Have you heard of those fancy names like crunchy, crispy, and others of the same caliber? Do popcorns come into your mind? There is another one- crackling! If you are a pork lover, you might have come across this name. There is nothing more satisfying and amazing than having those pork cracklings at your favorite pork joint. What if you can make them at home? Making pork cracklings is easy. However, you must know how to go about it to make the perfect ones. This article will narrow down for you the basic steps of making the perfect pork crackling.
Choosing the Pork
The whole process starts with choosing the right cut. When buying your pork, you can pick the leg, loin, belly, or shoulder. Whichever part you choose, make sure you pick the joints with a perfect fat layer beneath the flesh to ensure you get the best cracklings. You can choose scored cuts or do it yourself. Here, you will need a sharp knife for scoring.
Drying the Pork Belly
Your pork should be as dry as it can be. Therefore, you can leave it open for some hours or overnight before preparing it. If you don’t have time for this, a pork belly butcher will advise you to make sure you use paper towels to ensure the pork is dry. Dampness is a big enemy of cracklings. This is a very important step that will determine how perfect your crackling will be.
Marinating and Seasoning
If you need to add spices, make sure you do this before you put the pork in the oven. The spices you add are subjective to preference. so, choose what you like most. Salt is an important element. It will add flavor and absorb the moisture remaining. Therefore, seasoning your pork with the salt of your choice minutes before roasting. Use your preferred oil to ensure the salt sticks on the meat.
Cooking the Pork
The amount of heat you use is another important thing to getting crispy cracklings. Pre-heat your oven to about 230C and let the pork roast for about 20 minutes. At this stage, your meat may have crackled to about 75%. Remember to keep an eye on your meat not to burn it. After this, you can now reduce the heat to about 180C and watch the rest of the cooking. If your pork hasn’t crackled at this point, don’t get frustrated. You can cut away the skin and repeat the process.
Reasons Why your Crackling is not Perfect
So, was your crackling a miss? There are several reasons why you couldn’t get it right:
- Wet Meat. As mentioned above, wetness is one major thing that will spoil your game. Before roasting, you must ensure your meat is all dry. Use paper towels to thoroughly dry your pork.
- Less Salt. You probably did not put enough salt. After drying up your roast, be generous with the oil and salt. Concentrate mostly on the score marks and leave it for about 12 minutes before putting it in the oven.
- Less Heat. Heat is the key element to perfect crackling. If you put less heat or keep opening your oven for a peep in, this might be the wrong move. Put enough heat as described above to allow the pork to roast well.
- Not Enough Space. If your meat is congested, the salt and heat will not penetrate well. You need to score it well to provide enough space.
Making pork crackling is a walk in the park. You only need to follow the right procedure for you to make the perfect and crispy crackling. Then, sit down and enjoy!