How to Make Pork Cracklings

Pork crack. . . I mean pork cracklings.  Also known as pork rinds, chicarrones, deep fried fried pork skin.  Practically every country in the world has a version of pork cracklings.

Remember a few years ago when the Atkins Diet was all the rage? Sales of pork rinds went through the roof because, although they are full of fat and sodium, they were carb free! Folks ate those fried pork skins like they were going out of style (as my grandmother would have said.)

The pork crackling or rinds you find at the supermarket have been rendered, dried, then fried so they puff up.  Great if you have a factory, but for me I decided to slow roast the pork skin until all the fat was rendered and the skin was crispy.

I am participating in Charcutepalloza or The Year in Meat.  I made my own Maple-Pepper Bacon and the by-product of that was a large piece of skin from my pork belly.

I couldn’t let it go to waste now could I?

Because I had a whole pork belly, the skin was a very large piece.  I decided the easiest thing to do was to cut it in half, then slow roast each half in a roasting pan.

Since I had two pieces I decided to spice them differently.  On one I liberally sprinkled sea salt.  On the other I sprinkled on my smoky BBQ rub, to make a sort of BBQ flavored crackling, like a BBQ potato chip. But better.

I set my oven to 300 degrees, popped the roasting pan in and went about my business.  Three hours or so later I had crackling. And the house smelled heavenly. . .or porky.

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

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  1. Ooooooo! Oh! Oh! Oh! I know this is sooooo true. I am Biftafied A Southern born, Pig skin, Belly Fat, Skin Lovin Female, that definitely know how to Cook, My Cracklins! Chicharones! Fried Pork Belly Cooking Sister, of other Sistas that was born and raised in the Southern part of, the South. HALLELUJAH! There is absolutely nothing that could take the place of Cracklins. They are just that good, and I have not tasted any other that can beat the taste of them, irregardless of how they fry/Baked or Bar-B-Que’d, just good. Amen!

  2. I make my own bacon and can’t stand to waste the skin. Other recipes just haven’t come out very well. I am so glad to have come across yours. Tomorrow my house will smell porky too! Love your site!

  3. major yumola! THIS kind of stuff (p.o.r.k. of any kind!) is the exact reason why this gal can/will NEVER be a vegetarian… beautimous picture and makes me wanna lick my computer screen…. i can smell that luscious pork…. thanks for sharing…might have to share a link to this on my blog too! *PORK FAT RULES*

  4. Do you think pork is addictive? I can’t seem to stop wanting to eat it. Am a reasonably healthy eater but just can’t avoid pork. Love crackling. I come from the Philippines where we eat chicharon like popcorn. I love the way you cooked yours. I don’t like it too puffed up. I will never throw away my pork skin again.

  5. Your crack looks magnificent. And BBQ chips are my favorite wicked indulgence, so I’m sure to love BBQ cracklin’s. Thank you for the techniques and tips. Did you cut the roasted skin apart with a knife, scissors? or just break it apart?