I haven’t come across many people who don’t like pork crackle (also known as chicarrones or cracklings).
I mean, what’s not to love? It’s crunchy (and a little soft if it’s done ‘just right’), it’s salty, its low carb and it’s high in healthy fat which makes it really filling. Those are all #win #win #win’s in my eyes!
Many commercial brands still scare me when I flip them over and read the ingredients list. Some don’t even have pork in the top 3 ingredients! They are often loaded with additives, MSG, hydrogenated oils and other nasties. There are a few good brands, but they are hard to come by and often very expensive
These days, pork rinds are being seen as more of a delicacy than the junk food they have been known as in the past. Push any preconceived ideas you may have aside, and let’s get cracklin’!
There are a few different ways to make them, but I find this the easiest and least messy.
You can deep fry, oven bake or use the air fryer. If deep frying, you will need a crackle with a very small amount of fat; you may even need to trim the fat off. For this method in the air fryer, fat is fine (and delicious might I add!)
Don’t worry, you can still make it in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer. See the recipe below for traditional oven method 🙂
- Pork Crackle
- Pink Salt
- Oil (only necessary if you have a really thin piece of just skin and not much fat)
Air Fryer Method:
- Source your crackle!
- Preheat your air fryer to 200C.
- Open it out and lay it flat. Sprinkle with salt and leave for about 10 minutes to allow the salt to draw the moisture out.
- Pat dry with a paper towel and cut into pieces (whatever size is fine)
- Cut it up using a very sharp knife of scissors.
- Coat with olive oil and rub salt in well (add any other seasonings you might want to use)
- Place your crackle in the air fryer and bake for about 20 minutes turning once about half way.
- Remove and place onto a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.
- Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container with some paper towel or in the freezer for two months (but make sure there is no oxygen in there!). You can bring them back to life in the airfryer or oven.
Preheat oven to 220C or 200C fan-forced.
- Cut into desired pieces (or leave whole and cut with scissors after cooking).
Place crackling rind-side up onto a rack over a shallow baking dish. Brush well with oil (if you don’t have much fat on your crackle).
Rub with oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and whatever other seasonings you would like to add.
Bake for between 40 to 50 minutes, or until small bubbles form on surface and rind is crisp and golden.
Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces with kitchen scissors (if baked whole).
- Strain and bottle the fat from the pan.
- Add extra seasonings like:
- Allspice, star anise, nutmeg, and peppercorns.
- Chinese 5 spice
- Garlic and onion powder
- Fennel seeds, cumin and coriander
- Rub the skin with olive oil, and either vinegar or lemon juice, to help draw the heat into the skin
- Try the same recipe using chicken skin (and save the fat from that too!)
- Try the same recipe using the strips of fat from a piece of beef/steak
- Slicing with the fat face up using a sharp knife is the best way to cut it (I find this easier than using scissors)
- These taste great paired with a simple cheese sauce (melt together some cream cheese, cheese and a little bit of butter, then season with salt and pepper)
- Sprinkle with stevia as soon as you take it out (and salt before you put it in)
- The smell of slightly rancid fat will indicate they are going off.
- Be sure to take the batteries out of the smoke alarm while you make the crackling, but remember to put them back in when you are done!