Healthiest Bacon

Bacon. It’s crispy, smoky, flavorful, down right yummy. Healthy? Well not quite. Bacon is never going to win any awards as a health food. Sorry it’s never going to be considered a “superfood” as much as you would like it. But we can make bacon choices that will be “healthier” for our bodies and “tastier” for our tongues. This post is a guide to buying the “Healthiest Bacon”.

I have 4 rules to “healthier bacon”.

1. Buy uncured bacon
2. Keep turkey bacon open as an option
3. Buy high quality bacon with a higher price
4. Buy center cut bacon

Healthiest Bacon

1. Buy uncured bacon

The first thing I want to look for when trying to eat healthier bacon is to buy uncured bacon. This is bacon that has not had any added sodium nitrate to it. This is what most bacon makers as to their bacon to preserve and color the bacon – gives it that nice bright pink color. A lot of places are going the route now of using more natural options such as celery juice which has naturally occurring nitrates. Some people believe that nitrates are cancer causing, I am not medical doctor, but my advice is that if a producer adds something to a product that only benefits their bottom line and not the flavor of the product, then I really don’t want to eat that ingredient.

Healthiest Bacon

TJ Uncured Turkey Bacon

2. Keep turkey bacon open as an option

We like bacon because of the fat. Plenty of fat makes it taste good. But can we cut out some of the fat and still have something tasty? That is certainly up to debate. Turkey bacon will never have the same crispiness as bacon made with pork – it just won’t. I am someone who doesn’t mind bacon not being super crisp, in fact I like it just before it really crisp. While it will never be the same thing it still isn’t bad along side a stack of pancakes. Look for the Uncured Turkey Bacon from Trader Joe’s.

Healthiest Bacon

Healthiest Bacon

Healthiest Bacon

3. Buy high quality bacon with a higher price

This is the same thing I use when it comes to chocolate. If a buy a higher quality thus more expensive bar of chocolate, it’s much easier to be satisfied than buying a cheaper Hershey bar where you devour the thing in a flash. When you go for the good stuff, the best tasting, high quality bacon, that comes with a higher price tag, you more likely to think twice when going back for another helping. When you pay $9.99 a pound for a package of bacon, you’re going to think about it more before you eat it all up. $2.99 a pound…no problem eating it all. Portion control a lot easier when you have a “larger investment” in your bacon. Two of my favorite brands to look out for are Nueske’s and Niman Ranch.

Healthiest Bacon

4. Buy center cut bacon

Have you ever seen a package of bacon labeled “center cut”? Not always easy to find, if you do give it a try. I usually get my center cut bacon from Meijer. Why bother? This bacon is cut from the center of the pork belly. The center is leaner and meatier. Less fat but still plenty of flavor and it still will crisp up nice enough for you.

TJ Ends Pieces Uncured Bacon

Bonus Tip

I already mentioned Trader Joe’s for their turkey bacon, but what I really like to buy there is their Applewood Smoked Ends and Pieces Uncured Bacon. This is what it sounds like the ends and pieces of bacon that were cut off for their regular apple wood smoked bacon. You get a good deal and the bacon is flavorful. Sometimes you get some nearly whole strips. Sometimes you get some really thick fatty pieces that I don’t like to eat – yet they render a lot of fat that I save for other purposes (like cooking brussels sprouts in it!)

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About once a week we have breakfast for dinnner. The kids love it. We pick out a different pancake or waffle recipe that we serve along with bacon. Since homemade pancakes and waffles are so cheap, we are able to spend a little more money on the bacon and go for the good stuff. Last week, we tried Wright Applewood Smoked Bacon for the first time. I love Applewood smoked bacon, more so than Hickory smoked bacons. This bacon had a nice meaty mouth feel. It’s kind of like feeling you get when you bite into a perfectly cooked ribeye steak, only in a more bacon like way. Wright’s catchphrase is “Bigger, Better Bacon” this bacon was definitely bigger. The bacon didn’t shrink down as much as it does with inferior, cheap bacon (don’t buy cheap bacon!). The flavor was as good as the texture. It had a nice smokiness to it, without being overbearing.

The package I bought cost $5.99 for 24 ounces. The nice thing about this bacon is that it comes in a resealable bag. So if you don’t want to cook it all up right away, you can save some easily for later without having to pull out a clean plastic bag.

Wright bacon has been around since 1922, started by Roy Wright and Fay Eggleston. The company still uses a 90 year old recipe to make their bacon. Wright is available nation wide at many Kroger owned stores, Sam’s Club/Wal-mart, Albertson’s, Meijer to name a few. You can check their website to find out where their products are available near you. Wright is probably the best bacon that is available nationwide. It beats out anything I have tried from any other national brand.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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