Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly Strips

This article has links to products that we may make commission from.
  • 107
     votes
  • 15 Comments
  • Jump to Recipe

Air Fryer Pork Belly Strips are seasoned in paprika, garlic salt and brown sugar then cooked in the air fryer to properly render the fat and crisp the pieces.

Crispy pork belly strips

Traditional pork belly is lovely and fatty, and by cooking it in the air fryer, each bite becomes wonderfully crispy and tender. It’s an awesome combination of textures that is amplified by the mix of spices used to season it. 

If you haven’t tried cooking pork belly in the air fryer, you should start with these strips because they are easy to do. It will give you insight into how to make other delicious variations, like pork belly bites and pork belly skewers that can get perfectly crisp and delicious in the air fryer.

What is Pork Belly?

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of cooking with pork belly and you’re wondering what it is. That’s an easy one.

Pork belly is a cut of meat that comes from the fatty portion of a pig’s under belly, not to be confused with bacon. It’s a favorite among chefs and home cooks because of its rich flavor and versatility. You can get pork belly most often from the butcher counter. It’s usually sold with the skin-on and has a generous layer of fat on top and throughout the meat that melts as it cooks.

Pork belly can be used in a variety of dishes. There are also many ways you can cook it (my favorite is crispy pork belly). The possibilities are endless! So why not give it a try and see which ways you like to eat it.

Ingredients You Need

  • Pork Belly Strips: Cut the pork belly strips so that they fit in the air fryer flat without bending.
  • Olive Oil: will prevent the pork from sticking to the air fryer and help crisp up the pork belly. 
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper: brings out the other flavors, and feel free to adjust the amount used to fit your tastes. 
  • Paprika: adds a nice smoky flavor to the pork belly strips without making it spicy.
  • Brown Sugar: a bit of sugar helps balance all the savory flavors of the pork and spices.
  • Garlic Salt: you can use garlic powder if you’re trying to cut down on sodium.

Equipment Information

Helpful Tips

  • Overcooking the strips will lead to dry and tough meat, so be careful not to overcook it.
  • The outside should be crispy and golden, and slightly browned, but not charred. The meat should not start to look dry on top.
  • Each air fryer cooks differently, so keep an eye on the pork and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Where to Get Pork Belly Strips

raw pork belly strips

You can purchase pork belly strips that have already been cut. I prefer a thickness of around 1 inch. Any thicker and it takes longer for the fat to render.

Look for strips that have an even amount of fat to meat ratio. That way, they won’t end up too fatty or too dry.

If you can’t find pork belly strips in your grocery, you can purchase a full slab and cut the strips yourself. You could also ask the butcher to cut strips for you. Nearly every butchers counter will have a slab of pork belly they can cut, if you ask.

If all you can find is pork belly cut into squares, that’s fine too. Depending on their size, they may take more or less time to cook.

How to Make Air Fryer Pork Belly Strips

Seasoning raw pork belly strips

Pat dry the pork belly strips to remove excess moisture before cooking. Brush or spray the pork with olive oil.

Mix the spices together in a bowl and sprinkle the seasoning mix on both sides of the strips.

Place the pork belly strips in the air fryer basket. Try not to overlap them. Cook at 400° F for 12-15 minutes, flipping once or twice to ensure even cooking.

Raw pork belly strips in the air fryer basket

The cook time will vary based on the thickness of the strips. Cook until the internal temperature is 190° F. The safe internal cooking temperature for pork is 145° F, but we continue to cook these strips longer because the fat needs to properly render and we like the meat to be more tender.

Crispy pork belly strips in the air fryer basket

Questions About the Recipe

Can I use this recipe for pork belly bites?

Yes! Simply cut the strips into smaller bites before adding them into the air fryer. Since the pork will be smaller, the cook time may differ, so keep an eye on them while they cook. Try this recipe for perfect pork belly bites.

Is it possible to overcook pork belly?

Yes there is a point at which you can overcook pork belly and it becomes dry and tough. That point is when the fat layer has completely rendered down into nothing. The cooking process is long for pork belly because of the amount of fat in the layers. This fat needs to break down and render so it’s not thick and rubbery when you eat it, but if you cook it too long, there won’t be any fat left.

