Discover how to make pork rinds (pork chicharrones) the EASY way in the oven or air fryer. Pork crackling is the perfect crunchy salty zero-carb high-protein keto snack.

If you have ever wondered how to make homemade pork crackling, discover my secret method.

Homemade keto pork crackling is one of the most popular keto pork recipes.

You will also love keto pork chops (with garlic butter sauce), keto pulled pork, almond crusted pork schnitzel, and the best low-carb keto pork side dishes.

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What is pork rinds/pork crackling?

Pork rinds, chicharrones, and pork crackling are crunchy fried pork skins or pork belly eaten as savory snacks. Pork rinds are zero carb high-protein.

Pork crackling (UK) is the pork skin that is cooked on a pork roast. Roast pork crackling is often scored and salted to make a crunchy roast pork crackle.

Pork scratchings are a British pub snack that is fried and salted and often ordered when ordering a pint of beer.

Crush them up to add some crunch to other dishes too, like the Cheesy Keto Chicken Casserole.

Pork crackling nutrition

Fried pork rinds contain zero carbohydrates, and less fat than potato crisps but 14 times the protein so are the perfect salty crunchy snack whether you are on a keto diet, low-carb diet, or high-protein low-carb diet.

The protein and fat of your crispy pork crackling will depend on which cut of pork skin or which roast pork recipe you use. Pork belly and pork roast recipe will contain more meat, and so be higher in protein, however, crispy skin that has been cooked and drained on paper towels, may have lower fat.

Per 100g/3.5ozNet carbsProteinFatCalories
Potato chips48.3g4.6g34g531
Pork rinds0g67.3g29.4g521

Nutritional values from cronometer.com

Which cut of pork do you need?

Pork crackling is made from pork skin (or pork rinds).

If you can’t see pork crackling or pork skin for sale, ask your butcher or supermarket as they may not even be aware there is a demand for it.

My local butcher sells pork crackling (pork skin) already scored and at a bargain price. Some local supermarkets also sell pork skin, especially specialty Asian supermarkets.

You can also buy pork belly which has an extra layer of fat and meat but is usually baked or roasted as slices of pork steak.

Ingredients

  • sheets of pork crackling (pork skin)
  • salt
  • herbs or spices

You only need 3 simple ingredients to make crispy crackling. You can vary the spices and herbs to your preferences, or just use plain regular table salt.

How to make pork rinds in the oven

If you have made crackling before, you will probably have tried to score the skin with a sharp knife, such as a craft knife or Stanley knife.

I will show you how to make crackling with no knives at all, yes zero, nix, zilch, nada, nothing. No more cut hands or uncut thick pieces of crackling.

Your crackling may or may not come already scored. That doesn’t matter. I will show you how to make crackling without any knives or score lines.

Step 1: Heat the pork skin

Lightly oil a baking tray that has a 1-inch lip/side. The oil is just to stop the crackling from sticking initially. As the crackling cooks, the pork fat will drain away and the pork crackling will cook in its own fat, hence the need for a baking tray with a 1-inch lip/side to contain the pork fat.

Place the crackling on the baking sheet. Rub in whatever herbs and spices you may like. I flavored one sheet with lots of salt and another sheet with salt and Chinese five-spice.

Place the baking sheets with crackling into the oven at 180C/350F for 10 minutes. This is the genius part. Once they have heated, but have not begun to cook, the crackling is extremely soft and pliable.

How to make pork rinds without knives

Now I said I will show you how to make crackling without knives – get your kitchen scissors out! Remove the baking tray and cut the crackling into strips or bite-size pieces as easy as anything.

Step 2: Cut the pork skin

Hold the crackling with some kitchen tongs whilst cutting with your kitchen scissors. Using the scissor method, you can get crackling strips as thin as you like or any shape you like. You might want to try triangle shapes, or squares to use instead of crackers?

Step 3: Cook the pork skin

Place the cut crackling pieces back into the oven on the baking sheet. As they cook, more pork fat will drain out of the crackling which will in effect fry the crackling pieces to be crispy and delicious.

