Blogs (Media Centre)

REVEALED: Sara's secrets to going the 'whole hog' with pork crackling

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga

REVEALED: Sara's secrets to going the 'whole hog' with pork crackling

WHAT'S CRACKING: TAFE NSW cooking guru Sara Morley reveals her trade secrets to achieving mouthwatering pork crackling every time.

There are a few truisms in the kitchen: don’t crowd the pan, keep your knives sharp, clean as you go and there’s absolutely no point having pork if there ain’t no crackling.

With this last golden rule in mind, TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga’s resident epicurean Sara Morley has revealed her 12 Commandments of Cooking Cracking Crackling.

On her popular TAFE Buds segment with ABC Riverina breakfast announcer Sally Bryant this week, Ms Morley unveiled her top tips to producing succulent roast pork with crunchy, flavour-packed crackling (see recipe below).

“Moisture is the mortal enemy of good crackling,” Ms Morley said.

“It’s essential you make sure the rind is nice and dry.

“If you can’t let your pork dry out in the fridge for 24 hours, then don’t be afraid to blow dry the rind with a hairdryer if you’re short of time.”

A generous amount of salt (don’t tell your cardiologist) and oil should then be massaged into the dried pork rind, Ms Morley said, before whacking the pork in the oven at high heat for 30 minutes until the rind has blistered.

The oven should then be turned down to about 180 degrees and the roast cooked for 30 minutes per half-kg.

Ms Morley said it was also critical not to scrimp on the quality of the pork you use, with her first rule to ensure you “buy local”.

“When you think of the Riverina, a lot of people associate it with lamb and we do have a lot of great lamb producers here,” she said.

“But we also have an incredible amount of pork producers in the area.”

For a sublime side dish to your roast pork, try Ms Morley’s “spuddy marvellous” roast potatoes.

And if you’d prefer a

If you'd like to take your cooking game to the next level, there are a range of cookery and hospitality courses on offer at TAFE NSW for Semester 2 – visit or call 131 601.


Perfect pork crackling


  • Buy local pork 
  • Moisture is the enemy of great crackling.
  • Remove pork from its packaging and pat dry with paper towel. 
  • With a sharp knife, score the rind at 1cm intervals. Be careful to only cut into the fat, not into the meat.
  • Put the pork on a wire rack in the sink and pour a jug of boiling water over the rind. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towel.
  • Blow dry the rind with a hairdryer if you are short of time.
  • Leave uncovered (in the fridge) for as long as you can. 24 hours is good, but 1 hour will do.
  • Rub the pork oil and then massage a generous amount of salt into the scored rind.
  • Place the roast on a wire rack in a baking dish and cook in a preheated oven at 240°C for ½ hour till the rind has blistered.
  • Turn the oven down to 180°C and cook for ½ hour per kg.
  • Remove from oven and let rest well, for at least 15 minutes
  • Once cooked, let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. (don’t cover tightly)


Pork Cutlets with Fennel and Cider (Serves 4)



1 fennel bulb

350g potatoes

2 star anise

1 tablespoon butter

4 sage leaves

4 sprigs thyme

2 garlic cloves, bruised

5cm piece ginger, roughly chopped

1 small bottle dry apple cider

1 tbs olive oil

4 pork cutlets



Preheat oven to 200°C.

Cut fennel and potatoes into wedges.

Place fennel, potatoes, star anise, butter, sage, thyme, garlic, ginger and cider into a large roasting tray, and season. Roast for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile heat oil in a large frypan over a high heat. Cook pork cutlets for 2 minutes each side until golden brown.

Add cutlets to roasting tray and spoon over sauce from the pan. Roast for another 15 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Remove from oven and rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes before serving.