Air fryer pork roast – a tender and juicy piece of meat, easy to make, perfect for Sunday lunch or any day of the week.
Cooking a pork roast is not particularly difficult but cooking a pork shoulder in the air fryer makes things even easier. Basically, all you must do is coat the meat with spices and put it in the air fryer. Flip once halfway, and that's about it.
The results? Tender, flavorful meat, and a spicy crust; this is one of the most comforting air fryer meals you could possibly make; your entire family will love this recipe. And because the roast doesn't require much attention and because the oven is free, you can take the time to make some roast potatoes to go with the main dish.
I love air frying! Not only meat but veggies as well. Have a look at this delicious, bright Asparagus, for instance. And for more meat, try the Air Fryer Lamb Chops, Meatloaf, or Turkey Burgers; you will love them!
What do you need?
Pork shoulder is also known as pork butt or Boston butt. In case you are worried, they are the same cut. Boston is the shoulder's name in the US, and despite the word "butt," the cut comes from the animal's shoulder.
- And although most people associate the shoulder with pulled pork, I can assure you that this cut makes the most wonderful roast, much juicier and more flavorful than a loin or a tenderloin.
- The roast can weigh between 2 lbs (900 g) and 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), any bigger, and it will probably not fit into the air fryer's basket. Make sure to check.
- The cooking time depends very much on the size of the roast; that is why using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat is essential.
- I like mixing my dry rub, but actually, you can use any homemade or bought meat dry rub you want.
- My mixture contains coarse sea salt, brown sugar, sweet and smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder, cum, black pepper, and chili flakes.
Oil: either olive oil or vegetable oil, preferably oil with a high smoking point.
That's it! A short list of ingredients, with only one main ingredient. And if you use a ready-made dry rub, things get even faster and easier.
How to roast pork in the air fryer?
- Preheat the machine according to its instructions; some need it, some don't so make sure to check. For example, I need to preheat mine for 3 minutes to 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- In the meantime, mix all the spices in a small bowl.
- Rub the meat with the oil and then with the spice mixture. Rub well to coat all over.
- Cook: Place the shoulder in the basket of the machine and cook for 15 minutes. Flip, reduce the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius), and cook for another 35-45 minutes until the recommended internal temperature is reached.
- Rest: Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.
How long to air fry a pork shoulder roast?
- The cooking time will depend on your machine and the size and shape of the piece of meat. For example, a thicker piece needs a bit longer than a wider but flatter piece weighing exactly the same. That is why checking the internal temperature with a meat thermometer is essential.
- Mine weighed slightly less than 3 lbs (1.3 kg) and needed 60 minutes.
What is the correct internal temperature for pork?
- 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius).
- Check it with a digital meat thermometer. Insert it in the middle of the roast, but don't go all the way through.
- If the desired temperature is not reached yet, continue cooking the meat and check again after 4-5 minutes.
How to serve?
- Rest: Let the meat rest as recommended and slice thickly.
- Side dishes: Serve with roasted or boiled potatoes, potato mash, or roasted or mashed sweet potatoes. Or make some delicious Cornbread Recipe without Buttermilk to go with it. I love serving it with apple sauce. When it comes to vegetables, buttered peas are delicious, but other steamed, roasted, or boiled vegetables are perfect as well.
- Spices: If you don't want to use any spice mixture, fine salt and pepper would be fine as well.
- Marinate: Should you have some extra time, rub the meat either with only salt and pepper or the other spices (and the oil) and leave it to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
- Oil: Use oil with a high smoking point to prevent smoking in the air fryer.
How to store and reheat?
- Refrigerator: keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: wrap well, place in freezer bags or containers, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge.
- Reheat: you can reheat the slices in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat frozen slices; it will take a few minutes longer. Make sure to check that they are heated through.
- Stovetop or oven: The pieces can also be reheated in a pan on the stovetop (flipping several times in between) or in the oven at about 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius)
- It is preferable to reheat the sliced meat rather than one large piece; the slices will reheat faster and are thus less likely to dry out.
- While tenderloin or loin can be served cold in a sandwich (thinly sliced), I don't recommend serving cold pork shoulder. It is too fatty, and you will definitely not enjoy biting on those streaks of solid fat. Always reheat before serving.
More quick dinner ideas
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Air Fryer Pork Roast
- Air fryer
- 3 lb pork shoulder Note 1
- 2 tablespoons oil Note 2
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar Note 3
- ½ tablespoon medium-coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon red chili flakes more to taste
- Preheat the air fryer according to its instructions. For example, I preheated mine for 3 minutes to 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Mix spices in a small bowl. Rub the meat all over with the oil and then with the spice mix.
- Place pork in the air fryer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Flip, reduce the temperature to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and cook for another 35-45 minutes until the recommended internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius) is reached. The cooking time depends on the size and shape of the meat and the air fryer.
- Remove from the basket, place on a warm platter, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- The roast can weigh between 2 lbs (900 g) and 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg); the cooking time will depend on its size and shape. Always check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer; it should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius).
- Use oil with a higher smoking point to prevent the air fryer from smoking. I use sunflower or canola oil most of the time.
- You can use your favorite meat rub or just salt and pepper.