Cooking time depends on how crispy you like your crackling and how thick or thin you have cut each piece. My crackling took about half an hour in total as a guide.

How to make pork rinds with an air fryer

Using an air fryer to cook pork rinds is quick and easy. It stops oil from splattering all over your oven and your shirt.

  1. Preheat to 190C/375F.
  2. Spray the wire basket with cooking oil.
  3. Gently place the sliced pieces of pork rind into the oiled basket. Ensure there is plenty of space between them.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, open the drawer and turn each piece.
  5. Cook for a further 5 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces being cooked. The pork crackle (pork rinds) needs to be light and crispy.
  6. A lot of fat will have rendered (melted) out, so when you remove the pork rinds, allow the oil in your air fryer basket to cool then pour the cold pork fat into a storage jar and use it for tasty cooking oil.

If you love using your air fryer, I have 101 keto air fryer recipes for you to choose from (chicken, pork, ground beef, salmon, vegetables, and even desserts). Discover how to use your air fryer plus FREE printable air fryer cooking cheat sheets.

How to make perfect pork roast crackling

For the perfect roast pork, I prefer to use a boneless pork shoulder that has a large amount of skin. Score the skin across the pork shoulder and dry with a paper towel. Do not oil the skin with olive oil, but sprinkle a generous amount of salt all over the dry skin.

Place your roast pork into a roasting pan and place it in a preheated hot oven. Cook at high heat 220C/428F for the first 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180C/350F and cook for 30 minutes per kg/2lb.

Remove from the oven and allow the pork roast to rest for 10 minutes before carving. This allows the meat to be fall-apart tender and the fat render to drain into the pan juices.

Top tip: For really crispy skin, you can remove it from the pork roast and place the crispy skin back in the oven for 10 minutes while the pork roast is resting.

How to store pork fat (lard)

Pork fat (lard) is a delicious fat that can be saved and stored for cooking. Lard has a long shelf life and has been used for centuries before refrigeration was invented.

You can drain the rendered fat (melted fat) from your sheet pan or air fryer into a heat-proof jar. Skim off any pork pieces that float to the top.

Once cooled, pour into a glass storage jar then keep in a cool place for up to one year. Lard can be frozen for 2 years.

Do not keep lard in direct sunlight, near your oven, near your toaster, or in any other warm area of your kitchen.

How to store pork rinds (chicharrones)

Once you have learned how to make crackling you will want to store it to remain crunchy. If you store crackling in the fridge it tends to lose its crispiness and go chewy and rubbery. If you store it in the cupboard it doesn’t stay fresh for long because it doesn’t contain any preservatives (other than salt).

I have discovered to keep your crackling fresh and crispy you need to line an airtight container with kitchen paper, place your crackling inside, then place another folded piece of kitchen paper on top before closing and sealing the airtight lid.

How long can you store homemade pork rinds?

This way it will stay fresh for up to a week at a cool to moderate temperature. It is autumn here now so room temperature is quite cool. If I were to make this in the summer, I would probably reduce the expiry date to 5 days.

Again, this is incredibly individual due to factors such as humidity, how crisp your crackling is, to begin with, how airtight your container is, room temperature fluctuations, the amount of salt you used etc so you will have to check your crackling is still fresh and edible (don’t eat if the fat smells oxidised and rancid).

Leave a comment on what herbs or spices you have tried and any other tips on how to make crackling. I love reading your tips and ideas.

Recipe FAQ

What are pork rinds made of?

Pork rinds are the cooked, baked, or fried pork skin.

What’s the difference between pork rinds, pork crackling, and pork crackles

They are the same. Those in the US tend to call cooked pork skin, pork rinds. Those in the UK tend to call it pork crackle.

What is the difference between pork rinds and chicharrones?

Pork rinds are made from the skin and fat from a big, whereas chicharrones are made from the pork belly and will have skin, fat, and meat.

Are pork rinds high in protein?

Yes, pork rind has up to 67g protein per 100g, zero carbs, and is often lower in fat than potato crisps.

Nutrition information will vary if you use pork skin, pork belly, or pork roast.

Are pork rinds healthier than potato chips?

