Best Salt Pork Substitute (Alternative and Replacement)

If you like smoked meat, then we believe you will like salt pork.

But what if you didn’t find that piece of meat in the store and you really liked it?

In that case, we have prepared for you the best substitutes for salted pork, the taste of which you will enjoy equally.

If you are vegan or avoid meat, this may not be a good option for you.

You can replace salted pork with smoked salmon, flavored olive oil, salted butter, beef, or dried vegetables.

The choice is wide, so you decide which option is best for you.

Best of all, you can become a real chef at home and prepare this wonderful meal yourself.

Read on to learn all about salt pork substitutes and how to prepare this delicious staple.

What is Salt Pork?

Pork is a popular dish worldwide.

Salt pork is cured pork made from pork fat from the belly or back. It is called salt because it needs to stay in salt for a long time.

The taste is very pronounced precisely because of that saltiness, but it doesn’t lack fat either.

Even better, the high-fat content gives the meat a soft texture. Most varieties of salt pork are slightly fattier than bacon because of the extended drying period.

Besides the consumption of salt pork, they also used it as a preservative for other food items.

To prepare salt pork adequately, it is best to cut it into pieces and cook it on low heat to render the fat. To achieve this, it is best to cut it into pieces and cook it on low heat.

Something completely separated salted pork meat from the fat and cut it into small pieces. That fat has a specific aroma, and you use it for cooking.

Although this dish is high in calories, it is tasty. If you are a foodie, then you will understand why you should try this dish.

Anyway, it’s good to know this dish exists, but what if you don’t have salt pork or don’t have time to buy it and want to make a similar meal?

Don’t worry, there are delicious alternatives that will impress you.

So, keep reading!

What is salt pork used for?

Salt pork is a great flavoring for dishes like beans, stews, and greens. You can also use it in cornbread and other baked goods.

It’s best when you cook it, though.

Before cooking, it is advisable to wash it, soak it in water or even boil it to remove some of the saltiness. But you don’t have to, it’s your choice.

You can fry it in a pan to drain some of the fat before cooking it. You get melted fat and a crispy end product that you won’t be able to resist.

Best Salt Pork Substitutes

Here’s your chance to try some of the best alternatives to salt pork.

If you want to get a little creative in the kitchen, try the following dishes because I’m sure you’ll like them.


If you don’t currently have salt pork and want to make beans, bacon will be a perfect substitute for this ingredient.

It will give the dish an aroma just as you imagined. The taste is amazing because it feels like you put some spice on it.

Bacon is easily available, and you can find it in any grocery store. However, there are several types of bacon, so it is important to buy the one that will suit the dish you are making.

For example, smoked bacon is a good choice, so keep that in mind when you go shopping.

It’s quite dry, just like salt pork, so we believe it’s a hit when you prepare the beans.

Know that salt pork is fattier than bacon but also saltier. So if you use bacon instead, add just a little more fat to your dish to even out the measure.

If you prefer less fatty foods, you can add the bacon as it is, and your dish will still be delicious.


Again, the focus is on bacon, but this time it’s a slightly different sort of bacon.

Pancetta is an Italian bacon that contains less fat than salt pork.

Unlike salted pork and smoked bacon, which we talked about in the previous chapter, it’s not necessary to smoke pancetta. Regardless, the taste is irresistible.

They usually sell pancetta in rolls, and you can find it in most grocery stores.

The only problem is that it is more difficult to cut because of its high-fat content. In that case, freeze it for half an hour, which will make it easier to cut.

Beef Jerky

Beef is always a good choice. If you’re more of a red meat lover and avoid pork, you won’t miss this option.

Its shelf life is quite long, which is good for you when, for example, you need to travel somewhere, and you can eat it even after a long time.

You can use the salted and smoked beef to replace smoked salt pork in a stew or baked beans.

It’s equal parts salty and meaty, and it’s safe to say that it’s a great substitute for salt pork in many dishes.


If you use lard from salt pork in your recipe, fatback will be a great substitute, but not just any lard.

It is the fat collected from the back of the pig that gives a delicious aroma to your dishes.

You can use fat in broths and sauces to enrich the flavor of the dish. It serves as a kind of spice to add flavor.

If you are not preparing a main dish, the use of this fat can also be excellent for an appetizer.

When preparing food, pay attention to the amount of salt. Use it sparingly so it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients in your recipe.

However, it has a more subtle flavor than salt pork because it does not contain meat.

Smoked Ham Hock

Smoked ham can be a great substitute for salt pork if you want a similar taste and texture.

However, there is a slight difference. Unlike salt pork, which contains no bones, smoked it makes ham of bones, fat, connective tissue, and some meat, so it appears richer and denser.

It must simmer ham, especially when using it in slow-cooking dishes.

The process of drying smoked ham makes it resemble salted pork. It can be a great sauce base.

Be aware that it will take more time to prepare and that the cranberry flavor is different, but it still deserves to be on your list of alternatives.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the favorite oils in food, among many, because it is a healthy and tasty substitute that you can use in dishes instead of salt pork.

Unlike regular oil, olive oil is a better option, especially if you’re watching your cholesterol intake.

You can replace one ounce of salt pork with a tablespoon of olive oil to add the necessary fat to the dish.

If you are not a fan of regular olive oil, you have the option to try several versions with distinct aromas.

So, try olive oils that contain lemon zest, chili, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, or truffle.

The taste will surprise you, so try it.

Salted butter

Salted butter goes perfectly with salted pork because you add delicious fat to the dish.

