Perfect Roast Pork With Crisp Crackling

Roast pork and crackling

The Spruce

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 100 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
931 Calories
54g Fat
14g Carbs
85g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6
Amount per serving
Calories 931
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 16g 81%
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 489mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 85g
Calcium 99mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Roast pork, like Roast Beef, is an intrinsic part of a Sunday roast - though there is no need to keep it just for that meal. Perfect roast pork should have lovely moist, evenly cooked meat surrounded by crisp, sharp crackling. The crackling can be either left on or removed at the end of cooking and served separately.

If you buy a large joint of pork, don't worry, adjust the cooking times to suit the size (see below). Plus, you can never have too much leftover pork to make delicious sandwiches for lunch the next day.


  • 3 pounds pork loin (preferably free-range)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin rapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 1 medium onion (halved with skin on)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1 glass dry cider (or white wine)
  • 1 pint chicken (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 teaspoon butter (ice-cold)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Perfect pot roast ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C/gas 7.

Cook the Pork

  1. The pork should be at room temperature before you start this recipe, so remove the loin from the fridge a few hours before needed. Using a paper towel dry the pork all over including the skin.

  2. Using a very sharp knife make slashes approx a finger width apart across the skin, don't cut through to the meat; you can always ask your butcher to do this for you. 

    Cutting pork
     The Spruce
  3. Massage the olive oil into the skin, followed by the salt flakes making sure it goes down into the slashes.

    Putting salt on pork
     The Spruce
  4. Place the pork into a large roasting tin. Tuck the two onion halves under the meat, and cook for 1 hour and 40 minutes. If you are using a larger or smaller joint, then cook for 25 minutes per 1 pound, plus a further 25 minutes.

    Pork in a large roasting pan with onion
     The Spruce
  5. Switch off the oven (unless you need to cook the crackling further, see note below).

  6. Remove the meat from the roasting tin and place onto a serving plate, cover loosely with foil and place in the oven with the door slightly ajar, or if you need the oven for other dishes, wrap the meat entirely in foil and keep in a warm place.

    Cooked roast pork
    The Spruce 
  7. Let rest.

Make the Gravy

  1. Remove the onion from the pan, then place the pan on the stovetop over high heat until the meat juices begin to bubble, but not starting to burn.

  2. Add the flour, and stir to blend into the meat juices.

    Adding flour to pork gravy
     The Spruce
  3. Pour in the cider or wine and scrape all the juices from the bottom of the pan, reduce to a sticky glaze. Add the stock and stir well,

    Whisking pork gravy
     The Spruce
  4. Strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a saucepan and reduce by one-third.

    Pouring pork gravy through a sieve
     The Spruce
  5. Add the butter in tiny pieces shaking the pan gently until all the butter is absorbed. Keep warm until needed.

    Adding butter to gravy
     The Spruce
  6. Remove the crackling from the pork.

    Cutting crackling off of pork
     The Spruce
  7. Carve the crackling into thick slices.

    Carve crackling on pot roast
    The Spruce 
  8. Serve with pieces of crackling and the gravy, seasonal vegetables, applesauce is an excellent accompaniment to pork, as is sage and onion stuffing. Don't forget the traditional Yorkshire Puddings if it is a Sunday lunch. 

    Perfect roast pork with crisp crackling and vegetables
     The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!


  • Use outdoor, free-range pork if you can as this will have a good thick layer of fat.
  • A good layer of fat under the skin is needed to keep the meat both moist during cooking and also adds flavor to the finished roast, and as the fat renders down, there's no reason to worry about eating too much. Also, you can always cut any excess fat away before eating.
  • If the pork needs to be stored before cooking, leave it unwrapped in the fridge on a lower shelf. Pork cooks much better when the skin is dry (especially if you want to make crackling) so leaving uncovered helps in this process.
  • At the time of cooking, the pork should be at room temperature, not cold straight from the fridge, so remove for several hours and leave covered in a cool, not warm, place.
  • The formula for cooking this roast is 25 minutes per pound, plus an additional 25 minutes. For example, a 4-pound roast would be: (25 minutes x 4 pounds) + 25 minutes more= 125 minutes.
  • Pork should reach a minimum temperature of 145 F according to the USDA.