Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup


Nutritional Information

1 thin slice (yield after cooking), bacon

  • Calories 27
  • Calories from Fat 18.81
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 2.09g3%
  • Saturated Fat 0.687g3%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.926g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.237g
  • Cholestreol 6mg2%
  • Sodium 116mg5%
  • Potassium 28mg1%
  • Total Carbohydrate 0.07g0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 0g
  • Protein 1.85g4%
  • Calcium 0mg0%
  • Iron 0mg0%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

Bacon Cooking Considerations:

No Cooking Considerations yet. Add some!

Bacon Storage Considerations:

No Storage Considerations yet. Add some!

Bacon Substitutions:

No Substitutions yet. Add some!

Bacon on Wikipedia:

This article is about the cured meat. For other uses, see Bacon (disambiguation). Look up bacon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Uncooked strips of bacon

Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured in a brine or in a dry packing, both containing large amounts of salt; the result is fresh bacon (also green bacon). Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months (usually in cold air), boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating. Boiled bacon is ready to eat, as is some smoked bacon, but either may be cooked further before eating.

Bacon is prepared from several different cuts of meat. In the United States, it is almost always prepared from pork belly. Elsewhere, it is more often made from side and back cuts, and bacon made from bellies is referred to as ``streaky``, ``fatty``, or ``American style``. The side cut has more meat and less fat than the belly. Bacon may be prepared from either of two distinct back cuts: fatback, which is almost pure fat, and pork loin, which is very lean. Bacon-cured pork loin is known as back bacon.

Bacon may be eaten smoked, boiled, fried, baked, or grilled, or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes. Bacon is also used for barding and larding roasts, especially game birds. The word is derived from the Old High German bacho, meaning ``buttock``, ``ham`` or ``side of bacon``, and cognate with the Old French bacon.[1]

In continental Europe, this part of the pig is usually not smoked like bacon is in the United States; it is used primarily in cubes (lardons) as a cooking ingredient, valued both as a source of fat and for its flavor. In Italy, this is called pancetta and is usually cooked in small cubes or served uncooked and thinly sliced as part of an antipasto.

Meat from other animals, such as beef, lamb, chicken, goat, or turkey, may also be cut, cured, or otherwise prepared to resemble bacon, and may even be referred to as ``bacon``.[2] Such use is common in areas with significant Jewish and Muslim populations.[3] The USDA defines bacon as ``the cured belly of a swine carcass``; other cuts and characteristics must be separately qualified (e.g., ``smoked pork loin bacon``). For safety, bacon must be treated for trichinella,[4] a parasitic roundworm which can be destroyed by heating, freezing, drying, or smoking.[5]

Bacon is distinguished from salt pork and ham by differences in the brine (or dry packing). Bacon brine has added ingredients, most notably sodium nitrite, and occasionally sodium nitrate or saltpeter, are added to cure the meat; sodium ascorbate or erythorbate are added to accelerate curing and stabilize color. Flavorings such as brown sugar or maple are used for some products. If used, sodium polyphosphates are added to improve sliceability and reduce spattering when the bacon is pan fried. Today, a brine for ham, but not bacon, includes a large amount of sugar. Historically, ``ham`` and ``bacon`` referred to different cuts of meat that were brined or packed identically, often together in the same barrel.


Curing and Smoking bacon

Bacon is cured through either a process of injecting with or soaking in brine or using plain salt (dry curing).[citation needed]

In America, bacon is usually cured and smoked, and different flavors can be achieved by using various types of wood, or rarely corn cobs; peat is used in the UK. This process can take up to eighteen hours, depending on the intensity of the flavor desired. The Virginia House-Wife (1824), thought to be one of the earliest American cookbooks, gives no indication that bacon is ever not smoked, though it gives no advice on flavoring, noting only that care should be taken lest the fire get too hot.[6] In early American history, the preparation and smoking of bacon (like the making of sausage) seems to have been a gender-neutral process, one of the few food-preparation processes not divided by gender.[7]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland smoked and unsmoked varieties are equally common, unsmoked being referred to as green bacon. The leaner cut of back bacon is preferred to the bacon from the belly (that is ubiquitous in the United States) which is referred to as streaky bacon due to the prominence of the bands of fat. While there is a tendency on both sides of the Atlantic to serve belly bacon well done to crispy, back bacon is cooked to taste in often a way that, at first, appears undercooked to those used to belly bacon.

