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.
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!
Nutritional values (per 1 oz / 30 g cracklings)
|of which Saturated||1.1||grams|
|Potassium & Magnesium||trace|
Nutrition values are estimated, the fat & protein content may vary depending on how much fat you trim off the skin. Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (0%), protein (73%), fat (27%)
- pork skins, about 2 pounds OR use pork back fat and use instructions here to cut the fat off
- lard for frying, you can use leftover lard if using whole pork back fat
- Optional: seasoning of choice: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic / onion powder, chili powder, dried herbs, etc.
- Preheat the oven to low, about 210 F / 100 C. 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. 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!
- 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 3-4 trays. Bake for about 4-6 hours or until dehydrated.
- When done, pour the excess lard into a pan.
- 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.
- If the skins are properly dehydrated, it should take just about 30-60 seconds for the batch to puff up. Then, use a slotted spoon to remove the cracklings onto a tray lined with kitchen towel.
- Repeat for the remaining pork skins...
- ... and leave to cool down.
- 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). Try with Guacamole, Marinara sauce, soured cream or your favourite cheese dip.
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