Yes, pork rinds are zero carbs, have higher protein, and are not deep-fried. When made at home, pork rinds are cooked in their own pork fat (lard) so do not contain ultra-processed seeds oils which may cause inflammation.

What are the purple marks on bought pork rinds?

The purple lines on store-bought pork rinds are the USDA/official food markings. The dye is edible and not dangerous.

Which is the best cut of pork for a pork roast?

For the perfect pork roast, I prefer to use a boneless pork shoulder. Cook your piece of pork at high heat to bring the roast meat to temperature and to quickly render fat from the skin. This creates the best crispy crackling.

Should I rub olive oil into the skin?

No, for the best crackling score the skin with a sharp knife, pat the skin dry with paper towels and rub salt into the dry skin (rind)

Can I slow roast pork?

Yes, but you will not get crispy pork crackling because the piece of pork that has been slow-cooked will stay moist and tender. You can slow cook pulled pork at low temperature, skin side up, to get tender pull apart meat.

How to reheat pork crackling?

The best way to reheat crispy pork crackling is to pop it back into the oven. If you use a microwave, any moisture will soften the crispy pork rinds and turn chewy.

How to make the perfect crispy pork

More keto snack ideas

How To Make Pork Crackling (Pork Rinds)

How to make pork crackling (pork rinds) in the oven OR the air fryer. The perfect keto snack that is zero carbs and naturally gluten-free.
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Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain free, Keto, LCHF, Low Carb, No Sugars, Paleo, Wheat Free
Keyword: Best pork crackling, how to make pork crackling
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 521kcal
Author: Thinlicious.com
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Ingredients
  

  • sheets of pork crackling
  • salt
  • herbs or spices
  • oil of choice

Instructions

  • Place the pork crackling (pork rinds or pork belly) on a lightly oiled baking tray with a 1 inch lip/side. Season with salt and/or herbs and spices.
  • Cook at 180C/350F for 10 minutes until soft.
  • Remove from the oven and using kitchen tongs and kitchen scissors, cut into strips or shapes.
  • Cook until golden and crispy.
  • Drain the crackling and pour the rendered pork fat into a heatproof jug.
  • Cool the rendered fat and use it as a delicious cooking fat (pork lard). Store the lard in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 521kcalProtein: 67.3gFat: 29.4gSodium: 1818mgPotassium: 127mgVitamin A: 40IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 0.9mg

People also ask

How do you get the perfect crackling on roast pork?

If you follow these few easy steps, the end results will give you perfect crackling.

Make sure you place the pork joint in the oven on the middle wire rack with the fat side (fat layer) facing up. Make deep score lines using a sharp knife all over the pork skin, remove any excess moisture with kitchen paper towels then rub in salt for extra crunchy crackling.

Why is my pork crackling not crispy?

Some modern ovens are very well sealed to retain a lot of moisture to give tender dinners. However, when cooking pork with crackling, you want the skin to dry out and go crunchy. If you know your oven is well sealed, open the oven door every hour to let excess steam escape. Make sure you have dried the skin with paper towels and rubbed in enough salt.

Should I oil pork with crackling?

You can rub a little olive oil into the score lines to help the salt stick.

Should I pour boiling water over pork?

Some people like to make score marks into their pork rind at 1cm intervals and then pour boiling water all over to shrink the skin. The hot water helps the salt and oil penetrate a little deeper.

Do you cover pork when roasting?

No, if you cover the pork joint with aluminum foil the skin will stay soft. You can, however, cover pork while cooking at a lower temperature (slow heat) for soft pulled pork.

What is the best temperature to cook a pork roast?

Pre-heat your oven to 320F (160C) and cook your chosen pork roast in a baking dish or roasting dish on the middle wire rack uncovered for 25 minutes per 1 lb (450g). Using a meat thermometer, make sure the internal temperature reaches 145F (63C). USDA

Cooking times will vary on the efficiency and accuracy of your oven.

Why does vinegar make pork skin crispy?

Some people like to brush white vinegar onto the pork belly which can make the pork belly much crispier.

How do you fix soft crackling on pork?

