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ISO Best bacon - don't care about ham

swarttav Dec 12, 2006 09:45 PM

I know there has been a thread ISO of best bacon and ham - I would like to foucus on the best bacon only. I have been slowly sampling bacons. There are just 2 of us and I buy 4 lbs at a time to make sure I get somewhat of a representative sample, so it takes awhile. I am getting ready for the next purchase. BTW I am aware of the bacon of the month club, but that is expensive, although I do look at the web site for ideas. Here is my bacon log so far:

Nimans - Lean, subtle flavor, not too salty, not enough smoke for my taste - wife indifferent

Scott Hams - Country bacon - mild, hickory smoke taste - minor differences w/ store brand - not lean do not buy again - salty - least expensive 3.69 lb - great on BLTs otherwise NG

Nueskes Apple Smoked – Both Good - pepper is better - subtle flavor, lean. little shrinkage - both of us like this a lot but I prefer hickory smoke

Hobart Market no nitrite honey and sea salt - too sweet and subtle for my taste - wife indifferent

Father's Hickory Smoked Country pepper Bacon - Relatively lean, intense hickory smoke, good pepper flavor, not too salty - a lttle too strong for wife

Benton’s – Reasonably lean, intense hickory smoke, not too salty – good overall flavor, but not outstanding. - wife's favorite

OK chowhounds - what are your recommendations?

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  1. Karl S RE: swarttav Dec 12, 2006 09:50 PM

    Welshire Farms dry-rubbed center cut. Makes Niman Ranch seem like supermarket bacon. It's applewood smoked, but not highly so.

    I tend to treat heavily smoked bacon as a different thing from regular bacon. It pairs with fewer foods, so it's less versatile.

    1. h
      HLing RE: swarttav Dec 13, 2006 04:17 PM

      Have you tried Flying Pigs farm?

      Their bacon is my favorite mainly because of the quality of the pork. It's not too salty, and, well, taste like real pork....I used to get the pork belly uncured. In Taiwanese cooking, we boil the pork belly quickly, and then cut them into strips for making stir fries. With Flying Pigs Farm's Pork Belly, the fatty part of the pork has a great texture that's toothsome, and yet sweet and flavorful. I don't get that greasy and loose texture I sometimes get from commercial or even other specialty stores that charge a lot. The fatty part is actually as clean tasting as the lean..if that makes sense at all? I often don't leave enough of the boiled pork belly for stir fry, because it's so tasty already I can't stop eating it.

      Anyway, I used to get them at the farmer's market in Union Square in NYC, but I think they do mail-order, too.

      This farm, though they may not advertise it has, from my experience, the best eggs. The eggs when they are available, have beautiful and tasty yolk, as opposed to most eggs that taste watery and smell sulferish (is that a word?), and don't seem to register in your body after you've eaten some.

      Have fun with pork!

      1. srgoodman RE: swarttav Dec 13, 2006 04:39 PM

        My favorite is North Country Smokehouse applewood smoked bacon.

        I buy it at a local butcher in the northern Boston suburbs. I don't know if it's available nationally, but they do sell it from their web site:


        1. orangewasabi RE: swarttav Dec 13, 2006 05:12 PM

          my personal favourite is Woodstown Farms - no nitrates. It's dry rubbed and seasoned. the best bacon ever, imho

          1 Reply
          1. re: orangewasabi
            loveblumes RE: orangewasabi Jun 14, 2007 09:59 AM

            May I ask, where can one buy Woodstown Farms bacon? Thanks.

          2. s
            socal boy RE: swarttav Dec 14, 2006 04:11 AM

            Famous Mahogany Smoked Meats in Bishop California has some seriously smoky bacon. Thick and Lean.


            1 Reply
            1. re: socal boy
              swarttav RE: socal boy Dec 16, 2006 05:20 PM

              Unfortunately they ship their bacon to california only

            2. j
              JudiAU RE: swarttav Dec 14, 2006 05:04 AM

              Think of the Grateful Palate as a resource. You don't need to order the Bacon of the Month to be shipped every month or even twelve packages. Shipping really isn't that bad.

              My husband gets it ever year for Vday.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JudiAU
                swarttav RE: JudiAU Dec 16, 2006 05:22 PM

                I have used it as a resource but they have a considerable mark-up compared to the original vendors so I try to go to the original vendor - putting 4 children through college has taken its toll

              2. s
                swarttav RE: swarttav Dec 15, 2006 06:53 PM

                Thanks for everyone's contributions - I will start making my way through each of them

                1. p
                  pgym RE: swarttav Dec 16, 2006 07:15 PM

                  Surf over to Amazon and pick up Michael Ruhlman and Bran Polcyn's "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing," then go to your local Chinese or Latino market and pick up a slab of pork belly (skin on) and make your own. It's REALLY easy to do (my 10 yo is the designated baconmeister) and so much better than anything on the market, you'll never go back to the commercially distributed stuff. (Same with smoked salmon.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pgym
                    swarttav RE: pgym Dec 16, 2006 09:10 PM

                    Was the recipe from the NYT from this book several months ago? I have it sitting on the shelf in my office and have neve tried it.

                  2. Gin and It RE: swarttav Dec 17, 2006 10:35 PM

                    My husband is a big fan of Lawrence's peppered bacon. We drive to Vermont every couple of months to stock up, but they ship.

                    1. Candy RE: swarttav Dec 17, 2006 10:36 PM

                      Harrington's in Vt. Awaiting my Christmas shippment this week.

                      1. m
                        MikeG RE: swarttav Dec 18, 2006 12:11 AM

                        Schaller & Weber's double smoked

                        1. mrbozo RE: swarttav Jun 14, 2007 02:55 PM

                          Any decent Hungarian delicatessen has about half-a-dozen tasty varieties available.

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