How to Make Pork Rinds-Skins / Cómo Hacer Chicharrones de Puerco en Casa

Mexican cuisine is not only vast and exquisite, but also full of untold stories about the humble origins of some of our most typical (and perhaps “unknown”) meals: Chicharrones.
Although it may be difficult to pronounce, they are easy to cook and I am sure many of you will be delighted to taste them. Chicharrones have a unique flavor, unlike any other meat. The first notion that we have about Chicharrones is that they came to America from Spain centuries ago, along with Chorizo. They are deeply rooted in our history and cooking traditions.
This recipe shows the procedure I use to make chicharrones at home. The times and quantities will depend in the type of pot you use to cook and if you are cooking a large amount of meat and skin it will take longer. I highly recommend you use a cast iron pot. It is better for frying, browning and it allows the food to cook evenly.
One of the main ingredients, besides the pork, is patience. Yes, it takes a good amount of time to cook chicharrones. If you are a Mexican you will remember how the butcher will start very early in the morning to prepare and cook the meats, and the carnitas will be ready around noon. Then the chicharrones will take a little longer. It is not a common practice in Mexico to cook your own chicharrones, you just go to the butcher shop and buy them, some will usually cook them only on weekends. But if you want to make them at home the waiting will be more than worth its time for the aroma and flavor alone. Not to mention that you won’t be able to stop eating them right after they come out of the pot. So have a good Mexican salsa (the hotter the better) and some warm corn tortillas ready.

  • 4 Lbs Pork fat and skin ( I usually buy butt roast or pork shoulder, trim the skin off with some of the fat and meat and freeze it until I have enough to cook. I leave the fat to render some lard for later uses. Cut the skin in squares about 3-4 inches, the skin will shrink while cooking. Other option is to use Pork belly (Usually sold at Asian markets) In case you want more chicharrones.
  • 1 Lb. Lard
  • Salt to taste

Some people will remove all the excess fat and meat and leave only the skin to have the fluffy, light chicharrones. But I like to make them like these sold in a local butcher shop in my hometown. With some fat and meat on them.
Melt the lard and heat until it is very hot. Carefully place the pieces of skin into the pot. Be very careful because the fat will splatter during the process. Stir frequently to avoid the skins from sticking to the bottom of the pot. After one hour the skin will be soft like in this picture; these are called “cueritos” in Mexico. Add the salt to season at this time.
Keep cooking and stirring frequently for about another hour or more until they become golden brown, taking care not to over cook them. Over cooked chicharrones will be rubbery and hard to eat. Usually when the lard starts bubbling the skin will pop. That will tell you that your chicharrones are almost ready. Check them out by taking one out and let it cool a little to see if it is in the desire consistency, meaning crunchy, crispy but not hard.

Once they are ready, remove from the pot and drain in paper towels let them cool slightly before you eat them . Now pass the salsa and the warm tortillas for your tacos.
Drain and save the lard in an air tight container for future cooking uses.
Linking this post to "Simple lives Thursday".

¡Buen Provecho!


  1. OH boy Mely. This is awesome. I've got to try this some time soon. Your pictures are great and the chicharrones look so good. My dad and uncles back in the day would make loads of them outside in a big black kettle. Those were the days. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I love chicharrones! My dad used to make chicharrones and carnitas in a coper cazo (pot). It was a whole event that lasted all day and so much fun to eat them in tacos that evening or prepared in chile verde for next day's breakfast. Yum! Your's look soooo good!


  4. MELY:



  5. Standing ovation AS USUAL!

    Querida Mely gracias por enseñar como hacer chicharrón casero, eso sí me hacía mucha falta porque aquí no hay manera de encontrarlo, pero puedo encontrar fácilmente la piel del cerdo (cotenna se dice en italiano).

    Voy a intentar hacer chicharrón muy pronto porque ya llevo dos años sin comer taquitos de chicharrón con salsa verde.

    Un abrazo

  6. Oh wowww.... I see lots and lots of pork skin!! Looks sinfully delicious!!

  7. Jamas he hecho chicarrones y me ha encantado la idea.
    Estan tan crujientes, les pegava ahorita mismo un mordisco.
    Feliz semana ♥

  8. ay Mely..I mi me encanton los chicharrones pero por mis migranas no los puedo gustan con las tortillas a mano...te rayaster inspiras mucho tus recetas y recuerdan a las de mi mama.

  9. I have never had fried pork skins, but they sure do look delicious. We have high hopes of finding a local pig available for butcher this fall, maybe then I will be able to give it a try.


  10. Oh Mely!!! I just knew that this post was from you. This is wonderful as I have such sweet memories of my grandpa always eating chicharones. He'd share with all of the grandkids. He'd also take us to the panaderia and we'd get sweet Mexican pan dulce. I'll have to try this at home... I can smell them already! Have a wonderful day and rest of the week :D


  11. Hi Gloria,
    I know, my uncles used to butcher a whole pig once a year and it was a family event.

    Hola Prieta,
    Cooking them in a large copper pot is the traditional way. I forgot to add that to my post. Thanks for remind me about it.

    Gracias Tania.

    Es muy alagador tu detalle.

    Oye, Tlaz,

    Espero me platiques pronto que los hiciste. Te juro que no vas a dejar de comerlas tan pronto salgan del cazo.

