This is my first shot at Cracklin (Cracklings). Cracklin is the
South Louisiana term so when you see a sign that says
"Cracklin" it's not a misspelling. Cracklings, cracklin,
whatever. You know what they are. As I get better at this I'll
modify the recipe.
You should seek out a slaughterhouse to get your cracklin
I'm going to start with 2-1/2 lbs of raw cracklin fat (the
material). As you see in the picture you want to get material that
has meat on it. I got this batch from Babineaux's s Slaughterhouse
in Breaux Bridge for $1.50/lb. I deal with Babineaux's because it's
the closest for me. Cracklin already cooked down here goes for
Cut the material as needed to get about 1-1/4" X 1-1/4"
pieces if yours does not come pre-cut. It doesn't have to be perfect. The final size once cooked
will be about 1/2 the size of the raw pieces.
First of all you're going to do this OUTSIDE preferably out in
the yard away from anything that could catch fire. There is a great
risk of fire and grease burns with this process so get your deep and large black-iron
pot and use your turkey fryer burner to make this happen. Grease
will splatter so some grass is going to die. Deal with it.
I'm going to start with 2 lbs of lard. Not Crisco, not Canola
oil... Lard. This amount is good for my pot; it may not be for yours
The beginning will involve rendering a lot of the fat out of the
material. I will do this on a 250ºF fire. When doing this part be
ready to stir constantly as it will want to stick once the water cooks out.
Here we go...
the fire (medium). Put the lard and 1 cup
of water in the pot. When the grease gets to about 200ºF add the meat.
Get the grease up to about 250ºF and try to keep it there. This
will be hot enough to render the fat and not burn the oil. I found
that the lower temperature also keeps sticking to a minimum. Stir
every five minutes or so. Stay with it...
After the water is cooked off keep cooking until the bubbles almost stop; this could take an
hour or more.
You'll notice that the more you cook them the hotter the grease
will get. Try to keep the grease below 325ºF until they are done.
Take the cracklin out and put it
on some paper towels with newspaper below. Shake them around a
little. Let the cracklin cool for
about 15 minutes.
You're going to fry the Cracklin again to make the skin
Rendering the fat will produce more oil. Judge how much oil you
have in the pot against how much oil you'll need when you put the
cracklin back in. Take out what you think you don't need. You
just need enough to float the Cracklin.
This next step is going to get messy and dangerous. Keep the kids
at a distance and be sure this is outside... please. Your oil
level in your pot should be about 1/4 full, that's it. If it's more
than that you're going to have a fire hazard.
Heat the oil back up to about 365ºF. Once the oil is up to temp
put the cracklin back in and let them start to fry again. Get the
oil back up to 365ºF then turn off the fire. That's in case
the grease boils over to the point it hits the flame.
one cup of ice in the oil. It's going to roar and pop within about 3
back. The ice makes the skin pop and softens it so it chews
easier. Again, this is going to be a violent reaction when the ice
is added... stay clear!
Once it all settles down relight the fire and cook for about 5 minutes and take them
out. Don't let the oil get over 350ºF.
Put them in a pan with a new batch of newspaper and paper
towels. Lightly season with Tony's and salt and move the pan around briskly
to absorb the liquid fat. Put in a paper bag next with paper towels
and shake every few minutes. This will help get even more liquid fat
Let cool to room temperature then put in a glass jar and close
the lid. This preserves them very well. Oh, you can eat them if you
The picture below is Craklin that is not done yet. Notice the fat
is still partially white.
This picture shows what they should look like when they are fully