Air Fryer Crispy Pork Belly

4 Servings
3 hr 5 min

I grew up eating pork belly and especially loved the Chinese roasted pork belly. How can anyone say no to juicy tender pork with a layer of fat and crispy crackling skin? I surely cannot!

I’ve tried many different methods of cooking pork belly in the air fryer. I’ve tried drying out the skin overnight, rubbing vinegar on the skin, poking a million holes in the skin to make it crispy and burst during cooking and cooking it as is. Some results were better than others and some I just didn’t like at all. But, this new method I tried actually had great results and it was pretty fuss free. I really think you’ll like it.

One important step is to score the skin before you do anything else. I always hated cooking up this beautiful piece of pork belly only to have the skin shatter or not slice up nicely when it came to plating. Scoring the skin before you cook means that you can easily follow those cuts after cooking for those perfect pieces of crackling attached to the meat.

Air Fryer Crispy Pork Belly
Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 3 Hours Total time: 3 hr 5 min
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  • 4-5 lb pork belly
  • 3 tsp seasoning salt such as Hy’s
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder

Preheat the oven to 250F.
If your pork belly is too large to fit into your air fryer then divide it into two pieces.
Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the pork belly into sections. You can make it as small or big as you want but this will be the guide of how big/small the final product will be. Optionally, you can also use a sharp skewer to poke the skin all over. This will make the skin burst and bubble up during cooking making for a slightly more airy crackling.
Mix together the seasoning salt and five spice powder. Rub it all over the bottom and sides of the pork belly avoiding the skin. Do not season the skin.
Place the skin on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 2.5-3 hours. The whole point of this is to cook the pork belly through till it is tender. And, you are going to dry out the skin with the low heat. The skin needs to be dry in order for it to crispy up.
When tender, remove from the oven. Transfer to a plate or baking tray and refrigerate overnight. The pork belly needs to rest now to reabsorb all the juices. This resting period will dry out the skin even further.
When you’re ready to cook, preheat your air fryer to 400F for 10 minutes. Line your air fryer with foil and place the pork belly in the air fryer. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the skin is crispy. If you did not poke holes in the skin, you will still see some bubbling but it won’t be as dramatic.
When the skin has crisped to your liking, remove from the air fryer and slice following the scores in the skin. Serve and enjoy!