Stacked fried pork rinds on a white background
How Pork Rinds Actually Get Their Crispy, Puffy Texture
Pork rinds, beloved for their light, puffy, crunchy texture, are very different from the fresh pig skin they're made of. Fat and moisture removal are key to this transformation.
The magic happens when the small amount of residual moisture trapped in each piece of pork skin turns to steam under the intense heat of deep-frying.
The steam expands and forces the pig skin to puff up, turning its rubbery texture into something airy and puffy. The fat also renders out, which prevents chewiness.
To make pork rinds, fat is removed from pig skin by cutting it off or boiling and scraping the skin. Then the skin is dehydrated for anywhere between a few hours or multiple days.
When the skins are dropped into hot oil, the heat converts residual moisture to steam, causing the skin to puff. Afterward, the pork rinds are drained, seasoned, and cooled.