This Air Fryer Roast Pork Loin with Crispy Crackling does exactly what it says on the tin and I’ve included instructions to make a simple and delicious gravy with the meat juices too. With tender meat and the crispiest skin, air frying this popular pork roasting joint is a true success story of modern technology!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my Disclosures Page for more details.
Is there anything more beautiful than a freshly roasted piece of pork topped with golden crunchy crackling?! I certainly don’t think so!
But what’s more important is that the air fryer makes it incredibly easy to get that perfect crackling in exactly the same time as it takes the meat underneath to cook. There’s no dry pork here. The top down heat of an air fryer really comes into it’s own here.
Just like with an oven roasted pork joint, you don’t want to waste all the delicious cooking juices so I’ve included a recipe to make the simplest gravy.
How to Serve
Of course a roast pork joint is naturally at home on a full roast dinner. You just can’t go wrong with all the trimmings and lashings of tasty gravy. Try some of these classic accompaniments:
But don’t just be limited to classic roast dinners. Pork loin roasting joints can be really good value, especially when you catch them on offer in the supermarket. I stock the freezer and roast them for lots of different dishes. Try some of these meal ideas:
- Make a tasty rice bowl with a different slant with Coriander & Garlic Green Rice, Peach Salsa and Guacamole.
- Evoke warm Mediterranean summer nights with a peppery rocket salad with Confit Tomatoes and Buttery Lemon & Garlic Green Beans with fresh focaccia.
How to Get Perfect Pork Crackling
This is much more simple than many will have you believe. Dry the skin, score it well, add salt and a little oil and cook at a high temperature. That really is it.
There are more “techniques” floating around for how to make perfect crackling than how to poach an egg. Just like with the eggs, most of them are entirely unnecessary!
Drying the skin well is really important. This is important with the rest of the meat too. Any water left on the pork will have to boil and evaporate away. Only then can it start to brown and caramelise. By drying it well, this stage is skipped and you will get a lovely brown and tasty crust.
The scoring of the skin gives the heat an opportunity to really penetrate the skin. And a decent high heat is what gives the best crackle. This also gives the fat underneath the skin chance to render and cook through properly at the same time.
Most joints you buy will already be scored or a butcher will ask if you want them to. Say yes. But it’s rare that they’re sufficiently scored so you want to take your very sharpest big knife and score it some more. It is essential to make sure the cuts go all the way to the very edge of the skin – this is where the pre-scoring often fails. I also like to cut in thin lines as much as possible.
A little oil will start the crisping process off. You don’t need much but again make sure it goes all the way to the edges. Salting the skin will provide flavour but also help to draw any excess moisture out the skin.
And then add heat. The top down cooking of an air fryer really helps focus the heat onto the skin whilst still circulating enough to cook the meat underneath perfectly too.
There are 4 main pork roasting joints which are common here in the UK – leg, shoulder, belly and loin. You can buy them all on or off the bone. You can also buy loins with or without the skin.
This recipe is for a boneless skin-on pork loin joint around 1.5kg/3lb. You can of course adapt it to larger or smaller joints as needed.
If you are going to go larger, you will need to make sure that your air fryer is large enough. Make sure to check the height clearance and remember that the pork will puff up as it cooks. You don’t want the pork hitting the cooking element.
Any bone-in joint will take longer to cook. A skinless loin will take less time. A larger or smaller piece will generally be shorter or longer rather than thicker or thinner. So the cooking time will actually be similar to the recipe here.
I use sea salt flakes like Maldon as standard. If you need to use regular fine or table salt instead, reduce the amount of salt by half as it is much stronger by volume than the flakes.
I know that pork loin already has a generous covering of fat so you might think that the little oil I add before cooking is superfluous. But the fat isn’t quite where we want it when we want it so please don’t skip this step.
I just use a neutral vegetable oil but you can use olive or another oil if you prefer.
Also known as corn-starch in the US, the cornflour is the main thickening agent for the gravy. There are a couple of pointers to bear in mind when using cornflour:
- It is important to mix it with cold water before adding to the meat juices. If you add it directly, it will just clump.
- The gravy needs to boil for the thickening to work.
- Cornflour is temperamental and how it acts does vary depending on so many factors, most of which remain a mystery. Sometimes it thickens more, sometimes less so you may need to adjust the amount you add. If you end up with a thicker gravy than you want, add a bit more water.
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 Pork Loin Crackling Joint
The total cooking time is 80 minutes. After 60 minutes, drain the juices and fat into a bowl. This will make sure that there is no steam in the air fryer for the remaining 20 minutes of cooking which helps with the crackling.
