Cooking Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Pork Belly Vs Salt Pork

Pork is one of the most commonly consumed meats in America.

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Pork belly and salt pork are two favorite pork products found in many American homes.

These two types of meat are both from the pig, but they have different textures and flavors.

In this article, let’s delve into their differences and then you can weigh them down and choose your preferred one.

What is salt pork?

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Salt pork is a type of preserved meat that has been salted and dried.

On the other hand, it is simply salt-cured pork.

Originally in Europe, salt pork was served primarily during winter months when fresh pork could not be found; however, now it’s popular year-round due to its versatility in cooking.

It can be made from the pork belly or other parts of the pig, usually fattier.

Salt pork can be used in many dishes, but traditionally it’s chopped up and fried with potatoes to make breakfast sausage or bacon.

What is pork belly?

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Pork belly is a cut from the belly of the pig.

It usually has more fat amount than meat, and usually cured with salt and sugar before being smoked to turn them into bacon.

However, it can also be cooked in many ways from the raw and fresh form, including fried, braised, or roasted.

What are the differences between salt pork vs pork belly?

Salt pork and pork belly differ in many ways.

To make it easier for you to choose your favorite pork type, below is the table that compares salt pork and pork belly in some specific criteria.

 Salt porkPork belly
Pig’s partFrom the lowest part of the belly or the fatback of the pigFrom the belly of the pig
Status when soldProcessed (cured  with salt and smoked) like an uncut slab of baconRaw and fresh
Fat content and textureHave less fat because it has been cured to dry out the moisture and fat before being sold; tougher  Have more fat and tender
Flavor and nutrient factSaltier and have more sodium due to the curing and smoking processStronger and saltier Contain more sodium
UseSliced, then fried or roasted to serve as topping for pizza or pastaRoasted, fried, grilled, slow-cooked, or pulled pork for sandwich fillings
CuisineMore common in the WestMore popular in Asian cuisine

What are the similarities between salt pork vs pork belly?

Despite some key differences, salt pork and pork belly share some similarities:

1. You can make salt pork from pork belly

Salt pork is similar to bacon but sold in a larger amount.

And as you know, bacon or salt pork is mainly made from pork belly.

It is not always true in all cases because salt pork can also be made from fatback.

But you can totally make salt pork from fresh pork belly.

2. They have the same price

The price for both types of meats are usually the same on the market, and they are relatively inexpensive.

Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, pork belly and salt pork are great choices.

Which one is better?

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Pork belly and salt pork are both different and similar in some ways.

However, you may find one more appealing than the other depending on your personal preferences.

Both types of meat can be found at many grocery stores for an affordable price so it’s worth giving them a try if you cannot decide which one is better for you?

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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