Roast pork makes a truly delicious meal for any time of the year. A great pork roast would not be the same without a mouth-watering accompaniment of crackling, which is sure to satisfy you and your loved ones. Crackling is made from the skin of the pork, and can be tricky to create if you don’t know the right techniques! We want you all to enjoy roast pork with crackling cooked to perfection, which is why we are here to ensure you know what to do when it comes to making crackling with your roast pork. 

How Do I Make Crispy Crackling?

Crispy crackling isn’t difficult to make once you know-how! There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that you make the skin of your pork joint irresistibly crispy and flavoursome. 

Buy the Best Cut of Pork

The first step to making beautiful crispy crackling is to ensure you have bought the most suitable cut of pork. Although a leg joint is the most popular cut of meat to use for roast pork, it has a bad reputation when it comes to creating crackling. The best cut of pork for crackling is a boneless pork shoulder, which has dry skin that sits on top of a layer of fat, while the pork itself is succulent and flavoursome as it is close to the pig’s head. Another great cut of pork for crackling is the loin. The loin comes from the pig’s back, which makes it thick and juicy; ideal for serving a large family.

Make Sure the Skin is Completely Dry

One of the most important steps to creating crispy crackling is to make sure that the skin of the pork is completely dry. You can do this by simply patting the pork skin with a paper towel before cooking. If the skin has not been dried it can turn out more like rubber than crispy crackling. Once you have pat the skin of your pork dry, you must also make sure it is left uncovered while being cooked in the oven. If you cover your pork while it is cooking then condensation will moisten the skin and stop it from becoming crispy. 

Be Careful When it Comes to Scoring Your Pork

Another thing to consider when preparing for crispy crackling is the scoring of the pork. If you are buying a pork shoulder or loin, it is best to buy it with the skin already scored. If you attempt to score the skin yourself at home, there is a danger that you will cut into the meat which can prevent you from achieving crispy crackling. This is because a cut in the pork will allow juices to come up onto the skin as it cooks, which can stop the skin from becoming crispy. If you are scoring the pork yourself at home, be very careful not to cut into the meat.

Olive Oil and Salt

Olive oil and salt are the main ingredients that you need for making crispy pork crackling. Cover the skin of your pork in a generous amount of oil and distribute salt evenly all over. The salt is what will help your crackling to become extremely crispy and delicious. If you don’t evenly salt the skin of your pork shoulder or loin, the skin will come out hard rather than crispy.

Heat the Pork on Extremely High Heat for the Last 30 Minutes 

A vital part of the cooking process to achieve great crackling is to blast your pork in the oven on a very high heat for the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time. Once the meat has cooked, your skin will need extremely high heat in order to become crispy. To make a perfect roast pork with crackling you should cook the meat on a low heat for 2 to 3 hours and then increase the temperature of your oven towards the end of the cooking time to finish off your crackling. This will ensure the inside of your pork cooks properly and the juices spread evenly to provide you with tender and juicy meat.  If you find that your meat is cooked but your skin isn’t ready, simply take your pork out of the oven and cut away the skin. You can then put the skin back into the oven on high heat while the meat rests aside, covered with foil. 

roast pork crackling

How Do I Make Roast Pork with Crackling?

Here is a good recipe to follow if you are attempting to make roast pork with crackling for the first time!


  • Pork Shoulder
  • 350ml Apple Cider
  • 2 Garlic Heads
  • 2 Onions
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Place your pork on a large chopping board and pat its skin dry with a paper towel
  2. Season the pork with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste; spread salt evenly over every part of the skin
  3. Cut your garlic heads and onions in half, then place them into an oven dish facing up
  4. Put your pork shoulder on top of the onions and garlic with the skin facing upwards
  5. Add apple cider into the bottom of the oven pan (do not put it on the pork)
  6. Roast your pork at 160°C/140°C fan for 2.5 hours
  7. After 2.5 hours, turn the oven up to as high as it will go (maximum 260°C) for 30 minutes
  8. Once you are happy with how the meat and crackling are looking, take the pork out of the oven and place it on the side
  9. Cover your pork in foil to keep it warm and let it rest for 10 to 20 minutes

Why is my Pork Not Crackling?

There are a few reasons why you may be struggling to get crispy crackling with your pork. The number one reason people struggle to make crispy pork crackling is that they have not made sure that the skin of the pork is dry before and during cooking. Secondly, you may not have had your oven at a high enough heat.

If this happens, cut the skin away from the pork and put it back into the oven on high heat, for a longer time. Additionally, you may have covered your pork while cooking, which will stop the skin from becoming crisp. Make sure you have followed all of the appropriate steps as stated above, to achieve beautiful crispy crackling.

At Murphy’s Butcher, we can provide you with quality Irish pork for your delicious roast. We offer a click and collect service online, so simply choose your meat and collect it from us in Church St, Tullowphelim, Co. Carlow.