Pork Crackling Recipe (Whipping Up Crunchy Pork Goodness)

Pork Crackling Recipe (Whipping Up Crunchy Pork Goodness)
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Crispy Pork Crackling Recipe
Indulge in crispy and flavorful Cracklin' Pork Belly, fried to perfection and seasoned with a zesty blend of spices. This Southern-inspired snack is sure to be a hit with its irresistible crunch and bold flavors.

Hello, lovelies. Austin Carter Welcomes you all to Beyond The Bayou Blog to serve you something really crunchy today: Pork Crackling. Yes, cracklins. Addictive little morsels of tender pork belly fried until crispy and then tossed in some hot sauce and cracklin’ dust, aka seasonings.

These are not the ones you buy in the convenience store, these here, are the real deal! I remember this guy on his trailer at the fisherman market in Westwego frying up cracklins and selling them. I would always want to buy a bag and snack on them on the way home. Now, these are addictive but nothing that you want to just munch on all the time!

If you are able to find pork belly with the skin on, get it. It will add a nice crackling effect and extra crunch. The pork belly I used did not have the skin on but still came out crispy.

I adapted this recipe from Issac Toups, who owns Toups Meatery down in Nola. He is known for the meat-centered and Cajun dishes at his restaurant in Mid-City. The cracklins there are very good and so is the Dirty Rice!

So grab your apron, uncover your equipment, and start with today’s recipe to be a people pleaser.

What Is Pork Crackling?

Pork crackling is that delightful crispy snack you get from cooking the skin of a pig until it puffs up and becomes crunchy. Think of it like the ultimate pork chip! We season it with salt and spices to make it extra tasty. People love it because it’s so satisfyingly crunchy and savory, perfect for snacking or adding a crispy topping to dishes. The key is getting the skin just right during cooking to achieve that perfect crunchiness. It’s a favorite treat for pork enthusiasts everywhere, adding a deliciously crispy touch to meals and snacks alike with your favorite dipping sauce.

Overview: How To Make Pork Crackling?

Overview How To Make Pork Crackling

Hey there, fellow food enthusiasts! I’m Austin Carter, and I’m thrilled to share with you my mouthwatering recipe for Cracklin’ Pork Belly. Succulent pork belly pieces, crispy and bursting with flavor, seasoned to perfection. Here’s how I whip up this irresistible dish:

First, I simmer the pork belly in lard until it’s beautifully golden and tender. This step creates that luscious base that makes every bite heavenly. Once cooled in the fridge, it’s time to work on the magic seasoning mix, what I call the “Cracklin’ Dust.” It’s a blend of chile de árbol, kosher salt, a touch of sugar for balance, white pepper, garlic goodness, and a hint of celery seeds for that extra pop.

Next comes the frying part – a sizzling dance of pork belly pieces in hot peanut oil until they’re golden brown and irresistibly crispy. The aroma that fills the kitchen is pure bliss!

After a quick drain on paper towels, I give them a little love with a dash of hot sauce for that kick and generously sprinkle on the Cracklin’ Dust seasoning. The result? A flavor explosion that’s downright addictive.

This Cracklin’ Pork Belly is not just a dish; it’s an experience. It’s comfort food at its finest, perfect for sharing with friends or indulging in a cozy night. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked! Love these fried Pork Crackling? Try my Fried Chicken and Fried Crab Legs for such a crispy texture.

Pork Crackling Recipe (Whipping Up Crunchy Pork Goodness)

Crispy Pork Crackling Recipe

Indulge in crispy and flavorful Cracklin' Pork Belly, fried to perfection and seasoned with a zesty blend of spices. This Southern-inspired snack is sure to be a hit with its irresistible crunch and bold flavors.
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: american southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Calories: 700kcal
Author: Austin Carter


  • Dutch Oven
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Spice grinder or blender
  • Small Bowl
  • Paper Towels
  • Cooking Thermometer


  • 2 pounds pork belly, cut up into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup lard
  • peanut oil for frying
  • hot sauce to sprinkle on at the end
  • 2 tbsp chile de árbol, ground
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp  sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds, ground


