who makes the best bacon

The Quest for the Best Bacon: Discovering the Makers of Mouthwatering Pork Strips

Bacon has become a beloved food staple across America. From breakfast sandwiches to bacon-wrapped appetizers, the crispy, salty meat adds irresistible flavor and texture to all sorts of dishes But not all bacon is created equal Finding a brand that perfectly balances taste, texture, and quality can feel like an art.

So who does make the best bacon that will leave your tastebuds happy? We did some digging into top-rated bacon brands to uncover the producers crafting America’s favorite pork products. From household names to local smokehouses, a few key players consistently rise to the top for premium bacon.

Hormel – The Grocery Store Staple

When it comes to widely available bacon, Hormel remains a tried and true brand. Their Black Label line offers exceptional supermarket bacon in original and thick-cut applewood smoked varieties. Hormel has perfected convenient, everyday bacon you can pick up for a quick breakfast without sacrificing quality. Their slow smoking method gives the meat pronounced flavor. Thick rashers with the right balance of fat and meat fry up with crispy edges and a tender bite. For great bacon in a pinch, Hormel delivers.

Wright Brand – The Crispy Option

Folks looking for ultra-thin and crispy bacon should try Wright Brand. This company smokes their pork over real applewood, yielding bacon with a touch of sweetness. While not as robustly smoky as other artisan brands, the concentrated pork flavor and delicate crunch make Wright bacon shine. It’s the ideal choice for crumbling over salads or yielding deliciously fragile bacon bits. Wright brings home the bacon for those who crave a shatteringly crisp strip.

Nueske’s – The Premium Meat

When only the best bacon will do, Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon is worth the splurge. This Wisconsin company smokes their premium pork belly over fruit wood, which gives the meat a pronounced smoky sweetness. The thick-cut slices are generously marbled with fat and meat that fry up beautifully. Each tender yet crispy bite packs a serious punch of savory, salty flavor. It’s easy to taste why Nueske’s handcrafted bacon has earned a cult following.

Benton’s – The Traditional Butcher Bacon

For old-world flavor, Benton’s Bacon is hard to top. This Tennessee company has been curing hams and bacon using traditional methods since 1947. Their hickory smoked slices are cut nice and thick with a beautifully marbled look. Benton’s bacon straddles the line between tender and crispy when cooked, with a rich porky flavor. The prominent smoky overtones taste like the bacon of yesteryear in the best way possible. Benton’s masterfully captures nostalgic, authentic bacon taste.

Yoder’s – The Canned Meat Specialist

When it comes to canned bacon, Yoder’s reigns supreme. This company in Indiana has been canning high-quality meats since 1963. They cure fresh pork belly using classic techniques like dry rubbing and hickory smoking before perfectly sealing the bacon in cans. The result is pre-cooked bacon bathed in its natural juices so it’s ready to heat and eat anytime. Yoder’s flavor and texture easily rival fresh bacon. For grab-and-go convenience without compromising on quality, Yoder’s canned bacon delivers.

Oscar Mayer – The Classic Brand

You can’t discuss great bacon without mentioning Oscar Mayer. As one of the most recognized names in the game, Oscar Mayer sets the standard for bacon done right. Their pork belly is naturally hardwood smoked resulting in those signature savory, subtly sweet flavor notes. The brand’s consistency, affordability, and balance of taste and texture earn Oscar Mayer a top spot for everyday bacon needs. Sometimes the classics truly can’t be beat.

Farmer’s Markets – Supporting Local Producers

Don’t overlook local farmers markets and butcher shops when hunting for sublime bacon. Small-scale local producers often handcraft exceptional pork products. Chat with vendors to find smoked, cured and aged bacon options made meticulously from pork sourced right in your area. The personal care these local providers put into their bacon translates into noticeably better flavor and quality. You may pay a few extra bucks, but tasting the love that went into that bacon is worth it.

Trying bacon from specialty local producers gives you a chance to support independent businesses and farms in your community. And you just may discover the greatest bacon you’ve ever tasted. So beyond the big commercial brands, be sure to check out your next farmer’s market to discover bacon joy from local masters of the craft.

Choosing Bacon to Meet Your Needs

The beauty of bacon lies in its versatility. From a crispy breakfast side to a topping for burgers and salads, the uses for bacon are endless. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when selecting a brand.

  • Smokiness – If you want pronounced smoky flavor, choose a thick-cut artisan bacon like Benton’s or Nueske’s. For milder smoke, go for Wright or Oscar Mayer.

  • Texture – Brands like Wright or Oscar Mayer offer thin, super crisp bacon perfect for crumbling. For more tender and chewy strips, pick a thick-cut option like Benton’s.

  • Sodium – Cured and smoked bacons contain sodium. To limit intake, look for lower-sodium or turkey bacon options.

  • Ingredients – Bacon cured without nitrites/nitrates offers a more natural option. Uncured bacon brands include Applegate, Yoder’s, and Wellshire Farms.

  • Convenience – Pre-cooked brands like Yoder’s provide grab-and-go ease, especially for camping trips and quick meals.

With so many exceptional bacon brands, there’s a perfect option to match your tastes, needs, and budget. From smoky and tender to crispy and naturally cured, you truly can’t go wrong when cooking up America’s favorite salty pork product. Just crack open a package of one of these top bacon brands, fry or bake until that irresistible aroma fills your kitchen, and enjoy bacon bliss in every bite.

The Best Bacon You’ll Ever Make (And Every Method to Avoid) | Epicurious 101

Leave a Comment