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Kettle-to-Table Cracklins


5-pound tub lard

8 fresh pork jowls (approximately 2½ pounds each)



When hogs were butchered, the cheeks were often reserved for cracklins due to the fat-to-meat ratio. Large cast iron pots would be used in the yard or kitchen house. The pot would be set in the hearth, and the fire would be built around the outside of the kettle. Lard was added to the pot, and while it was melting, the cheeks would be prepped. Cracklins were often served direct from the kettle to the table. Pitmaster Rodney Scott
  1. Heat lard in cast iron Dutch oven to 350 degrees. While lard is heating, score skin side of jowls. Cut jowls into ½-inch cubes.
  2. Once heated, use slotted spoon to place jowls into hot lard and fry, stirring occasionally. Wear oven mitt to protect hands from popping grease.
  3. Once cracklins float (approximately 10–15 minutes depending on jowls), remove from lard and place on paper towel-lined plate to rest and drain.
  4. Season with salt to taste. Serve and enjoy.
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