Looking for a crispy, crunchy, salty snack? If you’re gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, then many types of chips are off the table. That goes for other snack foods, too, because they contain wheat-based or gluten-related ingredients. What about pork rinds? They’re deliciously crispy and light, but are pork rinds gluten-free?
In a word, yes. Most pork rinds are gluten-free because they are not made with wheat products. In most cases, they include just pork skins and salt, although you’ll find other variations on the market. Those can include hot sauce, herbs, cheese, and more. In addition to being gluten-free, best pork rind varieties are also good for anyone avoiding carbs, since the base ingredients are just skin and salt.
Are all types of pork rinds gluten-free? Yes, all types are gluten-free. Gluten comes from wheat and other grains, such as rye and barley. You’ll find it in most products made with grains, like bread, but also in products where those ingredients are minimally used, such as flour-based batters and other coatings. Pork rinds do not contain any wheat or other grain-based ingredients, so they are all gluten-free.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, but still craving the salty, crunchy taste, you can buy meatless pork rinds like Pig Out Pigless Pork Rinds. Best of all, vegans and vegetarians can enjoy mock pork rinds without worrying about eating meat. However, some varieties are not gluten-free and use wheat instead of rice paper, so make sure to read the labeling. However, rice paper has more carbohydrates than pork skins, so make sure you account for the additional carbs if you’re following the keto diet or the Atkins diet.
Pork rinds are made from simple, honest ingredients. Look at most brands' nutrition labels and you’ll find two or three ingredients – pork skins and salt. Some brands will also list the oil used for frying. These recipes rely on oil other than what’s naturally included in the skins themselves and it will affect nutritional content.
How are pig skins turned into pork rinds? The process is pretty straightforward. In most cases, pork rinds are deep-fried in oil that’s just the right temperature. If the oil is too hot, the pork rinds might burn. If it’s too cold, they could becoming greasy. Once they’re light and airy, they’re seasoned and packaged. You can learn more about how pork rinds are made in this blog.
Are all pork rinds made from just pork skin and salt? No, they’re not. A quick look at the options on the market today shows that you’ll encounter a wide range of others, although none of them usually contain gluten. Some of the most common ingredients beyond salt and pork skins include the following:
So, we’ve answered the question of are pork rinds gluten-free. Let’s take a quick look at the other nutritional information related to these delicious snacks. You’ll find that while they are fried, they can be healthy and constitute part of a balanced diet. Contrary to popular belief, well cooked pork products such as pork rinds are safe during pregnancy, as they are low in carbohydrates, low calories, and high in protein, healthy fats, and B vitamins.
While nutritional info will vary from brand to brand based on many factors, on average, pork rinds offer the following in terms of nutrition per single-serving package:
Fried foods can be part of a healthy balanced diet. Crunchy, salty, and delicious, pork rinds make a great snack almost any time of the day.
Pork rinds are delicious, crispy, salty, and – best of all – they’re gluten-free. They’re also often a no-carb food, too (read the nutritional label before buying, though). If you’re looking for an alternative to chips or snacks that contain gluten, then pork rinds are a viable option.