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Recipe: How To Make Perfect Pork Crackling

by Suz on February 5, 2013 · 4 comments

in Cooking, Fat, Food, Recipe

I love Pork Crackling (which you may know as Pork Rinds or Pork Scratchings, depending on where you’re from). But it’s often a disappointment, either soft and underdone, or burn and completely wasted! But when it’s crunch and crackly, it is so good.

Pork crackling is obviously mainly fat, which makes it the perfect Paleo snack. Just a small amount is extremely satiating, so you can easily cook enough to last for many servings. Whilst you can buy them, one look at the ingredients (not to mention the uncertainty about the quality of the pork used) will probably tell you to get in the kitchen and make your own!

I’ve been trying to work out the best way to get perfect Pork crackling, which I’ll share with you below.
Firstly with Pork, perhaps more so than any other meat, quality really counts. I always go for Pasture Raised* pork and am careful to buy the best quality I can. If I could only buy one type of meat organic and pasture raised, without doubt I would choose pork.

You can use a few different cuts, blade or a roasting joint work well, but my favourite is Pork belly.

Primal Pork Crackling Recipe Cook

How To Make Perfect Pork Crackling:

Dry the skin thoroughly (use a paper towel).

With a sharp knife, score the skin, leaving the cuts about a finger width apart. Go for either diagonal stripes, or make a diamond pattern. Make sure you score through the skin, but not through to the meat.

This might sound odd, but pour boiling water over the skin – and don’t panic about the fact it doesn’t make it look good.

Dry the skin thoroughly once more, then rub sea salt into it (I tend to use Himalayan or Celtic sea salt). Make sure the salt gets right through, into the cracks. Some people add oil here, but I’ve had great results without, so don’t.

If you can, leave the salted pork in the fridge overnight.

When ready to cook, add more salt to the skin and cook in a very hot oven for about 15 minutes per kilo. I start at 180C, the in the last 15 minutes of cooking, turn the oven up to about 240C.

Please share your tips below, I know almost everyone seems to have a slightly technique.

*Pigs will tend to eat lots of different foods – not just grass, which is why grass-fed isn’t a term used to refer to pork and other pig related products. “Pasture raised” means they’ve been raised to eat their natural diet, which may include whatever they find as they roam about the pasture – grass, bugs, corn, fruit, veggies, weeds etc.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay Kay February 7, 2013 at 10:11 am

Oh thanks for this, I am going to have a lovely Sunday roast and have a go with this.
So far I have never managed to get crackling and I have tried a few times.

Reply

Suz February 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Good luck!

Reply

RR November 13, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I haven’t tried the boiling water part – what is the advantage of this? I might give it a try.

I however have consistent results with drying the skin, oiling and heavily salting, and cooking hot to start with, then cooler – I always use maximum temperature to begin with, then as soon as you’ve got the skin blistering all over, you can turn the oven right down and slowly cook the pork to tender perfection.

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Lee December 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi would love to try this recipe, The method that you pour boiling water over first seems great but if I was leaving it in the fridge overnight already salted would I pour the boiling water before I put it in the fridge overnight or the next morning before I am going to cook it and then re pat dry and salt again. Please help.

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