Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders are easy, and they made a mean lunch for my kids. These easy Pork Sliders were a perfect combination of the Instant Pot and Air Fryer.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders
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The meat was a perfectly pressurized cook using my Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork, and then I completed the meal in the air fryer. I topped it with provolone cheese and, of course, in a King Hawwain Slider Bun and topped off with a brush of melted butter and seasonings. I opened the buns and added some shredded coleslaw! It’s so easy and delicious!

If you are looking for even more Air Fryer Sandwich Recipes, here are some of my absolute favorites, Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, Air Fryer Italian Grilled Cheese, and of course, Air Fryer Meatloaf Sandwich!

What Are BBQ Pork Sliders

BBQ Pork Sliders are a popular American cuisine dish known for their small, manageable size and deliciously tender, slow-cooked pork generously coated in barbecue sauce. Served on soft miniature buns, these sliders are perfect for parties, gatherings, or as a tasty snack. The pork is often slow-cooked or smoked until it’s fall-apart tender, then shredded or pulled apart and mixed with a flavorful BBQ sauce. This mixture is then piled onto the buns and sometimes topped with coleslaw, pickles, or additional condiments to add crunch and contrast to the soft, savory pork.

The beauty of BBQ Pork Sliders lies in their versatility. The barbecue sauce can range from sweet, smoky, and tangy to spicy, allowing for a wide variety of flavor profiles depending on personal preference or regional influences. Moreover, while traditional recipes call for pork shoulder or butt due to its fat content and tenderness when simmered, variations may include different cuts of pork or even alternative preparation methods to suit different tastes or dietary needs.

BBQ Pork Sliders are a staple at American BBQs and tailgating events, embodying the essence of casual, finger-licking, good comfort food. They’re easy to eat, satisfying, and perfectly portioned, making them an ideal choice for feeding a crowd without the need for formal sit-down dining. Whether enjoyed as a hearty appetizer or a main dish, BBQ Pork Sliders are sure to be a hit with their irresistible combination of flavors and textures.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Why You Will Love This Recipe!

You’ll love this Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders recipe for several mouthwatering reasons. This dish combines the convenience of using an air fryer with the delectable flavors of classic BBQ pork, all while adding a cheesy twist that elevates the sliders to a new level of deliciousness. Here’s why this recipe will quickly become a favorite in your meal rotation:

  • Quick and Easy: Utilizing the air fryer cuts down on cooking time significantly, making this recipe a quick and easy option for busy weeknights, game days, or impromptu gatherings. You’ll enjoy your sliders in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional methods.
  • Perfectly Cooked Pork: The air fryer ensures the pulled pork heats up evenly, retaining moisture and tenderness while enveloping a smoky BBQ sauce. This method highlights the pork’s flavors without drying it out.
  • Cheesy Goodness: Adding cheese to these sliders introduces a gooey, melty element that pairs wonderfully with the tangy sweetness of the BBQ pork. Whether you choose sharp cheddar, smoky gouda, or creamy mozzarella, the cheese adds a layer of richness that’s hard to resist.
  • Crispy Buns: Air frying the assembled sliders for a few minutes not only melts the cheese to perfection but also lightly toasts the buns, adding a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the tender pork filling.
  • Customizable: This recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to adjust the type of BBQ sauce, the choice of cheese, and additional toppings like coleslaw or pickles to suit your taste preferences.
  • Ideal for Sharing: Sliders are the perfect size for sharing, making this recipe ideal for parties, family gatherings, or as a fun dinner option. Everyone can grab a slider or two, making for a casual and social dining experience.
  • Healthier Option: Air frying is a healthier cooking method compared to deep-frying, reducing the amount of oil needed while still achieving that irresistible texture and flavor.
  • Year-Round Enjoyment: While BBQ pork is often associated with summer grilling, this recipe lets you enjoy the flavors of BBQ pork sliders any time of the year, right from your kitchen.
  • Satisfying Comfort Food: There’s something incredibly comforting about the combination of tender BBQ pork, melted cheese, and a soft bun. This recipe delivers all the comfort food vibes you crave, with a gourmet twist.
  • Effortless Cleanup: Air fryer cooking means less mess and easier cleanup compared to using a grill or oven. You’ll spend less time cleaning up and more time enjoying your delicious sliders.

This Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders recipe not only promises delicious results but also offers a convenient, customizable, and enjoyable cooking experience. It’s a surefire way to satisfy your BBQ cravings with minimal fuss and maximum flavor.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Embark on a culinary adventure that brings the bold flavors of barbecue to your table with Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders. This recipe marries the tenderness of slow-cooked pork with the tangy sweetness of BBQ sauce and the irresistible melt of cheese, all nestled between soft, toasted slider buns. Perfect for any occasion, from game day gatherings to family dinners, these sliders are a testament to the joy of shared meals and the simple pleasure of good food made with love.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • King Hawaiian Buns or Slider Buns: These small, soft buns are the perfect size for party-friendly sliders, offering a light and fluffy texture that complements the hearty filling without overwhelming it.
  • Shredded BBQ Pulled Pork: The star of the show, pulled pork is rich and tender, often slow-cooked to perfection before being drenched in BBQ sauce. It provides a savory base that’s both juicy and flavorful.
  • Cheese: Slices of cheese melt beautifully over the warm pork, adding a layer of gooey, creamy texture and a rich taste. Sharp cheddar, smoky gouda, or provolone are excellent choices that pair well with BBQ flavors.
  • Butter: A light spread of butter on the buns before air frying helps achieve a golden, crispy exterior, enhancing the texture contrast in each bite.
  • Optional Toppings: Customize your sliders with optional toppings like coleslaw for crunch, pickles for tang, or caramelized onions for sweetness, allowing you to tailor each slider to your liking.

How To Make Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Making Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders is a straightforward process that delivers delicious, party-worthy treats in no time. Here’s how to whip up these savory, cheesy sliders:

How To Make Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Lay down your bottom roll into a baking pan. Spread the Pulled Pork (about 3 tablespoons) onto the slider bun.

Making Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders is a straightforward process that delivers delicious, party-worthy treats in no time. Here's how to whip up these savory, cheesy sliders:

Add the cheese on top of the BBQ Meat.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Add the top roll, and then brush with the butter mixture. Set the pan into the air fryer at 300 degrees F for 5-7 minutes. Remove when the cheese starts to melt and the buns turn golden brown.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Recipe Variations

Air Fryer Pork Sliders offer a delicious foundation that’s ripe for customization. Whether you’re looking to switch up the flavors or add a unique twist, here are several recipe variations to keep your meals exciting and flavorful:

  • Hawaiian Pork Sliders: Swap out the regular slider buns for sweet Hawaiian rolls. Top the BBQ pork with a slice of pineapple and a slice of Swiss cheese for a sweet and savory combination that’s irresistibly tropical.
  • Spicy Pork Sliders: Kick up the heat by mixing some chopped jalapeños into your BBQ pork mixture or adding a spicy BBQ sauce. Top with pepper jack cheese for an extra layer of spice and creaminess.
  • Asian-Inspired Pork Sliders: Mix your pulled pork with a hoisin-based sauce or a Korean BBQ sauce for an Asian twist. Add a quick slaw made from cabbage, carrots, and a light vinaigrette on top for crunch and brightness.
  • Tex-Mex Pork Sliders: Incorporate some Tex-Mex flavors by adding a small amount of taco seasoning to your BBQ pork. Serve with avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cilantro for a fusion of flavors.
  • Smoked Gouda and Apple Pork Sliders: Combine the savory taste of BBQ pork with the sharpness of smoked gouda and the sweetness of thinly sliced apples. This combination offers a sophisticated flavor profile that’s both unique and satisfying.
  • Pulled Pork ‘n Slaw Sliders: Top your BBQ pork with a homemade coleslaw. Mix cabbage with a mayo or vinegar-based dressing for a tangy contrast to the sweet and savory pork.
  • Bourbon Peach BBQ Pork Sliders: Enhance your BBQ sauce with a splash of bourbon and some peach preserves for a sweet, smoky, and slightly boozy sauce that complements the pork beautifully.
  • Italian Pork Sliders: Mix the pulled pork with a marinara sauce instead of BBQ sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and a basil leaf. This variation brings Italian flair to the classic slider.
  • Cheesy Mushroom Pork Sliders: Sauté mushrooms and onions, then layer them on top of the BBQ pork, followed by a generous slice of provolone or Swiss cheese for a rich and umami-packed slider.
  • Breakfast Pork Sliders: Transform the sliders into a breakfast treat by adding a fried egg on top of the BBQ pork, with a slice of cheddar cheese, making it a hearty start to the day.

These variations on Air Fryer Pork Sliders demonstrate the versatility of this dish, allowing you to explore a wide range of flavors and ingredients. Feel free to get creative and tailor your sliders to suit any occasion or palate preference.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Pro Tips

Creating the ultimate Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders involves a blend of technique, timing, and ingredient selection to elevate this classic dish. Here are some pro tips to ensure your sliders are a hit every time:

