Can You Cook Pulled Pork in Air Fryer? Discovering Delicious Simplicity

Can You Cook Pulled Pork in an Air Fryer

Looking for a super easy and healthy way to enjoy pulled pork? Our air fryer recipe is here to save the day! Get ready for a delightful experience as we explore whether cooking pulled pork in an air fryer is not just doable but also delicious. 

With simple ingredients, this pulled pork from the air fryer turns out crispy outside and juicy inside. Join us as we figure out the answer to the question: Can you cook pulled pork in an air fryer? It’s all about making tasty food the easy way, and we’re here to guide you through it. Get ready for a fun food adventure!

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What Sets This Air Fryer Pulled Pork Recipe Apart

If you’re looking for an easy and health-conscious way to enjoy pulled pork, our air fryer recipe is designed for you. Stands out for simplicity and minimal fuss with few ingredients and short prep time. 

The air fryer streamlines the cooking process, ensuring a quicker, hands-off experience. This recipe is a healthier option, using less oil while still delivering crispy goodness—no need for deep-frying.

Versatile usage beyond sandwiches—try it in wraps, tacos, and salads. Get creative with toppings and sauces for a DIY meal experience. Our air fryer pulled pork is about making tasty, easy, and healthy food. Give it a try and savor the delicious results.

Can You Cook Pulled Pork In Air Fryer?

Consider the following factors while cooking pulled pork in your air fryer: 

  • Size of the Air Fryer: Air fryers come in different sizes. Consider the capacity of your air fryer, as it needs to accommodate the size of the pork you plan to cook. If you have a smaller air fryer, you may need to opt for smaller cuts or trim the pork to fit comfortably.
  • Type of Air Fryer (Basket vs. Oven-style): Basket-style air fryers have a basket where food is placed, allowing hot air to circulate around it. Oven-style air fryers have a flat tray. Ensure the air fryer you have is suitable for cooking larger cuts of meat, as pulled pork requires adequate space for even cooking.
Type of Air Fryer (Basket vs. Oven-style)
  • Cut and Size of the Pork: Choose a cut of pork suitable for pulled pork, like pork shoulder or butt, and consider the size in relation to your air fryer. Smaller cuts may cook faster, while larger cuts might need adjustments to cooking time and temperature.

Step-By-Step Guide To Cooking Pulled Pork In An Air Fryer

Step # 1: Preparing the Pork: 

  • Choosing the Right Cut: Opt for pork shoulder or butt, known for their tenderness and flavor. Ensure the size fits your air fryer.
  • Seasoning the Meat: Rub the pork with your favorite seasonings or a pre-made spice mix. Allow it to marinate for added flavor.

Step # 2: Setting up the Air Fryer:

  • Preheating: Preheat the air fryer to ensure it’s ready for cooking. This step contributes to even and efficient cooking.
  • Adjusting Temperature and Time: Set the air fryer to the recommended temperature (usually around 350°F/175°C) and time. Adjust according to your specific air fryer model and the size of the pork.

Step # 3: Cooking Process:

  • Placing the Pork in the Air Fryer: Lay the seasoned pork in the air fryer basket or on the tray, ensuring it doesn’t overlap to allow proper air circulation.
  • Monitoring and Flipping: Keep an eye on the pork as it cooks. Depending on your air fryer, flipping the meat halfway through the cooking time may promote even cooking.
  • Ensuring Proper Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches a safe level (around 195-205°F or 90-96°C for pulled pork).

Step # 4: Resting and Shredding the Pork:

Shredding the Pork
  • Allow the cooked pork to rest for a few minutes. Once rested, use two forks to shred the meat into that classic pulled pork texture.

Pro Tips for Success

A. Choosing the Right Cut of Pork:

Selecting the right cut is crucial for tender and flavorful pulled pork. Opt for pork shoulder or butt as they have the ideal fat content and connective tissues that break down during cooking.

B. Seasoning and Marinating for Flavor:

Don’t be shy with your seasonings. Experiment with a mix of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and other spices to enhance the taste. Let the pork marinate for at least a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

C. Adjusting Air Fryer Settings:

Familiarize yourself with your specific air fryer model. Adjust the temperature to around 350°F (175°C) and the cooking time based on the size of the pork. Consider preheating the air fryer. It helps in creating an optimal cooking environment and ensures more consistent results.

D. Using Additional Tools or Accessories:

If your air fryer comes with accessories like racks, use them. They can elevate the pork, allowing hot air to circulate evenly. Invest in a good meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, ensuring the pork is cooked through without drying out.

Storing & Freezing Pulled Pork

When it comes to enjoying pulled pork at its best, proper storage is key. Follow these guidelines to keep your pulled pork fresh and flavorful for future meals.

