Air Fryer Pork Belly Bites are flavorful, seasoned pieces of pork belly that are cooked crispy in an air fryer with less oil and mess compared to deep-frying.
Air-fried foods are lower in fat than deep-fried foods, which is one good reason to give it a try with a recipe like this. But, just because it saves on some fat and calories doesn’t mean it is light on flavor. These pork belly bites still turn out crispy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I dare you to eat just one!
WHAT IS PORK BELLY?
Pork belly is like a huge slab of bacon, but uncured, unsliced, and unsmoked. Both pork belly and bacon come from the flesh from the underside, or belly, of a pig. You could buy pork belly and make your own bacon. However, once you try this pork belly recipe, you may want to stick with pork belly over bacon.
Pork belly can be up to 12 pounds. I went with 1 1/2 pounds for this recipe. You can find it at most large grocery stores. If you buy it from a butcher, he or she can cut the amount you want. Or, you can freeze any extra pork belly for up to six months to use later.
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER PORK BELLY BITES
The first thing you want to do to get these pork belly bites made is pat dry the pork belly and cut it up. There is no need to score it. I cut it into about 1-inch cubes.
A helpful hint for easier cutting is to let the pork belly chill in the refrigerator for a while to harden it up a bit. If you try to cut the pork belly after it thaws to room temperature, it is a bit trickier. Once the meat is cut, it’s easy to get this delicious appetizer made.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Next, add the pork belly pieces to the oil mixture to coat each piece.
- Then, in a single layer, place the pork belly cubes in the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.
- Cook the pork belly bites for 20 minutes, shaking and flipping them a couple of times throughout the air-frying time. You can always cook them longer if you want them crispier or more done.
- Remove the bites from the air fryer and serve warm.
There is no need to add any more seasoning or dip into a sauce; these are perfect as-is!
WHAT IS THE BEST AIR FRYER?
I have tested 3 brands in my home and I recommend the Ninja Air Fryer. (affiliate link) You can go up a size if needed, but it is superior in achieving consistent results and also ease of use. I’ve been very happy with this Air Fryer!
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, patted dry
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Pat dry the pork belly and cut it into 1-inch pieces. (If the pork belly has thawed to room temperature, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden it up a bit for easier cutting.)
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Add the pork belly pieces to the oil mixture, covering each piece.
Lay the pork belly pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. (I was able to fit all of the pieces in the basket, but you may need to split them up into two or three batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.)
Air fry the pork belly cubes for 18-20 minutes, shaking and flipping them a couple of times throughout the cooking time. Please note: air frying times will depend on the size of your pork belly pieces and the size of your air fryer.
Remove from the air fryer and serve warm.