    Un abrazo.

    Hello Kimberly,

    I know, I was even afraid of posting so much fat. :) But once a year it is OK. Thanks for stopping by.

    Hola Ana,

    Gracias por tu comentario y por visitar.

    Thanks to all you make my day.


  12. Hola Dama,

    Chocolate, Vino tinto y nueces son lo que a mi me dan migranas y ocasionalmente salsa exageradamente picantes. Pero nunca habia escuchado de chicharrones. Que pena que no los puedas comer.
    Un abrazo,


  13. Hello Brenda,

    I do hope you find a pig for this fall. You can use the whole pig.
    I love that you visit me today.


  14. Hey, Diana

    Glad to bring back good memories to you. I am still wishing to go to Iowa and cook with you.

    Te envio un abrazo,


  15. Me encanta el chicharron, lo compro de vez en cuando en las tiendas Mexicanas y comerlo con guacamole, Yummy!!! Pero creo que este no lo voy a poder preparar en casa, pues tengo que cuidar las pinturas que hago y la grasa en el aire las arruinaria :(, pero cuando tenga mi studio aparte, no estaria mal prepaparlo algun dia.

    Mely te tengo una sorpresa!!!

  16. Wow! no tenia idea de que se podia hacer en casa, que dato más interesante esta entrada.

    Por cierto, te contesté en mi blog pero te lo repito aqui ;), ese pan de miel tiene un sabor muy suavecito (es medio de dieta), no esperes mucho sabor como la bica jeje..

  17. Cuando mi abuela hacia chicharrones tanta alegria venia a casa. Siempre me encanta comerlos con sal, ajo y vinagre. Eso fue en Filipinas! Ahora voy a seguir to maravillosa receta aqui. Un abrazo!

  18. Mely, jamás he hecho chicharrones en casa, como bien dices los compro en la carnicería. Qué tal unos frijoles cocidos con chicharrones? Uy ya se me antojaron!

    Se desaparecieron algunas imágenes de tu entrada.


  19. Mely, I think I'm going to make some chicharon over the holidays...surprise hubby...he will love it! We always just pick it up from one of our local Mexican markets/butchers, but I think it's about time I made some on my own :D Thanks for the wonderful instructions!

  20. Lucky you! They do not sell chicharrones in this states. There is some kind of ban about selling them. Have a nice holiday.


  21. Qué rico, me encantan y pues sí, no los preparamos porque hay donde conseguirlos fácilmente en la carnicería pero no estaría de más prepararlos, a ver cuándo me animo!


  22. I bought a shoulder roast and left the skin on while I rotissoried it. Then I cut off the skin. scored it and put it in the oven to make pig skins. When I looked at it a while later all this white thick sticky fluid was dripping onto the oven. When it cooled it was hard as plastic. What happened? I hate to think of this substance in my body. I have made great skins by cutting it off yhe roast prior to cooking and it came out fine. Any ideas about what this was? Scary.

  23. Hello Admaster,

    That sounds strange, it kind of worries me. Because lard will not get that hard. Now you got me thinking in what kind of things the pork producers are feeding the pigs????? I try to buy from my local grassfed supplier as much as possible.

    Really scary!!



  24. Yummmm Ya los estoy haciendo.. veremos si tengo exito, tu receta se ve deliciosa, gracias x compartir .Bendiciones !

  25. Ohhh yum!! I just had cracklings left over from homemade lard (which I will be posting about very soon) and I was so sad after my tiny handful was gone.. haha it would be heaven to have huge strips of fried pork skin availabe to me! It'd be a huge production at my house though and my mom will freak out about the mess... :( I have to try this some time!

    1. Hello Jennifer,

      Have a great time cooking this recipe. It is well worth the effort.

      Happy cooking!


    2. Try cooking outside on a propane fired tripod like people use for seafood or fried turkeys. Keeps the greasy mess outside and makes the neighborhood smell delicious!

  26. Hi Mely,
    I am going to make chicharrones this Sunday. About how long does this process take? I will start early in the morning around 7 or 8 am.
    Just curious so I know how long to have the hubby watch the kids. Also, how high do you have the heat on?
    Also, did you use your own lard to put the chicharrones in or did you just render some first? I can't wait to make them and let you know how they turned out.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Hello Ester,

      Give it between 2 and 3 hours to cook the chicharrones. Is has to cook in a low heat to avoid hard rubbery chicharrones. Patience is the main ingrideint and constant stirring, if not the skin will stick to the bottom of the pan. But believe me it is worth the wait.

      I use leftover lard, but you can buy if you find a good supplier close by. (Not the white stuff)

      Look forward to hear how yours came out. Please do come back and let me know.

      Happy cooking.


  27. They look just like 'pork scratching', traditional english delicacy, perhaps with just the skin though

  28. Thank you for sharing! How do I store the leftover (gasp!) chicharrones? In the fridge or at room temperature?

    1. Hello,

      You can store them in the fridge is you are using them soon to a be a part of another recipe. If you don't plan to you use during the first couple of days, then store in the freezer. To reheat, place them in a 350 preheated oven until they are hot and crispy again.

    2. Great tips! Thank you again. :)


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