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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Slow Roasted Pork Belly

    Hello there from New Zealand! I am going to make them Nigella's Slow Roasted Pork Belly, which looks amazing! Could you please tell me if the oven should be set to "fan-forced" or just "bake"? Fan-forced/fan-baked can end up cooking things a lot faster than just "bake" so I want to make sure I get the right setting. No one likes dry pork! Thanks a million! Kim

    From the nigella team:

    One of the advanatages of Nigella's Slow Rosted Pork Belly (from Kitchen) is that it is quite difficult to dry the meat out. Pork belly contains a fair amount of fat in between the layers of flesh. As the slowly pork cooks the fat renders out, leaving succulent, flavourful meat. The final blast of heat just ensures that the crackling is suitably crisp.

    This recipe, as all of Nigella's recipes, gives oven temperatures for a regular oven and not fan forced/fan assisted/convection or fan ovens. The fan ovens will tend to cook more quickly as the heat is circulated actively around the oven. As a rule of tumb you usually need to turn these ovens down by 20c/50F or allow for a shorter cooking time. Some very modern ovens now have control pads that have functions such as "roast" and "bake" that will adjust the temperature automatically for you. However you must check your oven handbook as this will contain specific advice for your own oven.

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