What are pork scratchings, pork crackling, and pork rinds? What's the Difference?

What are pork scratchings, pork crackling, and pork rinds? What's the Difference?

November 15, 2022 4 min read

The distinction between pork scratchings, pork crackling, and pork rinds is not quite clear to many folks. As a newbie, you can use these terminologies interchangeably only for a while before it gets both confusing and annoying.

These snacks are all quite similar, resembling their appealing look and crunchiness.

Mislabeling can only get you thus far. It means you'd need to properly understand their uniqueness in looks and taste, which is impossible to do by trial and error. But don't get worked up, as we've done the heavy lifting for you and provided all the helpful information in this guide. We'd introduce you to these evergreen snacks, their tells, and their significant differences. 

What are pork scratchings?   

Pork scratching is a snack food readily available in pubs. It’s entirely made from salted and deep-fried pork skin. Most regular pork Scratchings are based on shank with remarkable layers of fat underneath. The rinds are then cooked at least once for a while, and a spectrum of heat ensures a surmountable and precise level of crunch.

Pork scratchings are entirely a century-old and popular snack. They are made by deep-frying pork skin from a pig's shank –the topmost portion of a pig's hind leg. Pork scratchings use a one-time cooking approach, making them more preservable and snack-like, having a harder and crunchier look than any porky cousins. Pork scratchings require little seasoning as they generally have a natural pork flavor, so only salt is added. Hardened pork snack traditionalists love pork scratchings.

What is pork crackling?   

Pork crackling is one of the most interesting snacks you could get out of your pork meat.

Pork crackling a flavored and crunchy snack that many would describe as delicious and crispy. Pork crackling is not a regular or everyday snack. Although it’s been in production for quite a while, it has induced modern-day production technique that helps create unique varieties of pork meat like crackling strips, pork curls, dipper Crackling, and washpot crackling. Generally, crackling pork snacks are made from a pig shoulder rind and deep-fried twice for extra crispiness and a unique taste blend. 

The raw pork is left on low heat to simmer before transferring it to high heat for a crispier and less fatty pork crackling to form. The second attempt to cook/fry the pork crackling isn’t extensive fry as it would take less time and effort. It essentially is more of a quick fry which introduces more to the snack/causes them to inflate. The resulting crackling is then lighter than it looks and crunchier than other pork-derived snacks like pork scratchings. Interestingly, second frying also takes its toll on the taste of the pork crackling. So unlike the pork scratching, you’d need to salt the crackling or spice them properly with intriguing flavor.

Pork crackling is a snack made from the skin of a pig shoulder or shank. The skin is fried twice in preparation to produce a tasty and quite crunchy snack we know. The pork crackling has to be stored and preserved for a long time for tasty and crunchy results, and freezing might be one of the best ways to do it. Cracklings are akin to bacon but in a smaller size and are often seasoned with a mouthwatering blend of Cajun spices to complement their natural flavor.

What is Pork rind?

Pork rind is quite the lightest of the three snacks and has a similar procedure to pork crackling. It means the pork rind will always come out lightest if you do a weight test between handfuls of each of the three snacks. It is because the pork rind, when cooked a second time at high heat, gets "shocks," which get more air in the porkmaking the pork inflated like in pork crackling. The difference, however, is that the pork rinds are always puffer than any other meat part of a pig. You’d also need to add a couple of flavors (chili & lime) to give the pork rind a unique taste.

What are the differences between Pork Scratchings, Pork Crackling & Pork Rind?

You can get the basic idea already, and with the significant size differences between all three pork snacks, it becomes tard easier to identify each pork crackling from the pork rinds just by looking at how inflated or balloon-like they appear. 

However, appearance isn’t the only way to identify these pork snacks. The major difference between all pork scratching, pork crackling, and the pork rind is the part of the pig that makes each of these pork snacks.

Are pork scratchings a healthy snack?

Pork scratching or any other type of pork snack has a higher protein-to-fat ratio or concentration than any other type of snack. However, on the top of that list is pork scratchings which means when we compare and contrast their health benefits, pork scratching seemingly contributes more than the rest. As a result, they’d make a great choice on a ketogenic diet.