Wondering how to cook fatback? One of the best ways is to cut it into strips and pan fry it for 4 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the strip (don’t forget about the blanching). But there are many more ways to do it, read below!
You can fry fatback in a deep fryer, you can boil fatback or you can cook fatback in a baking pan in the oven.
Even though fatback and salt pork are used pretty much for the same reason, there’s a big difference between these two cuts: fatback is pure fat with absolutely no meat while salt pork has much more meat in it and is cured in salt.
Many confuse fatback and salt pork, but fatback is pure fat, while salt pork is a bit softer and it contains both meat and fat. Salt pork is made with salt and sugar mixture, while fatback is usually cured with salt.
Some people are also confused on how to cook fatback, some make it deep-fried, while others add it to ground meat. This article brings you several ways to cook pork fatback alone or with vegetables.
How Do You Cook Fatback?
First, you should boil fatback for several minutes to reduce salty flavor before further preparing it. Set your stove on medium heat and pan-fry fatback or use a skillet to fry it. Because of a high percentage of pork fat in the fatback, you don’t need to oil the pan or skillet, though you can use peanut oil for additional flavor.
Flip the fatback so it fries evenly until it reaches a slightly crisp texture and light golden brown color. This should take 5-6 minutes.
Fatback can be cooked with different cooking methods: you can deep fry, cook in a baking pan in the oven, air fry, and boil fatback to use in your recipes.
Pork back fat is a great ingredient if you want to add saltiness and flavor to your dishes. It’s similar in use to salt pork, but fatback is a cut with absolutely no meat.
How Do You Know When Fat Back Is Done?
As mentioned above, fatback should achieve a slightly crisp texture and light golden brown color. If you like your fatback even crispier, you can cook fat back a bit longer until it’s just the way you like it.
However, fatback shouldn’t be eaten raw, because the raw fatback is salt-cured and it contains too much salt mixture to eat. That’s why you always need to blanch cured fatback. Also, you can’t eat salt pork raw either…(duh!)
How Long Does It Take Fatback To Cook?
When fried, fatback is done in 5-6 minutes. If you decide to bake it in the oven it will take you 15 minutes until it’s done.
These preparation times, of course, depend on whether you are preparing one large fatback piece, or you have cut it into several strips. The thick strips fry much faster than just one big piece.
Cooking times depend on the method you choose:
- If you want to boil pork fatback you should cook in simmering water for about an hour.
- When you cook fried fatback in a deep fryer, it usually takes 5 minutes, when it gets golden brown and crispy.
- Baking in the oven takes from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the crispiness you want to achieve.
How To Cook Fatback In The Oven?
Preheat the oven to 180oC or 375oF. After you place the baking pan on the oven’s central rack, bake the fatback for 7-8
Baking fatback in the oven is incredibly simple, here are some tips:
- Preheat to 375°F, place the slices of fatback on the center rack in a baking pan, and bake for 15 minutes.
- Once the fatback has reached a slightly crisp texture and light golden brown color, you can remove it and finish cooking in a medium saucepan with beans.
- If you want to serve it on its own, bake the fatback for an additional 15 minutes to achieve a golden brown color.
How To Cook Fatback In The Microwave?
The fastest way to cook fatback strips is in the microwave. Just place your fatback between paper towels and set the microwave on medium heat or high heat, depending on the power and model, for 4-6 minutes.
Your fatback will be crispy and flavorful in no time!
How To Cook Fatback Meat?
Blanch cured fatback meat for several minutes. Then, proceed to bake fatback in the preheated oven at 180oC or 375oF for 15 minutes. It’s best if you put the baking tray onto the center rack when baking, for better airflow.
How To Cook Fatback Bacon?
Fatback is considered specialty bacon in several Eastern European countries. It’s usually fried in a baking pan at medium heat, but it’s also used to flavor beans when cooked.
How To Cook Fatback On Stove?
You can cook fatback or salt pork on the stove by simply placing a skillet on medium heat, with no additional oil.
Pour the fatback and flip when the edges start to curl, so that it cooks evenly. It usually takes about 5-6 minutes.
Once the fatback gets crispy, remove it from the heat and place it on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
How To Cook Fatback In Air Fryer?
Fatback can be easily cooked in an air fryer, let’s see how it’s done:
- If you want thinner slices of fatback, freeze them first so that it will be easier to cut them. This works for salt pork as well.
- To reduce the saltiness of the fatback, boil it for a couple of minutes before cooking it.
- Since this cut is already pretty fatty, there’s no need for additional oil to perfectly fry it.
- Set the air fryer to 390°F for 20 minutes timer and place the fatback in the basket. Flip the pork after 10 minutes.
- Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the fatback gets a slightly crisp texture.
- Remove from the basket and place on a paper towel in order to absorb the excess oil and serve your fried fatback hot.
How To Cook Fatback For Cabbage?
Fatback and cabbage go exceptionally well together. However, you will need to cook fatback separately for half an hour, otherwise, the cabbage will become too salty.
- Cut the cabbage into pieces of your choice, chop some onions and add salt and pepper, and start cooking these ingredients.
- Take fatback out of its cooking water, slice it up into cubes, and add it to the cooking cabbage.
- Cook it until the cabbage becomes soft and tender and cook salt pork until it released the fat and it a bit crispy.
How To Cook Fatback For Collard Greens?
Southern-style collard greens is a tasty recipe, easy to cook, and delicious to eat. Here’s how you do it:
- Clean and slice the collard greens, by rolling them tobacco style and cutting them into strips.
- Heat up your medium saucepan, add the fatback and cook till it’s crispy and golden brown.
- Cook your collared greens for about 45 minutes in a pot with a cup of water, a pinch of salt, and pepper.
- Serve with a drizzle of vinegar or sauce, and enjoy!
How To Cook Fatback In Skillet?
Blanche the fatback so it’s not too salty when you further cook it in the skilled. After several minutes of precooking, place fatback strips in a single layer onto the skilled. Bake them at medium heat, and flip them occasionally to avoid curling and uneven cooking.
How To Cook Fatback In Green Beans?
Green beans with salt pork fatback are another popular way to prepare fastback.
- Cut the fatback into 3 pieces, and put it in the medium saucepan together with beans and water.
- Cook it at a high temperature until water starts boiling, and then reduce the het to medium-low.
- When the green beans become tender and fully cooked, you can serve them together with fatback strips, or you can discard the fatback and serve the green beans alone. In either case, season it with salt and pepper.
This goes well with mashed potatoes.
Now you know how to cook fatback in the oven! Blanche it and then bake it in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes or fry it on a pan for 10-15 minutes – assuming that you cut your fastback into strips.
It’s quite simple to cook fatback, you just need to remember that it needs to be precooked because of excess salt. You don’t need additional oil because of meat’s high-fat content. Flip it occasionally to get evenly cooked, and that’s it!
Not to forget, there are so many ways to cook fatback! You can cook it alone and eat it while it’s freshly cooked, you can grind it with pork belly and make sausages, or you can serve it with pork steak/dishes featuring ground meat. It goes well with cabbage, beans and greens.