Cooking fatback in the microwave will give you a less greasy result than cooking in a skillet or the oven. In addition, by cooking fatback in the microwave, you will be able to cook it to your preferred doneness.
Less expensive than bacon, it gives food a similar flavor, and you can use it in its place with your eggs for breakfast.
Wrapping fatback in paper towels and placed in a microwave for four to six minutes will make it crispy, which draws out the flavor of this bacon-like meat.
How do I prepare fatback for cooking in the microwave?
If the fatback you purchase is a block, you will need to cut it into strips or small bite-sized pieces. After you have, cut it into the size you want, wrap the fatback in paper towels, and place them on a microwaveable plate.
If you have a microwave bacon cooker, you can use it for cooking fatback in your microwave, and its design will catch the grease from the fatback as it cooks. If you don’t have a microwave bacon cooker, paper towels and a microwave-safe vessel will work fine for cooking fatback.
How long do I cook fatback in the microwave?
It can take ten to fifteen minutes to cook fatback or bacon in a skillet or the oven. However, you can cook fatback in less than seven minutes in the microwave, and there is minimal clean-up.
When cooking in a microwave, cook fatback between four and six minutes, on a medium to high setting. Every microwave is different, so it may take longer if yours only puts out 900 watts. Conversely, microwaves that put out 1100 to 1200 watts will cook your fatback in less time.
Regardless of the power output of your microwave, cook your fatback for about four minutes to start. Then, check it to see if it is crispy, and if not, cook it for another minute, then repeat until the fatback is cooked to your liking.
Is fatback the same cut of meat as bacon?
Although fatback and bacon come from a pig, bacon usually has lean meat and fat strips. Fatback, however, is typically all pork fat. Because that is, it will get crispier than bacon and has many of the same flavor qualities.
Fatback comes from the fat along the spine and upper sides of a hog towards the neck, thus the name, fatback.
Although it and bacon are a cut from along the rib section, bacon has a streak of lean meat running through it, while fatback is all-fat.
Cured and uncured fatback
In its purest form, you can render fatback to produce lard, and you can grind it with lean pork to make sausage and ground pork.
You can use fatback raw or cure it with salt or brine (wet-cured). When cured, it will last longer, unrefrigerated and refrigerated.
You can cut either of these types of fatback cut into strips and then microwave them to a perfect crispness, just as you would bacon.
You can then use the crisped pieces of fatback to add to breakfast or topping for a vegetable or salad.
How else can you cook fatback?
You can use the fat from the back of a pig to make lard, fatback, and salt pork. It comes from the upper back and spinal section and is all-fat or may have a thin strip of meat running through it.
Fatback has many names and is sold as fat meat, salt pork, salt meat (dry), side meat, white bacon, and middling meat. You can cut any of these pieces of fat pork into strips and cook them in a microwave.
How do you cook salted pork fatback?
That depends on how salty it is. Some salt pork, fatback cured with salt, is so salty that you need to boil it for a few minutes before cooking it in the microwave.
When using salted fatback in vegetables, you do not need to rinse it because the salt from the meat will season the dish.
However, if you use unrinsed, salted fatback in a vegetable dish, do not add salt, or you may ruin your recipe. You may find that microwaving salted fatback without rinsing is too salty. If that is so, you can boil it for a few minutes before microwaving it, which will rinse some of the salt away.
How do you know when the fat back is done?
Fatback will take on a golden brown color when it is done, and it will be crispy. You do not need to cook fatback until shriveled up and rubbery. You can cook it less crisp if that is how you like to eat it.
However, the longer you cook it, the more fat is cooked out. So, this is a much more appealing way to serve fatback than an undercooked glob of fat.
Whether you fry fatback, microwave, or oven-bake, the result is the same. When it is properly cooked, it will be light brown and crispy.
Is microwaving fatback the best way to cook it?
If you want crispy strips or bits to add to your breakfast with little fuss, microwaving it is the best way to cook it. You can also use cooked fatback topping for green beans or other dishes.
Microwaving will cook fatback to perfection and is less messy than cooking it in a skillet.
Fatback can also be added to beans and other vegetables while cooking and to cuts of lean meat to keep it from drying out. And if you are interested in fatback, check out our guide to cooking hog jowls here.
FAQs about cooking fatback in the microwave:
Can I freeze raw fatback?
When fatback has been salted, it will keep at room temperature for two weeks. However, if you refrigerate fatback, it will last for four to five months, and when frozen, you can keep it in the freezer for up to a year.
Can I freeze cooked fatback?
It will freeze like raw fatback; however, it will not last as long in the refrigerator or freezer as fatback that you haven’t cooked yet.