How to Cook Fatback: A Complete Guide

Do you know how to cook fatback? This flavorful and indulgent ingredient is a staple in many traditional dishes, but it can be intimidating to work with if you’re not familiar with it. In this complete guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about cooking fatback.


Fatback is a cut of pork that comes from the back of the animal. It’s a fatty and flavorful ingredient that’s often used in traditional Southern and European cooking. Fatback is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, from stews and soups to sandwiches and salads. However, if you’re not familiar with cooking with fatback, it can be daunting to work with. In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about cooking with fatback, from choosing the right cut to preparing and cooking it to perfection.

Choosing the Right Fatback

Before you start cooking with fatback, it’s essential to choose the right cut. There are different types of fatback available, and each one has its unique characteristics. Here are some factors to consider when choosing fatback:

  • Freshness: Look for fresh fatback that’s not discolored or slimy.
  • Thickness: Choose fatback that’s the right thickness for your recipe. Thin slices are ideal for frying, while thicker cuts are better for roasting or braising.
  • Quality: Look for fatback that’s marbled with fat, but not too fatty. The best fatback has a good balance of fat and meat.
  • Source: Choose fatback from a reputable source, preferably from a local farmer or butcher.

By choosing the right fatback, you can ensure that your dish will be flavorful and delicious. In the next section, we’ll show you how to prepare the fatback for cooking.

Preparing the Fatback

Once you’ve chosen the right fatback for your recipe, it’s essential to prepare it correctly. Here are some steps to follow:

Cleaning and Cutting the Fatback

Start by cleaning the fatback under cold running water. Remove any hairs or debris that may be on the surface. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the fatback into thin slices or cubes, depending on the recipe you’re making. You can also leave it in larger pieces if you’re planning to roast or grill it.

Seasoning the Fatback

Fatback is naturally flavorful, but you can enhance its taste by seasoning it. You can use a variety of seasonings, such as salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, and herbs. Rub the seasonings onto the fatback, making sure to cover all sides evenly. Let it rest for a few minutes so that the flavors can absorb into the meat.

Cooking the Fatback

Fatback can be cooked in a variety of ways, depending on the recipe and your personal preference. Here are some of the most popular methods:


Frying is the most common way to cook fatback. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the fatback slices. Cook them for a few minutes on each side until they’re golden brown and crispy. Drain the fatback on a paper towel to remove excess grease.


Baking is a healthier way to cook fatback. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the fatback slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for 10-15 minutes, until they’re crispy and golden brown.


Grilling is another popular way to cook fatback. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and brush the fatback slices with oil. Grill them for a few minutes on each side until they’re cooked through and crispy.

No matter which method you choose, make sure to keep an eye on the fatback to prevent it from burning. With these simple steps, you can cook fatback to perfection and enjoy its delicious flavor in a variety of dishes.

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