Healthy Air Fryer Pork Scratchings

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Pork scratchings (also known as pork rinds) made in the air fryer are so much fresher and crisper than shop-bought.

Air frying removes any oil from the rinds leaving healthier crunchy pork scratchings.

They are keto-friendly, low carb and full of collagen too! (bonus for the ladies!)

Air fryer pork scratchings on a white plate

Are Pork Scratchings / Rinds The Same As Crackling?

Pork scratchings and crackling are both popular snacks made from pork, but there are some differences between the two:

Pork Scratchings

Display of pork scratchings with lime

These are made from pork skin, seasoned and then roasted until crispy.

They are lighter and airier with a puffed-up texture.

The seasoning for pork scratchings can vary but usually includes salt and some additional spices for flavour.

These are often served as a standalone snack, similar to potato chips or crisps.

Pork Crackling

Pork crackling on a joint of pork

Pork Crackling is also made from pork skin. The skin has a layer of fat still attached to a piece of meat, such as pork belly or pork loin.

The entire piece is roasted to achieve a crispy texture.

Crackling tends to be denser and crunchier because it has a meat layer along with the skin.

It can be seasoned the same as pork scratchings but also takes on the flavours of the meat during roasting.

Served as part of a larger dish, such as roast pork, where it adds a crispy texture to the meal.

Cooking display with herbs

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Are Pork Scratchings Good For You?

A tasty snack that has some unexpected benefits:

  1. High in Protein: Pork scratchings are a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair.
  2. High in Fat: Pork scratchings are also high in fat if some fat is left in place, particularly saturated fat. While fat is an important part of a balanced diet, excessive saturated fat may contribute to health issues, such as high cholesterol levels.
  3. Nutrient Content: Pork scratchings contain essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and B vitamins. However, they are not as nutritious as leaner sources of protein.
  4. Calories: The air-frying method generally uses less oil compared to traditional frying, which can reduce the overall calorie content.
  5. Watch the Salt Content: Seasoning with salt is the norm for pork scratchings, but excessive salt can contribute to high blood pressure. Be mindful of the salt content, especially if you have dietary restrictions related to sodium.

Pork Skin

For this recipe, you will need pork skin with any fat removed.

image of pork skin with fat removed
Pork Skin


You can make as many or as few as you like depending on how much pig skin you purchase and the size of the cut pieces.

Pro Tip: Get pig skin from your butcher. He might even prepare it for you. Bonus!!! I have bought some from Morrisons previously.

  • 450g (1lb) Pork skin (from a pork belly or pork shoulder)
  • Salt
  • Optional: A spray of oil
  • Optional: Seasonings of your choice (such as paprika, garlic powder, or chilli powder)

How To Make Pork Scratchings In The Air Fryer

display of air fryer pork scratchings

Wash the pork skin and pat it dry with paper towels. Be sure to dry the skin well as moisture will hinder the crisping process.

Using a very sharp knife (please be careful) score the skin well. This helps the fat render and the skin to become crispy.

Sprinkle salt evenly over the pork skin and rub in. Add any additional seasonings of your choice for extra flavour.

Preheat your air fryer to around 200C / 400F for 5 minutes.

Cut the pork into even-sized pieces. If you have very sharp kitchen scissors this may save you time.

Place the seasoned pork skin pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket.

Make sure they are not overcrowded to allow proper crisping.

Air fry for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on how much you cook), check often to make sure they don’t burn. Adjust the cooking time if needed.

NOTE: You will hear a popping sound as they are air frying. This is perfectly normal as the fat bubbles.

The pork scratchings are done when they are golden brown and crispy.

Allow the pork scratchings to cool slightly before serving.

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Tips For Successful Pork Scratchings

  • Quality Pork Skin: Start with high-quality pork skin. Freshness matters, so get the freshest pork skin available.
  • Thorough Drying: Pat the pork skin completely dry before seasoning. Moisture stops crispiness, so ensure the skin is as dry as possible.
  • Small, Even Cuts: Score the pork skin with small, even cuts. This helps the fat render properly and allows the skin to crisp.
  • Ample Seasoning: Season generously with salt and any additional spices you prefer. The seasoning adds flavour to the skin.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer before placing the pork skin inside. A hot air fryer from the beginning makes for better crisping.
  • Single Layer: Arrange the pork skin pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking, so make sure there’s space between the pieces.
  • Flip Halfway Through: Flip the pork skin pieces halfway through the cooking time to ensure even crispiness on both sides.
  • Not Crispy: If you find your pork scratchings are not crispy enough air fry for a few minutes more. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
  • Watch Carefully: Keep a close eye on the pork scratchings as they cook. Cooking times can vary, so check for doneness and adjust as needed.
  • Cool Before Serving: Allow the pork scratchings to cool slightly before serving. They will continue to crisp up a bit as they cool.
  • Experiment with Seasonings: Don’t hesitate to experiment with different seasonings to find the flavours you enjoy the most.

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How Long Do Pork Scratchings Last?

To keep the freshness and quality of pork scratchings, here are some storage tips:

Cool Before Storing

Allow the pork scratchings to cool completely before storing. This helps maintain their crispiness.

Airtight Container

Store the cooled pork scratchings in an airtight container. This helps prevent moisture from affecting their texture. They will last for 7-10 days.

Avoid Humidity

Keep the container in a cool, dry place. Exposure to humidity can make the scratchings lose their crispiness.

Refrigeration (Optional)

While not necessary, you can refrigerate the pork scratchings to extend their shelf life. This is particularly useful if you’ve made a large batch.


Pork scratchings do not freeze well. So I wouldn’t recommend freezing them.

How Do You Reheat Pork Scratchings/Rinds?

If the pork scratchings lose their crispiness over time, you can reheat them in the air fryer briefly to restore some of their crunch. Air fry for a few minutes at 200C /400F for a few minutes until the crispness has been restored.

Eat Within a Few Days

For the best quality, try to eat the pork scratchings within a few days of making them. The longer they are stored, the more likely they are to lose their crunch.


Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself looking for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those looking for quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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