The most perfect pork roast with crackling to hit your dinner table!
A weekend Pork roast is easy to cook with minimal steps, but to get a perfect, golden crackle makes it worth every minute waiting. The best cut is a boneless pork shoulder (or butt)… the end results are always tender and juicy on the inside, while a mouthwatering crackle cooks on the outside.
Crackling would have to be the most enjoyable part of a good piece of pork. That undeniable crispy, oily crunch filled with so much flavour is something we all look forward to after having a roast in the oven for hours. Especially as it fills your entire house with mouthwatering smells!
How to cook a pork roast
These are some tips and tricks we’ve learned through the years roasting many (and failing at many) crackling roasts.
- Don’t attempt to roast your pack straight out of its plastic wrapping. A lot of moisture gets retained in the rind underneath all of that plastic (or paper). It’s important to remove your roast first and thoroughly pat dry with paper towel.
- If you have time, leave the pork in the refrigerator UNCOVERED for at least 1 hour. We find the best crackling happens when we leave ours overnight to completely dry out the rind.
- Score the rind at 1-inch intervals, being careful not to cut into the meat.
How do i get good at crackling?
- Rub the rind with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and one tablespoon of COARSE SEA SALT (you can use more if you like your crackling on the salty side). Rub it in really well.
- Season the meat (underside of the pork) with 1 teaspoon salt and another 2 tablespoons olive oil.
How long does it take to roast pork?
To get that crackle you see in the images, we first blast it with high heat for 45-50 minutes. The crackle will bubble and crackle up in that time. The heat is then reduced to allow time to cook the meat underneath (about an hour depending on how well done you prefer your pork. We like ours at exactly one hour).
After that, we blast it again for an additional 10 minutes to get it the same golden colour you see here.
We don’t use a wire rack to roast our pork because we prefer the juices of the meat to absorb back into the pork while roasting for juicier, tender and flavourful meat.
Because this Pork Roast recipe is done in less than 2 hours total cooking time, you don’t end up with the whole roast being pull apart meat.
However, the meat around the outer sides is fall-apart tender with crispy charred edges, while all of the pan juices re-absorb back into the meat for even MORE flavour.
how to serve roast pork
Let it rest for a good 10-15 minutes so all of those juices stay in the meat before carving. The longer you wait the juicier the meat. The crackle doesn’t go soft while resting.
Most people tell you to tent it with foil while resting, but I’ve never done this and don’t plan to. After seeing the crackling so perfect, I go into protective mode. Nobody > touches > the crackling.
After you’ve pulled off all of the crackling to get to the meat (it took all kinds of restraint to keep it in place for these photos I tell you), you can slice it and serve it up drizzled with pan juices and some cracking on the side.
- 4 pound (2 kg) boneless pork shoulder or butt, rind on
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Remove all plastic wrap from the pork. Lay it out flat in a tray, rind-side up and uncovered. Allow to dry completely in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight if time allows.
- Remove pork from the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before roasting to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 460°F (240°C).
- Use a sharp knife to score the rind in 1-inch intervals. Thoroughly pat the skin dry with paper towels.
- Turn pork skin-side down. Rub garlic powder and about 1 teaspoon of salt into the meat underneath. Drizzle the olive oil over the pork rind and the meat, rubbing it in with your fingers for best results (if you need more oil, add more). Season the rind with a generous amount of sea salt (about 1 tablespoon).
- Transfer pork to a roasting dish and roast for 50 minutes, or until the rind crackles. Reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue roasting for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, depending on how well done you like your roast.
- Increase the oven temperature back up to 440°F (230°C). Roast for 10 minutes until the rind has turned into an amazing golden crackling and the pork is cooked through. (To check if the pork is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the meat with a knife. If the juices run clear, the pork is cooked. Alternatively, pork is cooked when the thermometer shows 160°F (71°C).
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
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