Betcha can’t eat just one! Pork rinds that is, and making them at home is easier than you think. With one simple ingredient and some salt for flavor, you have the homemade pork rinds of your dreams!
So what exactly are pork rinds? Well, the ‘rind’ is just another term for skin, so essentially pork rinds are nothing more than the skin from the pig. Why the heck would anyone want to eat that! Lots of reason really. Frist, if you follow a Keto diet plan, you already know all about pork rinds. They are a great way to up your protein and fat intake for the day plus you can crush them up and use instead of breadcrumbs.
Second, it aligns with the whole nose to tail movement, meaning it’s more ethical. Nothing is wasted and I do my best to follow that practice, however, I draw the line at chitterlings. We need to take our food supply seriously and part of that is learning how to cook like our grandparents and great-grandparents. Nothing goes to waste.
And last, but not least, if you’ve been following my Instagram feed, you’ll see that I started the year by curing and smoking my own bacon. The supplier I use leaves the skin or rind on the belly and instead of removing it, I choose to brine and then smoke with the rind intact. Once everything is cooled, I remove the rind and slice pile after pile of bacon.
Which brings me to homemade pork rinds. I had a bags full of smoked pork skin sitting in my freezer taking up valuable space. I just couldn’t throw it in the compost, although the chickens would have loved it! And while our dog Blue got a piece here and there, I really needed to figure out something to do. I had this Roman dish saved in my recipe folder forever. It was a super simple pork rind and lamon bean stew, (Look for that recipe in the future), but I still had piles of it left. So homemade pork rinds became my next mission.
The process is simple but lengthy and while you don’t need anything fancy, a good dehydrator is a HUGE help. The first step to making homemade pork rinds is to boil the skin. This helps to break it down and makes it so much easier to work with. Depending upon the size of your pork skin, cutting it into two or three manageable pieces is a good idea. Then just cover it with water, bring it a boil then reduce the heat a bit and cook for roughly 90 minutes. It should be soft and pliable, but not falling apart.
Remove from the water and let cool for a few minutes before gently scraping any lingering pieces of fat that might have been left on your skin. This step is really important. You want nothing left but the skin. You can remove the nipples if you prefer, but I didn’t notice a difference when leaving them on. Next, you’ll want to cut the skin into one-inch pieces and place into a dehydrator or into your oven at the lowest possible setting (200F for most ovens), and let dry overnight. You’ll know they’re done when they are dry, dark in color and brittle.
All that is left is to fry them up! Heat a deep-sided pot with about 4 inches of oil to 380F-400F. Place one piece at a time into the hot oil. It should immediately puff up becoming light and airy. Remove from the oil with tongs and sprinkle with salt for pure porky goodness or hit it with a sprinkle of your favorite chilie powder for some heat. Five spice powder would be incredible too. Fry the remaining pieces one at a time until you’ve reached homemade pork rind perfection!
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Homemade pork rind perfection can easily be created in your own home and are a great way to up your fat and protein count on the Ketogenic diet!
Cut the pork skin into two or three manageable pieces and place in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
Cover with water and bring to a boil.
Boil for roughly 90 minutes or until the skin is soft and pliable. (See note about using an instant pot)
Drain and let the skin cool until cool enough to handle.
Gently scrape any remaining fat from the underside of the skin, being careful not to tear it.
Cut into one-inch pieces and place in a dehydrator or on a baking rack on a cookie sheet in a 200F oven overnight. The skin is dried with when dark in color and brittle.
Heat a deep-sided pot with about 4 inches of oil to 380F-400F.
Place one piece of skin at a time into the hot oil. It should immediately puff up becoming light and airy.
Remove from the oil with tongs and sprinkle with salt for pure porky goodness.
Repeat with the remaining pieces.
You can soften the skin quickly by using an instant pot. Place the pieces into an instant pot and cover with water. Follow the directions for your model to set for high pressure and 30 minutes. Naturally vent for 5 before releasing the rest of the steam. Continue with the steps above.