How To Cook Pork Roll In An Air Fryer: A Step-By-Step Guide

Pork roll, also known as Taylor ham or Jersey breakfast meat, is a processed pork product that is a beloved breakfast food, especially in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With its salty, smoky, and slightly sweet flavor, pork roll is delicious when fried up and served alongside eggs and cheese on a roll However, traditional frying can add a lot of fat and calories This is where the air fryer comes in!

Air frying pork roll allows you to achieve that quintessential crispy, browned exterior while using minimal oil. The result is a healthier version of this iconic regional specialty. If you’re interested in giving air fried pork roll a try, follow this simple step-by-step guide to cooking up the perfect batch in your air fryer.

Benefits Of Cooking Pork Roll In An Air Fryer

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the recipe, let’s first go over some of the advantages of using an air fryer to cook pork roll:

  • Uses up to 80% less oil compared to deep frying, resulting in a healthier pork roll with fewer calories and fat.

  • The circulating hot air cooks the pork roll evenly, creating a crispy browned exterior

  • Air frying is quick and convenient, with most batches taking 10-15 minutes from start to finish.

  • An air fryer allows you to skip the mess of pan frying while still achieving a similar texture.

  • Since it requires little oil, cleanup is easier with fewer splatters to deal with.

  • You can cook a satisfying portion for 1-2 people instead of deep frying a large batch.

Step 1: Select Your Pork Roll

The first step is choosing a high-quality pork roll that will yield the best results. Look for the following when purchasing pork roll:

  • Evenly marbled with fat throughout – this will keep it moist during cooking.

  • Thinly sliced for the right thickness to get crispy in the air fryer. Slices around 1/4 inch thick work perfectly.

  • Made by a reputable brand for flavor and quality. Popular options include Taylor Pork Roll and Trenton Pork Roll.

  • Avoid pre-cooked or pre-sliced pork roll, as it won’t get as crispy. Opt for a whole roll and slice it yourself.

Step 2: Prepare Your Air Fryer

Before cooking, you’ll want to get your air fryer cleaned, preheated, and ready to go:

  • Clean out any leftovers and wipe down the fryer basket and any interior surfaces.

  • Refer to your air fryer’s instruction manual and preheat it to 400°F, which takes 3-5 minutes.

  • Lightly coat or spray the fryer basket with a thin layer of oil. This helps prevent sticking.

  • Give your pork roll a quick rinse under water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Step 3: Slice and Season the Pork Roll

Once your pork roll is prepped, it’s time to slice it up:

  • Carefully slice the pork roll into round slices, around 1⁄4 inch thick.

  • Season both sides with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you enjoy. Garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika work well.

  • You can also brush each side lightly with oil if desired, for extra crispiness.

Step 4: Arrange the Pork Roll in the Fryer

To ensure proper cooking, neatly arrange the pork roll slices in the fryer basket:

  • Lay the slices in a single layer without overlapping. Overcrowding will prevent even cooking.

  • You may have to cook multiple batches depending on how much pork roll you’re cooking.

  • If needed, flip or shake the basket midway during cooking to promote browning on both sides.

Step 5: Air Fry for 10-15 Minutes

Now you’re ready to start air frying! Simply cook the pork roll based on the below guidelines:

  • Cook at 400°F for 6 minutes to start. Then flip and cook 6 more minutes.

  • Adjust cooking time up or down based on thickness of slices and level of crispiness you prefer.

  • The pork roll is fully cooked once it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

  • Let the slices rest for 2-3 minutes out of the air fryer before serving.

Step 6: Serve Immediately and Enjoy!

Your perfectly air fried pork roll is ready to be devoured! Here are some serving ideas:

  • Enjoy the pork roll on its own as a breakfast meat or snack.

  • Place slices on a toasted roll or bagel with egg and cheese for a classic Jersey breakfast sandwich.

  • Chop up smaller pieces of pork roll and add it to omelets, homefries, or mac and cheese.

  • Use it as a topping on nachos, pizza, baked potatoes, and more for a dose of smoky pork flavor.

With this easy 6-step guide, you can achieve delightfully crispy, oil-free pork roll from your air fryer. So next time you get a craving for this northeastern specialty, you’ll know exactly how to whip it up the healthier air fried way. Air frying allows you to indulge in this iconic breakfast meat while avoiding the excess oil and mess of deep frying.

FAQs about Cooking Pork Roll in an Air Fryer

What is pork roll?

Pork roll is a processed, pre-cooked pork product that originated in New Jersey. It has a smoky, salty, and slightly sweet flavor. It’s often sliced and fried or grilled to be served for breakfast.

What is the benefit of cooking pork roll in an air fryer?

Air frying pork roll allows you to achieve a crispy texture using minimal oil. Air fryers use rapid hot air circulation to crisp and cook the pork roll slices evenly.

Should I freeze my pork roll before air frying it?

Freezing is not necessary. For best results, select fresh pork roll and slice it yourself rather than using pre-sliced frozen pork roll.

What temperature should I cook pork roll at?

Preheat your air fryer to 400°F. Cook the pork roll starting at 6 minutes per side, adjusting time as needed. Cook to an internal temp of 160°F.

How long does pork roll last in the fridge?

Fresh sliced pork roll will last 3-4 days refrigerated. For longer storage, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freezer for 2-3 months.

Can you prepare pork roll in advance?

Yes, you can slice and season the pork roll up to 24 hours in advance. Store slices layered between parchment paper in a covered dish in the fridge.

How do I reheat leftovers?

To reheat, place pork roll slices in a single layer in the air fryer at 300°F for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. You can also reheat in the microwave or skillet.

With this comprehensive guide, you can master cooking flavorful and healthier pork roll in your air fryer. Adjust cooking times and temperatures as needed to suit your preferences. Feel free to get creative with different seasonings and serving ideas too. Enjoy!

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