Ever cooked a pork roast and excitedly awaited golden, crispy crackling only to be met with rubbery, soft pork skin? It’s a common occurrence for home cooks, but we’re hoping to put a stop to it. Here are 4 steps to help you cook pork crackling to perfection:
- Pork roast
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 220ºC. Fill the kettle and bring it to the boil. Place the roast on a rack in your sink and pour the boiling water over it.
- Using paper towel, thoroughly dry the pork. Using a very sharp knife (many chefs recommend using a Stanley knife), score the skin and the fat without cutting into the meat. If you cut the meat, juice will seep out of the roast during cooking and prevent the skin from drying out. Rub the meat liberally with sea salt, making sure that it gets into the slits you have made. Drizzle the roast with a little oil and some lemon juice (lemon helps to conduct the heat of the oven to the skin).
- Place the pork on a rack in a roasting dish. Put it in the oven at 220ºC until the crackling is crispy (keep a close eye on it) and then reduce the heat to 160ºC until the meat is cooked. Cooking time will depend on the size of your roast – we recommend that you use a meat thermometer and temperature guide to know when your roast is done.
- Remove the pork from the oven and let it stand for 20 minutes. Don’t cover the roast with foil, as this will trap steam and the crackling will lose its crunch!
- For extra-crispy crackling, leave the pork uncovered in the fridge the night before cooking
- If, once your roast has finished cooking, your crackling is still not as crispy as you would like it, place it under the grill. To avoid burning the crackling, place the pork on the lowest shelf of the oven and leave the door open as it grills.
And that’s it!
Want to expand your pork knowledge further? Check out Pork Cuts 101 and Tips for Pork and Wine Pairing.
The information in this post is adapted from Best Recipes.