Mini Pigs in Blankets made with cocktail size pork sausages and streaky bacon are a fun one bite snack or side dish. They’re so simple to make – don’t save them just for Christmas, they can be air fried to perfection in no time at anytime!
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I’ve become aware that there are those of us for whom a pig in a blanket is a full size chipolata wrapped in a whole rasher of streaky bacon. And then there are folk to whom little cocktail size sausages wrapped in no more than a half rasher of bacon is the absolute norm.
There is a third category of pig in blanket people who believe pigs in blankets to be little hot dog type sausages wrapped in a kind of bread dough rather than pastry. You can find out more about the various pigs in blanket variations and names in my recipe for Oven Baked Pigs in Blankets.
And look I’ll be honest. I like myself a full size pig in a blanket. I’m a glutton and it’s just how I was raised! But, not only am I here to serve the other folk with recipes they may need but I’m always willing to be converted. And you know what, there is something about a one bite pig in a blanket that is rather great!
So this recipe post is near identical to my “big” pig in blanket recipe for air fryers. But the cooking times are slightly adjusted (I do mean slightly). And of course I’ve worked out the perfect ratio of bacon to cocktail sausage.
How to Serve
I generally want to eat a pig in a blanket when freshly cooked, hot and still crispy. But as I have snacked on them at literally every point of time and temperature, I can confirm that they are still really good at room temperature.
Now I will absolutely eat them straight out of the fridge. But the fat does have a quite specific texture when cold that I know not everyone will be on board with. So if serving to other people, I would aim for room temperature at a minimum.
I am not adverse to serving a whole chipolata size pig in a blanket as a canape. I’d be delighted to receive one. But these mini ones really do lend themselves to snacking and serving where they are better as one bite.
You can simply make them, stick them in a bowl and serve with a few cocktail sticks to save sticky fingers. A dip is a great thing. Cranberry sauce is my go to but let be honest, who wouldn’t say no to a bowl of gravy to dunk them in.
Of course you can serve cocktail pigs with a roast or Christmas dinner as part of the “trimmings”.
Air Fryer Christmas Dinner Recipes: Turkey, Trimmings & More
For more air fried recipes to make the perfect Christmas dinner (or any roast dinner for that matter), check out this handy post where I’ve collected all my recipe in one easy place.
Everything is included from three different cuts of turkey – breast, crown and whole leg, three types of stuffing – regular packet stuffing, packet stuffing balls and balls with added sausage meat and vegetables like carrots, parsnips, carrots and parsnips(!) and of course sprouts to two types of pigs in blankets – chipolata sized and with cocktail sausages, roast potatoes and a few alternative ideas like bacon wrapped sprouts and roast pork loin.
You can buy cocktail sausages both fresh and frozen. I find them to be much less common in actual butchers but they’re certainly available in all the major supermarkets.
You can absolutely make this recipe using either fresh or frozen sausages. What you must avoid is the ready cooked options. Head for the raw meat aisle, not the chilled snack aisle and you should be fine.
Make sure that you dry the sausages before attempting to wrap in bacon. Some kitchen paper will do the job nicely.
If using the frozen option you will want to defrost the sausages before wrapping in bacon. This is both so you can make sure they’re dry and so the cooking times are consistent. You don’t want charred bacon and sausages that are raw in the middle.
There are many less flavour options for cocktail sausages than regular sized sausages. They are mostly just plain pork but to be honest, this is absolutely fine. If you find other varieties and fancy them, feel free to use them.
I use un-smoked, rind off, streaky bacon rashers. These rashers have good layers of fat as they’re taken from the belly part of the pig. As the sausages cook, the bacon fat partially melts and bastes the sausages as well as getting nice and crisp.
You can use a smoked rashers if you prefer but it will make the overall flavour stronger and potentially overpower the sausages.
I’ve written this recipe for 18 cocktail sausages as most of the packets of fresh sausages I found were 18 sausages. But this is of course super flexible. The only thing you need to make sure is that you have half as many rashers of bacon than sausages. 9 rashers for 18 sausages, 10 rashers for 20 sausages, etc.
This 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 Mini Pigs in Blankets
These cocktail sized pigs in blankets air fry in 15 minutes. This ensures that the sausages are cooked through and the bacon is perfectly crispy.
I’ve not needed to turn the pigs during the cooking process as there is lots of room left in the basket. If you have a smaller air fryer or are cooking more at a time, you may wish to turn them after 10 minutes.
How to Air Fry Cocktail Pigs in Blankets From Frozen
If you wish to make the pigs and then freeze them assembled, you can do this. You can also part cook them then freeze.
To cook from frozen, increase the cooking time by two minutes to 17 minutes. To cook from part cooked and frozen, cook for 10 minutes. As always make sure they are piping hot all the way through and increase the cooking time if needed.
How to make Pigs in Blankets in Advance
I’ve included instructions in the recipe to make the pigs in blankets, part cook then store them before finishing the cooking just before serving.
This is ideal if you want to serve them as a canape or on a buffet. It is also exactly how I cook them with my Christmas dinner. All the preparations are done on Christmas eve and the final cooking done just before serving. This can make a large meal with many components extremely easy to put together on a day with many other fun things to do.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
Leftovers will store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days (so I’m told, I’ve never known any to last this long without being eaten). You can also freeze them.
Reheating is easy with an air fryer, they will only take 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, you don’t want them to dry out. You can also reheat in the microwave but they won’t be crispy.
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 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 since bought this version to use 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 used 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 also has 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. I’ve now actually retired by Actifry in favour of having my two basket type fryers.
Mini Oven Air Fryers
These usually have a glass door, shelves and overall are really quite large. You can cook quite a decent quantity of food in them so are best if regularly cooking for multiple people. They often come with extra features like a rotisserie spit or kebab skewers.
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 often 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 models have a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c/400f 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/390f because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c/450f and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which many 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. And there are occasionally exceptions to the rule.
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 most 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.
When I do want to collect the juices, I mostly use some foil, or occasionally a foil tray which can be washed and reused.
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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Mini Pigs in Blankets (Air Fried UK Recipe)
- 18 Pork Cocktail Sausages
- 9 strips Unsmoked Streaky Bacon
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, start this setting now.
- Separate 18 Pork Cocktail Sausages with a sharp knife if they’re attached at the ends. Get 9 Rashers of Unsmoked Streaky Bacon ready to go.
- Take one rasher of bacon and cut it in half with a sharp knife or scissors. Set out on a board and add one sausage to each half rasher.
- Keep the bacon flat against the sausage and overlap it as you wrap.
- To speed things up you can cut all your bacon rashers in one go. Make sure that all your rashers are nice and even before doing this – you don't want to end up with some scraggly bits.
- Repeat the wrapping process with the remaining sausages and bacon rashers.
- Use tongs to carefully place the pigs into the air fryer. Try to aim for one single layer and for the end of the bacon to be downwards.
- Air fry for 15 minutes at 200℃/390℉.
- Don't miss draining out the fat and juices that will have collected. Add them to a gravy or make fried bread for your next breakfast.
To Part Cook In Advance
- After placing the bacon wrapped sausages in to the air fryer, air fry for 10 minutes at 200℃/390℉.
- Allow them to cook then use tongs to put them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Or freeze.
- To reheat, put the pigs in blankets back in the air fryer and air fry for 8 minutes at 200℃/390℉. The timing is the same if you cook from frozen but you must make sure they're separated.
- 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 easily fit 18 bacon wrapped cocktail sausages in the basket at a time. This gives more than enough room to allow air to circulate. To cook significantly more, I would do this in batches.
- 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.