What are Bacon Cuts?
Bacon cuts are pork product which is cured in some fashion. Different bacon cuts can come from different areas on the pig and are know by names associated with either the cut of meat or the area that the type of bacon originated in. Bacon is enjoying a major loyal following as it becomes an ingredient that is being used in some different food items other than main dishes or vegetable sides. Bacon has gained cult status as websites are dedicated to the culinary treat as well as it being included in desserts and even bacon flavored vodka.
Bacon cuts in the United States comes, almost exclusively, from the pork belly. Other parts of the world get their bacon cuts from meat on the back or the sides.
The bacon taken from pork belly is sometimes referred to as “streaky” bacon because of the fat direction along the length of the slice of bacon rather than being a crosscut like other styles.
Salt cured but unsmoked bacon usually found in Europe.
A slab of bacon is a side of unsliced bacon.
Bacon cuts taken from the pork belly.
This bacon cuts comes from the side of the animal and has more meat than side bacon but less than back bacon.
Bacon cuts containing the pork loin taken from the back of the animal. Back bacon can be smoked or unsmoked. Sometimes goes by Irish bacon, rashers (England) or Canadian bacon (a term used in US). This is the leanest of all the bacons.
Thinly sliced bacon cuts from the shoulder.
Bacon cuts taken from the collar or neck area of the animal.
The ankle joint between foot and the ham.
A cut from the hind leg that uses a wet cure soaking the meat in brine for several days before drying.
This cut comes from the shoulder underneath the blade and tends to be a tougher cut of meat.
A type of Italian cured bacon.
Bacon is certainly gaining “rock star” status in the culinary world with its inclusion with other types of foods like chocolate. There is even a Bacon Explosion product that is bacon wrapped Italian sausage in a loaf form. What decadence!
You can fry or bake it and even cook bacon in the microwave.
- For cooking bacon in sliced form take bacon out of the refridgerator and let sit for fifteen minutes. This will make seperating the slices easier however if you just go from fridge to pan use a dull knife to slide in between slices.
- Put bacon in pan, in single layer.
- Preferably use cast iron but any fry pan will do.
- Start with a cool pan and put your bacon in.
- Put pan on the stove at medium heat.
- The bacon will start to cook and grow clear around the fat streaks.
- Flip the bacon ONLY when the bacon releases easily from the pan. If it is still sticking to the pan leave it cook some more.
- Do same for other side….
- then start turning frequently until bacon is cooked to desired doneness. The sizzle will be a lot less at this point and the bacon will look done. The bacon will continue to cook after removing from heat so if you like less than crispy pull bacon accordingly.
- Place bacon on paper towel to drain fat. Pat dry both sides and serve.
Microwave Cooking Bacon
- Place 4 to 6 slices of bacon on a microwave ready plate with a paper towel under the bacon.
- Put an additional paper towel over the top of the bacon.
- Cook on high for 5 minutes stopping the process after 2 minutes and each consecutive minute thereafter for doneness.
Oven Cooked Bacon
- With a baking sheet with or without a rack (a rack will drain the bacon, commercial operations just put bacon on a sheet pan).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired doneness is achieved.
Making Bacon Infused Vodka
- cut 1 pound of bacon into small pieces
- cook off that 1 pound of bacon (better quality the better the taste)
- pour vodka in large mason jar, add bacon, tighten cap securely
- put jar in dark, cool, storage for a month (refrigeration not needed)
- after a month take jar out and put in the freezer (this will solidify the fat from the bacon)
- strain the vodka through a cheesecloth catching all the fat globs that have formed
- use bacon vodka for your favorite bloody Mary, bacon martini or put in decorative pint bottles for gifts