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How to make roast pork crackling

Christmas means roast pork with plenty of crispy crackling to go around. Try our easy recipe and tips to make it your best one yet.

Remove the excess moisture from the rind

1. Dry it out

Moisture stops the rind from crackling. Pat the rind dry with paper towel, then chill the pork in the fridge, uncovered, overnight. This removes excess moisture from the rind and really dries it out before roasting.

Use a small sharp knife to score the rind

2. Score the rind

Scoring the rind allows the oven’s heat to penetrate the fat. Use a small sharp knife to score the rind and a little bit of the fat crossways and at even intervals, 3-5mm apart. Don’t cut through the meat.

Pour olive oil over the rind

3. Massage with oil

Adding oil helps the rind to heat up quickly in the oven so that it blisters and crackles. Pour or brush olive oil over the rind and massage it into the skin and score marks.

Rub a generous amount of salt all over the rind

4. Rub in some salt

Salt will help to draw out the moisture and allow your rind to crackle. Use a generous amount, rubbing it all over the rind and into the score marks. Set aside for 5 minutes to draw out any moisture.

Set the oven temperature at 230°C

5. Preheat the oven 

Make sure the oven reaches 230°C before you add the pork. The rind needs a blast of high heat to blister and crackle, but roasting too long at high temperatures can dry out the meat.

The rind become crispy

6. Cook to perfection 

Once the rind is crisp, reduce the oven temperature so the pork stays tender as it cooks. If the crackling still isn’t quite right at the end of cooking time, remove it from the meat and pop it under the grill. 

Carve through the crackling crossways using a sharp, serrated knife. Or try this trick - remove the crackling from pork in one piece, then turn it upside down before cutting into thin strips.