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Sliced porchetta on a wooden chopping board.

Porchetta — Traditional Ingredients, Cooked Rotisserie over Charcoal

  • Author: Mark Jenner
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


A rolled pork loin and pork belly, stuffed with a mix of pork mince, chicken liver, mixed herbs, onion, chili, lemon zest and toasted fennel seeds.


  • 2500g pork belly
  • 500g pork loin
  • 200g chicken livers
  • 1 red onion
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium heat, medium-sized chili
  • 4 tsp of fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 grams white bread
  • 100ml white wine


Prep the pork loin and belly

  1. Butterfly the loin so it can be laid flat.
  2. Trim the meat from the belly that was between the ribs, it makes it VERY hard to roll otherwise. Set trimmings aside.
  3. Lay the belly skin side down. Lay the loin on the belly, and trim it to be just smaller on the left and right sides for rolling. Set trimmings aside.
  4. Mince the trimmings ready to cook to put into the stuffing.

Make the stuffing

  1. Finely chop the onion, rosemary and thyme (stalks removed), sage, garlic, and chicken livers, but keep separate to add at different times.
  2. Remove crust from the bread and soak in 200 ml of warm water.
  3. Toast the fennel seeds in a hot, dry pan for 30 to 45 seconds. Then add to a pestle and mortar with 1 tsp of salt and the chopped chili. Crush into a paste.
  4. Sauté the onions in 1 tbsp of olive oil until just translucent.
  5. Add the pork mince and fry until browned.
  6. Add the chicken livers and cook until browned.
  7. Add the finely chopped herbs, and the chili and fennel seed paste, stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  9. Take bread and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  10. Add the bread and the wine to the stuffing mix, use hands to combine thoroughly.

Assemble the porchetta

  1. Grate zest of 2 lemons equally over the loin and belly.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt and the black pepper over the loin and belly. Now massage into the meat.
  3. Spread the stuffing mixture evenly over the entire surface of both the loin and the belly.
  4. Place the loin on top of the belly. Roll them up tight. Truss with butchers string to keep it together.
  5. Rub the skin with salt and leave in the fridge overnight uncovered, to dry it out resulting in crispy skin after cooking.

Cooking the porchetta

  1. Remove the porchetta from the fridge and rub all over with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  2. Put on your rotisserie at high heat for 30 minutes, 220 C to 250C ambient air temperature at the meat surface.
  3.  Bring the heat down to between 160C and 180C ambient air temp at the meat surface and cook for a further 3 hours approximately before checking internal temp.
  4. When the internal temperature of the center of the meat at the thickest part reaches 145F, it’s cooked. This could be anywhere from 3 to 4.5 hours total cooking time.
  5. When 145f internal is reached, remove and leave to rest for a good 45 minutes minimum.
  6. To serve, simply cut into thick slices, add sides and enjoy.


I’ve received comments in the past that the skin should be more ‘crackling’ like. Traditionally though, in Italy, the skin on porchetta would be crisp but not crackled. If you do want that bubbled, crackled like skin, then do not rub the porchetta in olive oil before cooking, and score the skin all over in rings around the porchetta. The extra dryness and ability for fat to render out will then cause the skin to bubble up and crackle throughout the cook.

The safe internal temperature of whole cuts of pork was lowered by the USDA from 160 F to 145 F back in about 2011. For ground pork mince, it remains at 160f. But because we cooked the pork mince before using it in the stuffing, we are safe to cook to 145f only, and this lower temp results in meat that is more tender and moist. But by all means, take it higher if you so wish! The whole thing will still be moist and delicious at 160 F, just not as good in my opinion.

I like to add a couple of chunks of applewood to the charcoal a few minutes before first putting the porchetta on. It adds a deeper smoky flavor and brings the whole cook a touch closer to the age-old tradition of cooking porchetta over a wood fire.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Rotisserie
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Porchetta, rotisserie porchetta, roast pork, pork loin, pork belly, rolled pork, stuffed pork