Follow these simple instructions for How to Air Fry Rind-On Pork Belly Strips and you can have soft unctuous meat with super crispy pork crackling ready to eat in under 25 minutes!
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As much as I love all kinds of pork, belly pork will always be my favourite. With its layers of fat and soft juicy meat, it is incredibly versatile and almost impossible to overcook. Buying it with the rind on gives you the option of an extra layer of deliciously crispy crackling.
I very often buy whole slab pieces of belly pork like when I make my Korean Belly Pork. But for everyday cooking and ease of portion control, ready cut strips or slices are an absolute staple for me.
I have taken tips from how I usually cook whole pork belly slabs in the oven and transferred it to how I cook strips in the air fryer. My method of standing the slices up so the skin on top gets the maximum heat and with some added water to create steam from below, you can have perfectly cooked pork with zero hassle.
How to Serve Pork Belly Strips with Crispy Crackling
I have to work incredibly hard to not just eat these strips straight out the air fryer basket. Burnt mouth be damned, I just can’t wait. But if you’re a little more sensible than myself, there are a million ways that you can serve it.
I’ve served the crispy pork here with vegetable fries, spicy edamame beans and sweet chilli sauce. Its an east meets west hybrid that only takes minutes to throw together.
Rind-On Belly Pork
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
Not all packs of belly pork you will find will have the rind on. If you want the crispy crackling layer, you must make sure it is stated on the pack/you can see it. If you are lucky enough to have a good local butcher, just ask them to make sure the rind is left on.
Each of the strips I cooked here was between 90g/3¼oz to 115g/4 oz each with a total weight of around 600g/21oz for 6 strips. They are around 12cm/5″ in length and 2.5cm/1″ wide.
This method will work no matter the exact dimensions or weight of your strips but if they are thicker, they will need a slightly longer cooking time, and if they are thinner, they may need a little less.
Scoring the skin nice and deeply will make sure that you get the best crackle.
If you’d prefer to cook pork belly without the rind, check out my dedicated post as the method is slightly different.
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 sticks the seasonings to the meat and allows you to get a really even spread. Secondly it starts the browning and caramelisation process and really helps to get that tasty crust happening.
I’ve added a second step of adding oil to this recipe that I don’t usually include in my air frying meat recipes. This is to brush over the top of the crackling towards the end of cooking.
Along with some salt this just gives the skin the final encouragement that it needs to give you the greatest cracking. You can skip this step if you want, it’ll still be great, just maybe not amazing.
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 paprika and garlic salt here.
This air fryer rind-on belly pork 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 Rind-On Pork Belly Strips
This probably one of the longest cooks for smaller cuts of pork. But the 20 minute cook time ensures that the skin/rind has enough time to get super crisp.
The actual meat will be cooked in around 15 minutes but it only benefits from further cooking so there is no downside. For even crispier skin, you can give the strips a further 5 minutes.
How to Air Fry Crispy Pork Belly Strips From Frozen
You can cook belly pork strips in the same time from frozen as from fresh.
But this is only a good idea to try if you have made sure that the skin is scored before freezing and they’ve been frozen so that the individual strips can be separated.
If they’re frozen in a block or not scored, 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 steaks 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 rind on belly pork strips 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 strips will reheat in around 6 to7 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?
The Air Fried Feast Community
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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 mostly use a Cosori Lite 3.8L (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.
I’ve also recommended to several friends and family the model with a slightly larger basket. This is the Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501) with a 4.7 litre basket. The unit is no larger than the 3.8 litre model on the outside but does have a larger internal basket capacity. I’ve borrowed this air fryer for some recipes where my smaller model was just too small. I’ll always note this in the recipe.
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 Rind-On Pork Belly Strips
- 6 Rind-On Pork Belly Strips - around 100g/3½oz each
- 1 tsp Oil - see notes
- ¾ tsp Seasoning - see notes
- 4 tbsp Water
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, start this setting now.
- Thoroughly dry 6 Rind-On Pork Belly Strips .
- Use a sharp knife to cut slices in the rind no more than 1cm/⅓inch apart.
- Drizzle over 1 tsp Oil and ¾ tsp Seasoning and toss to thoroughly coat the pork.
- Place the belly strips into the air fryer basket. Arrange them so they are sitting skin side up. This will allow the skin to get the maximum heat and crackle.
- Pour 4 tbsp Water into the underneath of the fryer basket. If you are using an oven style air fryer, add the water to an ovenproof dish on the shelf under the pork or on the bottom on the fryer. The water will create steam and help to cook the soft pork meat.
- Cook for 15 minutes at 200c/390f.
- Carefully brush with a little extra oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes. This will help the skin to crisp further.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes at 200c/390f.
- 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 10 minutes at 200c/390f.
- Carefully brush with a little extra oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes. This will help the skin to crisp further.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes at 200c/390f.
- 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 Cosori 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 easily fit 6 rind on pork belly strips – around 600g in total 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.