How To Make The Best Tender Pulled Pork In the Air Fryer

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Can You Cook Pulled Pork In An Air Fryer?

Air fryer pulled pork from scratch is easy and so tasty using the Ninja Dual Air Fryer or any air fryer.

The air fryer cooks the pork evenly, resulting in a crispy exterior and juicy interior.

Air fryer pulled pork

What Type Of Pork Do You Use For Pulled Pork?

When it comes to pulled pork, the best cut is pork shoulder, also known as the pork butt.

Don’t let the name fool you – it doesn’t come from the rear end of the pig.

It’s a well-marbled, tasty cut from the shoulder region.

Piece Of Raw Pork Shoulder

Why Pork Shoulder?

Pork shoulder has a good amount of fat, also known as marbling. This fat content is what gives pulled pork its juicy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

The pork shoulder is rich in collagen, which breaks down during slow cooking, transforming the meat into that tender, easily shredded texture.

When you’re at the butcher or the meat section of your supermarket, look for a well-marbled piece with a good balance of meat and fat.

A bone-in shoulder can add even more flavour when you air fry it.

How Long To Cook Pulled Pork In The Air Fryer?

The pork is slow cooked in the air fryer taking about 2 hrs and 20 minutes.

A long time but so worth it.


Serves 6 (Freeze Any Leftovers)

  • 2 pounds (900 grams) of pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 240ml chicken stock
  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 60ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 60g tomato puree

How To Make Pulled Pork In The Air Fryer


  • Remove the crisper plate if your air fryer has one. You will be cooking in the bottom of the basket.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 170C / 350F for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper to make a dry rub.
  • Rub the dry rub mixture evenly over the pork shoulder.
  • In the air fryer basket, add the vegetable oil and place the seasoned pork on top.
  • Air fry the pork for 20 minutes.


  • In a separate bowl, mix the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste to make a sauce.
  • After 20 minutes, pour the sauce over the pork in the air fryer.
  • Continue cooking for an additional 2 hours at 170C / 350F, turning the pork halfway through.
  • Remove the pork from the air fryer and let it rest for 15 minutes
  • Using two forks, shred the pork. Remove any obvious lumps of fat.

Perfect Air Frying Every Time: The Cheat Sheet You Need

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying, get the correct timings and temperatures for all foods. 

Take the guesswork out of air frying!

9 Pulled Pork Serving Suggestions

Classic Pulled Pork Sandwich

Air Fryer Pulled Pork In A Brioche Bun

Pile that succulent pulled pork onto a soft brioche bun. Top it with a dollop of coleslaw for a perfect blend of textures and flavours.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Embrace a Mexican twist by stuffing warmed tortillas with pulled pork, fresh salsa, diced onions, and a drizzle of lime juice.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Scoop out the fluffy insides of baked potatoes and stuff them with pulled pork. Add a generous spoonful of sour cream and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Pulled Pork Pizza

Transform your pizza night by using pulled pork as a topping. Pair it with barbecue sauce, red onions, and your favourite cheese for a pizza that’s anything but ordinary.

Air Fryer Pulled Pork Pizza

Pulled Pork Salad

Keep things light by tossing pulled pork with a mix of crisp salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and avocado. Drizzle with a zesty vinaigrette for a refreshing salad.

Pulled Pork Nachos

Layer tortilla chips with pulled pork, melted cheese, jalapeños, and a dollop of guacamole. Pop it in the oven until the cheese is gooey and irresistible.

Pulled Pork Pasta

Mix pulled pork into your favourite pasta dish for a protein-packed upgrade. A creamy tomato-based sauce works well with the smoky flavour of the pork.

Pulled Pork Quesadillas

Create mouthwatering quesadillas by sandwiching pulled pork between tortillas with a layer of melted cheese. Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.

Pulled Pork Sliders

Mini sandwiches are always a hit. Arrange small buns with a spoonful of pulled pork, pickles, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce for a crowd-pleasing appetiser.

Pulled Pork Sliders

More Air Fryer Recipes

Storing Air Fryer Pulled Pork In The Refrigerator

Cool It Down: Allow the pulled pork to cool to room temperature before storing. This helps prevent condensation and keeps the meat from becoming soggy.

