Danish roast pork with crackling

A really good juicy pork roast with crackling, it doesn’t get much better than that! Roasted pork in the oven is probably how most people cook the pork roast for Christmas Eve in Denmark, or whenever you feel like a good roast with crispy crackling. If you want to see how you can cook delicious and juicy roast pork in an oven, read along here.

danish roast pork with crackling on wooden board

Pork roast with crisp crackling

I love Danish roast pork with caramelized potatoes, red cabbage, and lots of gravy! When a pork roast is cooked just right, it is one of the best pieces of meat on the pig in my opinion. This also counts for the pork belly!

And especially at Christmas dinner, where there are caramel potatoes, red cabbage, and everything else, the pork roast is a must! When there are leftovers, it’s obvious to have a delicious pork roast sandwich – or leftovers can also turn into a delicious Danish biksemad.

Crackling is what makes the Danish Roast Pork so special, and it is quite simple to get the perfect crackling on top. The first part lies in the preparation of the roast. It must be cut all the way down through the skin, and well down into the fat layer. But do not cut into the meat itself, then the liquid will be extracted and it will make the crackling go soft.

Once you’ve cut through the skin layer carefully, it is time for the second part. Boiling water and skin side down for the first 20 minutes in the oven. Place the roast with the skin side down, and pour boiling water in, so that it just covers the skin layer. Then roast it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes before turning it over.

After 20 minutes, remove the roast and turn the skin side up. Now you can check if it all is cut perfect, or adjust it. If you’re satisfied, now’s the time to salt. Put coarse salt, or flake down between the cracklings and on top. Once the salt is well distributed, put it back in the oven.

At the end of the cook, the temperature is raised. This is done to make the crackling “pop” or bubble up and become crispy and delicious.

It’s a balancing act between crispy crackling and a juicy pork roast, but with a good meat thermometer and a little watchful eye on the crackling, it’s not that hard at all.

danish roast pork with crisp crackling

Ingredient notes

Pork roast – The one we used is approx. 1.8 kg.

Bay leaves – Gives the right taste.

Peppercorns – Whole peppercorns, are also very important for the taste.

Fresh thyme – can be omitted but contributes to the base that should become gravy in the end.

Cloves – Gives a nice taste.

Boiling water – Important to help separate the slices in the skin that becomes the crackling in the end.

Onions – Also for the gravy base.

How to make danish roast pork with crackling?

Start by preparing the pork roast. All the cracklings are cut through, but without cutting into the meat itself.

The roast is put in an ovenproof dish with the skin side down. Pour boiling water on the roast so it just covers the skin. Put the bay leaves, peppercorns, and cloves in the water. Put the roast in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Then remove the roast and turn the skin side up. Plenty of salt is rubbed down between the crackling, the onion is put in the water along with the thyme, and the roast is put back in the oven where it is cooked until the core temperature is about 58 degrees Celcius.

Then turn up the heat in the oven and cook the roast until crisp and golden. The final core temperature should be around 62 degrees Celcius when the crackling is crisp.

The roast is then removed from the oven, now leave it to rest uncovered on a chopping board for twenty minutes to half an hour before cutting out and serving.

Remove the fat from the top of the gravy base, and save it to make the gravy.

Find the full recipe further down this page.

danish roast pork with crispy crackling on top

Frequently asked questions

Can leftovers be frozen?

Yes. You can freeze it as a whole piece or in slices.

How to store the leftovers?

You can store leftovers in a plastic container in the fridge for 2-3 dags or freeze them.

What to serve with danish roast pork with crackling?

Traditionally a pork roast is served with potatoes, caramelized potatoes, danish red cabbage, and gravy. You can however serve it with whatever you like.

Other danish recipes you might like

danish roast pork with crackling
danish pork roast with crackling

Recipe for the best pork roast with crispy crackling

Here is our recipe for the best pork roast made in the oven. Just the way we like it with juicy meat and perfectly crispy crackling.

I hope you will try out the recipe, and use it next time you will make danish roast pork for your family.

danish roast pork with crackling on wooden board

Danish roast pork with crackling

Recipe for Danish roast pork with crackling
Recipe for the best pork roast with crispy crackling on top. Traditionally served for Danish Christmas dinner with caramelized potatoes, danish red cabbage, and lots of gravy.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Resting 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Danish
Servings 8 people
Calories 362 kcal


  • 1 pork roast approx. 1.8 kg
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 l water or until it covers the crackling
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp salt coarse salt or flake salt


  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan.
  • Prepare the pork roast. Make sure that all the skin is cut all the way through, but without cutting into the meat itself.
  • Place the pork roast in an ovenproof dish with the skin side down. Add boiling water until it covers the crackling. Add peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves to the water.
  • Now place the roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • When 20 minutes have elapsed, take the roast out and turn it skin side up. Now rub it with coarse salt, or flake salt down between the crackling. Cut the onion into quarters and put it in the water together with the thyme.
  • Put the roast in the oven again and cook it for approx. 50 minutes, or until the core temperature approaches 58 degrees. Then turn up the heat to 230 degrees Celcius and continue roasting until the crackling is completely crisp.
  • When I cook roast pork, I usually aim for a core temperature of 62-63 degrees Celcius when it comes out of the oven. The temperature rises slightly when the roast is resting afterward. The most important thing is of course that the crackling becomes crispy, but it is also important that the roast does not become dry and dull, so it is a balancing act between the 2 things. So remember that the cooking time is indicative. Always keep an eye on the core temperature.
  • When the crackling is crisp and the core temperature has been reached, take out the roast and place uncovered on a cutting board. Here the roast should stand and rest for approx. 25 minutes before cutting it and serving.


Calories: 362kcal
Keyword crackle on pork, Danish Christmas food, Danish dinner, flaeskesteg, how to cook a roast pork, pork roast recipes, roasted pork, Traditional danish food
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Note: This recipe is a translation of our danish recipe “Flæskesteg i ovn” which can be found on our danish food blog.

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