When preparing and cooking chitterlings, store the chitterlings on a plate or platter in the refrigerator to thaw, and boil the chitterlings for five minutes before cleaning them to prevent cross-contamination. After boiling the chitterlings for five minutes, cut them into small pieces, pull the inner lining out of each piece, and rinse each piece under running water. Place the lining in a nearby waste container. Boil the chitterlings until they are tender before battering and frying them.
To clean the chitterlings, cut them into 2-inch pieces, pull out the lining out of each piece, and allow water to run through each piece until the water runs clear. Do not skip the cleaning step even if the package claims the chitterlings are ready-to-cook, as a thorough cleaning improves the final flavor of the dish.
After cleaning and pre-boiling the chitterlings, boil them for an additional three to four hours with garlic, onion, vinegar or other spices. Serve the chitterlings, or drain them before battering and frying them.
To prevent food-borne illness, which is a concern when preparing chitterlings, keep children out of the kitchen while preparing the food. Clean all surfaces with a diluted bleach solution after the preparation is complete. Follow standard food handling safety techniques when preparing pre-boiled or precooked chitterlings.