Airtight Container: Transfer the pulled pork to an airtight container. If you have larger portions, consider dividing them into smaller containers for easier storage.

Refrigerate Promptly: Place the airtight container in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Eat within 3 days.

Freezing Air Fryer Pulled Pork

Cool Completely: Just like with refrigeration, make sure the pulled pork is thoroughly cooled before freezing.

Portion Control: Divide the pulled pork into meal-sized portions. This makes it easier to thaw and reheat only what you need.

Freezer Bags or Containers: For longer storage, use freezer-safe bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.

Label and Date: Always label the container with the date of freezing. Pulled pork is best when enjoyed within three to four months of freezing.

Can You Reheat Pulled Pork In The Air Fryer?

Follow these steps:

Thawing (if frozen): If the pulled pork is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. This ensures even reheating.

Air Fryer Method: For the best results, reheat in the air fryer at 170C / 350F for 5-10 minutes. This helps maintain the crispy edges while warming the inside.

Adding Moisture: To prevent dryness, add a bit of moisture. A splash of stock, barbecue sauce, or even water does the trick.

Cover While Reheating: Cover the pulled pork with foil during reheating to trap any moisture.

Stir and Check: Stir the pulled pork halfway through the reheating process to ensure even warming.

Shop Bought Frozen Pulled Pork In The Air Fryer

Shop-bought frozen pulled pork can be a great convenient time saver.

Here’s how to air fry it:

Preheat your air fryer to 170C / 350F for 5 minutes. This ensures that the pulled pork cooks evenly and gets that perfect crispy texture on the outside.

Give the basket a light coating of cooking spray or a touch of oil to prevent sticking. This step is optional, but it can enhance the crispiness.

Remove the frozen pulled pork from its packaging.

Air fry the pulled pork for approximately 15-20 minutes. It’s a good idea to check and shake the basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking

About halfway through the cooking time, check the pulled pork for your desired level of crispiness. If you like it extra crispy, you might want to air fry it a few minutes longer.

For food safety, use a meat thermometer to make sure the pulled pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). This ensures that it’s thoroughly cooked

Once cooked, take out the pulled pork and let it rest for a couple of minutes.

meat thermometer


The air fryer is designed to cook food quickly and crispy. As for pork, it can become dry if not handled with care.

Choose the Right Cut: Opt for cuts with a bit of fat, like pork shoulder or pork butt. The fat will melt during cooking, adding moisture and flavour to the meat.

Marinate or Season: Before air frying, marinate or season your pork. This not only enhances flavour but also helps lock in moisture.

Preheat the Air Fryer: Let your air fryer preheat before adding the pork. This ensures that the cooking process starts immediately, sealing in juices.

Use a Bit of Oil: A light coating of oil on the pork’s surface can contribute to a crisp exterior while keeping the moisture inside.

Check The Pork: Keep an eye on the cooking time. Air fryers can vary, so it’s wise to check your pork a bit earlier than the recommended time to prevent overcooking.

Cover with Foil (If Needed): If you notice the pork browning too quickly on the outside, cover it with foil for part of the cooking time. This slows down the browning process, allowing the inside to catch up.

Let it Rest: Once your pork is done, let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

A light spray of oil or cooking spray can further intensify the crispiness, creating a golden exterior.

I would recommend 225 to 300 grams of pulled pork per person. This would provide a good serving without feeling like they’re tackling a mountain of meat.

Any shop-bought frozen pulled pork is air-fried in the same way. I have covered this topic above.

It’s all about patience and slow cooking. Choose pork shoulder and add a tasty rub or marinade. The magic happens as the fat melts, collagen breaks down, and you’re left with tender, tasty pork.

Apply a dry rub. Sprinkle in salt and pepper for balance. Let the pork slow-cook, allowing these flavours to meld.

Overcooking can lead to dryness. To avoid overcooking, use a meat thermometer and aim for an internal temperature of 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). This ensures your pulled pork is tender, juicy, and ready to be enjoyed.


Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself looking for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those looking for quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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