Chuck Hughes' perfect pork crackling

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Chuck Hughes' perfect pork crackling

The secret to getting it super-crisp? Drawing out all the moisture — with a hairdryer!


  • pork rind
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • ground chili
  • oil


  • Make sure the skin is as dry as possible. Score the skin all the way across about 1 cm apart with a really sharp knife, and then pour boiling water over it to open the cuts up. Dry off as much as you can with paper towel then put your hairdryer on the hottest setting and blast away. Do this for 5-10 minutes and use some paper towel to check there’s no moisture left. Then add salt, a generous amount.
  • Grab a bowl; add a heap of salt, crack a little bit of pepper, and a pinch of ground chilli and a few tablespoons of oil. Mix it all together with a fork and rub that onto the scored skin of your pork. Then add some more salt, all over it. I’m serious. Cut into strips, about 2” wide.
  • To cook, pre-heat the fan-forced (convection) oven 450F. Arrange on a single layer on a lined baking pan, cook for about 10 minutes on that temperature; and then turn down to your cooking temperature of 300F. Bake for 2-3 hours or until the skins are crisp and bubbly. The cooking time will depend on the size of the skin. If you are cooking several trays, swap them so they’ll cook evenly. It’s best to keep it on fan-forced as this keeps drawing out the moisture in the skin and helps with the crackling. About halfway through cooking, check your skin, stick it with a fork, it should be really quite hard.
  • Serve alongside vinegar with chilies and garlic.


Tip: Before serving, if you are worried about it being too salty, wipe the skin with a paper towel. Most of the salt will just wipe off, leaving that beautifully crackling, fatty skin with just that little bit less cholesterol.