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How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)

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How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)Pin itFollow us 138.4k

Just like Chicken Cracklings, Pork Cracklings (aka Pork Rinds aka Chicharrones) are incredibly easy to make, delicious and are virtually zero-carb. The main advantage of making your own pork rinds is that you will avoid preservatives, MSG and other junk.

How to Use Pork Rinds

Pork rinds are great for snacking and I love using them to make all sorts of keto-friendly recipes. They work great for "breading" (see Roasted Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad) and even instead of flour to make savoury pies (see Savory Keto Pie Crust, Easter Keto Quiche and Chicken Pot Pie).

Pork rinds are also great with dips such as Guacamole or Marinara sauce, as topping in salads and soups. As a bonus, if you leave them unseasoned, you can use them in sweet recipes like these pancakes!

How to Trim Excess Fat to Make Pork Rinds

Use instructions here to cut the fat off the skins. You can use leftover fat and render it to make lard for frying.

Please note: Nutrition values are estimated, the fat & protein content may vary depending on how much fat you trim off the skin.

Update: Based on your feedback, I'm happy to say that keto pork rinds can also be done in an air-fryer!

Hands-on Overall

Serving size 1/2 cup, 30 g/ 1 oz

Allergy information for How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free
Low FODMAP

Nutritional values (per serving, 1/2 cup, 30 g/ 1 oz)

Net carbs0 grams
Protein16.3 grams
Fat2.6 grams
Calories121 kcal
Calories from carbs 0%, protein 73%, fat 27%
Total carbs0 gramsFiber0 gramsSugars- gramsSaturated fat1 gramsSodium34 mg(1% RDA)Magnesium1 mg(0% RDA)Potassium46 mg(2% EMR)

Ingredients (makes about 4 trays)

  • pork skins, trimmed - cut as much fat off as possible (900 g/ 2 lbs)
  • lard for frying
  • Optional: seasoning of choice: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic or onion powder, chili powder, dried herbs, etc.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to low, about 100 °C/ 210 °F (fan assisted), or 120 °C/ 250 °F (conventional).
  2. I get about 4 pounds of ready-to-be-used pork skin from my farmer every month. If you buy pork skin with fat and meat on it, you'll need to cut it off. To do that, cut the meat into strips and score every 2-3 inches. Be careful not to cut through the skin.
  3. Then, insert the knife between the skin and the fat and carefully cut it off. You will end up with some fat still attached to the skin. That's fine and will add flavour to the pork rinds. Cut the pork skins into 1-2 inch pieces. The more fat you cut off, the fluffier they will get when deep fried! How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  4. Lay the pork skins over a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the oven. I usually make pork rinds in batches and end up using four trays. Bake for about 4-6 hours or until dehydrated. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  5. When done, pour the excess lard into a pan. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  6. You can use the rendered lard to fry the cracklings. Use a small deep pan and add more lard if needed. Heat the lard up until hot enough for deep frying. Use a slotted spoon and add your cracklings in small batches. They will significantly increase in volume as they puff up. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  7. If the skins are properly dehydrated, it should take just about 30 to 60 seconds for the batch to puff up. Then, use a slotted spoon to remove the cracklings onto a tray lined with kitchen towel. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  8. Repeat for the remaining pork skins. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  9. Leave to cool down. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)
  10. Optionally, season with salt, pepper, dried herbs, chili powder or your favourite spices. I'd usually season half and have them for snacking and then I'd leave the other half of the batch unseasoned so I can use it in recipes for breading or even instead of flour to make pies (tips included at the top of this post).
  11. Try with Guacamole, Marinara sauce, soured cream or your favourite cheese dip. How To Make Pork Cracklings (Pork Rinds, Chicharrones)

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 1/2 cup, 30 g/ 1 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Pork skins - used to make cracklings
0 g16.3 g2.6 g121 kcal
Total per serving, 1/2 cup, 30 g/ 1 oz
0 g16.3 g2.6 g121 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
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Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (36)

So did your diet take care of the Hashimotos? And how did you manage while waiting for the improvement?

Hi Brenda, I am still taking levothyroxine to get the T4 and then T3 I'm missing. While it's unlikely to reverse Hashimoto's (the damage is typically irreversible), I am using the keto/low-carb diet to manage the symptoms I could not manage with my medication. I've been low-carb and gluten-free since 2011.

Hi crackling lovers - try this: After drying skin as described above, put in microwave - try out wattage and timing first - min work well at a 1000 watts / 1 minute straight on the turntable.
Also works for papadoms, shrimp crackers, etc. dry stuff that ought to puff up.
Enjoy.

Thank you so much, that's great to know!

Hi.. I am very interested to try this as I have just been given some pork skin.  Can you confirm that the seasoning is only added in the end after the deep frying and cooling?  It is mentioned in Step.10.
TIA

Yes that is correct! You don't want any of the seasoning to burn so it's added last.

