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Chitterlings in a white bowl with cornbread and bay leaves in the background
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How to Clean Chitlins

This soul food delicacy (when properly cleaned) has a unique and irresistible flavor when properly prepared. Serve them up with fried chicken, cornbread, collard greens, and a good vinegar hot sauce, and you've got a true-blue Southern meal that will knock your socks off.
Prep Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 10
Calories 275kcal


  • pounds (1.2kg) chitterlings
  • 2-3 tablespoons baking soda (or vinegar)
  • Water, as much as needed
  • 1 large onion, sliced


  • Rinse chitterlings in clean water, then soak them in cool water (in the kitchen sink or a tub) with a couple of tablespoons of baking soda (or vinegar) for about 10 minutes.
  • Cut them lengthwise with scissors, remove the fat and anything else that doesn’t belong, then rinse them with clean, cool water.
  • Fill your pot or kitchen sink with fresh, cool water and thoroughly rinse them again. Repeat the rinsing process until the water stays relatively clear, and you're sure they're clean.
  • Put the chitlins in a large pot, cover with fresh water, add the sliced onions, and simmer them for 5-10 minutes. (Some people do this step first. It's your call.)
  • Note: Clean and disinfect your work area as soon as you're done.


  • Some people use salt when scrubbing their chitlins clean because its abrasive nature helps remove the fatty lining inside the chitlins.
  • To clean the inside of the chitlins, you can turn them inside out, which takes a little practice, or you can cut them open, so both sides are easily accessible. Either way works!
  • When you pre-boil your chitlins, try adding some chopped onions to the water to reduce the bad smell.
  • Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.


Serving: 125g | Calories: 275kcal | Fat: 214g | Sodium: 330mg | Potassium: 29mg