Don’t think for a second that you should only make these Air Fryer Pigs in Blankets at Christmas! They’re delicious year round and are just as amazing served for breakfast as with a roast dinner. Bacon wrapped pork sausages are a British classic and if you’re not yet familiar, make sure to give them a try.
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I cannot get enough pigs in blankets year round and cooking them in the air fryer has been a total game changer. They cook in literally half the time as oven cooked pigs in blankets and are exactly as delicious.
If you’ve arrived here asking “what the heck? and shouting “they’re not pigs in blankets, where’s the dough?” then you should check out my guide to pigs around the world.
To summarise, here in the UK, pigs in blankets are bacon wrapped sausages. The US version is much more like our sausage rolls except they’re wrapped in American biscuit dough instead of puff pastry. Both delicious but I probably wouldn’t want a sausage roll as a side to my roast chicken or turkey dinner!
How to Serve
Like I mentioned in my intro, pigs in blankets are traditionally served as part of “the trimmings” for a Christmas dinner alongside roast turkey.
But they don’t need to be just for Christmas – they’re just as great served with other roast dinners. In fact they can be a really handy way of expanding the protein offering when your main protein won’t quite stretch far enough.
Consider making a regular large roast chicken serve 8 rather than 4 to 6 by reducing the amount of chicken and bulking it up with pigs in blankets. The same is true for any roast pork dinner, you actually can’t have too many varieties of pork in one meal. So why not add some sausage meat stuffing too.
You can of course serve them with other non roast dinner meals. Switch out regular sausages for pigs in blankets when making sausage and mash or use them in a toad in the hole. They’re also gorgeous served with macaroni cheese, on a full cooked breakfast or simply with chips, baked beans and a couple of fried eggs.
It is most usual to use chipolata sausages for pigs in blankets. These are pork sausages that are the length of a regular everyday banger (roughly about 4 inches/10 cm) but are on the thinner side.
The actual sausage meat filling can vary like any regular sausage but plain pork, Lincolnshire and Cumberland are the most popular.
Cumberland sausages are peppery and Lincolnshire sausages include sage which gives them a lovely herby flavour. I mostly choose these where possible but if I’m intending on serving them for breakfast, I more likely go for plain pork.
I always try to make suggestions for my US readers where I’m using a very British product in a recipe. Having done some research, you do not appear to have a great equivalent product. US sausages tend to err on the side of frankfurter or bratwurst style sausages which are not appropriate for this recipe.
I would therefore recommend making an effort to source some British style pork sausages. It will be worth it.
There are many different cuts and varieties of bacon available in the UK including back bacon, middle and streaky. Some are available thick or thin cut and some (although not many anymore) come with the rind on.
You want to choose streaky bacon without the rind for pigs in blankets. Whether you choose smoked or unsmoked is really personal preference. I prefer unsmoked but you do you.
I wouldn’t advise choosing anything too thick and fancy or you may have trouble wrapping the sausage and getting the bacon and sausage perfectly cooked at the same time.
This recipe is free from egg, dairy, gluten and nuts.
Gluten Free Pigs in Blankets: Saying this, you must ensure that the sausages you are using are gluten free. Many now are, especially in supermarkets but it is still essential to check.
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 Pigs in a Blanket
Pigs in blankets take a total of 20 minutes to air fry from raw. This involved 10 minutes on one side, turning them over and cooking for a further 10 on this other.
This isn’t an air flow issue so much as all the juices and bacon fat drip one way as they start cooking. You need to turn them to distribute everything so they cook nice and evenly.
How to Air Fry Pigs in Blankets From Frozen
Pigs air fry from frozen really well. I find the trick is to give them a quick rinse under running water just to make sure any surface ice crystals and then dry them thoroughly.
Like some kind of sorcery, they cook in exactly the same time as if cooking from raw. Don’t ask me how that works because I have no idea. It does however mean that batch making and freezing them ready to cook is super convenient.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
When I’m cooking a very large batch for say Christmas dinner, I do usually start them off in a big tray in the oven. I cook them until they are just over halfway cooked. Then I cook as many as I need for each meal in the air fryer. They take around 10 minutes to be fully cooked and piping hot.
I do this rather than cooking the whole batch because freshly cooked is always better than reheated fully cooked pigs in blankets. And for the avoidance of doubt, when I say each meal, I mean I eat them with my turkey dinner, with other leftovers in a sandwich in the evening and for breakfast on boxing day.
But they can be stored fully cooked in the fridge for a couple of days, or frozen fully cooked. Make sure they’re well covered either way.
To reheat simply throw back in the air fryer for around 5 minutes. Add a few minutes if cooking from frozen. Make sure they are piping hot right through to the middle before serving. If you don’t want them to get super crispy, wrap them in foil for the first 75% of the cooking time and then open the foil up for the last part.
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
Come on over to Facebook and join my community discussing all things air fryer. Get involved in sharing your experiences and trials, help out others and find out what wonderful things everyone is cooking in their air fryers!
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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Air Fryer Pigs in Blankets (UK Recipe)
- 12 Chipolata Sausages
- 12 strips Unsmoked Streaky Bacon
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, Start this setting now.
- Separate 12 Chipolata Sausages with a sharp knife if they’re attached at the ends.
- Take one of your 12 Rashers of Unsmoked Streaky Bacon and wrap it around one of the sausages.
- Keep the bacon flat against the sausage and overlap it as you wrap.
- Repeat 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.
- Air fry for 10 minutes at 200℃/390℉.
- Use tongs to carefully turn the sausages over. You may not need to do this if you have lots of space around them and the air flow is better. But I do find it is often beneficial anyway.
- Air fry for a further 10 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.
- 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 12 bacon wrapped chipolatas in the basket at a time. This gives just enough room to allow air to circulate. To cook 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.