How to Cook Benton’s Bacon to Perfection

Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams located in Madisonville, Tennessee produces some of the most sought-after artisanal cured and smoked bacon in the United States. Known for their exceptionally flavorful and perfectly balanced bacon, Benton’s unique curing and smoking process results in bacon packed with rich, smoky flavor. While Benton’s bacon is beloved by top chefs and bacon aficionados alike, many home cooks are intimidated by cooking it, worried they might ruin the precious slices. However, with a few simple tips, you can easily cook Benton’s bacon to crispy, savory perfection right in your own kitchen.

Why Benton’s Bacon is Special

Before jumping into cooking instructions, it’s helpful to understand what makes Benton’s bacon so special. Benton’s uses a traditional, time-intensive process to cure and smoke their bacon. Most commercial bacon is cured in a few hours using chemicals and artificial flavors. Benton’s cures their pork bellies with just salt, brown sugar, and time – up to 3 months! The pork is then smoked over hickory wood fires to infuse deep, rich smoky flavor. This old-fashioned process results in bacon with unparalleled depth of flavor and the perfect balance of salt, sweetness, and smoke.

While Benton’s offers various bacon products like smoked jowl bacon and bacon slices, their most popular is the Hickory Smoked Country Bacon. Made from whole pork bellies, this bacon contains gorgeous streaks of lean meat and supple fat marbled throughout. It’s this balance of fat and meat that makes the bacon so delicious when cooked properly.

How to Cook Benton’s Bacon Perfectly

Cooking Benton’s bacon correctly is simple once you understand a few key tips:

Use Cast Iron

For maximum bacon flavor, always cook the bacon in a cast iron skillet. The cast iron helps render the fat and crisp the bacon beautifully. Nonstick pans won’t brown the bacon properly.

Take the Chill Off

Pull the bacon from the fridge and let it come closer to room temperature before cooking This helps ensure even cooking, Cold bacon straight from the fridge risks undercooking the interior before the exterior gets crispy

Cook Low and Slow

The biggest mistake people make is cranking up the heat too high when cooking Benton’s bacon. High heat risks burning the exterior before the interior cooks through. Instead, cook the bacon over medium-low heat. The lower heat renders the fat slowly so the bacon can crisp gradually without burning.

Don’t Crowd the Pan

Cook just a few slices at a time in a single layer. Crowding the bacon lets moisture steam up and make the bacon soggy. Give each slice plenty of space.

Turn Often

Flip the bacon every 2-3 minutes to promote even browning. Frequently turning the bacon over in the pan also prevents the fatty areas from curling up.

Cook to Desired Doneness

This is a matter of personal taste. For crispy bacon, cook for about 10-12 minutes total, turning frequently, until deep golden brown. For chewy bacon, cook for 6-8 minutes. Benton’s bacon fat will appear very white at first and then turn golden as it renders.

Drain on Paper Towels

When the bacon reaches desired doneness, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. This wicks away excess grease and keeps the bacon crisp.

Serving Suggestions

Benton’s incredible bacon deserves to shine through when served. Here are some tasty ways to serve it:

  • Crispy in a BLT
  • Chopped in salads
  • Crumbled on baked potatoes
  • Paired with fried eggs
  • Stirred into grits or potato hash
  • Maple pepper bacon strips for breakfast
  • On a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich
  • In place of croutons on a wedge salad
  • Crumble over macaroni and cheese
  • Use as a topping on burgers or pizza

With its deep, rich flavor and luscious fat marbling, Benton’s bacon takes any dish from mundane to magnificent. Follow these simple tips to fry it up right every time. Slow cooking over gentle heat is the secret to maximizing the flavor and texture of this incredible artisanal bacon. Crisp up a batch this weekend and taste the difference that traditional curing and smoking makes. This bacon is truly addictive, so you’ll want to keep plenty on hand once you experience Benton’s smoked perfection.

Frequency of Entities:
Benton’s: 20 times
bacon: 35 times
smoke: 5 times
cure: 4 times
pork: 3 times
cast iron: 2 times
crispy: 4 times
fat: 5 times
hickory: 2 times

Benton’s Bacon


How long does it take to cook Benton’s bacon?

This is great bacon. Smokey, thick cut and a great balance of fat to lean. I cook a pound at a time in the oven. 350 for about 20 minutes.

Do you have to refrigerate benton’s bacon?

Simply refrigerate upon receiving the items to prolong the shelf life: The bacon will retain its original quality in the vacuum sealed package under refrigeration for 4-6 months and likely much longer; once opened, the product is best if used within 1-2 weeks.

Do you have to cook benton’s country ham?

The taste of the raw ham is a little sharp, as it should be, but not harsh; the flavor is full and complex, with a subtle smoke, although scarcely any deep inside the ham. It’s traditional, however, to “boil” a country ham. (Actually, it should be cooked slowly — poached.)

Where is Benton’s bacon made?

Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams & Bacon is in Madsonville, Tennessee.

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