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The little bit I currently know is that they're fried pig skins. However, beyond that it's just a bunch of hand-waving on my part.

  • Do you buy pig skin from a butcher?
  • Is there a special type you need?
  • How do you judge pig skin quality?
  • I'm assuming they're deep fried, does the oil matter?
  • Are they a difficult thing to make in your home?
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I assume this is pork scratchings, the bar snack, as opposed to pork crackling which is the crispy skin eaten with a main meal? –  Sam Holder Jul 16 '10 at 17:30
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@Sam: Hmm. I have heard neither of those terms before. Must be regional. In the USA pork rinds are dry crispy things sold in bags. They are typically grouped with potato chips and pretzels. –  hobodave Jul 16 '10 at 17:34
    
Wikipedia: Pork rind (known in the United Kingdom as pork scratchings (as a room-temperature snack) or crackling (served hot as part of a meal) and pork crackle in Australia and New Zealand) is the fried or roasted skin (rind) of a pig. –  hobodave Jul 16 '10 at 17:34
    
So apparently everyone has a different term. –  hobodave Jul 16 '10 at 17:35
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if they are grouped with potato chips and pretzels then they are pork scratchings here in the uk. –  Sam Holder Jul 16 '10 at 18:09
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3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Funnily enough I made some of these just a week ago. They're not at all difficult to make and you can use any rind, which your butcher should be able to supply.

Depending on your health considerations, you can oven cook them or you can part oven cook part fry.

Oven cook method:

  • Cut the rinds into 4 by 4cm pieces
  • Place in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes
  • allow to cool, then place in the fridge until the skins feel 'dry' approx 2 hours
  • Preheat the oven to 220c(425f) and place the rinds on a baking sheet. Season and place in the oven
  • Turn the oven down to 180c(350f) and cook for about an hour. You will need to drain the fat a couple of times.
  • Let them cool and add more seasoning, if needed.

The Oven/Fry method

  • Cut the rinds into pieces that will fit on a rack over a baking tray (not small pieces)
  • Half fill a baking tray with water and place the seasoned rinds on a rack over they tray
  • Roast these in the oven at 220 to 230c(350 to 450f) for 10 to 15 minutes. When they've changed colour and start to bubble they're done.
  • Remove form the oven and cut into 4 by 4cm strips
  • In a pan half filled with very hot veggie oil or a deep fat fryer, cook in batches until they 'puff' up around 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove and let the oil be taken-up by paper towel. Season and you're good to go.

I tried both methods and I preferred the second, something about frying them just 'felt' right :)

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Thanks for the Fahrenheit conversions. :) –  hobodave Jul 16 '10 at 17:48
    
I can't imagine them coming out 'right' if they are just done ion the oven... –  Sam Holder Jul 16 '10 at 18:10
    
They were ok but just lacked that 'something' ... –  Pulse Jul 16 '10 at 18:18
    
Any seasoning suggestions? –  tomjedrz Jul 16 '10 at 20:04
    
I found that a little sea salt and some cracked black pepper worked, I also tried adding ground dried chillies, for some heat and spice, they also worked. –  Pulse Jul 17 '10 at 2:07
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You can buy the pig skin from a butcher, any kind will do, even if they still have some fat or meat attached. The way we make them is you buy pork lard from the store and you heat it up, add a lot of salt, or to taste. Fry the pork skin until they look like the ones in the potato chip isle, pretty much just eyeball it. Also, you can add water to the fat, together with some onions and garlic too. Then, add the skins and ears, snout, what ever you got, throw some pork meat in there too, and boil them till they're soft and fully cooked. Add a can of coke to caramelize it, and strain it and it's done . Both ways are good, just take some practice to get them how you like them. Oh, and stir them a lot so they don't stick to the pan. We make them in a large cazo on a burner outside. Cook on high flame

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Typically the "raw" rind is referred to as a "pellet", so you need to Google "pork rind pellets" to find sellers.

Warning: they tend to come in huge bags, so unless you want to experience death by 65lb bag of pork-rind-pellets, go in with some friends.

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