Chicharrones are the kind of mythical snack that’s weirdly hard to find. At least the good ones are. Maybe your memory of chicharrones was buying them in high school off an enterprising peer who stocked rare snacks and frozen Gatorade in his Jansport. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have had the traditional, fresh variety. Either way, chicharrones, or pork rinds in English, are special. They elicit either intense cravings or serious disgust, but fans are willing to search all over town for the best ones.
If you’re not part of the chicharrones cult, here’s a brief primer. It’s the skin of a pig that’s been deep-fried, leaving a crispy, airy snack. The dish originated in Spain but was introduced to Latin America. Technically, pork rinds can refer to pork skin that’s prepared in a different way, just like chicharrones can refer to deep-fried skin of chicken or other animals. So while they’re not exactly interchangeable, the terms are often used to refer to the same thing.
1. Utz Pork Rinds, Buffalo Flavor
If you’re looking for a flavored option, these pork rinds have a tangy buffalo flavor. They come in a 12 pack of snackable 5 oz bags. The flavoring means they’re not as keto-friendly as plain varieties. However, if you’re looking for a more savory option, the buffalo chicharrones are a good way to go.
Pros: Comes in a 12 pack of 5 oz bags, tangy buffalo flavor.
Cons: Has sugar.
2. Lowrey’s Bacon Curls Microwave Pork Rinds
These pork rinds come in individually-wrapped packs of 18, and they have a spicy flavoring. They’re designed to be microwaved, so they’ll taste more fresh and fluffy than non-microwave varieties.
Pros: Spicy flavor. Microwavable, so they’re fluffier than dried pork rinds.
Cons: Easy to overcook.
3. Utz Pork Rinds, Original Flavor
These classic-flavor pork rinds come in a plastic barrel, rather than a bag, so you can keep them fresh for longer with the lid. It has two simple ingredients: fried pork skins, and salt. It’s a good snack and bread replacement option for those on a keto diet.
Pros: Made with only two ingredients, comes in a large 18 oz plastic barrel with a lid to keep it fresh.
Cons: May find that not all of the rinds are evenly crisped.