The Secrets to Perfect Pork Belly

There are a lot of techniques that make a pork belly successful. I recently cooked with for dinner with some friends and, I think, it turned out pretty well:

The result

In order to make a good roast pork belly, you want to ensure the meat is soft. That means slow cooking the meat for a long time. However, you also want a crisp skin. A crisp skin only works with a high temperature, but you have to balance out both of these aspects. Here are a couple of principles worth noting after doing some reading on the internet:

  • Dry the skin – There are many different ways of drying the skin. Scoring the skin helps more heat get in, and more fat to escape, leading to crisper skin. Salt naturally draws out moisture and will help. Some argue that oil is not needed. I tried a little bit figuring at high temperatures, it’s slightly like frying. Pouring freshly boiled water onto the skin “shocks” and helps draw out more moisture, if you then follow it up by leaving it in the fridge uncovered for a while.
  • Roast the skin at high temperature – I cooked the pork belly at high heat to start off with to start the skin drying out. I protected the rest of the meat from the heat by putting foil around everything but the skin. I then dropped the temperature, and then towards the end, raised it again.

Here’s a picture of the pork belly, skin sliced, having been drenched with boiling water and then rubbed with salt and left in the fridge to uncover. Before putting into the oven, I patted it down with kitchen paper, added more salt and a little bit of oil before putting it into a hot oven.

Pork Belly Resting in Fridge

Serve with some roasted vegetables and greens!

Roasted Vegetables

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