Pork Fatback Substitutes: 5 Best Alternatives To Replace Pork Fatback In Your Next Recipes
Pork fatback is a versatile cut that can be the main ingredient in many recipes.
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But if you don’t have this ingredient on hand, don’t worry, there are still numerous options out there to substitute for it.
Read on to find out what works best as a pork fat alternative.
What is pork fatback?
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Pork fatback is simply the fat from the pig’s back, hence the name.
It is a thick slab with or without skin, with very little or without meat.
Pork fatback has a hard texture and is used in different ways.
The whole cut can be used to make salt pork or fried until it all renders and forms a semi-solid substance called pork lard.
Pork lard is a versatile ingredient that is featured in many recipes like deep-frying thanks to its high smoke point or to add a rich taste and texture to soups, stews, or baked dishes.
Sliced pork fatback is the main ingredient in the pork rinds (or cracklings) recipe.
It is typically fried in hot oil until these pork fatback pieces are rendered and have a puffed and crispy texture.
Pork fatback is a cheap cut of pork so that people from any class can afford it.
Despite its versatility, pork fatback is mainly made from fat, so it is high in fat, and half of it is saturated fats that are not ideal for your heart health and your weight.
Can you substitute pork fatback in cooking recipes?
Of course, you can substitute pork fatback in any cooking recipe with different alternatives.
Pork fatback can be served on its own like salt pork, or as a cooking ingredient to add texture and flavor to many dishes, from stir-frying, deep-frying, soups, or baking.
Each pork fatback substitute can work better in some recipes than others, so you should determine what dish you are going to make to have the wisest decision on the replacement.
What can you substitute for pork fatback?
So if you are wondering what other cuts or ingredients can work as a pork fatback substitute, look below for the answer:
1. Pork belly
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Pork belly is another fatty cut of pork.
It has a little more meat compared to pork fatback, which is sometimes sold with pure fat only, therefore, pork belly is a bit pricier than pork fatback.
However, with pork belly, you can make numerous dishes from it.
Pork belly can be substituted for pork fatback to make salt pork or pork cracklings.
It can also be rendered so that you can make use of the fat to flavor other dishes.
Otherwise, there are also many recipes that are perfect for pork belly on their own, such as roasting or braising thanks to the perfect meat-to-fat ratio.
2. Pork bacon
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Pork bacon is actually made from pork belly.
However, it is often cured and smoked.
You can also find the uncured and unsmoked version of pork bacon, which is actually pre-sliced pork belly that is packed in packages.
Pork bacon can be found in the meat deli section in most grocery stores and supermarkets across the country.
3. Beef fat
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Beef fat can work the same way as pork fatback.
You can opt for the fat from any fatty cut of the cow.
Beef fat often has a stronger flavor compared to its pork counterpart.
It can be salted or rendered to use as a cooking ingredient to add flavor and texture to the dish.
4. Vegetable shortening
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If you want to go vegan, vegetable shortening is a great substitute for pork fatback.
It is typically made from vegetable oils that are hydrogenated.
Vegetable shortening is great for baking recipes to add a rich taste to your pastries.
It can be used as a kind of cooking oil for deep-frying since vegetable shortening has a higher smoke point than butter, but is still lower than animal fat.
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If you just want to look for a pork fatback substitute that is supposed to add a buttery taste and creamy texture to your dishes, butter can be a great option too.
This ingredient can be easily found in any grocery store or supermarket no matter where you live, and it is affordable too.
The bottom line
If you are not able to find pork fatback in your local butcher or grocery store, don’t worry.
There are many substitutes like pork belly, bacon from different kinds of meat, vegetable shortening, or butter.
Take a look at our list again and see what pork fatback replacement you want to try first to substitute for your classic pork fatback in your next recipe.