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Salt Pork Substitute

What about the best salt pork substitute available out there? Well, we’ll talk about it today. But, honestly, there’re several alternatives to replacing salt pork in a recipe. Among them, pancetta, bacon, country ham are familiar names.

But what’s salt pork, and why do we need a substitute? Well, salt pork is a food item that comes from the pork belly, and it’s salt-cured.

However, some individuals might not get used to its taste or fall short of salt pork. That’s why we need a substitute.

So, we’ll talk about around twelve salt pork alternatives in this blog post. Also, we’ll discuss the most relevant questions that revolve around salt pork and its substitutes.

Salt Pork Substitute

Salt Pork Substitute

As we’ve talked about before, bacon, pancetta, and a few others are the most common substitutes for salt pork. So, we’ll start our discussion with bacon as an alternative to salt pork.


Many consider bacon the perfect alternative to salt pork. At first, we smoke the bacon. Then, it’s cured accordingly. However, the taste of the bacon can range from sweet to sour.

Also, this food item is readily available in groceries. So, you just need to buy some and use them in your recipe. There’s little to no modification necessary to replace salt pork with bacon.

However, if you’re looking for no sugar content, it’s better to use the regular cut bacon. Next up, we’ll talk about pancetta, another great alternative to salt pork.


Pancetta is also known as Italian bacon. Pancetta, like conventional bacon, has a flavor that is very similar to that of salt pork.

The majority of markets have it readily available. For example, when purchasing pancetta from a slaughterhouse or need, you’ll nearly always find it in the form of a roll.

Flattened and rolled pancetta are both widely available in Italy. However, the rolled one is more prevalent in the north and central areas.

Smoked Ham Hock

The origin of smoked ham hock is the rear portion of a pork leg. Some people also call smoked ham hock a German Ham hock. However, the taste and texture similarity of the ham hock makes it an excellent substitute for salt pork.

Note that it’s better to simmer the ham hock. Slow cooking mainly tenderizes the meat, which is perfect when served for eating.

However, note that soaking and simmering a ham hock is necessary before cooking. And, it would help if you did this at least half an hour before cooking.

Smoked Salmon

It may sound strange to replace pork with fish. But, if you want the same richness of taste, smoked salmon is just perfect as an alternative to salt pork.

The saltiness of salmon contributes much to a recipe that uses salt pork as an item. Smoked salmon is the perfect item to consider whether you want to cook pasta or other stir-fried dishes.

Those who don’t prefer pork can very well go for smoked salmon. Likewise, those who don’t like salmon can choose other smoked fish types.

In essence, different smoked fishes are suitable to replace salt pork.

Country Ham

Quality smoked country ham has a unique taste. We can substitute smoked ham from nearby eateries for salt pork in many recipes.

You’ll need to add a bit additional salt to your recipe, but a couple of slices of cheap sandwiches ham should do the trick.

Thick slices of ham for toast are an excellent option because it is typically cured and smoked. We may replicate salted pork’s rich taste by using these products.

Cured Vegetables

We’ve talked about smoked fish as the substitute for salt pork. But what about if we consider cured veggies to replace salt pork?

Cured vegetables aren’t something you’ll often find, but they make a great salt pork substitute if you’ve already made them.

Cured cabbages, cauliflowers, or even onions can give your food the salty, savory taste you want.

It’s the same with dehydrated vegetables, but it takes less time to make them than fresh vegetables. However, this is one thing that you can’t have ready when you need it. 

Beef Jerky

When beef or turkey jerky is used in your favorite dishes, it may produce a taste comparable to salt pork.

Because it’s salt-cured and air-dried, it has a deep, savory, meaty flavor that will inject a good amount of flavor into soups and likewise items.

We should only use jerky in moderation (minimal quantity) since the flavor might be vital.


Guanciale is yet another option to replace salt pork that has an origin in Italy. It comes from the pig’s jaws or cheeks. Many Italian restaurants prepare the cuisines from the cheeks of the pig.

Due to the origin of the food item from pork, many consider it a replacement for mainstream salt pork recipes.

