Knowing Your Food Better: How Is Bacon Made? Fun Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 19, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Hot fried bacon pieces in a cast iron.

Bacon is an all-time favorite breakfast item across the globe due to its distinctive taste and texture.

Bacon is a popular food item among all age groups and different cultures. There are various types of bacon.

Bacon is one of the most delicious types of cured meat out there. The process of making bacon is as interesting and intriguing as its taste.

We all are aware that bacon is from pigs. The world's most popular cut of meat, bacon, comes from pigs' bellies, commonly known as American bacon. It is not a new fact that bacon is a staple food across numerous cultures all over the world.

Its popularity goes far back to centuries, to the days when people cured and smoked meats in their homes. Bacon or American bacon is now processed and even pre-cooked in factories before packaging. Moreover, today, you can get good quality bacon from a nearby store.

To enjoy it to the fullest, we might as well look into the process of obtaining high-quality bacon. Let's look at the traditional method as well as the industrial bacon-making method.

If you enjoy this article, why not read about how is balsamic vinegar made and how bread is made here at Kidadl?

How is Canadian bacon made?

No matter the form of the recipe, bacon is relished by everyone! Explore the processing method of Canadian bacon.

It is also known as Irish bacon or Canadian bacon. The texture of back bacon is very similar to that of ham. This bacon has similarities with ham due to its lean cut and unique appearance.

It comes from the loin of pork and has fairly less fat than pork belly. It is extracted from the pork loin, which is in the middle of the back of the pig. It is cured and smoked and is known for its thick slices, perfectly cured bacon, and manner of cooking.

British Bacon is also known as 'rushers'. They seem like a blend of Canadian and American bacon and are made in a similar process. British bacon is thicker and is generally served in the form of round slices.

You will also find Jowl Bacon which is a type of bacon that is prominent among Southern Americans. It is extracted from the cheeks of the pork and further smoked and cured. This kind of bacon is usually found in sandwiches or used for garnishing.

Streaky bacon is usually loved by Americans and is one of the most common types of bacon. It is extracted from the pork belly.

It contains a long layer of fats around its rind, and hence it is known as streaky bacon. Pancetta is an Italian version of cured pork belly. It is salt-cured and then air-dried.

Pancetta can be served raw or in slices. It is also cooked whilst being wrapped around vegetables or meat. It is common due to how Americans prefer their bacon.

How is turkey bacon made?

As we all know that bacon is traditionally made from pork. There are other cuts of meats too which are used to acquire bacon. Duck, beef, and lamb provide fatty cuts of meat similar to pork belly but distinct in flavor.

This makes them quite popular. These can easily be found in a store as alternatives to traditional bacon. Bacon can also be extracted from turkey and is considered a healthier option as compared to traditional bacon.

All the bacon needs is to be cured before consumption. Then what is uncured bacon?

In simple words, uncured bacon refers to the kind of bacon that is not cured using synthetic-based nitrates and nitrites. Uncured pork is cured using natural nitrates, which are found in vegetables such as celery and beets.

These vegetables are mixed with fresh sea salt, and the cure created is chemical-free and 100% natural. Uncured bacon is cured using products that are found naturally. Sodium nitrate, which is a major ingredient used to cure bacon synthetically, can be dangerous to our health.

Hence, the use of natural products makes uncured bacon come under the category of healthy foods. The turkey is seasoned and chopped in a manner so that it resembles traditional bacon.

How is bacon made from a pig?

Discover the complete process involved in making bacon from a pig. No matter the recipe or the manner in which it is made, bacon remains to be a gourmet meal for everyone.

It can be cut from the pork belly or from a pig's back. The meat from pigs is then soaked in the brine, or the brine is injected into it.

When the brine is injected into the bacon, the process is known as pumping and takes less time than the soaking method. The former kind of bacon that is extracted from pork belly is popular in the United States. It is cut from the side of a pig.