You can place the pork crackling under the grill for a few minutes at high temperature or if you are in a hurry to carve and serve your roast pork, cut and remove the soft crackling and fry in a frying pan with a little oil or place under the girl until it puffs up and turns crispy.

Can you cook pork crackling under the grill?

You can place pork in a baking dish under the direct heat of the grill to sear the meat at the beginning, or to make extra crunchy crackling at high temperatures for the final 10 minutes remaining cooking time.

What is the temperature for pork?

You should cook pork meat, pork roasts, pork cuts, and pork chops to an internal temperature of 145 ºF (measured using a meat thermometer).

What is the best cut of pork to roast?

The most popular joint of pork to roast is pork shoulder roast or pork legs. These have the largest amount of meat (compared to pork belly) and the skin of the pork will produce golden crackling.

But any cut of pork from your local grocery store will taste delicious now you know how to make perfect pork crackling.

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  1. I have made crackling before using the 2 days salt and leave in the fridge method, and it was a bit of a disaster! Do you recommend removing the layer of fat from underneath the skin? I left this on and it tasted really fatty and not nice at all – is there an easy way to remove that thick fatty layer or do you normally leave it on? I can’t wait to try your recipe as it looks really easy, thanks

    1. I have never heard of the method that you describe of leaving the salt on for 2 days. What a palaver! Don’t worry about removing the layer of fat, it drains off as it cooks which is what makes the crackling so crispy, then you pour it into a jug to keep and use as lard. I believe in making recipes as easy as possible and cutting out as many steps as we can. I hope you enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. OK ….. all very well – BUT, my SMOKE alarm goes off every time I open the oven ๐Ÿ˜‰ and I live in an apartment in a retirement village, so NOT the most popular Crumbly living there! Oven smokes for-EVER after (cleaning easily, is tough on the arthritis!) What tricks?…..what advice? (other than “don’t make crackling then!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Margie, take the batteries out of the smoke alarm while you make the crackling. Be sure to put them back in when you are done!

  2. I can not wait to try this! I use to make beef “crackling” back in the day when you used to be able to get a steak with fat around it. My hubby just loved it. Made it with chicken fat too. Never with pork though. I will be doing it as soon as I have the time & the pork fat. Thank you for sharing. By the way, I love all your recipes!

  3. Lynne Devonshire says:

    We grill ours in a really hot oven (230ish) instead of baking it. Only takes about 10 mins. But it’s easy to burn doing it that way so I’ll give your way a try ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oooh I’m going to try your method. I got Westmere Butcher to dry some for me which was great however chopping it up was a mission because it was so hard.

  5. Linda Mitchell says:

    Have you tried cooking in the microwave. It turns out pretty good. Place whole scored sheet with salt into microwave, on microwave safe dish, cover with paper towel. Cook each sheet for 8 mins. Take out and put on clean paper towel to cool. Turns out like the packet pork scratchings you can by.

  6. My method works a treat, because I use a Sunbeam AirWave fryer. I’ve used the scissors method, but can mostly buy either scored pork-belly or sliced pork rashers. Then I place the meat directly into the lipped lower basin ( thus no rack), sprinkle lightly with Himalayan salt & black-pepper. Pork-belly requires 1 hour on 1 side & 1 hour on the other side ( you turn it over). Pork -rashers ;sprinkle lightly as well with Himalayan salt & black pepper & require about 20 minutes per side. Crackling : ( also sprinkle lightly with Himalayan salt & black-pepper) & cook each side about 30 minutes per side,until brittle enough to your liking. All the above is cooked in it’s own fat. When done, you can also strain all the fat into a receptacle to keep as lard in the ‘fridge, for other cooking.

  7. Mara smith says:

    How much calories per 100g please?

    1. I can’t really calculate it for this as there are so many variations which will affect the calories/fat e.g.: how thick you cut the slices, how much fat you let drain off, how thick the skin was and how much fat was under the skin etc.

  8. Is 180c the cooking temperature for the entire cooking time or do you increase the temperature after you cut it up?

    1. 180C/350F for the entire time. i don’t like to cook it too high as you are at risk of burning them too easily and the pork fat smoking.

