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.
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.