How to Cook Pork with Crispy Crackling

So many supermarkets sell pork joints without the skin - Why?  I've no idea as pork just isn't the same without it.  Pork can be quite dry if cooked wrongly and the nice bit of fat with the skin is, in my opinion, needed to keep the pork succulent.  Perfect crispy crackling is so very easy to do. 

Pork Crackling

The vegetables act as a trivet and they don't all need to go to waste - you can make a nice gravy with them.
You need a baking dish just a bit larger than the joint.  Throw in some vegetables such as carrots and onions to bring the joint up higher in the pan.  Don't lay the pork skin side down or it will never ever go crispy.  

Cooking Pork

Remove all packaging (if any) from the pork joint but leave the string on.  Now, 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 and a little black pepper if you wish.

Leave the joint to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking - this is necessary or you'll mess up the cooking times.

It's vital that your oven is pre-heated 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 helps crisp up the crackling).

Cook for 30 minutes per 500g plus an extra 30 minutes

You really should have a Meat Thermometer to be sure your meat is cooked through.  If you haven't got one you must be buying one today!

There are two varieties available - one you insert in the thickest part of the raw joint and leaving in inserted in the joint, cook until the desired internal temperature is reached.
The kind that I prefer the digital kind that's inserted into the cooked joint after roasting.


Recommended temperatures for cooking pork are:
Medium 70C (it must maintain this temperature for two minutes)
If you really must have your pork well done then you need it to reach 80C (it must maintain this temperature for 30 seconds)

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


  1. Now that really does look like perfect crackling! I find it can be a hit or a miss - sometimes I have beautiful crackling and other times it's rubbery and disappointing.

  2. ooo I love at bit of crackling!! great tips Jan

  3. Just look at that crackling!

  4. I hope those that eat at your table realize what an honour it is!

  5. Some people leave it unwrapped in the fridge for a couple of hours to dry out the skin - helps the crackling crackle.

    @Nicola - depends sometimes on what else you've got in the oven. If you've got a full oven - roast pots/ veg etc creates too much steam - no good for crackling. All is not lost though. If it hasn't crisped up you can trim off the crackling while the pork is resting, snip it up (the crackling), put it on a baking tray and put under the grill to crisp up, or the real kitchen cowboy trick - flash it in the microwave for a few seconds and watch it crackle like popcorn.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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