These simple step by step instructions for How to Air Fry Belly Pork Slices without boiling first couldn’t be easier. With layers of crisp fat and soft meat, air fried belly pork strips are quick to cook and even more delicious to eat.
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I love belly pork and cook it often. But it isn’t all created equally. The option of having the rind/skin on or off the slices can depend on where you are shopping, availability and simply preference. I regularly cook both options.
I’ve created two separate posts for the two separate types because although they cook in roughly the same amount of time, I do use different cooking methods for each.
This rind off recipe concentrates on getting a nice crispy and browned exterior on all sides of the pork. Whilst my rind on recipe focusses on getting the crispiest crackling with soft, slightly steamed pork meat.
Whichever option you choose cooking belly pork strips is really easy and makes for a super versatile addition to a meal.
How to Serve Pork Belly Strips with Crispy Crackling
Although I can very happily just snack on pork belly slices, I do vaguely try not to! I am partial to stuffing them into a buttered soft baguette and just chowing down. Keep reading for some more balanced meal ideas…
I’ve served the crispy pork here with root vegetable fries, chilli edamame beans and sweet chilli sauce. Its an east meets west hybrid that only takes minutes to throw together.
- Slice and make tacos with fresh shredded lettuce, guacamole and peach salsa.
- Use as a cheats quick ingredient to make my korean ramen with belly pork.
- Serve with coleslaw, fries, corn on the cob and bbq sauce for an Americana inspired meal.
- Pile into a bowl on top of sticky rice with sesame tenderstem broccoli and a hearty pour of hot satay sauce.
Belly Pork Slices
Not all that long ago belly pork was a super cheap cut that not that many people used. But times have changed. Fat is (quite rightly) no longer vilified and as is often the case, the cheaper cuts that some folk like to be snobby about turn out to be the tastiest.
Belly pork is a classic example of this. And whilst it is certainly not quite the bargain buy it once was, it is still one of the more affordable meat options available.
You will need to check the label and look carefully to see if the rind is on the pork slices you are buying. Sometimes it isn’t indicated either way, especially on the lower cost ranges. If you don’t want the rind but that is the only option you can find to buy, just use a sharp knife, or even better, a pair of kitchen scissors to snip it off.
A good butcher will also do this for you. You can also buy a slab of belly pork and slice if yourself. Don’t overlook rolled joints, you simply need to unroll and then slice.
Each of the strips I cooked here was between 80g/3oz to 120g/4oz each with a total weight of around 500g/21oz for 5 strips. The size and thickness varied as you will see in the images but on average they were around 12cm/5″ in length and 4cm/1.5″ wide.
This method will work no matter the exact dimensions or weight of your strips but if they are substantially thicker, they will need a slightly longer cooking time, and if they are much thinner, they may need a little less.
Although belly pork is lovely and fatty on its own, I still add oil when cooking in the air fryer. This is for two main reasons.
Firstly it starts the browning and caramelisation process and really helps to get that tasty crust happening. Secondly it sticks the seasonings to the meat and allows you to get a really even spread.
You can use any standard cooking oil which works with your seasoning flavours. I used vegetable oil which is my go-to basic oil.
As far as I’m concerned, great tasting belly pork needs only salt, or ever better, just some garlic salt. But there are many occasions when you or I might want to mix or spice things up.
You can use any mix of dry seasonings you like providing it includes salt of some kind. I’ve used a 50/50 mix of garlic salt and paprika here.
This air fryer pork belly slices recipe is free from egg, dairy, gluten and nuts.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How Long to Air Fry Pork Belly Slices
This is probably one of the longest cooks for smaller cuts of pork. But the 20 minute cook time ensures that the fat has enough time to get super crisp.
How to Air Fry Crispy Belly Pork Slices From Frozen
You can cook belly pork strips in the same time from frozen as from fresh.
If they’re frozen in a block, you can give them a quick bath in some warm water to soften the skin or just defrost enough to be able to prise slices apart.
Either way I usually give the pork a quick rinse under warm water to remove any surface ice crystals before thoroughly patting them dry.
You can then add the oil and seasoning to the frozen slices and carry on as normal.
You can also add the oil and seasonings before freezing – that way I just throw them in the basket and go which is very convenient!
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
Cooked air fryer belly pork slices can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be well wrapped and frozen.
To reheat in the air fryer, I use the rule of cooking for around 1/3 of the cooking time at the same temperature. So the slices will reheat in around 6 to 7 minutes at 200c/390f. Check that they are piping hot all the way through and cook for longer if needed.
You can also reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
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What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I use a Corsori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I’ve been using for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked does have a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori model has a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which most people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although some come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Pork Belly Slices
- 500 g Pork Belly Slices - around 5 slices
- 1 tsp Oil - see notes
- ½ tsp Seasoning - see notes
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, start this setting now.
- Thoroughly dry 500g Belly Pork Slices.
- Drizzle over 1 tsp Oil and ½ tsp Seasoning and toss to thoroughly coat the pork.
- Place the belly slices into the air fryer basket. Leave a little space between each so the air can circulate.
- Cook for 15 minutes at 200c/390f.
- Turn and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Check the pork is cooked through, you can see this by making a cut and checking that the meat is nearly white in the centre of the thickest part. Unlike chicken, pork can be eaten with a slight pink blush but if you prefer it more cooked, put it back in for 2 minutes at a time.
- Allow to rest for at least 3 to 4 minutes before tucking in. Spoon over juices that have collected in the bottom of the air fryer for extra flavour.
To Cook From Frozen
- Cook for 20 minutes at 200c/390f. Turn once after 15 minutes.
- Check that the pork is sufficiently cooked in exactly the same way as if cooking from fresh!
- Oil – Choose your oil to match your flavouring. For example use garlic, salt and rosemary with olive oil or for a more neutral flavour, sea salt and black pepper with vegetable oil.
- Seasoning – Choose any seasoning mix, spices or dried/fresh herbs. Make sure that salt is included in the mix. You can also add a little citrus juice.
- I used vegetable oil with a 50/50 mix of garlic salt and paprika.
- The air fryer version of this recipe is tested in a Corsori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I can just fit 5 pork belly slices (500g) in the basket at a time. This gives plenty of room to allow air to circulate.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.