Belly of pork: skin on or off?

Discussion in 'Whats Cooking? Food, Drink, & Gear' started by Khorax, Jun 29, 2018.

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  1. Jun 29, 2018 #1

    Khorax

    Khorax

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    I've been cooking the occasional pork belly now and again over the last few months with increasing frequency (unhealthy obsession forming) and I've been getting mixed results. I'm going for a crispy crackling but it's hit or miss. Sometimes with the skin on it turns out like rock hard, leathery, sticky candy that's almost unpalatable. Am I screwing it up or is that just how the skin turns out?

    Do you guys keep the skin on or take it off? Why?

    (Extra points if you divulge your recipe)
     
  2. Jun 29, 2018 #2

    ThEoRy

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    Keep it. You can peen the skin thoroughly with a knife if you don't have a peener) then rub the surface with a kosher salt and baking soda mixture, ratio is 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every tablespoon of salt, leave the belly in the fridge overnight. This is going to change the ph balance of the skin making it easier to achieve crispy results.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  3. Jun 29, 2018 #3

    DamageInc

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    Skin on. What kind of question even is that?

    If you need tips and tricks for a bubbly crackling, ask your resident dane. One good way of doing so is scoring the skin all the way down to the meat and then rubbing the grooves with a ton of salt mixed with a little baking powder. Cooking low and slow until the pork belly is tender. Then blast the skin under a hot broiler until it bubbles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
  4. Jun 29, 2018 #4

    Khorax

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    Ok I've been doing the scoring and salt, but not mixed with baking soda and not in the fridge overnight. Will definitely be trying that.

    Prick skin vs scoring, any difference?
     
  5. Jun 29, 2018 #5

    DamageInc

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    I prefer scoring. Makes it much easier to do neat slices afterwards.
     
  6. Jun 29, 2018 #6

    Mucho Bocho

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    In the fridge overnight uncovered, skin side up.
     
  7. Jun 30, 2018 #7

    ThEoRy

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    Before I had a peener I used a pointy gokujo and stabbed a million little holes across the skin then rubbed the mixture in. Of course I would score the underside in a diamond pattern and rub in Kosher salt, black pepper, fresh ground coriander and fennel seed, chopped garlic, rosemary and a little chili flake. And then I win
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2018
  8. Jun 30, 2018 #8

    panda

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    if you take skin off you are unofficially shunned from kkf
     
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  9. Jun 30, 2018 #9

    Dendrobatez

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    My favorite way to do it is to score the skin, salt and a little sugar over night, use a roasting pan with a rack on the bottom some baking soda and enough water to just cover the skin (skin side down) and simmer for an hour. Roll the belly with the skin facing out and bake at 190 for a few hours until it's tander, remove from the oven and turn it way up ( or use a deep fryer if you have one large enough) and pop it in for a few minutes and the skin will start to puff.

    The key is really to cook the hell out of the skin, and get it as dehydrated as possible before it hits the high heat.

    You can also remove it, sous vide the skin at 183 for 5-6hrs, dehydrate it and puff it in some stupid hot oil for some chicharron.
     
  10. Jul 1, 2018 #10

    Khorax

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    Hold on... some of you said to mix salt with baking SODA, and others said baking POWDER. Is that an error or are both viable solutions? What would be the difference, like what are these chemicals actually doing?
     
  11. Jul 1, 2018 #11

    Dendrobatez

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    I couldn't tell you why baking powder is used in some recipes but I'm sure it works for them. Reason I use baking soda is the help remove moisture and soften the skin a bit more
     
  12. Jul 1, 2018 #12

    DamageInc

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    I meant soda. It makes for a better maillard reaction.
     
  13. Jul 1, 2018 #13

    ThEoRy

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    EVERYBODY always does that. F****** sauté guy kept using baking soda in my cornbread recipe wondering why it's not working talkin bout, "I dunno, I used YOUR recipe." and I told him every time, "POWDER! it's baking POWDER!.

    Dammit guys stop mixing them up!
    In this case it's baking SODA. And originally when I posted I was going to all caps that ish but I was like nah they got it but NOOOO.

    Get it together @DamageInc
     
  14. Jul 1, 2018 #14

    DamageInc

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    suck it
     

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