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Shel_B

Looking For Great Tasting, Artisinal Bacon

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Bacon is not something we eat a lot of ... maybe we use a pound or so per year, and often it's used as an ingredient in a recipe, although I do enjoy a nice bacon, etc. sandwich every now and then.

 

I've been buying  Beeler's Bacon Small.jpg   from a local market, and have been pretty happy with it.

 

In addition, I sometimes grab a few slices from the local poultry market where the bacon is sliced by hand from a larger slab, and where I can request a specific thickness and just how many slices I want.  This is useful for certain recipes ... I sometimes want the bacon to be 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.

 

I'd like to find some other sources of artisanal quality bacon but I don't know what's out there other than Benton's, which has been mentioned here numerous times.  Any suggestions for interesting, high-quality bacon, ideally thick cut?  Thanks!

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Petit Jean Meats makes excellent bacon, both hickory smoked and peppered. They're a small processor located in Morrilton, Arkansas. Good hams, and I love their pastrami.

 

 

Website here.

 

 

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Apart from Benton's (and even including Benton's), my favorite country bacon is from Father's Country Hams. It's supremely smokey. You can buy slabs and slice them yourself if you want to. But it should be noted that because of the different curing process, it's very easy to cut country bacon too thick and end up with a salt bomb. Both Benton's and Father's bacon is thicker than your standard crap Oscar Mayer bacon, but isn't super thick. And as much as I like thick cut city bacon, I wouldn't want their bacon cut much thicker than it comes.

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My sister has sent me Benton's for years.  I agree with the above that its cut ' just right '  thicker than meat case bacon .

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3 hours ago, Shel_B said:

I'd like to find some other sources of artisanal quality bacon but I don't know what's out there other than Benton's, which has been mentioned here numerous times.  Any suggestions for interesting, high-quality bacon, ideally thick cut?  Thanks!

 

Like you I don't buy a lot of bacon. But you are probably not far from The Local Butcher, which is at Cedar and Shattuck. Don't they have some good bacon? I haven't been up there in quite a while.

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45 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

 

Like you I don't buy a lot of bacon. But you are probably not far from The Local Butcher, which is at Cedar and Shattuck. Don't they have some good bacon? I haven't been up there in quite a while.

 

For some reason, I just didn't think of them.  They've got excellent pork products, and I can buy small amounts ... I'll swing by the next time I'm in the neighborhood.  Thanks!

 

I went to their site and discovered that they are now offering a delivery service. Orders must be placed over the phone by 1:00pm for same day delivery .Free delivery on orders over $100!

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I see Zingerman's have 'jowel bacon'......definition:  streaks of meat surrounded by fat!  Ha, ha...it's true when you see it but very good in small amounts.

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3 minutes ago, Okanagancook said:

I see Zingerman's have 'jowel bacon'......definition:  streaks of meat surrounded by fat!  Ha, ha...it's true when you see it but very good in small amounts.

 

Like guanciale ... quite familiar with it.  It's swell stuff!

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Zingerman's sells good product, but it's pricey and what you get through the mail isn't as good as what you can buy in person in Ann Arbor (at least from my one-time mail order from five years ago). When I lived in NW Ohio, I'd make regular pilgrimages to Zingerman's deli for bacon, jamon, cheese, and olive oil... pick up a fresh loaf of bread and a giant corned beef sandwich (the best you can get outside of NYC). I love that place. The only place I've been where they slice country ham off the bone by hand. They don't do that if you mail order... even for things like jamon iberico. (I've bought that both in the store and via mail order.) I guess the regulations are different for packaged/shipped product. I also liked the thickness on their bacon better at the storefront than the same bacon via mail order. This was several years ago, so things may have changed. They now advertise that the Neuske's applewood bacon is thick cut, which it wasn't back when I was ordering. Anyway... I love Zingerman's. They are an oasis of deliciousness, and all of their products are top quality. I should really give their bacon another try. If my wife or parents got me a subscription to their bacon club, I'd jump up and down like a child on Christmas morning.

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Niman Ranch: Very good. Sweeter aroma than I was anticipating, but a good balance of sugar and salt in the finished product. Decent smoke. Probably the new supermarket brand of choice in my area.

Boar's Head Bacon: Weaksauce. Almost no smoke flavor. Not a lot of flavor generally. Commodity bacon of the most boring variety. Nice slice sizes... okay for a BLT, but nothing I'd want to eat on its own.

