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For a holiday gift, we received a variety pack from Nueske's in Wisconsin, including Canadian bacon, applewood smoked bacon, and ham. This is apparently in response to several years of sending them first Harry & David gift packs, then (for the last few years) Gethsemani Farms Trappist cheese.

However, the gift-givers in question are possessed of dead palates; I have yet to take a food gift or recommendation from them that was any better than mediocre.

Anybody have any idea what I'm in for?

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  1. They have a stand in a mall near where I live, and they are always sampling out their products. I dont care for their liver sausage, but have always found their various bacons to be quite good if not the best I've ever had.

    I would suggest trying it to see for your self. Unless it's some kind of reduced fat turkey bacon or some monstrosity like that, how bad could it be?

    1. Their bacon is incredible--the best I've ever had. The smokiness of it is pretty intense, which I love, but it may be too much for some. I haven't tried any of their other products, but I think you're in for a treat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ryansm

        Nueske's bacon is the best I've ever tasted, aside from that made by a small processor near me...but his has MSG so I stopped buying it. I just bought 15 pounds to put in my freezer! That's my version of a "thumbs up."

      2. Nueske's succeeds for the same reason Cinnabon succeeds -- overwhelming mall aroma. They set up their kiosk in the middle of the mall, cook up a bunch, and hand out free samples.

        Well, if suggesting a gift from Wisconsin, there are some nice gift packs by Usinger's Sausage, beer from New Glarus Brewery, coffee from Alterra, fruit wines from Door County Winery. Maybe some mustard from the Mt Horeb Mustard Museum. Did I mention cheese?

        In fairness, Nueske's bacon is pretty good. Do enjoy.

        1. We started, last night, with the bacon. About three bites into her omelette, my wife said, "This is the blandest bacon I've ever tasted. You can't even tell it's present."

          My wooden-palated gift-givers strike again.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jmckee

            That is very interesting, because here in California, Nueske bacon is considered to be almost offensively heavily flavored - it's the darling of every bacon-forward venue, clasped to the bosom of every bacon-loving chef in LA. I like it okay, for a wet-cured bacon, but my passion (after not quite 30 years in Tennessee) is for the dry-cured stuff. I order Broadbent's for home use, which is actually pretty mild, but every so often when I see people exclaiming over Nueske's intensity, I want to feed'em a plate of Mayo's, which tends to taste like they just sliced and packaged the smokehouse walls.

          2. At considerable expense we order their bacon into Canada all the time. For a year or more we tried every bacon we heard might be great (with lots of tips from this site). We ordered from about 20 different states and tried every kind available in Canada. I had no idea they were in American malls as I don't go to malls in the US so that has no impact on me. We now exclusively eat their bacon. FYI what you guys call Canadian bacon we call back bacon. REAL Canadian bacon (and I know this will cause debate) is peameal bacon. We are six people with developed palates and we all agree it the best we have tried. The fact that Bouchon in Vegas uses it for breakfast should tell you that there is some quality in their product. Best bacon we have tried, bar none.....well except some Danish bacon I had years ago. I just cannot see anyone who likes bacon not at least liking if not loving it.

            1. We love their bacon, but it's extremely smoky, and might not appeal to everyone.

              1. We live in Texas, and liked smoked food. However, Nueske's was responsible for me actually tossing out a microwave because of that AWFUL SMELL.

                A friend had been raving about it. I put it on a plate one morning with paper towel, and attempted to cook it just like other bacon. It tasted really smoky, but nothing that would make me go out of my way to get it. There are other flavors than smoke that go into making a good bacon, and there is such a thing as too much smoke flavor.

                Well, the microwave smelled like it had survived a house fire. I tried special cleaners, steaming with rags, rags soaked with Febreze -- anything you could imagine, but everytime I opened the door I thought I was entering a building that had just been ravaged by a four alarm blaze. It was disgusting. I put the microwave out on a table with the door open on the patio for two full days, and it still stunk to high heaven. We decided that the best move from there was right to the trash at the curb. Yes, I threw away a perfectly good microwave because Nueske's bacon had RUINED it.

                Now, for those of you who will beat us up for microwaving it, the other big problem with most Nueske varieties is too much sugar. When we cook it on a griddle or in a frying pan, it seems to continue to cook after you remove it from the heat -- sort of like a roast beef. This holdover cooking will actually take what looks like a perfectly crisp slice of bacon and blacken it while it is off the heat and on a plate in the first few seconds after you remove it.

                All in all, I have tried many kinds of bacon, but I don't really get this stuff. I guess we have more developed palates and want more than smoke and sugar from our bacon. I can see why my friends, who live in the Northeast and long for available BBQ and freshly smoked foods, might be addicted, but here in the land of BBQ, we are not impressed.

                6 Replies
                1. re: RGC1982

                  Let me be the one to throw the first punch then: microwave! Geez, that's not really fair!

                  It comes down to what you like, I suppose....not a function of the development of the palate (I would put my and any of my kids' palates up against anyone on this board) but rather personal tatste

                  1. re: RGC1982

                    I would've kept the microwave!

                    Don't know how you're frying it if it goes black on you; I was taught to start it in a cold skillet over low heat and cook slowly, pouring off excess fat as it accumulates. If a bacon is too sugary it will stick and leave a sticky residue on the surface, but if the pan is well seasoned that should scrub off easily.

                    1. re: RGC1982

                      forgive me for laughing at your misfortune but I find it hilarious that you actually had to throw out your microwave because of bacon!! I have some Nueskes on order & I will cook it in the oven when it comes---I hope I don't have to throw out my stove--lol.

                      1. re: sparkareno

                        I cook Nueske's bacon in the oven every Sunday morning. We love it, do not find it sugary (and I hate sweet meat), and have no problem cleaning up.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          There are different styles of Nueske's, so anything is possible.

                        2. re: sparkareno

                          Seriously, I had to toss the microwave, and it is still hilarious when we talk about it.

                          I have been trying to fry it on a non-stick griddle that allows fat to drain off to the sides. What is weird is that it seems to continue to cook AFTER it has been removed to a plate, which is not hot at all. That is why I believe it is sugar that is causing this, because sugar would hold enough heat to continue to darken it for a few more seconds. I have never seen another bacon brand do this. I do start it on a cold griddle, which I assume would do about the same job as a skillet. I remember trying it in a non-stick pan once, but I have never tried my cast iron monster.

                          As for the punch from foodies, I knew it was coming so I braced myself for it. And yes, it is a personal preference and not a palate development issue. My friends who love Nueskes are also smoke nuts when it comes to barbecue, and we just appreciate that you can have fine barbecue without overdoing the smoke. Not surprising in the least.

                          Glad you can all have a good laugh over this. Heaven knows, we did.

                          As for your oven, maybe it will be okay if you can run a cleaning cycle on it. I had no similar option for the microwave. It would have just continued to stink up the whole house.