Should I boil the pork belly first?

There is no need to boil the pork first in this recipe. Your pork belly will be just as crispy and tender without boiling it first.

What can I do with leftover pork belly strips?

There are numerous ways you can use leftover pork belly strips other than reheating them. Dice the strips into small pieces and sprinkle them over a salad or pasta to add a nice bit of meaty crunchiness to the dish. Or, leave them as strips and add them to a sandwich! We love these pork belly tacos with crunchy slaw! Anywhere you can use bacon, you can use these pork belly strips.

Crispy pork belly strips

Substitutions & Variations

  • Sugar: instead of brown sugar, feel free to use maple syrup. It will give the same caramel-like flavor of brown sugar.
  • Garlic salt: for those watching their sodium intake, replace the garlic salt with a combination of garlic powder and onion powder.
  • International: take these air fryer pork belly strips on a trip by using spices from other countries! Some great international spices to use are Chinese Five Spice (China), gochugaru (Korea), curry powder (India), etc.
Crispy pork belly strips on a plate

Storing & Reheating Information

Let the pork belly strips cool completely, then put the strips in an airtight container with a paper towel over the pork. They’ll last in the fridge for 3 days. To heat up the pork belly strips, reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes. 

What Side Dishes to Serve?

You can serve some really easy side dishes with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. Sometimes, you can cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.

Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include:

Here are 28 more air fryer side dishes to try

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

4 from 6 votes
Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
4.8 from 14 votes
Air Fryer Crispy Breaded Shrimp
4.8 from 62 votes
Air Fryer Chicken Breast Without Breading
5 from 13 votes
Air Fryer Broccoli

Like this recipe? We’d love for you to share it with your friends on social media. For more great recipes, follow us on Pinterest and Facebook, where we share our recipes daily.

Crispy pork belly strips on a plate

Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly Strips

Air Fryer Pork Belly Strips are seasoned in paprika, garlic salt and brown sugar for a dish that’s filled with savory and sweet flavors.
4.9 from 107 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 915 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) pork belly strips
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic salt

Instructions
 

  • Pat dry the pork belly strips. Brush or spray on olive oil.
  • Mix together the spices in a bowl. Sprinkle the seasoning on both sides of the strips.
  • Place the strips in the air fryer basket. Try not to overlap them. Cook at 400° F for 12-15 minutes, flipping once or twice during to ensure even cooking.
  • The cook time will vary based on the thickness of the strips. Cook to 190° F internal temperature.

Notes

  • Overcooking the strips will lead to dry and tough meat, so be careful not to overcook it.
  • The outside should be crispy and golden, but not browned.
  • The meat should not start to look dry on top.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 915kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 16gFat: 94gSaturated Fat: 33gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 45gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 781mgPotassium: 320mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Pork
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Like it? Pin it!

15 thoughts on “Crispy Air Fryer Pork Belly Strips

      • Nicholas says:

        If you’re cooking at below the boiling point of water, it’s not possible for it to get crispy. I’m pretty sure you mean 200°C (390°F) and NOT 200°F.
        The safe internal pork cooking temperature for fresh pork cuts is 145°F (63°C), so there’s no need to get the internal temperature up to 190°F (88°C).

        • Laura Lynch says:

          Yes, you’re right. We have lived in the UK or a long time and use 200°C so much that I typoed it. It’s fixed now. We do cook it to 190 though, because that helps to render the fat and make it tender.

  1. donovan says:

    I’ve always been intimidated by cooking pork belly, but your clear instructions and tips made it so easy.

    • Angela Morris says:

      You can reheat them in the air fryer at 350° F for 2-3 minutes. Check them at that point and see if they need more time.

  2. Edith says:

    Used this recipe last night adjusted for 2 lge pork strips. Cut them in half. Just fitted in my Phillips air fryer (the basic model) which only goes up to 200Degrees C. Turned them
    Once halfway through cooking. Came out scrumptious.
    Thank you for this recipe. Just right for two 80 yr olds!
    Did creamy potato mash and steamed broccoli with cheese sauce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating