Pork is a tasty meat that is healthy as well as delicious. It comes in so many forms from bacon to ham and sausages, chops, and roasts. You can have pork steaks, pulled pork sandwiches, or a pork stir fry. But some of the best recipes to use for pork are done in the air fryer.
Why use an air fryer to cook pork?
Being health-conscious, we often try to choose the leaner cuts of meat and that leaves out the fat that meat needs to hold in those juices. Cooking pork can be tricky sometimes because it has a tendency to become dry if you do not cook it right.
Because the AF cooks with hot air instead of hot oil, the meat is able to get that same fast searing and crunchiness without drying out the meat. However, the trick is to make sure you do not cook it too long. The temperature should read 145 degrees F when you remove it from the cooker.
Is pork healthy cooked in the air fryer?
Frying pork in oil is just not a healthy way to cook your meat. The AF cooks the pork fast, so the meat stays moist and juicy. And you only have to use a tiny bit of cooking spray or olive oil on the meat before cooking, so the air fryer is the healthy way to fry your pork dishes.
In fact, cooking anything in the AF is healthier than deep frying and faster than cooking in the oven. It cuts calories up to 75% to 80% and fat is much lower as well. And you can get the same satisfying crunch from adding a bit of breading on the outside as you would if you fried your pork in oil.
Five top air fryer recipes with pork
Besides pork roasts and pork steaks, there are plenty of other pork recipes that are fantastic in the AF. Here are five of our favorites.
Air Fryer Shake and Bake Pork Chops
Everyone has probably heard of shake and bake but have you ever made shake and bake AF pork chops? This recipe blends tasty seasonings with a parmesan crust for a crunchy coating and tender meat inside. And it can be done in less than 30 minutes! You can have a healthy and delicious main entrée fast and easy, so these are perfect for those hectic weeknights or busy weekends.
Bone-in chops at least one inch thick are recommended because they are much more tender and juicier. And the best thing is that the topping is just parmesan cheese and a few seasonings, so you are not coating the meat in heavy breading. Besides the chops, all you need is olive oil, parmesan, and a few herbs and seasoning.
Air Fryer Garlic Butter Pork Bites with Lemon Green Beans
Garlic blends so well with pork that it should be included in almost every pork dish. But this pork dish is more than just pork with garlic. This is a whole meal and pairs unique style cuts with creative seasoning. By cutting the pork into cubes, it cooks even faster so you do not have to worry about it drying out.
The olive oil, Cajun seasoning, and garlic combined with melted butter and lemon is outstanding. Your mouth will be watering before it is done cooking. And since you are cooking it with green beans, you have your whole meal done at once and it takes less than 20 minutes. For more info check out this recipe.
Air Fryer Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is so good whether it is soaked in BBQ sauce and served on a bun or loaded onto a bed of rice or noodles. You can even use pulled pork on salads or soups. But cooking it typically takes a long time and you have to heat up the house using the oven for hours. Why not make it in the air fryer for a change?
Instead of hours, you can have your pulled pork ready in about 45 minutes for a three-pound roast. Start with a pork butt (or a pork shoulder if you want a leaner meal), rub it with brown sugar, garlic, onion, paprika, and cumin as well as salt and pepper, then put it in the oiled air fryer for 45 minutes. For the details, click on this link.
Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin
Because pork tenderloin is the filet mignon of pork, you are getting a delicious and lean cut of meat that can be cooked any number of ways. But because it is so lean, it can get dried out if you do not cook it properly. In fact, the best way to cook a tenderloin without drying it out is to use the air fryer.
For air fryer pork tenderloin, all you need is the tenderloin, Italian and ranch seasonings, brown sugar, and a few spices to have a tender juicy meal in no time. The high heat sears the outside to a crispy perfection with a moist and flavorful meat inside. You can serve this dish with your favorite sides any night of the week.
Crispy Air Fryer Bacon
Bacon is an all-time favorite that seems to pop up in all sorts of dishes from sandwiches to ice cream. But cooking it on the stove is not very healthy and all those grease splatters can make a mess as well as causing some painful burns. So, try cooking it in the air fryer instead.
This crispy air fryer bacon recipe only calls for three ingredients and takes just 10 minutes! All you need is bacon, paprika, and brown sugar. Rub the bacon with the paprika and brown sugar mix and put them in the air fryer for eight to 11 minutes. That’s it! Perfect bacon every time!