Recipes with Bacon

FAQS About Bacon

What is bacon and how is it made?

Bacon typically comes from the belly of the pig, although it can also come from back cuts. Making bacon includes several setps:

Identifying the pork: The first step is to select what type of meat is going to be used to make the bacon. As previously mentioned, the meat will either be from the belly or from the back. Meat comes from these two areas because they have a good blend of meat and fat.

Curing the pork: After the meat is selected, it has to be cured. The curing process is what preserves and adds flavor to the meat. Generally, bacon is cured in one of two ways:

  • Dry curing: Dry curing is when salt, sugar and other seasoning is rubbed into the pork. When this is done, moisture is drawn from the meat which helps to preserve it. After dry curing, the meat is set to cure for a period time ranging from days to weeks.
  • Wet curing: Wet curing occurs when the pork is placed in a brine that includes salt and sugar. Sometimes other flavors are added to the brine. This has become an increasingly more common curing method because it’s a quicker process. The wet curing process takes only a few hours to a few days to complete.

Drying the pork: Once the pork is cured, it’s dried in order to remove moisture. Commercially, this is usually completed by air-drying the pork. In small batches, the pork may be patted dry.

Smoking the pork: Once the meat is dried, it then is smoked. The smoking process adds additional flavor and helps preserve the meat. When you see flavored bacon, such as hickory or applewood, this is where that flavor is added. The pork is smoked over different woods that infuse the meat with different flavors.

Slicing and packaging the pork: After the pork is smoked, it is allowed to cooled then sliced into the bacon strips we see at grocery stores. Once sliced, the bacon is packaged to be sold.

What are the different types of bacon?

There are many types of bacon, with the most popular being:

  • Back bacon: Includes leaner meat from the loin in the middle of the back and includes a portion of the belly.
  • Canadian bacon: Created from the pig’s lean loin. Canadian bacon is similar to back bacon but it doesn’t include any of the belly.
  • Streaky Bacon: This is what is commonly known as bacon in the U.S. It’s “streaky” because it has very distinct layers of lean meat and fat that can be seen.
  • Pancetta: Pancetta is an Italian bacon that is similar to streaky bacon. The key difference is that pancetta usually isn’t smoked. Instead, it’s cured using spices.
  • Turkey Bacon: Turkey bacon is, as you probably guessed, made from turkey and is commonly used as a lower-fat alternative to pork bacon.

What is the difference between smoked and unsmoked bacon

Unsmoked bacon is bacon that is cured, but not smoked. Whereas smoked bacon is bacon that has been cured and then is smoked. The smoking process gives the bacon additional flavor. By comparison, many people will find that unsmoked bacon has a more mild taste than smoked bacon.

How should I cook bacon?

Bacon can be cooked in many ways. Most commonly it’s cooked in a skillet or baked in the oven. However, because bacon is so versatile, it is often used in air fryers, slow cookers and even the microwave.

What temperature should you cook bacon in the oven?

To cook bacon in the oven, you should set it to 400°F. At this temperature, it will take 15 to 20 minutes to fully cook the bacon until it is crispy.

How do you prevent bacon from curling while cooking?

There are a few ways to keep bacon from curling while cooking. If you’re cooking bacon in the oven, try cooking it on a wire rack or placing a baking sheet on top of the bacon to keep it flat. If you’re cooking bacon on the stovetop, press the bacon with a spatula while it’s frying.

How should I store bacon?

If the bacon is unopened, it can be stored in a refrigerator for up to one week beyond the date listed as “sell by”. Once the bacon is opened, make sure it is stored in an airtight container and it should stay good for up to one week.

Can I freeze cooked bacon after it’s cooked?

After cooking, bacon can be frozen for up to one month when it is stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Are there healthier alternatives to traditional pork bacon?

There are many types of bacon alternatives on the market today. These alternatives include turkey, chicken, and plant-based bacons. Typically, these types of alternative bacon have less fat and calories than pork bacon. However, they also have different flavors and textures.