who makes nitrate free bacon

A Guide to Nitrate-Free Bacon: Brands Using Healthier Curing Methods

For decades, most bacon producers have used nitrates and nitrites as curing agents to preserve the meat and give it that iconic pink color. But concerns around nitrosamines and other potential health risks have led many consumers to seek out nitrate- and nitrite-free bacon options

The good news is that today there are a number of brands offering bacon cured without these controversial additives. By using alternative curing methods and ingredients, these nitrate-free bacons provide the salty, smoky flavor we love while avoiding processed compounds linked to health issues.

From major national brands to small-scale artisanal producers, nitrate-free bacon is becoming more widely available. Here is a detailed look at some of the top bacon makers who are changing the game with healthier curing techniques.

Organic and natural meat company Applegate offers both bacon and “Sunday bacon” cured without nitrates or nitrites added. They use a traditional sea salt dry cure to preserve the pork belly. According to Applegate, this process results in bacon with 50% less sodium compared to others. The meat is also certified humane and contains no artificial ingredients. Applegate’s nitro-free bacon provides a minimally-processed alternative to mainstream brands.

Oscar Mayer
Surprisingly, even mass-market giant Oscar Mayer now offers a nitrate-free bacon option. Their “Naturally Hardwood Smoked” bacon relies on celery juice powder for curing instead of sodium nitrate. This allows Oscar Mayer to label their bacon with the “no nitrates or nitrites added” claim. While not organic, this reasonably-priced bacon provides a widely available nitrate-free choice.

This Wisconsin-based smokehouse specializes in artisanal meats like bacon, ham, and sausages. Nueske’s now produces a nitrate-free applewood smoked bacon cured with celery juice powder, sea salt, and spices. Their master butchers smoke the pork belly over a natural wood fire. Nueske’s nitrate-free option offers top-tier flavor and quality for discerning bacon lovers.

Pederson’s Natural Farms
Family-owned Pederson’s cures all their pork products without nitrates, nitrites, or phosphates. Their delicious natural bacon contains no artificial preservatives or flavors. Pederson’s uses a simple sea salt cure and natural hickory smoke to craft great-tasting bacon the old-fashioned way. Their pork comes from Minnesota farms that use no antibiotics or added growth hormones.

Wellshire FarmsThis Colorado-based meat company offers premium meats like sausage, deli ham, and bacon. Wellshire Farms’ sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon contains no artificial preservatives They use celery powder and sea salt to cure the pork belly. Their humanely-raised pigs are never given antibiotics or growth promoters This makes Wellshire Farms another standout nitrate-free option.

In addition to natural bacon sold in stores, Yoder’s also produces a pre-cooked nitrate-free bacon sold in convenient cans. To cure their thick-sliced bacon without nitrates, Yoder’s uses sea salt, honey, and vegetable powder. No artificial preservatives are added. The bacon is naturally hardwood smoked before canning. Yoder’s nitrate-free canned bacon delivers traditional flavor free of controversial curing agents.

Early’s Honey Stand
Early’s dry cures their pork belly using sea salt, sugar, and spices—no sodium nitrate or nitrite. The Iowa company then naturally hickory smokes the pork for up to 24 hours. Early’s nitrate-free sliced bacon stays fresh for months when vacuum-sealed. For mail order nitrate-free bacon shipped right to your door, Early’s is a great source.

The Naked Pig
This specialty online retailer offers nitrate- and nitrite-free bacon cured with celery juice powder, sea salt, honey, and spices. Their pork comes from heritage breeds like Duroc, Berkshire, and Red Wattle raised on small family farms. Naked Pig’s nitrate-free bacon is minimally processed with no artificial additives.

Byrds Premium Peppered
Byrds from Maryland cures their premium bacon using sea salt, brown sugar, and spices—no sodium nitrate or nitrite. They cold smoke their pork belly over fruitwood for robust flavor. Besides original flavor, Byrds also offers unique peppered and turbinado-sugar cured nitrate-free options.

True Story Foods
Based in Pennsylvania, True Story Foods sustainably produces pork products free of nitrates, nitrites, and artificial ingredients. They use an all-natural curing process with sea salt, vinegar, and celery juice powder to make great-tasting nitrate-free bacon with no chemical preservatives.

These brands prove you can make flavorful bacon without controversial curing agents. While traditional nitrate/nitrite bacon dominates the market, quality nitrate-free alternatives are readily available for concerned consumers. Trying bacon from a local artisanal smokehouse or butcher is another way to potentially find nitrate-free bacon options.

Of course, there is an ongoing scientific debate about the health impacts of nitrates/nitrites in cured meats. The risks may depend on frequency of consumption and other factors. But for those wanting to limit intake of these processed compounds, nitrate-free bacon provides satisfying porky flavor from brands using more natural curing techniques.

How to Make Amazing Bacon – Very Simple and Nitrate Free


What brands of bacon are nitrate free?

Applegate Naturals Uncured Sunday Bacon This bacon is made without nitrates or nitrites added save for those found “naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder,” per the copy on the package itself. You can also count on the meat to be free of GMO ingredients, antibiotics, and hormones.

Who sells bacon without nitrates?

Graig Farm Organics This bacon is dry cured here on the farm using a traditional family recipe. The dry curing process only uses sea salt and therefore does not contain any nitrates.

What is the healthiest bacon to buy?

“When choosing bacon, opt for no-sugar and uncured options, ensuring a delicious and healthier choice for your plate,” says Lara Clevenger MSH, RDN, CPT. She recommends Pederson’s Natural Farms Organic Uncured Bacon, as it’s sourced from humanely raised animals and is free from nitrates, nitrites, MSG, gluten, and soy.

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