How Are Pork Rinds Different From Cracklings?

Crunchy and flavorful, both pork rinds and cracklings are from a hog fried to perfection. These Southern snacks are fried in lard and then salted right before serving them up, according to Indy Week. You can pick up a bag at any local convenience store or grocery store.

Both pork rinds and cracklings (also called cracklins) are popular around the world. Cracklings are known as chicharrons con gasa in places like Puerto Rico and the Philippines (via Meanwhile, pork rinds are referred to as "pork scratchings" in the UK.

Indy Week says all variants of either fried snack are rich in flavor. Whether they come extra crispy, in a long strip, fattier, or in a different flavor, you are bound to enjoy the richness. Common flavors include barbeque, lime, and red pepper. While they both come from hogs and are fried, there are still plenty of differences between the two.

It's all about the skin

Pork rinds and crackings may come from the same animal, but one key difference is the skin. Cracklings are fattier, by virtue of still having the fatty layer under the skin, whereas pork rinds are made from the skin alone (via

Pork rinds don't contain any of the hog's fat in them, which is the main reason they differ from cracklings (via The Portable Press). Think of them as a crunchy potato chip that gets fried up and floats to the top of the pot. The Portable Press says the pork skin is separated from the fat and cut into pieces before frying. According to Allrecipes, pork rinds will puff up when they are fried, indicating that all the moisture is gone, making them crunchier. 

Allrecipes adds that unlike pork rinds, cracklings have a chewier texture and don't puff up the same way. Cracklings, also known as "grattons" in New Orleans, are fried just as pork rinds are, but the still-present fat layer gives a them meatier flavor (via Indy Week). Simply put, one has fat on it, and the other does not. 

If diet is something you are concerned about when fulfilling your pork cravings, pork rinds are the way to go, as they have no carbohydrates. But as Allrecipes points out, eating one bag in a single sitting would be calorically the same as eating a Big Mac.