Cracklins! by Foamheart

Discussion in 'Pork' started by foamheart, May 1, 2015.

  1. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have got to tell ya I have been wanting to do thise forever! I can not understand why Cracklins and Jerky are so expensive, but I am sort of worn out.

    Cracklins are the last item at a boucherie and everyone waits around for them. They are the more delicious little things. Well lets look at them.

    This a cracklin as they are found in the wild.

    Thats a peice of pig skin, some fat, and sometimes a bit of meat....

    And the come from.................

    These are scraps I "generously" cut when trimming up the bellies for bacon. Normally I would have left it on and just made bacon and trimmed later and used in beans, BUT..... I wanted cracklins!

    FYI, if you think you could be a butcher, try cutting up some cracklins, if you think your knife is sharp try and cut up cracklins.

    MY right index finger was actually swollen up and ted for two days. I know I am just a titty baby. I was really amazed at the amount of work cutting this suckers involved. I bet those who do this have a machine to make 'em!

    Here is the start of 14 pounds of cracklins

    BTW I really like the new USDA plastic bags. They get the Foamheart seal of approval!

    So I threw 'em in the project reefer thinking everyday was the day, almost two weeks laster, they were still good I got to it.

    Yesterday I spend the afternoon sorting out 6 burner/boilers and 4 bottles, numerous regulators and hoses. Finially I borrowed the neighbors we knew it worked, he boiled crawfish last weekend...LOL

    Butane burner, cast iron pot (guessing a 5 gallon pot), a paddle, and a spider.

    Are you ready for this? I had cut up and frozen some 5 lbs of cracklins a couple a years ago anticipating a cookin. Well they had been in the freezer too long and I used them to warm up, clean and season the pot, AND so I could see just how they cooked. Its free practice.

    In the pot

    Did I forget to mention how important the stiring the pot is?

    Those babies are starting to get brown!

    Can you see the shadows moving? So I clean out these, and throw 'em in the can. I was hoping to use the rendered fat but it was not to be.

    So the pot is re-seasoned, I removed the oil and cleaned it real well.

    In goes the cracklin meat. BTW the best way to start this is low and slow since you are rendering your own cooking lard.

    And that would be the paddle and the spider I refered to earlier. Nothing like having the right tool for the job. Check those shadows.

    Stir, stir, stir..... builds a mighty health thirst!

    I had plenty of gas, no not from beans, for the burner... I was stocked!

    You'd think someone would clean all that up, wouldn't ya?

    We are a rendering!

    I am watching the LSU Miss St. baseball game. The Commentator while showing a haze blowing across the screen between home plate and the mound, "Thats the smoke from all the tailgators outside the park"....ROFLMAO

    Yes sir, I have turned the burner up, we are cookin w/gas!

    Cracklins start to crackle!

     Where is that darn  spider

    Oh Noooooo...... we are not finished yet, these would break a tooth!

    You get the clean oil out the pot, and clean it up.

    Dang it Kevin I said clean the pot!

    Ooooo.... shiney!!

    Add back the good oil

    Butane burner on high. Now is not the time to splash it on you. I had second thoughs about my shorts to be truthful.

    At about 400 degrees return the cracklins to the pot till they talk to ya.

    This ball game is so funny with the tailgaiters smoke crossing the field. Those LSU fans any excuse to party....

    Finished product!

    It wasn't hard to do, it has to be done outside usless your bride likes the smell of rendered lard. Do NOT undersize the pot, thats so serious hot stuff. Pull the cracklins to rest and clean the oil at about 350, reheat clean oil and add back to the pot at about 400.

    If you have any paticular questions I will attempt to answer.

    Its something I have been wanting to do forever. I reheated a tad too long and my cracklins are a bit crunchy and the fat is sort of dry for my taste, but all the neighbors dropped by to sample and loved 'em. LOL

    Note to self, when next door neighbor is painting his house its NOT a good idea to make cracklins

    Thanks for lookin in.
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great but different then we made them.