 

I also picked up a pack of Neese's bacon that I'll try soon. Neese's is a local North Carolina brand known primarily for their sagey-spicy country sausage. I didn't even know they made bacon, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

 

Father's, Benton's, and Broadbent's bacon are all much better than you can typically find in supermarkets. But they're authentic country bacon, not brine-injected "city bacon," so it's sort of comparing apples to oranges. But... if you have the choice, real country bacon (with a hefty dose of smokehouse smoke) is a superior product, provided you like smoke and aren't averse to salt. Just don't overcook it.

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I would be really interested to hear your take on Petit Jean Farms' bacon, @btbyrd. Not "as artisinal" as Benton's, Broadbent's...but damn good bacon. And for basic grocery store bacon (you can get Petit Jean in the grocery store, for premium prices), it's real hard to beat Wright's.

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18 minutes ago, kayb said:

....it's real hard to beat Wright's

Lots of folks say that.

SO and I must have got some from a bad batch — the smoke flavor was horrible (reminded me of the scent of an ashtray.) :S

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12 hours ago, kayb said:

I would be really interested to hear your take on Petit Jean Farms' bacon, @btbyrd. Not "as artisinal" as Benton's, Broadbent's...but damn good bacon. And for basic grocery store bacon (you can get Petit Jean in the grocery store, for premium prices), it's real hard to beat Wright's.

 

Turns out that I've actually had their bacon before. Zingerman's sells one of their products as "Arkansas pepper bacon," and it's fantastic stuff. I think they used to sell a "plain" applewood smoked bacon from there as well, but I might not be remembering that correctly. Whatever that was was also delicious. I haven't seen their products in the store anywhere before, but I'll give them a shot if I ever run across it in the supermarket. I suspect that the Zingermans stuff is an upmarket version that's made differently from what you can get at a normal grocery. But as for basic grocery store bacon, I agree that it's hard to beat Wrights. (Unless you've got Beeler's in your area.)

 

11 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

Lots of folks say that.

SO and I must have got some from a bad batch — the smoke flavor was horrible (reminded me of the scent of an ashtray.) :S

 

That must have been a fluke. I've had a lot of their hickory and applewood bacon, and never run into that problem before.


Edited by btbyrd (log)

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2 minutes ago, btbyrd said:

That must have been a fluke. I've had a lot of their hickory and applewood bacon, and never run into that problem before.

 

I'll try it again sometime soon.

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7 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

I'll try it again sometime soon.

 

Wright's Applewood is our go to choice.

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9 hours ago, btbyrd said:

 

Turns out that I've actually had their bacon before. Zingerman's sells one of their products as "Arkansas pepper bacon," and it's fantastic stuff. I think they used to sell a "plain" applewood smoked bacon from there as well, but I might not be remembering that correctly. Whatever that was was also delicious. I haven't seen their products in the store anywhere before, but I'll give them a shot if I ever run across it in the supermarket. I suspect that the Zingermans stuff is an upmarket version that's made differently from what you can get at a normal grocery. But as for basic grocery store bacon, I agree that it's hard to beat Wrights. (Unless you've got Beeler's in your area.)

 

 

 

If you like, you can order it here. Per the website, they have a hickory smoked, but not applewood. I thought I remembered applewood, as well. The peppered is about the best going.

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I could never find a commercial bacon that we really liked, so i started curing and smoking my own. I can slice as thin or as thick as I want and flavor it how I want. I was already curing my own corned beef and smoking it for pastrami so not much of a sidetrip. The only commercial bacon I would buy is Burgers Smokehouse steak cut bacon. its not bad at all.

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7 hours ago, Mysstwalker said:

I could never find a commercial bacon that we really liked, so i started curing and smoking my own. I can slice as thin or as thick as I want and flavor it how I want. I was already curing my own corned beef and smoking it for pastrami so not much of a sidetrip

 

Many folks do that — me included. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to find GOOD belly or whatever —and at a reasonable price.

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I am from Wisconsin, and Nueske's bacon is very proudly identified by restaurants who serve the product. They have several varieties, and those bacon lovers I know swear by it. Sadly, I am that nutcase that actually does not care for bacon.

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16 minutes ago, KikiAnn said:

I am from Wisconsin, and Nueske's bacon is very proudly identified by restaurants who serve the product. They have several varieties, and those bacon lovers I know swear by it. Sadly, I am that nutcase that actually does not care for bacon.

 

I don't care for it very much, either, but every now and then I need a few strips for a specific purpose.  However, I do appreciate excess in all forms, and for you bacon lovers, well, Click Here.

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19 hours ago, Shel_B said:

 

I don't care for it very much, either, but every now and then I need a few strips for a specific purpose.  However, I do appreciate excess in all forms, and for you bacon lovers, well, Click Here.

I do a meat loaf similar to this. It's pretty dang good.

 

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