A crispy and puffed skin is the main attraction in roast pork dishes such as Chinese Roast Pork, German Schweinshaxe or Italian Porchetta. Many recipes will say to score the skin in a lattice pattern, but I find that this just creates flat "scales" that are crispy but lack volume. Pricking the skin several times with the tip of the knife will give you a better result, but I find it to be more labour intensive and very prone to accidentally pricking too far and hitting the meat. So what's the secret then? Two things are needed to get that perfect crackling. Firstly, the skin needs to be as dry as possible and we'll achieve this with salt and a neutral alcohol. Secondly, get yourself the meat tenderizer tool below.Professional Meat Tenderizer
Honestly, I've never tried tenderizing meat with this tool before. I've only used it exclusively to prick pork skin and I have to say, it's actually quite therapeutic. You're pretty much stamping these prongs into the pork skin as many times as you can. And the holes are so tiny, you can only see them if you look closely.
How to Get the Perfect Pork Crackling
- Step 1
Place the pork, skin side up, on a sturdy cutting board, ensuring that it won't slip. Using the meat tenderizer tool, stamp the skin with it several times ensuring full coverage of all of the skin.
- Step 2
Drench some paper towel with vodka or rum and wipe the entire skin with it. Using a dry paper towel, wipe the skin dry. Sprinkle the top of the skin with some coarse salt.
- Step 3
Keeping the skin side up, place the pork on a tray and place it in the fridge without covering it. Leave overnight to allow the skin to dry.
- Step 4
Remove from fridge and brush off all of the salt. Wipe the moisture of the skin off with a clean paper towel. Your pork is now ready.