bacon


Side pork (the side of a pig) that has been cured and smoked. Because fat gives bacon its sweet flavor and tender crispness, its proportion should ideally be ½ to 2⁄3 of the total weight. Sliced bacon has been trimmed of rind, sliced and packaged. It comes in thin slices (about 35 strips per pound), regular slices (16 to 20 per pound) or thick slices (12 to 16 per pound). Slab bacon comes in one chunk that must be sliced and is somewhat cheaper than presliced bacon. It usually comes complete with rind, which should be removed before cutting. Bits of diced fried rind are called cracklings. Bacon grease, the fat rendered from cooked bacon, is highly prized—particularly in the southern United States—as a cooking fat. Canned bacon is precooked, needs no refrigeration and is popular with campers. Bacon bits are crisp pieces of bacon that are preserved and dried. They must be stored in the refrigerator. There are also vegetable protein–based imitation "bacon-flavored" bits, which may be kept at room temperature. See also canadian bacon; pancetta.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Bacon Costume

Learn the basics and advanced cooking techniques from Food Network with how-to advice on everything from cooking or carving a turkey to grilling corn.

The Bacon Buying Guide

Learn about the different varieties of bacon so you know which slices to look for at the store.

Spiced Bacon: 8 Ways

A little sugar and spice make bacon even better.  

50 Things to Make with Bacon

Make bacon the star ingredient in pastas, salads, snacks and more from Food Network Magazine.

Pork Belly Ribs and Bacon Guide

Choosing and preparing pork belly, pork ribs and bacon

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

... is actually more than one way. The perfect method depends on the circumstance. Here's how to get perfect bacon every time, no matter what.

How to Make Oven-Fried Bacon

Whether you're looking for an easier way to cook bacon--without all the turning and splattering--or you've run out of room on the top burners, making it in the oven has its advantages.

How to Make Bacon in the Microwave

Use your microwave to easily cook bacon with this step-by-step how-to.

50 Bacon Appetizers

These fun snacks are the perfect party starters.