Perfect pork

crackling h

My name is Jan Bennett; I write the food blog 'A Glug of Oil' and I love cooking, eating and thinking about food all day!

Many people ask the secret to perfect crispy crackling.  They say that for them, sometimes it turns out good and sometimes not so good.  It's really easy, but of course you must have a pork joint with the skin on.  Pork sold without the skin won’t go crispy.

How to cook pork with perfect crackling:

You will need a roasting dish just a bit larger than the joint. 

Roughly chop some vegetables such as carrots, celery and onions and pop them into the roasting dish.  This will bring the joint up higher in the pan.   The vegetables will act as a trivet for the pork to sit on and you can make gravy with them after the joint is cooked.

Remove all packaging (if any) from the pork joint but leave the string on.  Now if the skin isn't scored already, using a very sharp knife, score the skin in even spaces of about 8mm apart.

Dry the skin with kitchen paper and rub the skin of the joint with a little sea salt.  Leave the joint to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

When you’re ready to cook:

Lay the pork joint pork skin side up on top of the chopped vegetables.

It is also vital that your oven is preheated first:  Pork needs to be cooked at a medium heat 180C/350F/Gas 4 for the first half of cooking.

Then increase the temperature to 200C/400F/Gas 6 for the second half of cooking (this will crisp up the crackling).

Cook for 30 minutes per 500g plus an extra 30 minutes, but check the instructions on pack to confirm these times.

You could also use a meat thermometer to check your meat is cooked through if you have one.

There are two varieties available - one you insert in the thickest part of the raw joint and leave it inserted while you cook the joint until the desired internal temperature is reached.

I prefer to use a digital thermometer which is inserted into the cooked joint after roasting.

Recommended temperatures for cooking a pork joint are:

Medium 70C (it must maintain this temperature for two minutes)

However, if you want your pork well done then you need it to reach 80C (it must maintain this temperature for 30 seconds)

Remember to always take the temperature from the centre of the meat.

You can remove the crackling with a sharp knife and set aside.  Wrap the joint in kitchen foil and leave the joint to rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

Perfect cracking every time!

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