four reasons why you’re not getting perfect crackling & how to get it right, every time

four reasons why you’re not getting perfect crackling & how to get it right, every time

Is your crackling a bit hit-and-miss?  Not getting perfect crackling every time?

Mine was too, until I had a crackling coaching session with a retired butcher.  Here are four reasons why you’re not getting perfect crackling and how to get it right, every time.perfect crackling fennel seeds

1. not enough surface area

The more opportunity you give the salt and heat to penetrate the pork rind, the better the result.  You can do this two ways

  1. score the rind.  Often your butcher will do this for you.  If he hasn’t a stanley knife is the best weapon for scoring the pork rind.  Make long widthways cuts about 1 cm apart.  The cuts should be deep, but not deep enough to reach the meat layer.
  2. scald the rind.  After the rind has been scored (by you or the butcher), pour boiling water directly onto the rind.  The heat from the boiling water will curl the rind and open the cracks for better heat penetration. Avoid pouring boiling water on the exposed meat, concentrate on the scored rind.     score and scald

2. not dry enough

Sounds counterintuitive that I just told you to pour water on the roast right?  Now that you’d made it wet, it’s important to dry it carefully.  Using paper towel, gently and thoroughly dry the pork.

3. not enough salt

Once the roast is dried, rub oil and salt into the rind.  Be generous with both.  Pay particular attention to getting the oil and salt into the score marks.  The salt reacting with the fat is what causes crackling to puff up and become crisp.  Leave the oil and salt ten minutes before roasting.  I like to whiz fennel seeds in the food processor and add them to the salt and oil.  Fennel gives the crackling a lovely aniseed flavour.  salt the crackling well

4. not hot enough

Heat is the key.  Start with a searing hot oven – 220ºC for twenty minutes.  Don’t be tempted to open the oven door to have a peek or add the veggies.  That first scorching is the secret to perfect crackling.  After twenty minutes, drop the temperature to 180ºC and cook your pork for 45 minutes per kilo.  The pork is cooked then the juices run clear.  If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 7oºC.  Allow the roast to rest before serving.  four reasons why you're not getting perfect crackling

If all else fails

If you’re arriving a bit late and your crackling is more old boots than fine swine follow these quick steps to save your crackling.

  1. Reheat the oven to 220ºC.
  2. Cut the crackling from the roast.  Cover the roast in foil and set it aside.
  3. Lay the crackling on a piece of foil and bung it in the very hot oven.  Watch it carefully.
  4. Your crackling should puff and crisp up.
  5. Serve it to the accolades of your adoring friends and family.perfect crackling every time

are you a roast pork fan? what’s your crackling technique?

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Comments

  1. 1
    Dawn Pereira says:

    The scalding did the trick for me . Read about it on an internet recipie and it works every time along with your other points.

  2. 2

    Thanks for the great tips. I’ll have to come back to this next time I’m making roast pork, my crackling is always a bit dodgy.

  3. 3

    I’ve never been able to perfect crackling. Must have another crack with your guidance! Thanks

  4. 4

    Although I am a veggie, I sometimes cook pork for my family roasts. I failed the crackling so these are some great tips for next time! Bec x

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