I. Storing Pulled Pork:

A. Refrigeration:

  1. Allow pulled pork to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
  2. Store in airtight containers or zip-top bags to prevent drying.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days for optimal freshness.

B. Reheating:

Reheating Pulled Pork
  1. Reheat in the air fryer, microwave or on the stove with added moisture.
  2. Consider using a slow cooker on low heat for gradual reheating.

II. Freezing Pulled Pork:

A. Cooling Before Freezing:

  • Ensure pulled pork cools completely before freezing.
  • Divide into portion-sized amounts for convenient use.

B. Freezer-Safe Containers or Bags:

  • Utilize airtight freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty zip-top bags.
  • Remove excess air to prevent freezer burn.

C. Labeling:

  • Clearly label containers or bags with the freezing date.
  • Note any specific seasonings or sauces used for reference.

D. Freezer Shelf Life:

  • Pulled pork maintains quality for 2-3 months in the freezer.
  • Beyond this period, it remains safe to eat but may lose some texture and flavor.

Serving Suggestions

  • A. Classic Pulled Pork Sandwich: Pile a generous amount of pulled pork onto a soft bun. Top with coleslaw for a crunchy contrast. Drizzle with barbecue sauce for that classic flavor.
  • B. Pulled Pork Tacos: Fill soft corn or flour tortillas with pulled pork. Add toppings like diced onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. 
  • C. Pulled Pork Sliders: Serve mini pulled pork sandwiches for a crowd. Top with pickles or sliced jalapeños for an extra kick.
  • D. Loaded Baked Potatoes: Stuff baked potatoes with pulled pork. Add toppings like shredded cheese, green onions, and a dollop of sour cream.
  • E. Pulled Pork Pizza: Use pulled pork as a pizza topping. Combine with barbecue sauce, red onions, and your favorite cheese.

Recommended Side Dishes:

Recommended Side Dishes for Pulled Pork in Air Fryer
  1. Coleslaw: A crisp coleslaw adds a refreshing contrast to the richness of pulled pork.
  2. Baked Beans: Classic baked beans complement the savory and smoky flavors of pulled pork.
  3. Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy mac and cheese is a comforting side dish that pairs well with pulled pork.
  4. Cornbread: Sweet or savory cornbread is a perfect accompaniment to balance the flavors.
  5. Roasted Vegetables: Roast vegetables like sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts for a nutritious side.
  6. Potato Salad: Creamy potato salad adds a delightful texture and flavor contrast.
  7. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Seasoned grilled corn on the cob is a simple yet tasty side dish.

Tips for a Well-Balanced Meal:

  • Colorful Salad: Include a fresh salad with vibrant vegetables for a balanced and nutritious meal.
  • Fruit Salsa: Serve a fruity salsa as a refreshing and tangy topping.
  • Variety of Sauces: Offer a variety of sauces, such as hot sauce, mustard, or additional barbecue sauces, for personalizing flavors.

More Pork Recipies

Final Words

In the end, the air fryer proves it’s a fantastic way to cook pulled pork – easy and tasty! From its simple process to the healthier touch, it brings out the best in your meal. The crispy outside and juicy inside combo are truly a game-changer.

So, can you make pulled pork in an air fryer? Absolutely! It’s not just for sandwiches; try it in wraps, tacos, or salads – get creative! The air fryer makes cooking fun, quick, and delicious. So, give it a shot, enjoy the simplicity, and savor the tasty rewards. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Cooking Pulled Pork in an Air Fryer:

Can I cook a large amount of pulled pork in one go in the air fryer?

It depends on the size of your air fryer. If it’s spacious enough, you can cook a larger amount, but avoid overcrowding to ensure proper air circulation.

Can you reheat pulled pork in the air fryer?

Absolutely! Reheating pulled pork in the air fryer is a quick and effective way to restore its deliciousness. Preheat the air fryer, place the pulled pork in a single layer, and heat at around 350°F (175°C) for about 5-10 minutes or until it reaches your desired temperature.

Does the air fryer dry out pork?

No, the air fryer is designed to cook food quickly while retaining moisture. However, it’s essential to follow recommended cooking times and temperatures to prevent overcooking, which could lead to dryness. Using marinades, brines, or basting can also help maintain pork’s juiciness.

Is pulled pork better in the oven or slow cooker?

The choice between the oven and slow cooker depends on your preferences and available time. The oven yields a quicker cooking time with a crispy exterior, while the slow cooker delivers a more hands-off approach, resulting in tender, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork. Both methods can produce delicious results; it’s a matter of personal preference and convenience.