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This genius trick will get you crispy pork belly every time

The secret is something you already have in your kitchen. We promise.

Pork belly on cutting board
U2M Brand/Adobe Stock

Pork belly: the delectably fatty, salty, meaty, magical pork cut from where bacon is born. As wonderful as bacon is, though, pork belly is so much more than its most famous product. When roasted in the oven and sliced, this magical cut becomes something almost otherworldly in its incredible flavor. And a big part of that pork belly magic is its skin.

A perfectly golden, deliciously crisp, sinfully crackling skin on roasted pork belly is one of the things that just makes life worth living. This beautiful culinary gift is straight from the heavens and one we should always strive for when roasting pork belly. But sometimes, achieving this goal can be tricky due to pork belly’s often uneven, finicky texture. Thankfully, though, there’s a foolproof trick to achieving that perfect, crackling crust, and we can almost guarantee it’s something you already have in your kitchen – aluminum foil.

Simply balling up aluminum foil and strategically placing it under roasting pork belly will give you perfect, crispy skin. Why, you might ask?

How it works

Piece of aluminum foil
Andrii A / Adobe Stock

While we see pork belly as nothing but earth-shatteringly beautiful, it isn’t the most even or consistent cut of meat. And, as we all know, good, even browning happens when cuts are consistent, eliminating any concern of uneven doneness in your dish. Pork belly’s sloping sides and uneven surfaces aren’t exactly ideal for culinary perfection in this way, often resulting in spots that are heartbreakingly soggy. But, by placing crumpled foil underneath the meat, you can level the pork belly’s surface so that it is more even with the oven’s heat source.

By leveling the pork belly’s surface in the oven, the heat is both closer to the meat and able to work itself around the pork, weaving into the parts it wouldn’t be able to access without the foil underneath. This ensures a more even cook and gives every single bit of that precious skin a chance to become its most beautiful self.

How to do it at home

If you’re ready for an absolutely delicious pork belly, make sure to grab a new foil roll after your trip to the butcher counter. You’re probably going to need quite a bit.

When you’re ready to roast the pork belly, loosely ball up a few sheets of foil and place them underneath the meat before roasting. This trick works well because foil is so pliable that you can form it into any shape that best evens the surface of your pork. Place a little more or less here and there to create your own perfectly customized pork pedestal. Proceed with the rest of your recipe as you normally would, and get ready for some deliciously crispy pork belly.

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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