There is an art to making crispy pork skin and the chefs in Chinese kitchens master it like no other. They use boiling water and salt to dry out the skin.
I make crunchy pork belly a lot of different ways and there is no perfect one. You have to give this method a try to decide which way works best for you.
- You start with pork belly skin on. This skin has to be punctured to assure it dries out. For this, I use a mechanical tenderizer. You could also use a sharp knife or an awl. Puncturing is an important step in the process because it opens the skin. The fat under the skin has a way out.
- After that, you make a large pan with boiling water and keep it boiling. Hold the pork belly above the pan and pour the boiling water over the skin with a ladle. Do this for at least 10 minutes so the skin is cooked and the skin comes loose. All while the meat stays raw.
- Now take a non-Ferro tray and fill it with a layer of rock salt at least the size of the meat. place the pork belly on the salt skin down and place it in the fridge overnight. I use a plastic tray because aluminum and salt start a chemical reaction. When salt comes into contact with aluminum it can cause pitting.
- The next day you take the meat out of the fridge. Brush of the salt with a paper towel. Prepare a dry rub and season the meat. Keep the skin side clean.
- Now place the pork belly in a smoker on 190°C (374F) and let it cook till the skin is crispy and the meat is done. check every now and then to be sure the skin does not burn.
- At the end, it is important to let the meat rest but not closed off by aluminum foil or butcher paper. Otherwise, the skin gets soggy.
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