  • In a Dutch oven, combine pork belly pieces and lard, bringing them to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently and simmer until the meat starts to brown and becomes tender, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove the pork belly from the Dutch oven and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the ground chile de árbol, kosher salt, sugar, white pepper, granulated garlic, and ground celery seeds to create the "Cracklin' Dust" seasoning.
  • Strain and reserve the lard from the Dutch oven for future use. Heat peanut oil in the Dutch oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fry the cold pork belly in batches until puffed and golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
  • Drain the fried pork belly pieces on paper towels. In a bowl or bag, toss the cracklin' pork belly with a few dashes of hot sauce and sprinkle the Cracklin' Dust seasoning over it.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 700kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 70g | Sodium: 1200mg | Fiber: 1g
Keyword Easy pork crackling recipe, how to make pork crackling from skin, perfect pork crackling every time, Pork crackling recipe oven

Substitutions and Variations!

  1. Spicy Surprise: Try adding a kick to your Cracklin’ Dust by tossing in some crushed red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne for those who love a bit of heat.
  2. Sweet & Tangy: For a sweet and tangy flavor, swap out the sugar in the seasoning with brown sugar or honey. It’ll add a caramelized goodness to your crackling.
  3. Herb Garden Magic: Elevate the flavors with fresh herbs like chopped rosemary, thyme, or even a hint of sage. It brings a garden-fresh vibe to your pork belly.
  4. Asian Fusion Twist: Infuse Asian flavors by mixing soy sauce, ginger, and a touch of sesame oil into the seasoning. Serve with a side of sweet chili sauce for dipping.
  5. Zesty Citrus Burst: Grate some lemon or lime zest into the Cracklin’ Dust for a zesty pop. It brightens up the dish and adds a refreshing touch.
  6. Smokehouse Dream: Swap regular salt with smoked salt and add a dash of smoked paprika for a smoky, barbecue-like flavor. Perfect for those backyard cookouts!
  7. Heritage Spice Blend: Create your unique spice blend with family heirloom spices or regional favorites. It’s a nod to tradition and adds a personal touch to your crackling.
  8. Healthy Crunch: Opt for leaner cuts like pork loin or chicken breast strips. They’ll still crisp up beautifully and offer a healthier alternative.
  9. Veggie Delight: Turn this into a vegetarian delight by using thick-cut slices of eggplant or portobello mushrooms. Marinate them in garlic, soy sauce, and your favorite herbs before coating them with the Cracklin Dust.
  10. Dip & Dive: Pair your crackling with different dips like tangy barbecue sauce, spicy mustard, or a creamy aioli. It’s all about the dip and crunch combo!

What to Serve with Pork Crackling?

What to Serve with Pork Crackling

Storing and Managing Leftovers!

  • After frying, allow the crackling to cool down fully before draining. This keeps it from getting soggy. Also, lay them on paper towels to soak up any extra oil.
  • Make Good Use of Leftover Crackling: Put it in a sealed container or a resealable bag. Before you seal them, make sure they’re totally cooled.
  • Moisture is the nemesis of crispiness, therefore stay away from it. Therefore, keep your crackling away from any damp areas. To further reduce the amount of moisture, you might place a paper towel inside the container.
  • Be careful when reheating: Put leftovers in a low oven (around 300°F) for a few minutes before serving. They will be able to get back their crunchiness after this. To keep them from becoming chewy, don’t microwave them.
  • For the tastiest crackling, eat it fresh. For the best crispy results, eat any leftovers within a couple of days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the secret to perfect crackling?

A: The secret to perfect crackling lies in scoring the skin, ensuring it’s dry, using high heat, and allowing enough time for the fat to render and the skin to crisp up beautifully.

Q: Why is pork crackling so hard?

A: Pork crackling can be hard due to overcooking or inadequate moisture content. It’s crucial to find the right balance during cooking to achieve that perfect crispy yet tender texture.

Q: Can I bake the pork belly instead of frying?

A: Frying yields the crispiest results, but you can bake the pork belly at a high temperature for a similar effect. Adjust cooking time accordingly.

Q: Can I use a different cut of pork for crackling?

A: Pork belly is best for crackling due to its high-fat content, but you can experiment with other cuts if desired. Keep in mind that fat content affects the crispiness.