Can You Eat Bacon Rind? A Guide to Enjoying This Underrated Part

Crispy, salty, smoky bacon is a beloved breakfast food for good reason But what about the often-discarded rind on the edges? While most people trim it off, bacon rind is actually edible and can add flavor and texture when cooked right

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about eating bacon rind. We’ll discuss the following:

  • What bacon rind is and its nutritional value
  • The potential health risks and benefits of eating it
  • Proper cooking methods to make bacon rind palatable
  • How to incorporate bacon rind into recipes
  • Creative alternative uses for bacon rind
  • Bacon rind preferences – on or off?

Let’s explore the world of bacon rind and see why you may want to give this under-appreciated part a second chance!

What is Bacon Rind?

Bacon rind refers to the fatty outer layer of skin and connective tissue surrounding a side of pork belly or slab of unsliced bacon It forms a tough, chewy barrier around the meat

This rind is typically removed from bacon before commercial sale, leaving just the lean, meaty portion. However, when curing bacon at home, cooks can choose to leave the rind on for added fat and flavor.

Bacon rind has a higher fat content than the red meat itself. It also contains a decent amount of protein and collagen, making it an unlikely source of nutrients.

Is Eating Bacon Rind Healthy or Risky?

Like regular bacon, the rind contains a lot of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Eating too much may raise health concerns:

Potential risks of bacon rind:

  • High in sodium – can increase blood pressure
  • High in saturated fat and cholesterol – can raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • Processed meat may increase cancer risk (per WHO)
  • May contribute to heart disease and obesity

However, bacon rind also provides some nutritional upside:

Potential benefits of bacon rind:

  • Source of protein and collagen
  • Contains monounsaturated fats that may lower LDL cholesterol
  • Provides vitamins B1, B3, B5, B12
  • Rich in choline, an essential nutrient
  • Contains selenium and phosphorus

Overall, bacon rind falls into the “occasional treat” category rather than a daily health food. Enjoying it moderately as part of a balanced diet is likely fine for most people.

How to Cook Bacon Rind for Best Results

Eating bacon rind with no preparation would be quite rubbery and tough. Proper cooking renders the fat and makes the rind crispy, crunchy, and palatable. Here are cooking tips:

  • Pan fry: Cut rind into strips and fry over medium-high heat until browned and crispy. Pour off excess fat as it renders.

  • Oven bake: Place on a sheet pan or wire rack. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until crispy.

  • Grill: Add rind strips to a hot grill. Cook until browned and slightly charred.

  • Microwave: Lay rind pieces between paper towels and microwave for 2-3 minutes until crisped.

  • Boil: Simmer rind pieces in water for 1 hour until tender, then bake or fry until crispy.

  • Air fry: Air fry at 380°F for 6-10 minutes until browned and crisped.

Cook bacon rind thoroughly until crispy to enhance texture and flavor. Now let’s look at how to eat it!

Creative Ways to Use Crispy Bacon Rind

Once cooked to crispy perfection, bacon rind can add taste and crunch to all kinds of recipes:

  • Crumble on salads, baked potatoes, and soups for flavor and texture.

  • Use crumbled rind as the coating for oven-baked chicken, fish, or pork chops.

  • Make candied bacon rind by coating cooked rind in brown sugar or maple syrup and baking until caramelized.

  • Turn into pork rind nachos by topping cooked rind chips with cheese, beans, salsa, etc.

  • Use in place of croutons for Caesar salad or to top casseroles for crunch.

  • Make “pork cracklins” by deep frying diced rind until puffed and crispy.

  • Add cooked rind to pancake or waffle batter for a bacon flavor boost.

With some creativity, the possibilities for crispy bacon rind are nearly endless! It can act as a topper, mix-in, or replacement for things like croutons, breadcrumbs, and chips.

Other Clever Uses for Leftover Bacon Rind

Aside from eating it, bacon rind has some clever alternative applications:

  • Flavored oils & fats: Simmer rind in oil or lard to infuse them with smoky bacon essence. Strain and use for cooking.

  • Seasoning smoker wood: Add leftover rind to wood chips/chunks to increase smoky bacon flavor as meat smokes.

