Crackling Pork Loin


Jaw-dropping centerpiece dishes require two essentials: salt and time.  Preseasoning is the simplest thing you can do to make a good piece of meat great.  Given enough time to penetrate tissue, salt works flavor magic: It denatures proteins, breaking up their molecular strands into shorter amino acids—among them an abundance of glutamic acid, the essence of umami—to release a complex symphony of savory flavors. It requires a long cooking time to fully render the fat cap and cook a pork loin, which can result in a dry piece of meat if you’re not careful. A wet brine ensures that the meat stays tender and succulent, while the addition of kombu and bonito flakes lend a delicate smokiness to the meat. We love the rich marbling and quality of Snake River Farms’ Kurobuta rack of pork.

Crackling Pork Loin
Photo: Christopher Testani
Active Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
19 hrs 45 mins



  • 6 cups water

  • 2 sheets kombu (about 1 ounce)

  • 2 cups packed bonito flakes (about 1 ounce)

  • 1/2 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt

  • 4 cups ice

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

  • 1 (5-pound) bone-in 6-rib pork loin roast, frenched, fat cap scored


  • 2 tablespoons white miso

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar


Make the brine

  1. Combine water and kombu in a large pot, and let stand until kombu is pliable, about 15 minutes. Cook over high just until steaming, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in bonito flakes and salt; let stand 15 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a nonreactive food-safe container large enough to hold pork; discard solids. Add ice, honey, black pepper, and vinegar, and stir until ice melts and brine is cool. Add pork, cover, and chill at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

  2. Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Place pork, bone side down, on a wire rack set inside a roasting pan, and chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 250°F. Let pork stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Roast pork until browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 135°F, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Remove from oven, and let pork rest 30 minutes. (Temperature will increase as pork rests.) Increase oven temperature to 450°F.

Make the glaze

  1. Stir together miso, honey, and vinegar in a small bowl. Brush glaze over pork. Return pork to oven, and roast at 450°F until fat cap crisps and glaze begins to bubble and turn golden brown, about 10 minutes.

  2. Let pork stand 5 minutes; carve between bones into 6 chops.


Try this method with chicken leg quarters or rabbit legs.

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