Salt Pork vs Bacon

Is Salt Pork The Same as Bacon

Have you ever been unsure about the distinctions between salt pork and bacon? You’re not the only one who has asked. These two types of pork products are often used interchangeably, but there are actually some key differences that set them apart. Discover new ways to incorporate pork into your cooking repertoire.

What Is Salt Pork?

It is thought salted pork became widely used around the 17th century, largely in the navy.  The history and timeline of bacon are outlined here.

One of the most versatile and affordable meats available, salt pork is a great way to add flavor and texture to your dishes. Often used as a seasoning or curing agent, salt pork is made from fatty cuts of pork that are cured with salt and often smoked. This type of pork can be found in many grocery stores and butcher shops, and it is a key ingredient in many dishes, both savory and sweet.

While salt pork is most commonly used as a flavoring agent, it can also be used as the main ingredient in dishes such as stews, soups, and casseroles because it has a velvety texture.

When cooked slowly over low heat, salt pork renders its layer of fat and becomes incredibly tender, making it a great addition to these hearty dishes (You can always use a paper towel to remove excess lard).

It is important to note that salt pork is very high in sodium, so it should be used in moderation if you are watching your salt intake.

But who does not like slices of salt pork at a picnic?

Salt Pork is More Smooth in Texture Than Bacon
Salt Pork is More Smooth in Texture Than Bacon

Texture of Salt Pork

Salt pork is typically made from the belly, but also fatback is sometimes used. 

It is then placed in a brine solution to cure for 2-3 days, after which it has a velvety texture and rich taste.

Cold-cured pork belly – of salt pork can have a really delicious rub or spice coating and is very easy to become a home-curing project – it is great for a charcuterie board.

It is popular from New England all the way to the cajun south, where it is often served as a cured pork leg.

Types Of Salt Pork

There are four main types of salt pork: lardon, petit salé, jerky, and salo. Each type has its own unique flavor and texture that can add a delicious dimension to your cooking.

Lardon

Lardon is salt pork that has been cut into thick strips or cubes. It is often used as a flavoring agent in soups and stews or as a crust for roast meats. Lardon has a rich, salty flavor that can be overwhelming if used too liberally.

Petit Salé

Petit salé is salt pork that has been cured in brine and then smoked. It has a milder flavor than lardon and is often used as a flavoring for sausages and pâtés.

Jerky

Jerky is salt pork that has been dried and then ground into a powder. It has a very intense flavor and is often used as a seasoning for meats or vegetables. Jerky can also be used to make a delicious broth.

Salo

Salo is salt pork that has been rendered down into pork fat. It is often used as a cooking fat or as a spread for slices of bread and pastries. Salo has a strong, salty flavor and should be used sparingly.

Can Bacon Be Swapped For Salt Pork
Can Bacon Be Swapped For Salt Pork

What Is Bacon?

Bacon is a type of cured meat that is typically made from pork belly. It is a popular food in the world and is enjoyed by people of all cultures. Bacon can be eaten on its own or used as a flavoring agent in various dishes. Bacon is popular at parties for big groups.

There are many different ways to cure bacon, but the most common method is to soak it in a brine solution (water, salt, and sugar) for several days. The bacon is then smoked and/or cooked to achieve the desired flavor and texture.

Bacon is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet or savory dishes. It is commonly used as a topping on salads, pizzas, and burgers. It can also be used as a wrapper for various types of meat and vegetables.

Bacon is high in fat and sodium, so it is essential to eat it in moderation. However, bacon can be a part of a healthy diet if it is consumed in moderation and paired with other nutrient-rich foods. It is different than ham though, see bacon vs ham.

Types Of Bacon

There are many different types of bacon, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Here’s a look at some of the most popular varieties:

Side Bacon

Side bacon is the most common type of bacon in the United States. It’s made from the pork belly and typically has a fairly high-fat content. This bacon is delicious when cooked crispy and makes a great addition to any dish.

Back Bacon

Back bacon is popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It’s made from pork loin, which gives it a leaner texture than side bacon. This bacon is often cured and smoked, giving it a unique flavor that pairs well with eggs and toast.

Middle Bacon

Middle bacon is a type of side bacon that’s popular in Australia. It’s made from the pork belly and has a higher fat content than regular side bacon. This bacon is delicious when cooked until crisp and makes a great addition to any dish.

Pancetta

Pancetta is an Italian type of bacon that’s made from pork belly. It’s typically cured and smoked, giving it a unique flavor that pairs well with pasta dishes.

Slab Bacon

Slab bacon is a type of side bacon that’s popular in the United States. It’s made from the pork belly and has a higher fat content than regular side bacon. This bacon is delicious when cooked until crisp and makes a great addition to any dish.

Differences between Salt Pork and Bacon

These are two very popular types of pork products. Both are made from the same basic ingredients, but they have some key differences.

Texture

Salt pork is much softer and less dense than bacon. It has a spongy texture that is easy to bite into. On the other hand, bacon is quite firm and has a chewy texture.

The Curing Process

Salt pork is cured in a brine solution, while bacon is dry-cured or smoked. This gives salt pork a milder flavor than bacon.

Fat Contents

Salt pork is fatter than bacon. This makes it richer and more flavorful but also less healthy.

Flavor

Salt pork has a milder flavor than bacon. It is salty and slightly sweet, with none of the smoky flavors of bacon. Bacon is more savory, with a pronounced smoky flavor.

What Are the Similarities Between Salt Pork vs Bacon?

While there are distinctions between salt pork and bacon, there are also some similarities between these two. Salt pork and bacon are both made from pork that has been cured with salt. This curing process gives both salt pork and bacon their distinctive salty flavor. In addition, both salt pork and bacon can be used as flavoring agents in other dishes.

Which is Better?

The debate of salt pork vs. bacon is one that has been around for centuries. Some people believe that salt pork is the better option, while others prefer bacon. So, which pork product is actually better? And can you use them interchangeably?

Salt pork is made from pork belly that has been cured with salt. On the other hand, Bacon is made from pork belly cured with salt and smoke. So, what’s the difference?

Salt pork has a stronger flavor than bacon and is often used in dishes where the pork flavor needs to be prominent. On the other hand, Bacon has a more subtle flavor and can be used in dishes where you don’t want the pork flavor to be too overwhelming.

So, which meat should you use? It really depends on your personal preference and what you’re making. If you want a stronger pork flavor, go with salt pork. If you want a more subtle flavor, go with bacon. And if you’re not sure, you can always use them interchangeably, and both have a meaty flavor overal.