What is Wayside Bacon? A Complete Guide to This Unique Type of Bacon

As a bacon aficionado, I’m always interested in learning about new and unique types of bacon. Lately, I’ve been hearing about something called “Wayside bacon” and wanted to get the full scoop In my research, I uncovered that Wayside bacon, sometimes called “cottage bacon,” is a lesser known variety made from pork shoulder rather than the traditional pork belly

Intrigued, I decided to dig deeper into understanding exactly what Wayside bacon is, how it differs from regular bacon, and how to cook and use this distinctive type of cured pork Keep reading for a complete guide to Wayside bacon!

Overview of Wayside Bacon

To start, let’s clarify what defines Wayside bacon:

  • It is made from pork shoulder, also called Boston butt or pork butt.

  • Wayside bacon is oval or round in shape rather than traditional rectangular slices.

  • It has a leaner, meatier texture compared to regular fatty bacon.

  • Wayside bacon is also referred to as “cottage bacon.”

  • It works well for frying, baking, or grilling.

Key Differences Between Wayside and Regular Bacon

There are a few noticeable ways that Wayside bacon stands apart from common pork belly bacon:

  • Cut of meat – Wayside uses shoulder instead of belly.

  • Fat content – Wayside is leaner and less fatty.

  • Shape – Wayside slices are oval vs. rectangular.

  • Texture – Wayside is chewier and meatier.

  • Flavor – Wayside is milder tasting compared to robust, smoky regular bacon.

  • Cooking method – Wayside takes longer to crisp up than fatty bacon.

How Does Wayside Bacon Taste Compared to Traditional Bacon?

When it comes to taste and flavor, Wayside bacon imparts a milder meaty bacon essence rather than the intense smoky, salty punch of pork belly bacon. Here’s a flavor comparison:

  • Smokiness – Wayside has delicate smoky notes while regular bacon is powerfully smoky.

  • Saltiness – Wayside has a lighter saltiness than traditional bacon.

  • Meatiness – The pork shoulder cut makes Wayside more steak-like.

  • Fat content – Higher fat in regular bacon adds rich, fatty flavor.

  • Sweetness – Any added sugars stand out more in the milder Wayside.

  • Umami – Wayside has a lower umami impact than fatty regular bacon.

So in terms of taste, Wayside bacon provides a more delicate, ham-like bacon experience compared to the robust smoky, salty flavor of traditional bacon.

How to Cook Wayside Bacon Perfectly at Home

Cooking Wayside bacon is similar to regular bacon, but with a few tweaks:

  • Use a lower heat around 325-350°F to avoid overbrowning.

  • Cook for a longer time, around 12 minutes total for crispy bacon.

  • Consider pre-cooking then finishing on a grill or in the oven.

  • Use a cooling rack over the bacon to minimize grease splatters.

  • Line the baking sheet with foil for easier cleanup.

  • Flip halfway during cooking for even crisping on both sides.

With slightly lower heat and a little more time, you can achieve perfectly crispy, flavorful Wayside bacon at home!

Best Ways to Use Wayside Bacon

The milder, meatier flavor profile of Wayside bacon makes it excellent for:

  • Breakfast sandwiches – Pairs great with eggs and cheese.

  • Burgers and sandwiches – Top your favorites for a bacon boost.

  • Salads – Crumbled Wayside bacon is a tasty salad topper.

  • Baked potatoes – Sprinkle crispy bits over loaded baked potatoes.

  • Wrapping foods – Wrap bites of food in a slice of Wayside bacon.

  • Bacon jam – Cook down with brown sugar and spices for a sweet jam.

  • Carbonara or clams casino – Adds bacon essence without overpowering.

With a little creativity, Wayside bacon can add tasty bacon appeal to all types of savory dishes!

Where to Buy Wayside Bacon

Wayside bacon may not be as readily available as regular bacon, but you can typically find it at:

  • Specialty meat shops and butcher counters.

  • Farmers markets from local pork purveyors.

  • Some grocery stores, often sold as “cottage bacon.”

  • Online mail order sites specializing in artisanal meats.

If you ask your local butcher, they may be able to specially order Wayside bacon for you even if they don’t regularly stock it. It’s worth seeking out to try this unique alternative to regular bacon!

Is Wayside Bacon Healthier Than Regular Bacon?

When it comes to health, Wayside bacon has a few advantages over regular bacon:

  • It’s lower in fat overall since it uses pork shoulder rather than fatty belly.

  • Less fat means fewer calories per serving.

  • The leaner cut of pork has a better protein-to-fat ratio.

However, Wayside bacon is still cured pork and high in sodium. So while it’s a leaner option, it may not be considered a “healthy” food and should be enjoyed in moderation.

Other Popular Types of Bacon

Wayside isn’t the only game in town when it comes to cured pork products. Some other major types of bacon include:

  • Pancetta – Italian rolled and cured pork belly.

  • Canadian bacon – Lean pork loin cured and smoked.

  • Turkey bacon – Lower fat turkey alternative to pork bacon.

  • Prosciutto – Italian dry-cured ham that is thinly sliced.

  • Guanciale – Cured and smoked pork jowl or cheek.

  • Bresaola – Air-dried, cured beef with bold flavor.

From pork dishes to beef, there are so

Trying Every Type Of Bacon | The Big Guide | Epicurious


What is the tastiest cut of bacon?

Three types exist — slab, regular, and center cut. Meat lovers should opt for the latter since it’s the lowest in fat, containing up to 30% less than a normal slice. Derived from a part of the pork belly near the bone, it imparts more pork flavor without losing that irresistible bacon quality.

What is really thick bacon called?

Thick-cut Bacon Kendyll Hillegas. Just like standard bacon, only thicker. Use this cut when you want to slice bacon into matchsticks (known as lardons). Cook until crisp for chewy bites that add flavor to salads, soups, and baked potatoes. Try it in: Stovetop Bacon Lasagna.

What is a round slice of bacon?

The round slices are a type of back bacon made from pork loin, a cut of meat from the middle back of the pig. Leaner than regular bacon, Canadian bacon is cured and smoked with a flavor closer to that of ham. It’s also the reigning champion of eggs Benedict. This type is also known as “English bacon.”

What is the difference between side bacon and pancetta?

The main cuts of bacon are: Side bacon, or 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 side bacon, smoked or “aqua” (unsmoked), with a strong flavor

What does Wellshire’s Bacon taste like?

Wellshire’s bacon had an appealing dark, golden brown color. It was cut thick and had crispy edges which I adored. The panel decided that this brand was the most like bacon you’d get from a deli counter. Unlike other brands, it had a strong smoky flavor. Tasters also appreciated that these slices tasted less salty than the others.

Is bacon cured or smoked?

This variety is also known as “cottage bacon.” Though cured and smoked like regular bacon, it’s made from pork shoulder, a cut also known as pork butt or Boston butt. The resulting bacon is meatier than bacon made from pork belly. This is how to save bacon grease like a pro.

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