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How To Dice Salt Pork

Salt pork (also called salt-cured pork or white bacon) is an ingredient used in many recipes.  Salt pork resembles an uncut slab of bacon in appearance, but it’s not cured or smoked like bacon.  Instead, it is used in recipes that call for a pork fat that hasn’t been smoked and it also adds a wonderful salty flavor to certain dishes like baked beans, beef braciole, chowders, soups and stews, or vegetables and greens.

Many recipes call for dicing your salt pork before cooking it, and if you’ve never cooked with salt pork before, you might not know exactly how to work with it.  Here we’ll show you how:

Start by scraping off any excess salt and discard the excess.  Rinsing may be required if there is a lot of salt on the pork.

With a sharp chef’s knife, make horizontal and vertical slices into the salt pork, cutting all the way down to the tough skin without cutting through it.  The results should be a patchwork of cuts.

How To Dice Salt Pork - A Family Feast

From the center of the piece of salt pork, bring your knife down and turn to one side so the blade is parallel with the cutting board.

How to Dice Salt Pork - A Family Feast

Holding the opposite side, run the knife blade to the end.  If the salt pork is thick, make two or three passes until you are down to the skin.

How to Dice Salt Pork - A Family Feast

Turn the salt pork around and repeat to the other half.

How to Dice Salt Pork - A Family Feast

Use the diced salt pork in your recipe and discard the skin.

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    Comments

  • Dani wrote:

    I have used salt pork on only a couple occasions, and was frustrated each time at how laborious it was to cut through that tough skin. I never thought to cut it this way, and I feel pretty silly about that! Thank you so much for this tutorial, I will be much more inclined to use salt pork more often!

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad it was helpful Dani! (Until I met my husband Jack and he showed me this method, I struggled too – so please don’t feel silly about it!)

  • Lisa Ramsey wrote:

    This seems like it’s more for flavoring than eating. Should you remove it before serving a dish containing it?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lisa – If a recipe specifically states to remove the salt pork, then do so – but for the most part, it typically renders down and you would eat it along with the rest of a recipe.

  • Grace Ossowski wrote:

    WHERE CAN I PURCHASE SALT PORK???

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Grace – Most supermarkets sell it – sometimes in the meat aisle near other pork products, sometimes near the bacon. Hope that helps!

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