eat airfryer pork belly anytime that you want! Since it's similar to bacon, breakfast pork belly sounds just about perfect to me!
Other ways to serve air fryer pork belly
Grabbing it off a plate and taking a bite is great, but there might be times when you want to add it to something else that you're already eating.
Cutting it into pieces and adding it into a salad is always a great idea. You can even eat it on a BLT sandwich with fresh garden tomatoes and lettuce!
Can you overcook pork belly?
You can. But the good thing about it is that since it has such a high level of fat content, it will still have great flavor even if you've overcooked it.
Why is my pork belly not crispy?
If your pork belly is not crisp you need to cook it longer. When I first started making it I was shocked how long it took to cook air fried pork belly. It has a lot of natural fat and you need all that to render to get it crisp.
Leftover pork belly keeps well in the refrigerator. We will chop it up and add it to salads.
Can you freeze cooked pork belly?
You can. Just be sure to add it to an airtight container so that it doesn't get freezer-burnt in the process. Even though you can freeze it, you're going to have so much more flavor when you cook it up fresh!
- Spray air fryer basket with non-stick spray. Place pork belly in the basket. Make sure there is room between the pieces for air to circulate.
- Cook for 25-30 min on 400 until it is your desired level of crispiness. Thicker pieces take longer. It is helpful to rotate and flip pieces over halfway through.
- Drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.