When I'm just eating them as is, I prefer the texture of cracklings over regular pork rinds because it's a mix of soft and crunchy. How should I adjust the cooking method if I leave the fat on, to achieve this texture?

I think that if you leave some fat on you can still follow the same instructions. The dehydration is needed for the moisture to be removed and some fat will be rendered - but not all of it. You should still have a nice layer of fat after dehydrating it.

Have you ever attempted to store excess pork rinds once you've fried them? I made a lot of them today, and I won't be able to consume or use them all in 48 hours.  I have a commercial grade dehydrator and wondered about using that to remove more of the fat before storing. I'd love to know if you've tried it, or if you know a successful way to keep them for longer term storage!

Hi Lori, I keep the uncooked skins in my freezer but once I make them they are usually gone in less a few days. For longer storage I'd freeze them - whole or powdered - in sealed containers or freezer bags (they might get soggy though so you may need to "redehydrate" them in the oven). You could use your dehydrator to remove any remaining moisture and they will last for longer.

you can try the AirFryer。 put the pork skin on a plate at room temperature about 7 days until dehydrated. use the air fryer, 200° C  ,5 minutes。is ok

What a great idea! I haven't tried using it yet but I'm intrigued 😊

FYI, cracklings and pork rinds/chicharones are different. Cracklings still have some fat attached, while rinds are just the skin.

Thank you David, I think you're right, although I've seen both (in store-bought products). I assume this term is used interchangeably.

I eat these all the time and I love them. I didn't know that a pig's skin could taste like this.

The fastest way to strip off the fat is to put them in the oven to dehydrate, then strip off the fat with a knife after a couple of hours - the fat literally separates from the rest of the skin in one easy layer.
Also I'm curious how you arrived at the nutritional info for these - I couldn't find any information on skin anywhere

Thanks for the tips, I use the USDA database to calculate all nutrition facts.

I am picking up pigs tomorrow can I refridgerate the skin amd make them in a day or two or how soon from butchering does it need to be done

Hi Heather, I would refrigerate it for up to 3 days - or freeze for up to 3 months and defrost when ready to be used.

I have had the pork skin in my freezer, I didn't have a clue, so now I will cook them, Thank you

Hi Martina!  Happy New Year to you!  Can you give any idea on the macronutrient front of how these would differ to pork crackling obtained by simply salting and dry roasting the skin?  We always buy extra skin to be able to have plenty of crackling to go round everyone, so I just cook it at the same time as the joint, but don't dehydrate or fry it, simply dry roast.  I'd be very grateful for a reply.  Thank you in advance. 😊

Hi Caryn and happy new year to you too 😊 I'd think that the nutrition facts should be quite similar. When I deep-fry the pork skins, the fat doesn't really soak in and they are quite dry.

How do you store these...? Does anyone know if it is ok store in the fridge or should I store left overs in dry, room temp space?

I store them at room temperature - they never last for more than 2-3 weeks in my house 😊 If they are properly dehydrated, you won't need to store them in the fridge. You may want to do that only if you plan to store them for longer.

I wonder if I use a dehydrator (70 degrees max) will they come out right?

Yes, you can try that for dehydrating them - just make sure that they are dried properly. Then you'll have to fry them in hot oil so they puff up.

Hi Martina, what other oil can I use? I don't have lard
Thanks!!!

Hi Melissa, I think you can use tallow or other animal fat or red palm oil (sustainable from West Africa). All these are heat-stable fats. Coconut oil is also an option but would be way to expensive if you use it for deep frying.

I did this recipe yesterday, only with chicken skins instead of pork skins.  Works like a charm!  Hubby says we had "chick"arrones yesterday.

Oh I love chicken cracklings! 😊

I often use store bought chicharrones in some really tasty recipes. I've often wondered if I could duplicate them. I have yet to find pork skins. I'll redouble my efforts and ask butchers now that I know how simple it is. I like the variety that has a little fat on the skin; sometimes meat. I'm looking forward to a fresher Chicharrone. Thanks    

Great! Just make sure you dehydrate the skins well so they puff up. I get all the pork skins every month from my farmer but the local butcher sometimes has it too.

Hi Martina, I just found your site and it looks great - i cant wait to get stuck in. I particularly like the idea of using the prok scratchings in place of flour. Quick question which i am sure is covered elsewhere but can you explain the macronutrient ration?
I was working on the basis that 1g of fat = 9 calories and 1 gram of protein = 4 calories. That would make the ration here carbs (0%), protein (72%), fat (27%)... where am i going wrong? Thanks, Mark

Thanks for spotting that Mark, yes you are right, it's the other way round! I'll correct it now.

WOW that recipe for pancakes you link to, looks AWESOME. I'll have to make the pork rinds just to make *that* lol
Great ideas here!

They do look delicious! Let me know when you try them, Hélène 😊