How to Parboil Pork

By A.J. Andrews

The cut of pork determines if it needs to be parboiled and for how long. For example, pork belly -- the fatty, umami-rich cut used in twice-cooked pork -- needs parboiling before frying to firm the meat and render some of the fat. Pork stomach, on the other hand, needs parboiling for a couple hours to remove its feral taste and aroma. Parboiling isn't meant to break down connective tissue to tenderize tough cuts, such as ribs or shoulder; connective tissue renders at about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and parboiling requires a water temperature of about 180 F.

Baked caramel pork belly
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Parboiling cooks pork past 145 F and you cook it again afterward, so you don't need to check the temperature with a meat thermometer.

Belly

Step 1

Trim the pork of any fat hanging off the meat or any that pulls off easily by hand. Let the pork come to room temperature on a plate lined with paper towels.

Step 2

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the pork to the boiling water and skim the surface of froth and scum as needed throughout parboiling.

Step 3

Adjust the water temperature until to a simmer, or about 180 F. Simmer the pork until cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes per pound.

Step 4

Transfer the pork to a colander or sink, and run cold water over it for about 10 to 15 minutes per pound. Slice the pork belly into slices 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick for frying.

Offal

Step 5

Rinse the tongue, liver, intestines or other offal cut under cool running water until it runs clear and most of the gamey, feral smell diminishes, about 15 minutes.

Step 6

If you are parboiling tripe, scrub it in a mixture of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water for 15 minutes.

Step 7

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the offal to the boiling water, and skim the surface of scum and froth as needed throughout parboiling.

Step 8

Parboil the offal until tender, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the cut. Tongue, heart and tripe take as long as 2 hours, whereas liver takes about 1 hour.

Step 9

Drain the offal in a colander and rinse it under cold running water until cool. Slice the offal and saute, braise or cook it as desired to finish.