Are you a fan of pork rinds? Did you know that you can make your own at home by dehydrating pork skin?
It’s a simple process that requires just a few steps, and the end result is a delicious and crunchy snack that you can enjoy anytime.
In this article, we’ll show you how to dehydrate pork skin using different methods, including a dehydrator and an oven. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks you need to make perfect pork rinds every time.
So let’s get started!
How To Dehydrate Pork Skin?
There are several ways to dehydrate pork skin, but we’ll cover three of the most popular methods: using a dehydrator, using an oven, and boiling and simmering the skin.
Why Dehydrate Pork Skin?
Dehydrating pork skin is a process that removes all the moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and crispy. This is a popular technique used in making pork rinds, a beloved snack that’s high in protein and low in carbs. By dehydrating pork skin, you’re able to achieve the desired texture and crunchiness that’s characteristic of pork rinds.
Dehydrating pork skin also helps to remove any excess fat, making it a healthier snack option. When the skin is dehydrated, it becomes lighter and less greasy, making it an ideal snack for those who are watching their calorie intake.
Another benefit of dehydrating pork skin is that it extends its shelf life. Once the skin is completely dried out, it can be stored in an airtight container for weeks or even months without spoiling. This makes it a convenient snack to have on hand whenever you’re craving something crunchy and savory.
Preparing The Pork Skin
Before you can begin dehydrating your pork skin, you need to prepare it properly. First, you will need to obtain some skin from a pig. If you’re not sure how to do this, there are plenty of resources available online that can guide you through the process. Once you have your skin, cut it into squares or strips.
If you’re using a dehydrator, place the prepared pork skins onto the dehydrator rack. It doesn’t matter if the skins are placed up or down, just arrange them on the tray. If possible, use stainless steel racks lined with a Paraflex dehydrator sheet for best results.
If you’re using an oven, preheat it to a low temperature of 160-180°F and leave the door cracked open to allow air to circulate. Place the prepared pork skins onto a baking sheet and put them in the oven. Total drying time should be approximately 8 hours or overnight with a convection oven – add 2 hours for ovens without convection.
If you’re boiling and simmering the skin, place it in a pot of boiling water for about an hour. Then, drain the skins and chill them in the refrigerator for four or more hours to solidify the fat. After the fat is sufficiently solidified, scrape it off the skin.
Regardless of which method you choose, once your pork skins are prepared and ready for dehydration, proceed with the appropriate steps for your chosen method. Dehydrate pork rinds at 165°F for 10-14 hours (depending on the size of your pork skins) until they’re rock hard if using a dehydrator. If using an oven, set it to 160-180°F and leave the door cracked open. If boiling and simmering, proceed with the next steps in the process.
By properly preparing your pork skin before dehydrating it, you will ensure that your pork rinds come out crispy and delicious every time.
Dehydrating Pork Skin In A Dehydrator
Dehydrating pork skin in a dehydrator is the most ideal method because it allows for even and consistent drying. To start, cut the pork skin into bite-sized pieces and place them in the dehydrator at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours. Make sure to arrange them in a single layer on the dehydrator racks to ensure that they dry evenly.
After 12 hours, check the pork skins to see if they are fully dehydrated. They should come out looking like a piece of shiny brown plastic – if they are still soft or pliable, put them back in the dehydrator for another hour or two. It’s important to fully dehydrate the skins because if they are not dry enough, they will pop and explode when fried, causing hot oil to go all over.
Once the pork skins are fully dehydrated, you can season them with your desired spices and fry them to make delicious pork rinds. To fry them, heat vegetable oil in a small pot until it reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the pork skins in batches until they puff up and turn golden brown, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Once they are done frying, remove them from the oil and let them drain on paper towels before seasoning them with your favorite spices.
Dehydrating Pork Skin In An Oven
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can still dehydrate pork skin in your oven. Start by preheating your oven to a low temperature, ideally between 170°F and 180°F. Place the pork skin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, making sure they are not touching each other. Leave the oven door cracked open to allow for air circulation and moisture to escape.
The drying time will depend on the thickness of the pork skin and your oven’s temperature. It can take up to 8 hours or overnight with a convection oven, and up to 10 hours for ovens without convection. To check if the pork skin is fully dehydrated, it should be hard and crispy to the touch.
It’s important to note that if your oven is well-sealed, excess steam may build up and prevent the pork skin from drying out properly. To prevent this, you can open the oven door every hour to let excess steam escape.
Once the pork skin is fully dehydrated, you can store it in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag for future use. Dehydrated pork skin can be fried to make crispy pork rinds or used as a crunchy topping for salads or soups.
Seasoning Your Pork Rinds
Once you have successfully dehydrated your pork skin and transformed it into crispy pork rinds, it’s time to add some flavor! There are countless ways to season your pork rinds, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
One classic seasoning is simply salt. Sprinkle generously over the pork rinds for a savory and satisfying snack. For a spicy kick, mix in some chili powder or cayenne pepper. You can also experiment with different spices and herbs, such as garlic powder, paprika, or rosemary.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try making your own spice blend. As mentioned above, a popular BBQ spice blend includes sugar, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, onion powder, chili powder, and cumin. Mix together in a bowl and then sprinkle over your pork rinds for a unique and flavorful snack.
Another option is to dip your pork rinds in a flavorful sauce or dip. Ranch dressing or hot sauce are popular choices, but you can also try salsa, guacamole, or even hummus.
No matter how you choose to season your pork rinds, be sure to do it while they’re still warm and fresh out of the oven or fryer. This will help the seasoning stick to the rinds and create an even more delicious snack. And with so many options for seasoning and dipping, you’ll never get tired of this crunchy and satisfying treat.
Storing Your Pork Rinds
After successfully dehydrating your pork skins, it’s important to store them properly to maintain their crispiness and flavor. One of the easiest ways to store pork rinds is in a zip-top freezer bag. This will keep them fresh and prevent moisture from getting in.
Another option is to use an airtight container with a lid. This will also help keep out moisture and air, which can cause the pork rinds to become stale or soft. If you have a vacuum sealer, this is another great option for storing pork rinds as it removes all the air from the bag, keeping the pork rinds fresh for longer.
It’s important to note that once you open the bag or container, the pork rinds will start to lose their crispiness over time. To avoid this, only open the bag or container when you’re ready to eat them and consume them within a few days.
Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try making your own flavored pork rinds by adding your favorite seasonings before storing them. This will give them an extra kick of flavor and make them even more enjoyable as a snack.