Pork rinds

Pork rinds

By
From
Deep South
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Pork rinds, cracklin’, chicharones… whatever you want to call them, grab a bag and hit the road. The perfect travelling companion.

My friend, Ruben Collins, makes pork rinds in his shed near my family’s farm, using a 25-gallon cast-iron pot set over an open fire. He bags them up with a healthy shake of BBQ dusting that he’s made, then drives around to little country stores and juke joints across the Delta to sell them. Even when Frito-Lay is making pork rinds in a bag that will stay fresh forever, Ruben still does that.

Ruben’s technique is similar to that for making a good french fry: a blanching method where you cook once at a low temperature, then turn up the heat for a second cooking to puff them to perfectly crisp. It’s important to clean away any excess fat from the skin, otherwise it will inhibit the final crunch. It’s not an exact science when cooking in this style, below is a cleaner method for use in the home kitchen. Dust the pork rinds with salt and BBQ rub straight from the fryer for the best results.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg pork skin, scraped of excess fat
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
sea salt
bbq rub

Method

  1. Boil the pork skin for about an hour, until tender. Carefully remove from the water, leave to cool and then chill. Cut into 5cm squares, then place in a dehydrator and leave for 12 hours or overnight. Alternatively, dry the skin in the oven on the lowest setting. Store in an airtight container until ready to fry.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180–185°C and drop in a few of the pork rinds at a time. They should puff up and grow 3–4 times bigger. When they float to the surface, remove from the oil and place on a tray lined with kitchen paper, seasoning with salt immediately. Once they are cold, dust with a little of the BBQ rub. They will keep for a day in a cool, dry place.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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