Added salt is also a great addition, although salted butter is more subtle than salted pork.

If you are a vegetarian or simply prefer your dishes with vegetables, you can use vegetarian salted butter.

You can also add mushrooms to the vegetable mixture for a slightly more intense or meaty flavor.

Cured Vegetables

Dried vegetables are the perfect meal for vegetarians! They gave vegetables a richer flavor by smoking and salting them, like salt pork.

You can use dried tomatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, and green peppers as vegetables.

They are healthy because they contain a lot of nutrients, and you can smoke them to get the aroma and make the dish tastier.

You can also use dried vegetables instead of salted pork in pasta sauces, soups, and casseroles.

Smoked salmon

Although it is a completely different type of meat, smoked salmon can be a great alternative to salt pork.

Smoked salmon tastes great, and if you need a fattier dish that gives you a different taste than regular meat, then try this delicious food.

You can combine smoked salmon with cheese in breakfast sandwiches, stew or pasta sauce.


Guanciale is one of the tastiest salt pork substitutes available.

Guanciale is an Italian delicacy that is not easily available.

It is the meat taken from the pig’s cheeks, and since it is the tastier part of the meat, it is, therefore, more expensive and harder to find.

The preparation of this dish from the cheeks gives it an extraordinary taste.

Smoked turkey wings

Smoked turkey wings are a delicious, readily available, and affordable staple that can quickly become your favorite salt pork substitute.

Whether you cook just the meat or whole wings, the taste will positively surprise you.

When you cook smoked turkey wings, you’ll get a smoky flavor that can be intense, but if you like a stronger flavor, then you’ll love it.

How To Prepare Salt Pork By Yourself?

Salt pork is such a delicious dish that many have dared to make it themselves at home. So why not try it yourself?

Preparation is simple, just follow the following instructions.

First of all, you need to buy about two and a half kilograms of pork belly.

And the other ingredients are:

  • 10 ounces of coarse kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup white granulated sugar

Optional extras:

  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 3 crushed bay leaves
  • 6 crushed juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon of clove powder
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger

These are the steps:

Combine the different spices that we have listed that will enhance the taste, but know that they are not necessary, so follow your own taste when preparing the dish. The basic spices are salt and sugar.

In a large glass bowl, soak the boneless pork belly in salt

Rub the pork belly with salt

Coat a glass dish with a thin layer of oil

Place the salted pork belly in a glass dish and coat it with salt

Place plastic wrap over the bowl

Leave in the refrigerator for two days, then pour off the juices that have accumulated

Salt the pork again using the rub and refrigerate for two more days

Remove the salt pork from the bowl and rinse well, cleaning off any salt residue

Pat the salt pork dry with paper towels until completely dry

Final Thoughts

Salt pork is such a great ingredient to use in dishes like beans, relishes, and stews, and it provides enough salt and fat to your dish.

However, it is not always available, so you will have to use salt pork substitutes.

In this text, we have presented you with the best options, choose your favorite taste and enjoy your meal!


How do you use salt pork?

Salt pork is a great way to experiment in the kitchen. It is an excellent addition to stews, casseroles, and soups.

Salt and fat allow you to have a rich taste in the dish, which saves you from adding more salt or spices to the dish.

Is salt pork the same as bacon?

Technically, no, although the taste can be similar, especially if it’s smoked. Salt pork is a large piece of pork that has been salted and dried.

You can cook bacon, which is also cured, directly in the pan due to its thinner meat.

Salt pork should be rinsed first before cooking to get rid of excess salt.

How long does salt pork last?

The shelf life is impressive, which means that you can store the pork for a long time.

When stored at room temperature, it can last for about two weeks. When stored in the refrigerator, it can last for about 5 months, and if frozen, it can last up to a year.

Can you cook salt pork the same way as bacon?

Since salt pork has a higher amount of salt, you need to rinse it with water or even boil it to remove the excess salt.

Bacon has a good amount of salt that you can end up cooking it directly in the pan.

How do you know if the salt pork is spoiled?

By the smell, you will immediately know whether you can eat salt pork or not.

If the salt pork is already spoiled, it will give off a nasty sour smell. Do not cook or consume when it starts to smell like this.

Throw it away immediately and disinfect the place where you stored it as a precaution.

Can you buy salt pork?

Yes, you can buy salt pork in most supermarkets and butchers.

Keep in mind how much salt pork you need to take to make a particular dish in a recipe.

The good thing is that it’s not as expensive as some of the other options for pulled pork.

Where to buy salt pork?

The best place to buy salt pork is from a butcher. You will always be sure that your salt pork is freshly cut and prepared.

If you don’t have a butcher nearby, most large grocery stores have a meat counter or meat selection that includes salt pork.

Are pork belly and salt pork the same thing?

Most salt pork is made from pork belly, but pork belly itself is not salt pork.

In order for the pork belly to become salty pork, it needs to be salted additionally.

The whole process usually takes about 48 hours. Pork belly cannot be used as a direct substitute for salt pork in recipes as it does not have the saltiness you would expect.

Can I use prosciutto instead of salt pork?

Prosciutto is similar to salt pork because it uses = the same cut of pork and has a similar flavor.

However, prosciutto usually isn’t a good substitute for salt pork, and that’s because of how it’s used.

Prosciutto should be eaten raw, not cooked, so it cannot be added to recipes in the same way as salt pork.

Pancetta will work as a good substitute because you can both cook it and eat it raw.

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