Easy Roast Crackling Pork


Pork crackling is one of the most delicious things to eat that I know of. When I was a kid, I was ambivalent about candy but I would fight you for every last bit of pork crackling. It is also one of the most popular things that I serve to my friends and family. When the pork crackles and crunch as you bite into it, that’s amore.

Anyway, my cousin-in-law and a few friends have been asking me to write down the technique, so here it is.


Easy Roast Crackling Pork

Roast pork is one of those basic things that everyone should know how to do well since it’s very easy to do and is remarkably delicious. There is only one secret to having crackling and that’s dry skin.

There are many methods to get dry skin, some people use a hair dryer but I find the easiest way to get dry skin is to simply wipe dry with paper towels; remember: the oven is one big drying machine. All that talk about using salt to dry out the skin is just so much mumbo-jumbo, you want Roast Pork not Salt-cured Pork.

This recipe is adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Every Day because it contains precise measurements and temperature which I’ve tested many times with great success. Do read the notes for more important information.

Ingredients: (serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side)

  • 1.5kg Pork (belly or loin)
  • 3 tbsp Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
  • 3 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 tsp Fennel seeds


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220° C.
  2. Crush the Coriander seeds, Dried Thyme and Fennel seeds lightly in a mortar.
  3. Dry the pork with paper towels and allow to temper.
  4. Using a clean utility knife, score the skin of the pork deeply without cutting into the flesh.
  5. Rub half the spice mix with salt and black pepper into the pork, making sure to get the spices into the gaps of the skin.
  6. Pour the remaining spice mix onto the tray and lay the pork on top.
  7. Cook the pork in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Lower the temperature of the oven to 150° C and cook for about 60-80 minutes to cook through.
  9. Finally, raise the oven temperature to 260° C or higher to get the crackling (about 5-8 minutes).
  10. Remove from oven and tray to rest the meat for at least 15 minutes.
  11. Remove the crackling and slice the pork. Serve the pork slices with crackling as a side.


  • In life, scoring is essential to success, more so in Roast Pork. The scoring is to allow the rendered “white fat” to flow out. You must cut the ends of the skin to allow the flow to drip onto the tray.
  • For a juicy roast pork, you should brine the pork the day before but remember to wipe dry the skin.
  • Test the doneness of the pork using a temperature probe or a fork (juices should run clear).
  • For the final 260-275° C “crackling up”, monitor the crackling at all times to prevent burning.
  • Under no circumstances should any liquid touch the skin at all times; it will kill the crackling.
  • Resist the urge to “baste the pork” with the drippings; it will kill the crackling and give you a hard chewy rind.
  • Remove the pork when you’re satisfied with the crackling. Be careful of spitting when the oil comes in contact with the cooler air when you open the oven door.
  • The pork drippings can be used to fry rice, wrap the leftover pork (not crackling) to keep it moist or save for roasting potatoes.




Posted on 23rd Apr 2012 in Food and Drink, Meat, Old School, Recipes


There Are 2 Comments


Sylvia commented on April 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

Thanks for this!

From your giraffe cousin-in-law (well, it was such a long wait)


Camemberu commented on April 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

Pork crackling is divine love! Must make soon…

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