A Guide to cooking pork perfectly
IN THIS GUIDE
- Choosing your cut of Pork
- Cooking times for pork cuts
Want to know a thing or two about cooking pork? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article we will show you the best way to choose a cut of pork, and take you through the basics of cooking up your chosen cut. If you’re here looking for some tips on cooking pork, we have you covered. If you’re the webber guru, or the self proclaimed Crackling King, fear not. You might learn a thing or two as well.
CHOOSING YOUR CUT
Whether you are cooking for one, or cooking for the whole family, Pork is extremely versatile across a variety of occasions. However, whilst all cuts are quite easy to cook, some require different cooking times, methods and preparation to get the best tasting pork possible. Here are a few situations which might help out.
The Family Dinner
Have many mouths to feed and all Sunday to prepare? Well, sounds like a roast is definitely on the cards. Choosing a Leg, Shoulder, Loin, Belly or Rack might be the best. These are big cuts that require longer cooking times, drying out, or marinades that more patient chefs can handle. Choose a roast for when time is on your side.
The Fry Up
Is that new BBQ calling for you? Need a quick and easy meal that tastes delicious? Well frying up your cut of pork may be the best option for you. Whilst you can still take your time by applying marinades, BBQ or pan fried pork is a great option for when plating up is fast approaching. Loin Chops, Rib Eye Cutlets, Fillet and Pork Strips, are the best options for frying up on the BBQ or in a pan.
Low & Slow
Did you happen to invite 10 of your friends around for lunch, or to watch the Friday night game? Well, if how to feed them was the question, low & slow is the answer. Choosing a Leg, Shoulder, or Ribs is the way to their hearts. With a little prep work, you can set up one of these over slow cooking coals, or in a slow cooker overnight to produce a feast they will all talk about until the next time you invite them around on a whim.
COOKING YOUR CUT
Legs are best cooked whole, with the bone in to keep it moist. For crackling, score the rind every 1cm and lightly rub with olive oil and salt. Cook at 220°C for 20 minutes, then reduce oven to 180°C for 20 minutes per 500g. Without crackling, sear roast in a pan until browned, place on a rack in a roasting tray and cook at 180°C for 20 minutes per 500g. Measure the internal temperature periodically, once cooked, rest covered in foil for 10 minutes. Medium cooked pork should have an internal temperature of 65-70°C.
Pro Tips: For best crackling results, leave uncovered in your refrigerator overnight to dry out. Try pouring boiling water over the rind and pat dry before applying oil and salt.
Whilst there are many ways to cook a versatile pork shoulder (mince, fillet, diced), low and slow is the best way to prepare. Use a slow cooker on high for 6-8 hours for pulled pork, make sure to look at a specific recipe. Alternatively, double wrap in foil and place on a baking tray. Put it in the oven at 150°C and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Make sure to take care of your sides whilst it’s cooking away.
The loin chop is best pan roasted or grilled in a pan or on the BBQ. For best results, allow to come to room temperature before cooking. Coat meat in oil, and cook over medium heat to avoid drying out. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side. Rest meat on a warm plate for 2-4 minutes after cooking.
The belly is extremely versatile and tender when cooked properly. For best results, roast slowly and be sure to focus on the crackle. Score the rind at 1cm intervals and allow to dry out overnight, uncovered in the fridge. Place belly on a wire rack and place in the sink. Pour a jug of boiling water over the rind and pat dry thoroughly. Rub the rind with oil and salt liberally, allowing both to penetrate the scores. Cook at 240°C until the rind crackles, up to 50 minutes, and turn down to 180°C and cook for 25 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
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