What is Rind on Bacon? A Guide to This Old-Fashioned Bacon Style

If you’re a bacon lover, you’ve probably noticed that most supermarket bacon today is sold without the skin or “rind” attached But traditionally, bacon was cured and cooked with the rind left on This old-school style is known as “rind on” bacon.

While not as common today, rind on bacon is making a comeback among foodies and chefs looking to add more flavor and texture to their dishes. The pork rind provides a unique crunchy and chewy contrast to the fatty, smoky bacon.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about rind on bacon. We’ll cover:

  • What is bacon rind?
  • The history and origins
  • How to cook rind on bacon
  • Health benefits
  • Where to buy high quality rind on bacon
  • Delicious recipes to try

Let’s dive in and learn all about this old-fashioned bacon style!

What is Bacon Rind?

Rind on bacon is simply bacon that has the pork skin or rind left attached to the fatty belly meat. This results in one continuous strip of meat, fat, and skin.

The pork rind is the skin of the pig that covers the belly and fat layers. It consists mostly of collagen and fat, which breaks down into gelatin and crunchy pork cracklings when cooked.

With rind on bacon, the pork rind remains attached to provide an extra layer of texture. When cooked, the rind gets deliciously crunchy and crispy in parts, while other areas render down into soft, chewy, gelatinous bites.

A Brief History of Rind On Bacon

In early history, rind on bacon was the norm, not the exception. When pork bellies were cured and smoked to make bacon, the skin was left on to protect the meat.

Hanging and drying meat was one of the only ways to preserve it before refrigeration. Leaving the rind on helped shield the fatty bacon from bugs, dirt and other contaminants.

Over time, people realized the rind also added great flavor, texture and nutrients to bacon. So rind on bacon became the traditional preparation style.

It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that consumer demand grew for leaner, rindless bacon. As bacon became more of a “middle class” household staple, preferences shifted to quick-cooking, uniform bacon slices. This led to most mass-market bacon being sold with the rind removed.

However, rind on bacon remains popular in many food cultures globally. It’s considered a delicacy and valued for its versatility in many cuisines and dishes.

How to Cook Rind On Bacon

Cooking rind on bacon requires some different techniques compared to regular sliced bacon:

  • Pan Fry: Simply place the bacon strips in a skillet and fry over medium heat. Turn occasionally until the fat renders and the rind gets crispy.

  • Oven Bake: Arrange bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes. The rind will bubble up as it cooks.

  • Grill: Place bacon over indirect heat on the grill. Turn occasionally until cooked through with crispy rind.

  • Microwave: Microwave in 30 second bursts until done, turning between rounds. Keep an eye on it as the rind can burn quickly.

Regardless of the cooking method, the key is cooking low and slow. This gives time for the fat to render and the rind to gradually crisp up without burning.

Let the cooked bacon drain on paper towels before eating. The rind softens a bit as it cools. Enjoy the mix of crunchy and tender textures in each bite!

Benefits and Nutrition of Pork Rind

The rind on bacon provides some good nutritional perks. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Healthy Fats: Pork fat contains high levels of oleic acid, the same heart healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.

  • Collagen: The rind is loaded with collagen, which breaks down into gelatin and promotes gut health.

  • Crunch: The crisp pork rind adds great texture contrast to otherwise soft fatty bacon.

  • Flavor: Cooking the rind infuses the meat with savory, smoky pork essence.

  • Versatility: Rind on bacon can be used in more dishes compared to thin breakfast strips.

While high in sodium and saturated fat like regular bacon, the rind provides more nutrients than just meat alone. In moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet.

Where to Buy Quality Rind On Bacon

Since most large supermarket brands remove the rind before packaging, you’ll need to check specialty stores or local butchers to find rind on bacon. Here are some tips for locating high quality sources:

  • Farmers Markets: Ask vendors at your local farmers market if they sell or can source rind on bacon. This allows you to get locally made artisan products.

  • Butcher Shops: Traditional butchers are more likely to offer whole pork bellies and do custom bacon curing. You can request it prepared rind on.

  • Online Mail Order: There are some great online vendors selling traditionally cured rind on bacon, like igourmet.com. Online retailers ship nationwide.

  • International Markets: If you live in an area with ethnic grocery stores, check the Italian, German, Spanish or Polish markets which often stock rind on preparations.

When buying rind on bacon, look for high meat content and artisanal curing methods without excessive

Cooking Rind-on Bacon


Do you remove the rind from bacon?

Trim away excess fat and try to square up your cut. Choose to keep or remove the skin (rind). The rind will shrink considerably during the curing process, but by removing it – you will allow for the cure to do it’s work more easily.

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.

What happened to Rind on bacon?

Today most bacon has the pork skin removed before smoking, but some customers prefer the old fashioned tradition of keeping the “rind” on the bacon.

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.

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