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Perfect crackling guaranteed every time

Perfect crackling guaranteed every time

There aren’t many dishes more impressive than serving crispy, crunchy and light pork crackling on top of beautifully cooked pork. There are a million opinions on how to achieve this, from family secret recipes to top chef tips. Having tried most of them we can finally reveal the TOP TWO WAYS to guarantee the perfect crackling.

Perfect crackling guaranteed every time (two ways)

Total preparation and cooking time: 2 hours (average)

Serves: 4-8 (depending on your choice of pork)

Choose whoever you like depending on what you would like to serve. Here they are:

1. From Marco Pierre White:


  • A large piece of pork belly (1kg or more gives the best result)
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Salt


  1. Heat oven to 160ºC
  2. Cover skin side in Sunflower oil (approx. 2-3 tbsp)
  3. Season with salt (not a lot, juts a light season)
  4. Place on a rack above a baking dish – add a cup or so of water to the baking dish (why? So that the pork doesn’t dry and to catch the juices)
  5. Back for 1.5 to 2 hours or until it is cooked to perfection

2. Mother’s Method (perfected by Gordon Ramsay):


  • 1 large piece or pork shoulder (1kg or more)
  • Two small handfuls of salt
  • A half handful of fennel seeds


  1. Start pre-heating the oven to 220ºC
  2. If not done already, score the skin in a diamond grid pattern
  3. Apply a generous amount of salt (yes sea salt is the best and yes there can never bee too much)
  4. Rub the salt into all the crevices you cut. Spend a good amount of time doing this. When you are done, rub the fennel seeds into the cracks in the same way.
  5. Place in a baking dish, add a glass of water and let it bake.
  6. After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 160ºC and bake (the rule is 30 minutes for every 500gms)
  7. When the pork is cooked through, turn the oven back up to maximum to finish the crackling – keep your eye on this because it happens in less than 5-10 minutes!

Optional Gravy of Each Method

Pour the pan juices into a saucepan, add some honey, 2 star anise, handful of coriander seeds and a few sage leaves and reduce.’

Get ready for love!

Filed under: cooking, pork, recipe


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