The next time you’re trimming a pork butt or whole shoulder instead of throwing away the fat cap give this a try…
Remove the top layer of fat in one large piece about ¼” thick. Cut the fat cap into ¼” strips, and then cut the strips into ½” pieces. The pieces will look like small rectangles.
Place a stock pot on the stove over Med. Low heat, place the pieces into the pot. Render the pork fat stirring occasionally. The fat will turn into liquid and the cracklins will start to brown.
The whole process takes about a 30 minutes; just be sure to not let the pot get hot enough to burn.
When the craklins stop cooking they’re done. Carefully remove them from the rendered lard and drain on a paper towel.
You can dust them with your favorite seasoning. I use The BBQ Rub. to give them a BBQ flavor, but experiment with different combinations to come up with your own profile. I’ve used Lawry’s seasoned salt, garlic, cayenne, or even jerk seasoning.
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I consider myself a hardcore bbq’er and have a strong passion for this “once a hobby now a living” lifestyle.
I usually have no problems finding my way around my pit and even teaching when I can to novices, but there Is that one area that has seemed to be my weakest, and that’s the chicken !
I know it is several ppls worst category and I have a question about it, that I figured If anybody knew, it was you.
My question is this,
I brine my chickens and cook them whole.
And I usually do great that way, but at some of these cook offs, we can only turn in half chickens.
My thinking was If I brined a half a chicken wouldn’t I lose some of the awesome and effectiveness of my brine ? And at a cook off I really don’t have the time to brine.
So do I need to learn a different way to smoke my chicken?
I need some help, I’m kinda stuck… Lol
Tater made BBQ
I brine chicken for every contest whether it’s whole or pieces. The brine is the best way to get flavor deep into the meat. Smaller pieces require less time, so at a contest I go for 3-4 hours and it’s plenty of time for half chickens. I also crank up the heat on chicken. I smoke it at 275-300 until it hits 165 in the thighs and the juice runs clear. The higher temps will help you out with the skin too (bite through not chewy)