Dried Pork Skin: A Homemade Delight from Hook’d Up Bar and Grill

Video dried pork skin

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Pork rinds, also known as chicharrones, are undeniably delicious and a popular choice for those following a keto diet. But have you ever considered making them yourself? After a recent trip to Mexico, where we savored homemade chicharrones at a local restaurant, I was inspired to try my hand at creating my own pork rinds recipe. And let me tell you, it’s easier than you think! In this article, I’ll show you how to make pork rinds that are even better than store-bought.

What Are Pork Rinds?

Pork rinds are a keto-friendly snack made from the skin of a pig. While you can find them in grocery stores, they often come with added artificial flavors or preservatives. Making your own pork rinds allows you to control the ingredients and create a crispy texture that rivals potato chips. Plus, they’re packed with protein and low in carbs!

Ingredients You’ll Need

To make these delicious zero-carb snacks, you only need a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pork Skin: Make sure to trim off any excess meat and fat. If you can’t find pork skin on its own, you can buy pork belly and remove the skin to use in this recipe.
  • Sea Salt: The perfect seasoning for chicharrones. Kosher salt works too.
  • Avocado Oil: Used for deep frying, resulting in an airy and crispy end product.
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How To Make Pork Rinds

Making chicharrones is a breeze. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Prepare the pan: Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the pork skin: Trim any excess lard off the pork skin and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Pork skin cut into strips and squares
  4. Bake: Arrange the skins in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until dried, crispy, and golden. Drain any remaining fat from the rinds on paper towels.
  5. Fry: Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large pot or saucepan to 350 degrees F. Fry the pork skins in small batches until they become puffy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain again.

Flavor Variations

If you prefer flavored pork rinds, try these seasoning variations. Simply add the seasonings right after frying, while the rinds are still hot:

  • Cajun: Toss in your favorite cajun seasoning or make your own homemade version.
  • Ranch: Sprinkle homemade ranch seasoning on the chicharrones.
  • Cinnamon Sugar: Coat the rinds with a mixture of cinnamon and your preferred sugar alternative (or sugar).
  • BBQ: Combine smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and Besti sweetener to taste. Toss the pork rinds in this flavorful seasoning.
  • Cheesy: Toss in cheddar cheese powder for a reminiscent taste of cheese puffs.
  • Simple Spices: Feel free to use any spices you have in your pantry, such as paprika, garlic powder, or onion powder.

Storage Instructions

Store your homemade pork rinds in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 3 days, or in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just remember to allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re new to chicharrones, you may have some questions. Here are the answers to the most common ones:

What Do Pork Rinds Taste Like?

Chicharrones have a light pork flavor and a delightfully crispy texture. While they taste delicious with just salt, they also serve as the perfect canvas for other seasonings.

What Is The Difference Between Pork Rinds, Chicharrones, and Cracklins?

Regular pork rinds have no fat attached to the skin, resulting in a puffy texture. Chicharrones is the Spanish term for pork rinds, and there is no difference in the cooking process. Pork cracklings are slightly less puffy and have a meatier texture due to the presence of some fat on the skin.

Chicharrones Nutrition Overview

Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional values for a 1/2-cup serving of store-bought fried pork skins:

  • 80 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of carbohydrates, fiber, and sugar

The nutritional content may vary slightly for homemade pork rinds depending on the fat retained during the cooking process.

Are Pork Rinds Healthy?

While pork rinds do contain a high amount of fat, they can be a part of a balanced diet depending on your wellness goals. The fat in pork skins is mostly unsaturated, and when fried in avocado oil, they become a wholesome snack that is low in carbs and free from preservatives or unnecessary ingredients.

Are Pork Rinds Keto?

Yes, pork rinds are keto-friendly since they naturally have 0 grams of carbohydrates.

Are Pork Rinds Gluten-Free?

When prepared with only fat and salt, chicharrones are naturally gluten-free. However, some flavored varieties available in stores may contain trace amounts of gluten, so it’s always best to check the labels.

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How Many Carbs Are in Pork Rinds?

Fried pork skins contain 0 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Do Pork Rinds Provide Protein?

Yes, pork skins contain 9 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving. However, they should not be relied upon as a primary protein source since the protein they provide is incomplete. Nonetheless, the protein comes in the form of collagen, which has its own unique benefits.

Ways To Use Pork Rinds

Pork rinds are not only great for snacking but also versatile in recipes. Here are some creative ways to use them:

  • Use as a breading: Grind the chicharrones in a food processor or blender to create a crispy coating for chicken tenders, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and even keto orange chicken.
  • Pair with dips: The crunch of these rinds pairs perfectly with guacamole, Crock-Pot rotel dip, fresh tomato salsa, taco dip, or a cheese ball. Just like crackers or chips, you can serve chicharrones with a variety of dips.
  • Make nachos: Spread the homemade pork rinds on a baking sheet, top them with cooked meats (shredded chicken, barbacoa, or ground beef work well), and sprinkle on shredded cheese. Bake until hot, then add your favorite nacho toppings like jalapenos, diced tomatoes, red or green onions, and cilantro.
  • Bulk up meatballs and meat patties: Ground chicharrones add rich flavor and texture to salmon patties and turkey meatballs. They can also be used as a binder for keto meatloaf.

More Crispy Snack Recipes

If you love crispy snacks, be sure to check out our other recipes for more delightful crunch. Visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill for a wide array of delicious and satisfying dishes that will keep you coming back for more.

Now that you know how to make your own pork rinds, get creative and enjoy the crunchy goodness at home. It’s a fun and rewarding process that will leave you with a tasty and healthier alternative to store-bought chicharrones. So roll up your sleeves and get cooking!