    We fried the left over after pressing lard.
  3. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I wasn't after the lard this time. To render lard is an all day job here. I had seen on the board somewhere someone rendering in a pot in the oven then fryed the left over in an electric fryer.  Besides usually the lard rendered for use, is the fat around the kidney the purest fat. If it was beef it would be called suet. Which must now be like gold, I always used in my chilis when I competed now no idea how even to fine any.

    Anyway... Thats how we make cracklins.
  4. dukeburger

    dukeburger Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cracklin was something my Dad used to give us when he'd make a Sunday dinner picnic roast. I loved the stuff!
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  5. They look great! I will have to try making some of them myself although I don't think I will share them with anyone haha. They will go great with several cold beers I think. 🍻
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just like the gribiness you get when making schmaltz, super good crispy goodness!

    Looks tasty Kevin!
  7. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A  heads up foam. Kitchen shears make quick time with cutting up the skins..................... [​IMG]         I have the pampered chef shears....

    Cracklins look great...........

    foamheart likes this.
  8. Great job Foam I love those things, Kinda like Pop corn though It's hard to stop till it's all gone    [​IMG]      [​IMG]

  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is just something about crisp cracklie skin, doesn't matter if it is a roast, a turkey, or just fried skin....... Crunchie fat! Mmmmm.......

    Awhile back I de-skinned some thighs on a couple a packs. I saved 'em for some reason, I have done stranger things. I had my fry pot hot was frying taters and decided to give it a whirl. WOW you can keep that old meat, I want the cracklie fried skin! LOL
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First, Thank you for your service! We all appreciate your sacrifices. And thank you for the compliment!

    I highly recommend 'em. You know how the women hate that fried oil smell in the house when cooking fish or taters or chicken etc.....These smell nothing like nothing else but lard. Once it hits the air, you'll meet neighbors you have not seen in 10 years....LOL

    And you think a butt sweats down, you know a 10 pound butt produces a 6 or 7 pond finished product? Well this is even worse, but the more you loss the crunchier (If its not a word, it should be) the cracklin. These were almost as dry as fried pig skins. I wanted to insure they were crunchie..

    I suggest if you try them, you make lots and lots the first batch will be eatten while making the second, then the neighbors will start comming visiting.
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am looking for a coonaz education from someone .

    Graton, this is what we call the crisp almost burnt rice at the bottom of the jambalaya pot. Althought if we are cooking gratons we are making cracklins. But when we make cracklins, we end up with cracklins and gratons.

    Cracklins on the left in the ziploc, the gratons in the paper in the bowl.

    The gratons and not the cracklins are what is used in cracklin cornbread so as not to loss them. They are the small pieces mostly meat but some fat that I assume fell off during the cooking process of continiously stirring.

    You can difinately tell the difference between the cracklins and the gratons. Even if the cracklins are gratons...LOL

    My last questions is, why do they always keep cracklins in a paper bag? I would think that moisture such as humidity is the enemy. But even when you see cracklins for sell at the meat market or some stores, they are in brown paper bags. I understand absorption of oils maybe, Heck I can even visualize it being so that the brown paper bag would go well with the brown paper bag the beer is in? LOL

    I always think of the strangest questions.
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I know chicken skin would have been just as delicious. AND I could have used a dutch oven to cook 'em. Even that little pot gets kinda heavy anymore.

    Thank you sir, and great for the beach!
  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I never thought of shears, Thanks Joe.
  14. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Did you say Cracklins , like in Pig [​IMG]
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you sir.

    I don't understand how they shrink so small after cooking and diminish in quanty while siting around. I blame the mice.... the same ones that eat the end off a fresh load of hot gresh bread.
    nepas likes this.
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nawwwwww........ I'd be a chicken.
  17. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Kevin that looks great 

  18. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh buddy them so do look good. I would love some.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Great Foamy!![​IMG]--------------------[​IMG]

    No wonder they're expensive!![​IMG]

  20. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Low carb cooking.  I'm in! Very nice Kev! 


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