    2. Thank you for sharing. I made some today & it turned out great. I was just reading your thoughts on storage & realised I may have made a mistake by only salting 1 batch. The second batch I made I didn’t salt as I planned to mix the 2 batches together because the first batch seemed too salty. I’m wondering if this will shorten the shelf life majorly. It is cool weather at the moment but it is still a meat, so, I’m wondering your thoughts on this.

      1. The salt is more for taste rather than storage and long shelf life. I’m sure if it is cool they should last as expected but as always, check to make sure they are still fresh. The smell of slightly rancid fat will indicate they are going off.

  9. I place the pork skin on a rack over an oven dish so the fat drains off and can be used later. I find this works well. Delicious!!!

  10. I sprinkled with salt to cook and stevia when it first came out. mmm sweet and salty

  11. I have tried a few different methods, in my attempts to replicate the sort you can purchase in USA. This is definitely the easiest and best mthod. Every piece puffed up! And I loved the nice clean lard that drained off.

    I just salted mine. Won’t need to buy the hard, over priced and over salted NZ offerings. Thanks Libby! You rock!

      1. How much salt to use as I have no idea? How do you cool it before storage I quest it shld be completely cold By Kitchen Paper do you mean paper towels? Thank you Li bby

        1. I just sprinkle salt on quite liberally but not to excess. Yes I cool them then use kitchen paper/ paper towels for storage. Can’t wait for this heat to die down and I can have the oven on again soon to make these again.

    1. Hi Brenda how do i make the puffed up cracling thanks

  12. Asked my local butcher for some crackling, he scored it and handed it over for free, what a great butcher. Would never have thought to ask for it. Thanks.

  13. I have tried cutting it your way several times but found it too hard to do as I found the skin would go super sticky. BUT this morning I had an idea lol! When I do pork roasts, I use a craft knife to score the skin on it, makes it so easy. So I thought this morning, why don’t I try with doing this! Discovered the easiest way to do it was to start slicing with the fat face up, slices through the whole thing like butter! And as long as you wipe it every so often it is as quick and easy like anything! When the blade starts going blunt you just snap the top off and its like having a whole new knife lol!

    I have also been finding that just doing in a tray, it wouldn’t cook properly in its own fat and often burn, so I put it on a rack type one instead this morning, and it was beautiful! So perfect!

    They pair nicely with a cheesy dip I sometimes make, just melt together some cream cheese, cheese and a little bit of butter, then season with salt and pepper YUM!!! And I’ve heard that ranch dressing is yum with them too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Just made these with some free pork skin from my butcher. Seriously delicious. Thanks for the receipe. Sitting here nibbling on some – mmmmmmmm.

  15. Looks delish, but I have never seen ‘cracking’ for sale. Is it just a southern thing? I’d love to have the fat that is rendered too. I’m in the deep west. do i ask a butcher for crackling? ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. 5 stars
        As for storage, (relative to the amt. that you have) I recently bought a large bag of home made cracklings, way more than I could eat at once (took 2 weeks) so I placed them in our microwave oven (over the cook stove) with the microwave lights on continuously for the entire time.
        The cracklings stayed crispy and tasty til they were gone.(Yes I took them out when we used the M.W)

    1. BBQ places that serve pulled pork might also offer cooked pork rinds. Some of ours do in Georgia.

  16. Im in Australia and found some at my local Coles yesterday
    Giving this a try for dinner tonight.

  17. Jennifer Connor says:

    5 stars
    My crackling gets eaten loooong before I even think of storage ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 5 stars
      Same here. Truck is to scrape as much fat off it as possible. I then cut into strips. Then salt it. I sit it on a perforated tray. 220deg.soon as you see it curling up.put oven in grill. Door open . Take out just as it starts to brown. You won’t get any better. I make it every Friday night for mates at the pub. Gone in seconds.??

  18. 5 stars
    Besides pork crackling, I’ve located a regular supply of chicken skins.
    These I roast just like my previously mentioned pork.
    My wife prefers the chicken-skin crackling.
    I get lots of chicken fat every time and store it in tupper-ware containers for a week in the ‘fridge or freeze it.