Smoked Turkey Wings

Smoked turkey wings seem delicious, easy to get, and inexpensive. You may get a similar taste by using the flesh alone or cooking the complete wings in dishes that call for salt pork.

Like smoked fish, smoked meats are also compatible with replacing salt pork.

We get a deep smokiness if we cook turkey wings with the bone in the dish rather than just the flesh. So, it may be a touch too powerful as a substitute for smoked pork.

Beef Bacon / Turkey

When it’s salt-cured and smoked adequately, bacon will give a smoky-salty flavor that reminds you of salt pork.

You may choose either turkey or beef bacon. However, many consider turkey as the best option among the two.

Blending bacon from a flesh other than pork adds intensity to the taste, so make sure you add the seasonings correctly.

Duck Ham

Duck ham will taste somewhat similar to salt pork when it’s salt-cured properly. Also, the fat content of a duck ham is quite comparable to salt pork.

So, duck ham is an option to replace salt pork.

The last substitute we’ll talk about is the fatback.


We get fatback from the backside of a pig. Fatback, unlike salt pork, doesn’t have any meat in it. 

However, salt pork has a lot of fat and flavor, so you should only use fatback in recipes that call for salt pork.

You’ll need to add more salt to the recipe because fatback doesn’t have much salt. Taste the food before you serve it. If it needs more salt, you can do that.

Salt Pork alternative

Salt Pork Substitute

What about the best salt pork substitute available out there? Well, we’ll talk about it today. But, honestly, there’re several alternatives to replacing salt pork in a recipe. Among them, pancetta, bacon, country ham are familiar names.


  • Bacon
  • Pancetta
  • Smoked Ham Hock
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Country Ham
  • Cured Vegetables
  • Beef Jerky
  • Guanciale
  • Smoked Turkey Wings
  • Beef Bacon / Turkey
  • Duck Ham
  • Fatback


  • Choose your preferred replacement from the list
  • Add substitute to your recipe
  • Make your own delicious recipe

Final Words

Finally, it has been quite an in-depth discussion about the salt pork substitutes. We’ve given twelve different options for you to replace salt pork in a recipe. Now, it’s the choice of individuals to choose any from a list of twelve alternatives.

Note that the most common and closest alternative you can find is bacon. It’s because the taste, texture, and other factors of bacon are pretty similar to salt pork.

Next, we plan to answer some of the most common questions about salt pork substitutes. In the following section, we’ll discuss five questions and answers.

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So, here we are with the question and answer session on salt pork substitute. First, find the four most relevant questions and their answers.

What can you use in place of Salt Pork?

Well, we’ve given twelve options for you in this blog post. However, if you’re still confused, we recommend you choose bacon. 

Bacon has quite a similar taste to salt pork. Also, it’s readily available in different stores around us.
Overall, considering the taste, texture, and availability, you can use bacon in place of salt pork.

Also, if you’re looking for a richer flavor, try using smoked salmon or ham hock.

What is another name for Salt Pork?

Streak O’ Lean is another name for Salt pork. In the southern parts of the United States, people name salt pork differently.

Can I use Prosciutto instead of Salt Pork?

Depending on your preferences, you can use prosciutto instead of salt pork. Prosciutto is dried and cured before use. So, it’ll eventually match the saltiness of salt pork.

However, it will not have the same meaty flavor as salted pig belly or bacon because it is lean flesh.

To give your recipe that extra richness, you may shred up extra pancetta or guanciale and incorporate it into the mixture.

Is pancetta the same as Salt Pork?

No, pancetta and salt pork aren’t the same. Both of the items can differ in appearance, taste, texture, and amount of meat.

For example, the color of the salt pork is white. But, on the contrary, the pancetta can have a pink tint.

Also, the seasoning of these two food items differs. Pancetta is usually seasoned with herbs, salts, and spices. On the contrary, salt pork is cured with only salt and spices.

In essence, there can be many other differences. So, there’s no need to think that they are the same.

So, we finish this exciting topic of salt pork substitute with the last question answered above.

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