  • Pet treats: Dogs and some birds love crunchy bacon rind as a treat (no seasoning, please).

  • Fire starter: The fat content makes bacon rind excellent kindling for grills and campfires when needed.

  • Compost: Rind adds carbon and fat to compost piles as it breaks down.

  • Broth flavoring: Simmer a rind in soups and broths for a meaty, smoky boost. Remove before serving.

With its high fat content and intense bacon flavor, rind offers options beyond just snacking.

To Rind or Not to Rind? Bacon Preferences Vary

Opinions differ on whether bacon rind should be left on slices or removed. Here are two schools of thought:

Team Rind On:

  • Leaving it on can add fat and flavor when the bacon is cooked.

  • Provides textural contrast – both crispy and tender.

  • No work required – just cook bacon as is.

  • Potentially less wasteful since the whole slab is used.

Team Rind Off:

  • The texture of raw rind may seem unappetizing to some.

  • Can make bacon slices harder to eat in sandwiches and burgers.

  • Cooks faster and more evenly without rind.

  • Unwanted rind doesn’t end up in food when cut first.

  • Trimming first allows rind to be cooked separately.

Bacon rind preferences come down to personal choice. Nothing wrong with stripping it first or enjoying it attached!

Key Takeaways About Eating Bacon Rind

To recap, here are the top things to keep in mind regarding consuming bacon rind:

  • It’s high in fat and sodium but provides some nutritional value. Enjoy in moderation.

  • Always cook rind thoroughly to render fat and make it palatable. A raw rind would be extremely tough and chewy.

  • Crispy cooked rind can add nice crunch and smoky flavor to many dishes as a topping, mix-in or replacement.

  • Be creative with leftover cooked rind in things like seasoning oils, pet treats, composting and more.

  • Leaving bacon rind on or trimming it off comes down to personal preference. Both options are fine!

While often discarded, bacon rind can be a treasure – adding crunch, flavor, and creativity to your kitchen when properly prepared and used. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Can You Eat Pork Rinds On Keto? – Dr. Berg


Can you eat the rind off bacon?

In my view, you can leave the rind on the bacon for bacon and eggs on a plate (although why would you?) but you should always cut it off when putting it on sandwiches/wraps/bagels/anything that is meant to be eaten whole.

What can I do with bacon rind?

I boil mine i salted water, then dry them in my cool cellar for a month, and then fry them in oil to get super crispy and super tasty pork rind snacks. The taste is fantastic compared to anything youcan buy. I often serve a couple of rinds as starters with a piece of bread and a spoonful of vegetables.

Can you eat raw bacon rind?

No, it’s not safe to eat raw bacon. Even though bacon has been preserved through the curing process, it has not been cooked. Like other foods you should never eat raw, consuming raw or undercooked meat puts you at risk of foodborne illness from viruses, bacteria or parasites.

Can you still get bacon with rind on?

Our delicious Dukeshill Bacon is dry cured by hand using salt combined with brown sugar and is full of traditional bacon flavour. We cut our Middle Bacon a little thicker and being rind-on it has a good layer of fat. This lovely bacon is a tad tastier and saltier than our other bacons.

Can you eat bacon rind on a strict diet?

If you’re on a stricter diet, cut the bacon rind in cubes, pan-fry them (I prefer to grill them, as it uses less oil), and add them to your vegetable salad. Bacon rind isn’t one of the best-known ingredients in the kitchen for casual cooking. However, that can change in an instant.

Can one eat bacon with diverticulosis?

You can eat bacon with diverticulosis, but it is not the most recommended. In a person with diverticulosis, it is recommended to consume foods with soluble fiber such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

What happens if you eat bacon raw?

Consuming undercooked or raw meat of any kind increases the risk of **foodborne illness**, commonly known as **food poisoning**. Raw bacon can harbor harmful viruses, bacteria, and parasites, which can

Is bacon rind healthy?

Bacon rind, also known as pork rind, is a type of food made from the skin of a pig. It is typically fried or roasted in order to make it crispy, and can be used as a snack or as a component of a dish. While bacon rind is not particularly healthy, it can be a delicious treat.

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