Cuts of bacon

Rashers (slices) differ depending on the primal cut from which they are prepared:

Cooked rasher of streaky bacon Streaky bacon comes from pork belly. It is very fatty with long layers of fat running parallel to the rind. This is the most common form of bacon in the United States. Pancetta is Italian streaky bacon, smoked or aqua (unsmoked), with a strong flavor. It is generally rolled up into cylinders after curing. In America unsmoked streaky bacon is often referred to as side pork.[citation needed] Back bacon, ready for cooking Middle bacon, from the side of the animal, is intermediate in cost, fat content, and flavor between streaky bacon and back bacon. Back bacon comes from the loin in the middle of the back of the pig. It is a very lean, meaty cut of bacon, with less fat compared to other cuts. It has a ham-like texture. Most bacon consumed in the United Kingdom is back bacon.[8] Also called Irish bacon or Canadian bacon. Cottage bacon is thinly sliced lean pork meat from a shoulder cut that is typically oval shaped and meaty. It is cured and then sliced into round pieces for baking or frying. Jowl bacon is cured and smoked cheeks of pork. See Guanciale.

Slab bacons typically have a medium to very high fraction of fat. They are made from the belly and side cuts, and from fatback. Slab bacon is not to be confused with salt pork, which is prepared from the same cuts, but is not bacon cured.

Bacon joints include the following:

Collar bacon is taken from the back of a pig near the head.[9] Hock, from the hog ankle joint between the ham and the foot. Gammon, from the hind leg, traditionally ``Wiltshire cured``. Picnic bacon is from the picnic cut, which includes the shoulder beneath the blade.[10] It is fairly lean, but tougher than most pork cuts.

In the English-speaking world

Bacon and egg sandwich garnished with a strawberry

Traditionally, the skin is left on the cut and is known as bacon rind, but rindless bacon is also common throughout the English-speaking world. The meat may be bought smoked or unsmoked. Bacon is often served with eggs as part of a full breakfast.

Australia and New Zealand

Generally as for the United Kingdom. Middle bacon is the most common variety and are sold in ``rashers``. Middle bacon includes the streaky, fatty section along with the leaner ``eye`` at one end. In response to increasing consumer diet-consciousness, some supermarkets also offer the leaner ``eye`` end only. This is sold as ``short cut bacon`` and is usually priced slightly higher than middle bacon. Both varieties are usually available in rindless, that is, with the rind removed.[11]


An individual slice of bacon is a slice or strip. In Canada:

The term bacon on its own refers generically to strip bacon from the belly meat of the pig, which is the most popular type of bacon sold in Canada.[citation needed] The term back bacon is used interchangeably to describe either smoked or unsmoked back bacon. The term peameal bacon is a variety of unsmoked back bacon which historically was brined and rolled in a meal made from ground yellow peas. Today, fine cornmeal is more commonly used as a coating. Canadian bacon, meaning back bacon, is not in common parlance amongst Canadians.

United Kingdom and Ireland

An individual slice of bacon is a rasher, or occasionally a collop. In this region, bacon comes in a wide variety of cuts and flavors:

The term bacon on its own suggests the more common back bacon, but can refer to any cut. The term Canadian bacon simply means bacon from Canada, though whether the product was entirely reared, slaughtered, cured, sliced and packed in Canada is not normally made clear on packaging. However, it is not particularly common nor regarded as different from other bacon.[citation needed] Slices from the pork belly are referred to as streaky bacon, streaky rashers or belly bacon. Slices from the back of the pig are referred to as back bacon or back rashers. These usually include a streaky bit and a lean oval bit, and are part of the traditional full breakfast.

United States

A side of unsliced bacon was once known as a flitch[12] it is now known as a slab. An individual slice of bacon is a slice or strip.

The term bacon on its own refers generically to strip bacon from the belly meat of the pig, which is the most popular type of bacon sold in the U.S. Consumption of bacon increased from 16.8 lb (7.6 kg) per person in 1998 to 17.9 lb (8.1 kg) per person in 2007, or over 700,000,000 lb (320,000,000 kg)[13]. The term Canadian Bacon or Canadian-style bacon must be made from the pork loin, and means back bacon,[14] but this term refers usually to the lean ovoid portion (m. longissimus, or loineye).[10] It also can be made from the sirloin portion of the loin (gluteal muscles), but must be labeled appropriately. Similar products made from the ham are used as less expensive substitutes.

Bacon mania

Main article: Bacon mania

The United States has seen an increase in popularity of bacon and bacon related recipes, dubbed ``bacon mania``. Dishes such as bacon explosion, chicken fried bacon, and chocolate covered bacon have been popularized over the internet,[15] as has using candied bacon. Recipes spread quickly through the national media, culinary blogs, and YouTube.[16][17] Restaurants are organizing bacon and beer tasting nights,[18] The New York Times reported on bacon infused with Irish whiskey used for