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What is the secret to Jess Pryles' perfect porchetta skin?


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I've followed this recipe twice now and, while delicious, I just can't get that perfectly puffed skin she achieves.

 

https://jesspryles.com/recipe/pork-belly-porchetta-crispy-skin/

 

porchetta-20-1024x683.jpg

 

I don't aim to be that perfect but I'm not even getting close. By the time any crackle shows I'm already over target temp and it's totally uneven with a bit of crackle here and there but mostly chewy tough skin. 

 

My guess is a combination of temperature adjustment and opening the lid earlier to keep the internal temperature low while the fire does its work on the skin. 

 

Anybody having better luck with similar recipes?

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I followed the same steps in her recipe and although f the skin didn't look exactly like hers (was a lot darker) was still nice and crackly.

 

It didnt really start to go hard until after I opened the lid. I forget how long I had it on with the lid open. Was a while though. 30 minutes maybe.

 

If I was doing pork in the oven Id be sourcing hot first then cooler to finish it off.  You could try that.  Lid open, get thw skin going then close the lid.  I think it might be too hot for too long though.  Not sure.

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I would say that you absolutely need the pork skin to be perfectly dry. If your pork is vac packed, then take it out the day before and leave it to dry out uncovered in the fridge.

 

This might sound stupid - but I have seen a lot of pork joints that don't have the skin on them,. You absolutely need the hard "rind" to be successful. If you just have a fat layer, then it won't be crackling! On a big piece of pork belly, expect to see a nipple or two and potentially some hairs.

 

Then there's the slicing of the skin. You need a proper sharp knife (a "Stanley" disposable blade DIY knife or similar is perfect) and you need to cut right through the skin into the fat layer.

 

Finally.....salt. Just before you put the thing on to cook rub some good quality sea salt into the cuts.

 

As above, if I were cooking this in the oven I would go full heat for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 320F until properly cooked.

 

On a Kamado, this is harder - but I would probably start with the grill at 450- 500F then immediately shut the vents almost totally closed and let the temperature slowly drop over an hour or so until it hit 320-350. You could also try starting low and gradually increasing the temperate over the cooking time to end up around 500F.

Maybe experiment first with some boned and rolled loin or shoulder of pork rather than going through the fuss of making a porchetta.

Either way, you'll have tasty fun figuring it out!

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2 hours ago, John Setzler said:

I don't believe she cooked thst on the kamado.

 

2 hours ago, John Setzler said:

If she did cook it on a kamado, the skin was not crisped up like that on the kamado.  It was done with a torch or in an oven.

 

It didn't cross my mind that she hadn't done the cook on the KJ but I did suspect she used a torch on the money shot. 

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