It also gives you a chance to start making the gravy if you so choose.
How to Air Fry Pork Loin Roasts From Frozen
Don’t! You will never cook the pork in the middle sufficiently trying to cook from frozen. Make sure your pork is thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
Leftover roast pork will store for up to 5 days in a well sealed container in the fridge. It can be very easy to slice once cold if you want thin slices for sandwiches etc. Otherwise it can be easier to slice before storing.
You can also freeze any leftover pork. Again it is a good idea to slice it first and to freeze in portions if needed.
To reheat, I prefer to microwave the pork with a drop of water on a covered plate. If you want the crackling to re-crisp, you can put that in the air fryer separately. If you don’t have a microwave, you can wrap the pork in foil with a drop of water and then air fry the parcel. This will effectively steam the meat and keep it lovely and juicy.
As for how to use leftovers, there are so many ways. I do often cook a larger piece of pork than I know I’ll need just to make sure I have leftovers.
Try replacing the turkey with pork in these recipes. You’ll never regret trying that pizza, I promise you!
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.
Pin Air Fryer Roast Pork Loin with Crispy Crackling For Later
Hit one of the share buttons to save this page to your Pinterest boards so you can come back and find it at anytime!
Keep Up to Date
Make sure you SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter and avoid missing out on any of my newest and bonus content. Don’t worry, I promise not to spam you or bombard you too often. Plus you’ll receive a copy of my FREE 7 Day International Meal Plan!
Also please don’t forget to follow me over on my social media channels over at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I love to interact with my followers and I’d love you to share my content with your friends too.
Air Fryer Roast Pork Loin with Crispy Crackling Recipe
- 1½ kg Pork Loin Joint - with skin for crackling
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
For the gravy
- 300 ml Water
- 3 tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
- 3 tbsp Water
- Sea Salt Flakes
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, start this setting now.
- Thoroughly dry a 1½ Pork Loin Joint.
- Use your sharpest knife to score lines in the fat. Make sure to go all the way to the edges. If the pork fat is already scored, chances are it will benefit from better scoring.
- The the pork so it is fat side down and drizzle with roughly 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil and ½ tbsp Sea Salt Flakes. Rub into the pork flesh.
- Turn the joint back over and repeat with a further 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil and ½ tbsp Sea Salt Flakes. Don't miss all the sides.
- Place the pork into the air fryer basket. If it is a preheated basket, use 2 forks to lower the pork in so you don't touch the hot metal with your hands.
- Air fry for 60 minutes at 180℃/350℉.
- Secure the pork with a fork and carefully pour out any juices into a heatproof bowl. Remove the joint entirely to do this if you prefer.
- Air fry for a further 20 minutes at 200℃/390℉.
- 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. I do this on the underneath.
- If you need to cook for longer, do so at the higher temperature. If the crackling is already fully crackled, turn the pork upside down to do this.
- Pour out the remaining juices and fat from the basket.
- Allow the pork to rest for at least 15 minutes. You can either leave the pork in the air fryer turned off or wrap it in foil and cover with a towel. Use this time to make the gravy.
- Don't forget to add any juices from the resting period to the reserved juices/fat or gravy if its already made.
- Carve into thick or thin slices as preferred and serve. You may find it easier to remove the crackling in one piece and slice this separately. Otherwise carving upside down is the easiest way to get through the crackling without squashing the pork.
To Make The Pork Gravy
- Tip all of the drained pork fat and juices into small saucepan and start heating over a high heat.
- Add 300ml Water to the pan. Freshly boiled from the kettle will speed up the process.
- Mix 3 tbsp Cornflour with roughly 3 tbsp Water until all the cornflour has dissolved.
- Once the juices and water have come to the boil, add the cornflour slurry with one hand while whisking with the other.
- Continue to boil until the gravy is thickened. If after a few minutes, it is not thick enough for your liking, make up and add more cornflour slurry – add a little at a time. If it is thicker than you would like, add a little water at a time.
- Taste the gravy and add Sea Salt Flakes a little at a time until the gravy is flavoursome. Don't be shy, salt is your friend with gravy.
- Serve with the sliced pork.
- The air fryer version of this recipe is tested in a 4.7 litre capacity Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501). I cannot fit a pork loin with crackling in my Cosori Lite 3.8L (CAF-LI401S) which has a square(ish) shaped basket of 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. The depth of the basket is more of an important consideration in this case.
- 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 could just fit up to a 2kg pork loin in the basket. This gives just enough 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.
- 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.