  19. 5 stars
    I absolutely love your method! I had only ever made crackling on a pork roast. Never occurred to me to just get some pork rind. How do you store the rendered fat? Should you keep it in the fridge?

  20. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I made it today, very crispy, in fact a bit hard. I only cooked it for 25 mins. Anyway it tastes ok, just a bit hard on the old teeth. I used salt and oregano, nice taste.

    1. Linda A. Watson says:

      5 stars
      Is this the crackling that is used for crackling cornbread?

  21. 5 stars
    My method with crackling is simple.Let your partner roast the pork in the normal way,then remove the cooked skin carefully,leaving as much fat as possible on the joint.Next,using strong kitchen scissors,cut into two inch square pieces and then put in the microwave.Should the amount be about a large mug full,one would need to microwave for four and a half minutes at No.180.
    A small basin is best used to contain the aforesaid part-cooked crackling and it important to place a suitably sized plate over the top to control the splattering whilst microwaving.
    Voila! You have perfect crackling.
    Present the whole amount -after straining off the hot fat -on a side plate ant then help yourselves.

    1. 5 stars
      Microwave? No thanks.

  22. 5 stars
    Hi Libby – I bought some crackling from New World, but unfortunately according to the butcher there, it is from crate raised pigs! โ˜น๏ธ I’m going to try the recipe with this (looks yummy!) but after that I’m going to try to source some free range pork. There are several lovely pig farms here in South Canterbury – I guess I’ll just have to roll up at the gate!

  23. 5 stars
    I make these when I make a quart of lard. Toss the leftover bits from the lard (after you have strained off the lard) into a heated non stick pan, season with salt and pepper or herbs, fry until crispy. Perfect.

  24. 5 stars
    Made these last night….. Perfect! I cooked a pork and tarragon stew so cut the rind off the joint before using the pork, then looked for what to do with it. Luckily found your page. Took a bit longer as the rind was quite thick but came out fantastic, covered them in pepper and smoked sea salt, they taste amazing! As a final twist tipped the fat ovet the potatoes I was roasting in the oven ….. Hmmmmmmm

  25. 5 stars
    Great idea cutting AFTER it’s been pre cooked a little, made it so much easier. Took around 20 mins to crisp up and husband loved it, I’ll be saving this recipe, thanks.

  26. 5 stars
    Would these be dry enough to crush for pork panko?

  27. 5 stars
    Which part of pork do you put in pan
    Fat at top or skin top???

    1. 5 stars
      Great question! Fat down, skin up as shown in the step by step pictures. Have you made it yet? My kids fight me for it as it comes out of the oven.

  28. Susi Batstone says:

    5 stars
    Crushed fennel seeds rubbed in to both sides make the most wonderful addition. A new flavour for us.

    1. 5 stars
      Oooh, I love this idea Susi. I often add fennel to granola because it adds such a wonderful licorice flavor. I’ll try this next time we have roast pork (which is almost weekly here).

  29. 5 stars
    Hi, this looks great but just a small point – I’m british and have never heard the phrase pork crackle.

    When the rind is attached to a roast (family dinner) it’s call *crackling*

    When it’s loose like this as a snack (down the pub) it’s called *pork scratchings* or more usually *porky scratchings*

    It’s a small difference but it makes all the difference.

    1. 5 stars
      I blame my British husband, he calls it “pork crackling” (maybe it’s a Northerner thing?)

  30. 5 stars
    These are the best keto pork rinds I have ever made, (and it’s the easiest recipe to follow, even for numpties like me).

  31. 4 stars
    I’ve tried pork scratchings a heap of different ways, and the best I have found is as follows:
    1. lightly salt and then steam the rind over boiling water for 15 minutes until soft and gelatinous
    2. Remove from the steamer and let the moisture evaporate off the rind for a few minutes
    3. Cut into bite size pieces
    4. Toss in a bowl with some melted lard or beef dripping, and a good sprinkling of salt
    5. lay skin-side up on a baking tray and bake at 180-200 C until crispy
    6. Drain on kitchen paper once out of the oven.

    Done like this seems to make them super crunch and brittle, without being at all hard on the teeth.