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how do i get crispy pork skin?

  • m

inspired by some recent posts, i made a slow roasted pork shoulder today. roasted at about 250 for 8 hours--though i think it could have gone even longer.

the meat came out tender and delicious (pork shoulder has such tasty meat) the skin, however, came out tough. it was bronzed and looked like it should have been crisp and delicious, but instead it was tough and soft.

I tried to score it before cooking, but could only sort of make jabs with my knife because it was so tough.

so, for next time, how do i get that yummy crispy roast pork skin? and can i salvage this one? i cut the skin off and put it in the fridge. can i roast it by itself tomorrow at high heat to make it crisp?

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  1. Skin has to be scored and cooked at over 400 degrees for a while.

    1. Warm the skin slightly and scrape the excess fat off of the back of the skin. Then put it back in the oven at 350 F and let it roast until crisp. You have cracklings!Break it up while it is still slightly warm and then store in the fridge and add to cornbread etc.

      1. I agree with the other posters... 250 is great for the meat - but crisp skin does better 300+. Also, you really do need to score it. If your knife isn't sharp enough, try a serrated knife. Score it deeply - so it is into the fat - but not so deeply that you score into the muscle/meat.

        2 Replies
        1. re: adamclyde

          I never bother to score. I roast with skin on and when the meat is done, I remove the skin, scrape off the excess fat and put the skin back in the oven to crisp. Then break up and sprinkle on top of the sliced meat.

          1. re: MZG

            If you score the skin, you don't have to bother with that step. If the fat can't run out, it creates moistness/steam under the skin and the skin doesn't crisp. If it can be realeased, not only is that prevented, but also the fat running over the skin serves to intensify the heat and "fry" the skin.

        2. I blast mine at 425 convection at the end to get it a bit crispy, after I've poured the rendered fat over--quite tasty.

          (Agree at 250 degrees can go 8-10 hours--use therm and take out to rest at 190 degrees).

          P.S. There is a photo of my roast below at Pork Tales II.

          P.S.S. To reheat leftovers, bring (a chunk of the) roast to room temp, pour additional rendered pork fat over roast; cook on high heat until cooked through and crispy. Even better day 2!

          1. a tip i've heard from a few sources (who all make pork roasts with wonderful crackly skin) is to score and rub salt generously into the skin. then high heat to get it crispy.

            i have yet to try this myself--my kitchen doesn't have good enough ventilation for so much fat on such high heat!

            1. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

              try this approach, we just made it and it was delicious. roast at low heat (250 for 8 hours or 275 for six hours) and track cooking time with a thermometer. we went for a little cooler than many who like it ultra well done. remove the roast and raise the oven temp to 500. return the roast for ~5 minutes to crisp the fat and skin.

              to keep the meat moist: i) use a cut with FAT. ii) place the roast on a layer of onions and celery.


              1. One tip for scoring skin (credit to Alton Brown), is to use a clean box cutter blade. Take it out 2-clicks and score away - works great & you won't have to worry about cutting too deep.

                1 Reply
                1. re: freshlycured

                  Certainly the best type of product for scoring skin. I keep a Stanley knife just for that.

                2. You want 'broken glass' crispy pork skin?
                  Just liberally brush on some white wine vinegar then under the broiler..........after you've 'low and slow' roasted the pork of course. When you see the skin start to bubble under the broiler slide the pan out and brush on another coating. Do this a couple of times. The result is VERY crispy skin.

                  1. To score it, you need a VERY sharp knife. If you could only make jabs that indicates your knife wasn't sharp. A good super-sharp kitchen knife should be able to slice through it (and which is, BTW, a great test of the sharpness of your knife, useful when sharpening)

                    As noted, you need a hot oven. 225C/425F. Liberally salting beforehand also helps in achieving crispness.

                    I would NOT follow the advice below, though, to scrape the excess fat off the skin - it's the fat that promotes crispness, which is why you score it. You're essentially frying it in its own fat; the scoring makes sure the melting fat can flow upwards onto the skin. Removing the skin, and roasting by itself is fine and will work smashingly, it should be said, as long as you get all the fat with it, so try to cut it off as close to the meat as you can. However I fear that if you've slow-roasted much of the fat may already have melted away. If you want the skin to be even crisper you can turn it skin-side down in the roasting pan; and this applies equally to if you're roasting it with skin on. However removal from the pan at the end can be a problem unless you've already oiled the roasting pan. (or preferably used fat rendered from a previous pork roast to grease the pan)

                    For the future, you want the blast of heat to be at the beginning; proceed until the skin (crackling) is completely blistered (it will have a light colour) and then turn down as low as you want.