Roast Pork Belly with Crackling

In the past when I tried to roast a pork belly, I could never get the crackling nice and crunchy!  Fast forward to 2019 with Covid, my hubby and brother both found separate recipes that guaranteed crunchy crackling every time.  I liked part of both recipes so have combined them here.


  • 1kg pork belly
  • white vinegar
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

Spice Mix:

  • 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


Method – Part 1:

    1. With skin side down, cut into pork meat 1/2 – 3/4 of the way down but not through the fat and skin!
    2. In a frying pan, add enough water to half fill the frying pan, 1 tsp salt and sugar and heat on medium to high heat.
    3. Once boiling, add the pork belly skin side down and cook for 8 minutes.  Repeat on other side.
    4. Once done, remove the pork belly and let it cool on a wire rack with skin side up.
    5. Pat skin dry with some paper towel when it is cool enough to do so.
    6. Using a metal meat skewer, punch holes into the skin of the pork belly.  DO NOT PUNCH TOO DEEP THAT IT REACHES THE MEAT.  This usually takes 5 – 10 minutes.
    7. Brush the pork skin with vinegar and then sprinkle 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt. Let it rest for 10 minutes and repeat the process.  My pork belly came with pre-scored lines in the skin.
    8. Put the pork belly into the fridge uncovered and allow the skin to dry for a minimum of 12 hours.
    9. If you can, check on it every now and then to wipe off any moisture that comes to the surface.
Preparing Pork Belly

Preparing skin of pork belly

Method – Part 2:

  1. Take your pork belly out of the fridge and apply the spice mix on the sides and meat of the pork belly.
  2. Place the pork belly on a flat piece of foil and wrap sides up to make a foil boat around the meat part of the pork belly.  Hope that makes sense!  This is to keep the meat moist and stop it from drying out.
  3. Preheat oven and cook on low (130 C/266 F) for 1-2 hours depending on how thick your pork belly is.
  4. Take out of oven and cook the pork belly for 30 minutes at 200 C (392 F) in an airfryer.  Depending on your airfryer, you might need extra 10 minutes or less.
  5. Let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
Roast Pork Belly

Crackling all done



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