This recipe for homemade pork rinds is so easy to bake in the oven. Chicharrones are salty, crunchy and savory, and they are the perfect low-carb or keto solution for a snack attack!
These homemade chicharrones are so good and so very easy to make! I make this recipe whenever I get a chance to visit the local Hispanic market, where I can buy pig skin.
This is not a difficult recipe to make. I suppose the only somewhat challenging part is trimming the layer of fat attached to the skin if it's very thick. But with a sharp chef's knife, it's very doable.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need three ingredients to make homemade pork rinds (the exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Raw pork skin: As mentioned above, I buy it at the local Hispanic market. It's not available in U.S. supermarkets.
Olive oil cooking spray: I love the taste of olive oil. And while its smoke point is fairly low, in this recipe we're using low heat to crisp up the pork skin, so it shouldn't be an issue.
Kosher salt: I highly recommend using coarse kosher salt in this chicharrones recipe. Fine salt will not be as good. You can use anywhere from 1 to 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
How to make homemade pork rinds
As I said above, it's not difficult. I included the detailed instructions in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by cutting the pork skin into bite-size pieces. You'll need a sharp knife.
2. If the skin has a thick layer of fat attached to it, trim it, but don't remove it completely.
3. Arrange the pieces on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, skin side up. Spray them with olive oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Be liberal with both the oil and the salt. I start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, but sometimes I go up to two teaspoons. The salt greatly enhances the flavor of the chicharrones.
4. Bake the pork skin pieces at 325°F until golden and crispy. Depending on your oven, this should take 1.5 - 2 hours.
5. For the best flavor and texture, it's important to let the pieces cool completely prior to enjoying them. I place them skin side up on paper towels and allow them to cool for about 20 minutes. They will continue to crisp up as they cool, and their flavor will greatly improve.
Are pork rinds actually pig skin?
Yes, they are! And making this recipe is a great way to make the tough skin of pig edible and use up the whole animal, which is the ethical and sustainable food choice for meat-eaters.
Specifically, in this recipe, I use pig skin that has a little bit of fat still attached to it. I really enjoy the combination of the crispy skin and the chewy fat.
Where do you buy pork skin?
I buy it at the local Hispanic market. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. Just like offal is difficult to find in regular U.S. supermarkets. I do wish it was more widely available!
If you can't find pork skin, another option - shown in the video below - is to buy skin-on pork belly and cut the skin off the belly. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's doable if you work slowly and patiently. What to do with the pork belly after removing the skin? I make oven-baked pork belly slices.
The perfect keto snack
Pork rinds are the ultimate low-carb and keto snack, fulfilling that salty/crunchy craving without an unnecessary carb overload.
It's easy to find them in grocery stores, and Whole Foods now carries two brands of delicious artisan chicharrones. But if you happen to source some pork skin, making your own in the oven is easy.
And the result - although quite different in texture than the commercial snack (they're not as light and puffy), is delicious!
How to calculate the nutrition for homemade chicharrones
When calculating the nutrition info for this recipe, I used the widely available nutrition info for commercial deep-fried pork rinds. The homemade version might differ from the commercial one, but that's the best info I was able to find.
Use spices if you'd like
I season these delicious snacks very simply, with kosher salt. But you can add more seasonings, including black pepper, paprika (or smoked paprika), garlic powder, and onion powder.
Some people like to make a sweet version with a granulated sweetener and cinnamon, but I haven't experimented with that, and frankly, I don't plan to...
How to store homemade pork rinds
Unlike the store-bought snack, homemade chicharrones should be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container. I don't recommend keeping them at room temperature.
Usually, I keep them in the fridge for about five days and find that they stay tasty for that long. Although they're good right out of the fridge, it's best to remove them from the fridge about 30 minutes before enjoying them.
More tasty and crunchy snacks
Another wonderfully crunchy snack that I make quite often is these almond flour crackers. They are really good - just as good as traditional crackers.
And these keto jalapeno cheese crisps are so wonderfully flavorful and very easy to make. They are the perfect snack for game day!
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Homemade Pork Rinds Recipe
- 1 lb. raw pork skin
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (can go up to two teaspoons if you wish)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the pork skin into bite-size pieces. If the skin has a thick layer of lard attached to it, trim some of the fat, but don't go nuts about it - it's OK and very tasty to leave a thin layer of fat attached to the skin.
- Arrange the pork skin on the prepared baking sheet, skin side up and fat side down, in a single layer. Make sure the skin pieces don't touch each other.
- Generously spray the pork skin with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. If using, sprinkle with additional spices.
- Bake until crispy and golden. Depending on your oven, this should take between 1.5 - 2 hours.
- Transfer the chicharrones to paper towels, skin side up, and allow them to cool for 20 minutes before enjoying them. They greatly improve in taste and texture after they cool.
- Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Remove them from the fridge 30 minutes before enjoying them.