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Jan 4, 2013 08:05 PM

Need Killer Cracklin' Pork Roast Recipe

Hi, All:

I've got the Jones for a small-to-medium skin-on pork roast recipe with an emphasis on scored cracklin's.

This is a deepest-soul request, because my mom made one of these that I would do wicked, wicked things for, yet I missed asking her to teach me before she passed over. Visualize a small, wonder-struck boy, picking and crunching at the scored surface squares, and guiltlessly sucking the sub-Q fat. Now a 55-y/o Diogenes, with some sweet parsnips and heirloom apples to fry (and an on-call cardiologist)...

Bring it, I beg...


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  1. This is to die for (literally). The first one I made had a lot of fat on it, absolutely amazing. I have made it with smaller roasts for less time. I think apples and sweet parsnips would make a lovely accompaniement to it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

      I love the idea that a six pound roast makes six servings!

      1. re: mwhitmore

        lol, yes. The fist time I made it four of us polished it off. I think it reduces significantly because the fat cooks out.

      2. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

        Made for dinner last night and it was divine; thank you so much!

        I used it with the ultra crispy skin method from Serious Eats from downthread and that was a very nice finish.

        Yum Yum Yum

      3. That absolutely most important thing to do is make sure your skin is dry dry dry dry. Towel it, score it, salt it. You're on your way to cracklin' heaven.

        1. Jeff Smith has a great Chinese-style pork belly recipe w/crackling crisp skin in one of his cookbooks, Three Ancient Cuisines? If this sounds like it might work for you, let me know and I'll dig further.

          1. My tried and true recipe from Saveur Magazine


            The following is (rinkatink888's) recipe I intend to try next time I do Pork Belly.



            Hi fourunder:

            Recipe follows below.

            As I said earlier, the “crackling” pork belly is labor intensive.

            A background to this recipe. My husband’s cousin came for a visit a couple of years ago and her husband brought with him a slab of pork belly. She claimed his version of the pork belly is better than any BBQ Roast pork than you can buy at any Chinese BBQ place. I tried it and was so good that I had to have the recipe, but the recipe was in his head and he didn’t speak any English and although I spoke his language, I couldn’t write Chinese. So I was trying to convert and wrote down what he was saying from Chinese into English with the proper measurements and after some trial and errors, I believe I finally came up with this great version.


            A slab of pork belly – roughly about 8-10 inches square and about 1½ to 2 inches thick.
            Sharp object to poke holes into the skin, i.e., sharp knife, fork, etc. (I finally invested in a meat tenderizer blade
            )Baking Soda
            6 Tbs Sugar
            2 Tbs Salt
            Char Sui BBQ Sauce (I make my own (but that’s another recipe) – but you can purchase a store bought version)
            Chinese Five-Spice
            Half-Size Baking Sheet with cooling rack
            Chef torch (crème brulee torch)


            Combined the sugar and salt.

            Rinse and dry the pork belly thoroughly.

            Take the pork belly and poke holes evenly throughout the entire surface on both sides (meat tenderizer works the best).

            Layer the baking sheet with towels (or cloth) and put the cooling rack on top of the sheet (moisture from the pork belly will drench the towels). Lay the pork belly, skin side down on the rack.
            Spread the sugar/salt mixture evenly onto the meat side of the belly, cover loosely with plastic wrap (Glad Press n’ Seal works best) and put in the “coldest” part of the refrigerator for 48 hours.

            Take the pork belly out of the refrigerator and rinse thoroughly with hot water for at least ten minutes, pressing the pork belly constantly during the rinse (if you don’t the belly will be too salty).

            Lay the pork belly back on the rack, this time skin side up (leave it wet). Spread a good portion of baking soda on the skin until it is thoroughly coated and put back in the coldest part of the refrigerator for another 24 hours.

            After 24 hours, take out and rinse again thoroughly. Pat dry, put belly back on rack, skin side down and brush with the char sui sauce with a sprinkle of 5-spice sauce stirred into the char-sui sauce. Put back in refrigerator for at least a minimum of another 4 hours to marinate.

            Turn oven to 350⁰.

            Take pork belly out, set aside, remove and clean baking sheet and cooling rack and line with aluminum foil (if you don’t want to spend your time scrubbing the stuff off the sheet afterwards) and put the pork belly back on rack, skin side up and bake in oven for about an hour (until skin become brown, crispy and tiny bubbles starts to form.

            Most of the time I can’t get all the skin to form the bubbles, so, I have invested in a chef torch to finish it off after I take it out of the oven.

            Cut into small bit size pieces and enjoy!!

            Hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor. We do, and if you have any questions, let me know.

            Good luck!!

            1. Hi all - piggy backing (pun intended) on this thread; if I have a 10.5 pound pork roast waiting in the 'fridge ready to be cooked, can anyone please give me correct cooking temperatures and times for such a big honkin' piece of meat?

              Thank you all!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tehama

                Get a meat thermometer with a probe, use it. Take the roast out when it's ready(I like 145-150 but I'm not afraid of pink pork. Most people will tell you to go 160). I generally cook pork roasts at around 350-375 or so.

                Temperature and time per pound methods of cooking produce inconsistent results which is why we don't use them anymore. Those "charts" printed up on the old stoves and ovens are completely useless.

                Also remember when you pull it, that it will continue to cook and rise by 5-10 degrees depending upon the thickness of the roast.

                1. re: Tehama

                  To get a proper response, you need to provide the type of roast you have to get the best final temperature for the specific piece of meat you have...

                  Fresh Ham... 160-165
                  Picnic Shoulder....190-200+......Slice able at 170

                  Regardless of cut....I sow roast no higher than at 225* The temperature you select to roast at will determine approximately how long it will take to finish.