  • Select Quality Pork: Start with high-quality pork. Slow-cooked, tender pulled pork is the foundation of this dish. If you’re making the pork from scratch, consider using a shoulder cut for its fat content and flavor.
  • Sauce Matters: Choose a BBQ sauce that suits your taste preference. Whether you prefer a sweet, tangy, spicy, or smoky BBQ sauce, the right sauce can significantly enhance the flavor of your pork sliders.
  • Cheese Choices: While the recipe may suggest specific types of cheese, don’t hesitate to experiment with others. Consider the flavor profile of your BBQ sauce and pork when selecting cheese. Smoked cheeses can add a nice depth to the sliders.
  • Bun Selection: Soft, fresh slider buns are crucial. Hawaiian rolls offer a sweet contrast to the savory pork, but any small, soft bun will work. Lightly toasting the buns in the air fryer before assembling can add a delightful crunch.
  • Don’t Overstuff: While it’s tempting to load up each slider with a generous amount of pork and toppings, avoid overstuffing to ensure the sliders are easy to eat and don’t fall apart.
  • Balanced Toppings: If adding toppings like coleslaw, pickles, or caramelized onions, aim for a balance of flavors and textures. A little crunch from the slaw or acidity from the pickles can elevate the sliders from good to great.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer for the best results. A preheated air fryer ensures the sliders start cooking immediately and helps achieve a uniform texture.
  • Cook in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking and crispiness. Cook in batches if necessary, keeping the first batch warm while the second batch cooks.
  • Watch the Cooking Time: Keep a close eye on the sliders as they cook to prevent the buns from burning. Air fryer models can vary in how quickly they cook, so adjust the time as needed.
  • Rest Before Serving: Let the sliders rest for a couple of minutes after cooking. This brief rest period allows the cheese to melt perfectly and the flavors to meld, making for a better eating experience.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the sliders immediately while they’re still warm and the cheese is melted for the best taste and texture. Consider serving with extra BBQ sauce on the side for dipping.
  • Cleanup Tip: To make cleanup easier, place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil in the bottom of the air fryer basket. Just make sure it doesn’t cover all the vents to allow for proper air circulation.

Following these pro tips will help you master the art of making Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders, ensuring each batch is as delicious as the last. Enjoy crafting this crowd-pleasing favorite with confidence and creativity.

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders


Can I use store-bought pulled pork for these sliders? Absolutely! Store-bought pulled pork is a convenient option that saves time. Just ensure it’s of good quality and enhance it with your favorite BBQ sauce for added flavor.

What’s the best BBQ sauce to use? The best BBQ sauce depends on your personal taste preferences. Whether you like it sweet, tangy, spicy, or smoky, choose a sauce that complements the pulled pork well. You might even consider mixing two different sauces for a unique flavor.

How do I prevent the sliders from becoming soggy? To prevent soggy sliders, avoid adding too much sauce to the pork, and don’t assemble the sliders too far in advance of serving. Toasting the buns in the air fryer before assembling can also help.

Can I make the sliders ahead of time? While the pulled pork can be prepared ahead of time, it’s best to assemble and air fry the sliders just before serving to maintain the best texture and ensure the buns are crispy and the cheese is melted.

What type of cheese works best? Cheeses that melt well and complement the flavor of BBQ pork are ideal. Cheddar, Gouda, Provolone, and Swiss are all excellent choices. Feel free to experiment with different types to find your favorite.

How do I keep the cheese from melting out of the sliders in the air fryer? Place the cheese slice directly on top of the warm pulled pork on the bun, which will help it start melting slightly before it goes into the air fryer. Cooking at the right temperature and for the correct duration should melt the cheese without it oozing out.

Can I add other toppings to the sliders? Definitely! Feel free to add coleslaw, pickles, caramelized onions, or even a slice of bacon to your sliders for extra flavor and texture. Just be mindful not to overstuff them.

How many sliders can I cook at once in the air fryer? The number of sliders you can cook at once depends on the size of your air fryer basket. Arrange them in a single layer without touching to ensure even cooking and airflow. You may need to cook in batches for larger quantities.

Is it necessary to flip the sliders while they’re cooking in the air fryer? It’s not usually necessary to flip the sliders, as the air fryer cooks them evenly from all sides. However, if you notice uneven browning, you can flip them halfway through.

What’s the best way to serve these sliders? Serve the sliders hot, directly after air frying for the best experience. They’re great on their own or with a side of extra BBQ sauce for dipping, and perhaps some crispy fries or a fresh salad.

How do I store and reheat leftovers? Store leftover sliders in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat them in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes until warmed through and crispy again. Microwave reheating is not recommended as it can make the buns soggy.

pull pork sliders

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Equipment Used:


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Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Air Fryer Cheesy BBQ Pork Sliders are easy, and they made a mean lunch for my kids. These easy Pork Sliders were a perfect combination of the Instant Pot and Air Fryer.


  • 1 package King Hawaiian Slider Buns
  • 3 cups Shredded BBQ Pulled Pork
  • 8 slices Provolone Cheese
  • 4 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds


  • Lay down your bottom roll into a baking pan. Spreading the Pulled Pork (about 3 tablespoons) onto the slider bun.
  • Add the cheese on top of the BBQ Meat.
  • Add the top roll, and then brush with the butter mixture. Set the pan into the air fryer at 300 degrees F for 5-7 minutes. Remove when the cheese starts to melt and the buns turn golden brown.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


  • Air Fryer
  • Cooking Spray
  • Parchment Paper, optional


Make the butter mixture: mix the melted butter with the Worchesthires sauce, onion flakes, and poppy seeds.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 32gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 1386mgPotassium: 91mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 727IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 393mgIron: 2mg

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