How To Remove Salt From Salt Pork? Experts Explain

Are you a fan of using salt pork in your cooking, but find it too salty for your taste?

Or maybe you’re new to cooking with this ingredient and unsure how to work with it?

Either way, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll show you how to remove excess salt from salt pork and provide tips on how to use it in your favorite dishes.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to make the most of this flavorful ingredient without overwhelming your taste buds.

How To Remove Salt From Salt Pork?

In the old days, salt pork was heavily salted to preserve it, but nowadays it doesn’t have to be as salty because it’s refrigerated. However, if you’re using a large piece, it’s still a good idea to soak it in water for an hour or parboil it to remove excess salt.

To remove excess salt from salt pork, start by scraping off any excess salt and discarding it. Rinse the pork if there is a lot of salt on it. 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. 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. 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.

After removing excess salt from the salt pork, you can leave it in a large piece, cut it into cubes, slice it or dice it depending on the recipe you’re following. To achieve really small pieces that will render quickly, you can also put salt pork through a meat grinder.

Understanding Salt Pork And Its Uses In Cooking

Salt pork is a form of cured meat that has been used for long-term preservation before refrigeration was widely available. It is made from pork belly or fatback and is salt-cured, giving it a salty and savory flavor. Salt pork is versatile and can be used in many different cuisines to add depth and complexity to dishes.

One of the most common uses for salt pork is to render it into fat or flavor one-pot meals like chowder or baked beans. It can also be used to add salt and fat to roasted or braised vegetables. Salt pork is particularly popular in traditional American cuisine, such as Boston baked beans, pork and beans, and clam chowder.

When using salt pork in cooking, it’s important to know how to source good quality cured salt pork and how to cook it properly. If you’re using a large piece of salt pork, it’s a good idea to soak it in water for an hour or parboil it to remove excess salt. Additionally, when preparing the salt pork, you should make horizontal and vertical slices into the meat to allow it to cook evenly.

The Importance Of Removing Excess Salt From Salt Pork

Removing excess salt from salt pork is important for several reasons. Firstly, if the salt pork is too salty, it can overpower the other flavors in your dish and make it unappetizing. Secondly, excessive salt can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Lastly, if you’re using salt pork in a recipe that already contains salt, the combination of both salts can be overwhelming to the taste buds.

To prevent these issues, it’s crucial to remove excess salt from salt pork before using it in your recipe. Soaking the pork in water for an hour or parboiling it can help to draw out some of the excess salt. Additionally, cutting the pork into small pieces or grinding it can help to distribute the remaining salt more evenly throughout your dish.

Soaking Salt Pork: The Traditional Method

When it comes time to use your salt pork, soaking it is a traditional method that has been used for centuries. Soaking the salt pork in fresh water helps to remove as much salt as possible, making it more palatable. The traditional method involves soaking the salt pork in fresh water for at least 2 hours, but sometimes overnight. It is important to change the water often during the soaking process to ensure that all the excess salt is removed.

To soak the salt pork, start by cutting it into pieces that are easy to handle. Place the pieces of salt pork in a bowl or container and cover them with fresh water. Allow the salt pork to soak for at least 2 hours, changing the water every 30 minutes. If you find that the salt pork is still too salty after 2 hours, you can continue to soak it for longer.

After soaking the salt pork, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water and pat it dry with a paper towel. At this point, you can use the salt pork in your recipe as desired. It can be left in a large piece, cut into cubes, sliced or diced depending on your recipe.

Boiling Salt Pork: An Alternative Method

Boiling salt pork is another method to remove excess salt from the meat. To do this, place the salt pork in a pot of cold water and bring it to a boil. Once the water has boiled, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain off the water and rinse the salt pork under cold running water. This method is particularly useful if you are short on time and need to use the salt pork right away.

It’s important to note that boiling the salt pork will remove some of the flavor, so if you’re using it as a flavoring agent in a dish, you may want to use another method to remove excess salt. However, if you’re using it as a main ingredient, boiling can be an effective way to reduce the saltiness without sacrificing too much flavor.

Tips For Using Salt Pork In Your Favorite Dishes

Salt pork is a versatile ingredient that can add a lot of flavor to your favorite dishes. Here are some tips for using salt pork in your cooking:

1. Use it to flavor soups and stews: Salt pork is a great way to add depth of flavor to soups and stews. You can either render the fat from the salt pork and use it as a cooking fat, or dice it up and add it directly to the pot.

2. Fry it up for a crispy garnish: If you want to add some texture to your dishes, try frying up small pieces of salt pork until they’re crispy. These make a great garnish for salads, soups, and more.

3. Add it to your favorite beans: Salt pork is a classic ingredient in baked beans, but it can also be used in other bean dishes like black beans, navy beans, and more. Just be sure to soak the beans overnight before cooking to help remove excess salt.

4. Use it in stir-fries: Salt pork can add a lot of flavor to stir-fries, especially those with vegetables like bok choy, cabbage, or kale. Just be sure to use it sparingly, as it can be quite salty.

5. Try it in pasta dishes: Salt pork can be a great addition to pasta dishes like carbonara or amatriciana. Just be sure to cook it slowly over low heat so that it doesn’t burn or become too crispy.

Remember, when using salt pork in your cooking, be sure to taste your dish before adding any additional salt. Salt pork is already quite salty, so you may not need any additional seasoning.

Storing Salt Pork For Future Use.

If you have leftover salt pork that you want to save for future use, it’s important to store it properly to ensure its longevity. While salt pork can last up to two weeks unrefrigerated, it can last for 4-5 months refrigerated and even longer frozen.

To refrigerate salt pork, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the fridge. The more tightly sealed your meat is, the longer it can be expected to last. When your salt pork is repeatedly exposed to higher temperatures, this creates the opportunity for the development of bacteria that can make meat unsafe to eat. However, since salt pork is immersed in salt during the curing process, bad bacteria struggle to get into the meat, making it a smart protein option for your camping trips.

If you plan on freezing your salt pork, make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Label the container or bag with the date so you know how long it has been frozen. Frozen salt pork can last up to 6 months.

When you are ready to use your refrigerated or frozen salt pork, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours before using. Once it has been soaked or simmered in water to remove excess salt, all you will need to do is wrap it in foil, place it over a fire when you are ready to cook it, and enjoy the delicacy of a protein and fat combination. By storing your salt pork properly, you can enjoy its flavor and convenience for months to come.