Every type of food, from fresh produce to a bag of chips, will come with a label listing its expiration date. This is typically the point when manufacturers advise against consuming the food, as you won’t get the best taste and quality compared to when you eat it before it expires.
Even a bag of Original pork rinds will come with a label indicating its expiration or “best before” date. You've probably seen those and wondered how accurate they really are. After all, you don't want to end up eating something that's gone bad. Do expiration dates really matter in pork rinds?
A bag of pork rinds will have a label showing the expiration date. But these are not as sensitive in pork rinds compared to other snack foods. This is because pork rinds are treated with high heat and are typically dry. They don’t retain any water content or moisture, making them less susceptible to microbial growth, if at all.
Pork rinds expiration dates often just mean the product will not be as tasty, airy, or crunchy after the indicated date, and you might not enjoy it as much as you would if you consumed it shortly after you bought it off store shelves. Some manufacturers also use expiration dates for the purpose of product rotation.
Pork rind crumbs have a shelf life ranging from nine months to two years. This means that the crumbs will stay fresh and edible for this amount of time, provided that they are stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. After two years, the crumbs may start to lose their flavor and become less crunchy.
Pork rinds can usually last up to 9 months after the batch was produced, the date of which is indicated in the expiration or “best before” label. Expiration dates are determined by a number of factors, including the type of food, how it's been stored, the type of packaging, and when it was packaged.
For example, packed pork rinds that are sold in bags can last longer than homemade pork rinds that are baked fresh. A foil bag will last longer than a clear plastic bag. An unopened bag of pork rinds can also last longer than a bag that’s half-eaten. And pork rinds stored in a cool, dry place may be less susceptible to becoming stale than pork rinds sitting underneath the sun on a countertop.
If you are making pork rinds yourself, you need to store your fresh pork skin properly to prevent them from going bad or drying out. This is as easy as storing them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook or bake them. You can also put pork skin in a freezer-safe container to bag and keep it in the freezer for up to six months.
Packed and cooked pork rinds, like those you can pick up off supermarket shelves, last longer than fresh pork skin. Still, proper storage is necessary so they don’t get stale. Store your pork rinds bags in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture.
There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your best pork rinds for snacking and make them taste just as good as the day you bought them.
If you don't want your pork rinds to dry out and become hard, store them in an airtight container. If they have already gone stale, you can bake them in the oven for a couple of minutes to get rid of moisture and make them a little more crunchy.
When your pork rinds have become too stale to eat on their own as a snack, you can crush them to use as an ingredient for other recipes. They can still make good soup toppers, a garnish for your daily meals, or a replacement for breadcrumbs when cooking chicken, fish, etc.