Cooking Guide

The Difference Between Chips and Pork Rinds Is More Than You Think

Have you ever found yourself in the grocery store, and don’t know what to pick up between a package of pork rinds or chips?

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What are the differences between the two kinds of favorite snacks?

You will find the answer in this article.

What are pork rinds?

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Pork rinds are a type of food made from the skin that is removed from a pig during processing.

It is then deep-fried in hot oil.

When fried, the fat and connective tissue in the skin is broken down, and the result is crunchy and puffy pieces of skin.

They are usually seasoned with salt and spices such as cumin and chili powder or pepper to make them more flavorful.

Pork rinds can be eaten by themselves or used to make dishes like chilaquiles, huaraches, sopes, chicharrónes con huevo (with eggs), picadillo (a dish similar to hash), croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes) or gorditas.

Besides most pork rinds are fried, some people choose to bake them to reduce the fat content.

Though most people think of them as snacks, it’s also common for people to use them in other foods, like fried rice.

What are chips?

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Chips, also known as potato chips or crisps in the United Kingdom and Australia, are snack and convenience food that is made from potatoes.

Thin slices of potato are either deep-fried or baked until crunchy.

They can be served as a snack, side dish, and appetizer depending on the region.

The most common and traditional variety is basic potatoes fried with salt but there are many other varieties that vary in seasoning ingredients from herbs and spices to cheese and artificial flavorings like MSG for better taste options than just plain salted chips.

You can easily buy potato chips from any of your local grocery stores or make your own at home using potatoes, cornmeal, and other ingredients.

What are the differences between pork rinds vs chips?

Pork rinds and chips are two different things.

Although they look relatively similar, they differ in many ways as listed in the comparison table below:

 Pork rindsChips
IngredientsMade from pork skinMade from potatoes
Fat contentA bit higher in fatLower in fat
TextureCrunchy but puffier and airyCrunchy and crispy
TasteSavory, earthy, and have a hint taste of baconHave a sweeter taste

What are the similarities between pork rinds vs chips?

Pork rinds and chips also have a lot in common besides the key differences found between them.

1. Pork rinds and chips are both crispy

As mentioned above, pork rinds and chips are made by deep-frying pork skin and thin slices of potatoes.

The hot oil and deep-frying method allow these ingredients to be crunchy and crispy.

Due to the texture of pork skin, when being deep-fried, the result will be a little puffier.

2. They can be used interchangeably as a snack or side dish

Pork rinds and potato chips can substitute for each other because of the same mouthfeel they give.

They are commonly served as a snack to enjoy at any time of the day, or as a side dish like topping or croutons in a salad or soup.

Both of them go perfectly with a variety of dips, such as salsa, onion dip, clam dip, buffalo chicken dip, guacamole, or spinach dip.

3. Pork rinds and chips are both flavorful and come in different variations nowadays

Despite the difference in the main ingredient, in which pork rinds use pork skin and chips use potatoes, these two common snacks are flavorful thanks to the different spices that are used in the recipes.

Today, not only salt and pepper are used to season pork rinds and potato chips, there are more flavoring agents that work well with these two dishes, like cumin, mustard powder, dried oregano, onion powder.

Which one is better?

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We hope this article has helped you understand the difference between two favorite snacks that often get confused.

Next time you are in the grocery store, take a look at what’s on your list, and don’t forget to pick up either of these delicious treats for yourself.

It all depends on what flavor profile best suits your needs at any given moment in time.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that pork rinds and potato chips should not be considered long-term options because these snacks are high in fat due to the deep-frying method and in sodium because the recipes usually call for a high amount of salt.

You can bake pork skin or potatoes and serve with fewer spices if you want a healthier dish without sacrificing these two delicious meals.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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