News Satire People Food Other

Perfect Pork Crackling + Cooking Lard

By Catherine Noonan on March 18, 2015 in Food

Photo: Catherine Noonan

Photo: Catherine Noonan

Did you known that you can derive good quality cooking fat from just one batch of perfect pork crackling?

There’s no other fat easier to derive for your average home-cook than animal fat.

Yes, there are lots of healthy fats out there, but can you pick your own olives or coconuts and make oil from them in your own home, within 30 minutes? Probably not. While these oils are healthy and natural, there’s quite a process involved in extracting them, but with animal fat it’s as easy as baking some deliciously crunchy pork crackling and reserving the liquid pig fat, or lard as it is known.

If you love roast pork and crackling, you’ll love lard too, and you can use it in place of all savoury cooking fat. Better still, it smells like roast pork. Just think, there’s duck fat potatoes, how about pork fat potatoes? Delicious! You can also use lard in stir-fries and to cook omelettes too.

Lard aside, the crunchy crackling created when you’re making it is the prefect pre-dinner snack. It might be full of calories, but it’s also rich and filling.

I recommend using organic, free-range pork. If you can’t get organic, make it a priority to use free-range. It is said that free-range pork fat carries fewer toxins than grain-fed and is generally healthier.

In terms of the cut, I often buy a pork shoulder and separate the skin to make the crackling and lard separately. Otherwise, you could use the skin and the first layer of fat from a pork belly. Some retailers even sell the skin on its own (just for making crackling) so keep an eye out for these too.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


1 sheet pork skin with fat (e.g. removed from pork shoulder or belly)
Olive oil
Sea salt


1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 220 degrees Celcius.
2. Pat the pork skin dry and score with a sharp knife.
3. Rub the skin with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Place in a clean baking dish and bake in the oven for up to 30 minutes, until the crackling is bubbly and golden.
5. Remove from the oven and place the crackling on paper towel to cool a little before breaking into pieces.
6. Meanwhile, pour the liquid fat (lard) into a jar and allow to cool completely before securing the lid and placing in the fridge, ready for use. The lard should keep well until used.