The best way to enhance the flavor of bacon is to follow the process of curing bacon. For this, the skin extracted from pigs is first soaked in the solution of nitrates, salt and sugar and smoked before cooking.

The fat present in the bacon allows it to be cooked tenderly and crisply. Bacon is rich in its salt content.

It can be extracted from other animals like duck or beef, but pork increases its fat content, and hence it is relished more. When the process of bacon curing is done traditionally, it is known as dry curing.

This process helps the dry-cured bacon to impart flavors and cure the meat. It takes up to a week or two.

Sometimes sugar is added to the rub to add a little bit of sweetness to the meat. The process is known as dry curing simply because there is no liquid in the curing ingredients.

After curing, the bacon is rinsed off; it is let to air dry and then sent off to smoke for further preservation and more flavor. Smoking takes place at low temperatures and is done to add flavors.

The temperature is low so that the meat is only smoked and not cooked. Bacon is usually smoked with different kinds of wood to enhance its flavor. Some examples of the wood used are hickory, maple, and others.

Another way to add flavor to bacon is by adding flavors when the meat is in the smoker. Cured bacon has different flavors when different curing ingredients in the rub are used.

Some examples are honey, black pepper, and maple syrup. Optimal temperature is necessary in order to achieve perfect smoky flavor. Dry-cured bacon usually has a more rich and robust flavor due to the seasoning and the smoke.

The process of bacon curing that is done in factories and industries is known as wet curing. For this, a mixture of salt, sugar, sodium nitrate, and other chemicals is mixed to form a brine.

However, in mass commercially produced bacon, another step is how the cured pork is shifted to an oven. This process is faster than the traditional smoking process. In this case, to add a smoky flavor to the cured pork, liquid smoke is often added.

Due to the addition of liquid smoke, the bacon that has undergone wet curing increases moisture and loses flavor. The quality of the bacon has diminished. Wet curing is also used to preserve pork and make bacon.

While the traditional bacon that we find in the markets is sliced, slab bacon is sold unsliced. The rind is still intact and can be removed while cooking.

Center cut bacon is referred to as the bacon extracted from the middle of the pork belly, which is close to the bone. This section contains comparatively less amount of fat. It is an example of lean bacon.

How is deer bacon made?

Bacon can vary in terms of flavor, texture, curing techniques, or the recipe used. There is no doubt that all types of bacon are delicious in nature. The use of different kinds of bacon is done in different recipes and kinds of foods. Let's look at a few of the tasty forms of bacon! 

Prominently, deer bacon is known as venison bacon. The latter, which is back bacon, is very popular in the United Kingdom.

It is a smooth and smoky flavored bacon. The production of venison bacon is done using a well seasoned, cured, and smoked mixture of pork fat and ground venison. It is made from ground meat rather than a whole cut as in pork belly.

Did You Know...

Bacon is considered unhealthy by many institutes. Let's go through the reasons behind the unhealthy tag on bacon.

It is a type of red meat and a member of the 'processed meat' group. These kinds of meats increase the chances of cancer. We all know that the store-bought bacon that we find so easily is mass-produced and filled with additives.

The chemicals used to preserve bacon are usually nitrites and sodium nitrates. They are cheap and readily available, hence have been used to preserve bacon for centuries. These nitrates and nitrites also provide a distinctive pink color to the meat.

These additives are harmful to the human body. Bacon contains more than 60% fat. It can hence increase the risk of cholesterol levels which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Bacon is also high in salts. In addition, salt is used in dry curing as well as wet curing. High salt consumption leads to risks of high blood pressure, heart diseases, and cancer.

The news is not all that bad for bacon lovers. A leaner and uncured form of bacon can be a really good substitute for your bacon cravings! When consumed in moderation, bacon is actually a great source of protein like other kinds of meats.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'Do You Know Your Food Better? Explore How Is Bacon Made?'

then why not take a look at 'Have You Ever Thought: Why Do Leaves Change Color? ', or 'When Do Puppy Teeth Fall Out? Know About Your Paw Friend's Teething.'

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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