the guide to perfect pork crackling
When you wait all week for your Sunday roast, there is nothing worse than preparing for golden, crispy pork crackling and getting soft and rubbery pork rind. Well, thanks to this article, your chewy pork days are over. Stay tuned for our best secrets to the perfect pork crackling, sure to take your Sunday roasts to the next level.
Simply, crackling is pork rind, which is the skin that sits on top of a layer of fat and meat. If you follow our simple steps, you can transform this layer of skin into the golden, crackling goodness that will likely not even make it to the plate.
Let's get crackling.
BONeless is best
When it comes to a roast, you want as little waste as possible, which is why it's best to choose a boneless cut. Rolled loin and belly are our top picks for an easy to cook and carve roast.
As with other proteins, different cuts of pork will produce slightly different flavors. The loin is sweetest and leanest, however just be careful of overdoing it. With the highest fat to meat ratio, pork belly has become very popular in cooking, mainly because it's delicious and versatile.
We have a whole guide on choosing the right cut for you, feel free to go check it out after you have mastered your crackle.
KEEP THE SCORE HIGH
If you want your neighbors to hear the crunch of your crackling, then scoring the rind with a sharp knife is where you will start. Luckily, most butchers and producers will handle this part for you given they have much, much sharper knives than you.
If you find yourself needing to DIY, choose the sharpest cutting utensil you have, usually a Stanley knife, and score at 1cm intervals. Make sure not to cut into the meat, just the fat layer.
SALT, SALt and more salt
Ensure the rind is as dry as possible.
The first thing you want to do is pat down your roast with paper towel, to get it as dry as possible. If possible, leave uncovered in the fridge overnight to dry out even further. This will get you the crackle you seek.
Next, rub oil and a whole lot of salt into the scored skin, really working it into the slits of the score marks. This is really important, the salt will react with the fat layer of the roast, and cause the rind to puff up and create that nice crackling texture.
Smack it with high heat
Finally, start really hot and the reduce. We recommend between 220C and 240C for 20 - 30 minutes, followed by a reduction to between 160C and 180C.
Pork meat is best when it is just on the verge of being white. Be guided by your recipe, but also keep a close eye on your meat.
Use a meat thermometer for perfectly cooked pork and always rest for at least 20 minutes.
Now go forth and crackle!
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