5 best brands of small batch bacon to buy online
It’s hard to find fault with a well-fried strip of bacon – crisp enough to maintain structural integrity when lifted, with a build-up of fat along its ridges. If the most basic bacon can be so deeply satisfying, however, the really good things – the small batch smoked pork belly – are downright transformative.
Better bacon is the cumulative effect of three essential elements: the pork, the curing technique and the smoking method. Many small-batch suppliers will seek out heritage pigs for richer flavors and denser marbling, and most anyone who makes their own bacon claims a secret drying technique. Others exhibit other differentiators, which can range from working with other cuts of pork to serenading the meat as it hardens.
William (Bill-E) Stitt spent three years perfecting their bacon by testing curing and smoking techniques and researching the best breed of pig possible. The result is something decidedly porcine, substantial enough to hold its place as a protein, rather than serving as a side dish. The real secret ingredient in bacon, however, is sound waves. The smokehouse sits behind the stage of his restaurant, which features live entertainment by local musicians, so the pork bellies are cradled as they heal.
To cure: pink curing salt, brown sugar made from molasses
Benton’s Hickory Smoked Country Bacon
Benton Bacon lays the foundation for ramen broth at David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar and mingles with Bourbon in Benton’s Old Fashioned at New York’s famous underground bar Please Don’t Tell. For over four decades, Allan Benton has produced bacon revered for its distinctly potent, smoky and salty flavor. As demand continues to increase over time, Benton maintains his small business as a means of quality assurance.
To cure: salt, pepper, brown sugar
La Quercia Tamworth Pancetta Smoked
There are many things that make La Quercia‘s pancetta (which, although called pancetta, is comparable to bacon) is remarkable. It’s the prized marbling of heritage Tamworth pigs, the sweetness imparted by applewood smoke, the herbal addition of rosemary. But it’s the act of dry curing that makes all the difference, extracting moisture to produce more concentrated flavors and resulting in a crispier texture when the bacon is fried.
To cure: salt, bat leaf, rosemary, pepper
Smoke: apple wood
Dry Cured Bacon Tender Belly Signature Mix
It’s Tender Belly’s signature spice blend that sets its bacon apart, especially Vermont maple sugar, which lends caramelized notes to the crispy pork belly. The exceptional meat-to-fat ratio of bacon, a traditional pork product raised in Iowa and raised on a vegetarian diet, isn’t too bad either.
To cure: Vermont maple sugar, juniper berries, exclusive spice blend
Smoke goose cheek bacon
The applewood smoked bacon que salumeria based in Indiana Smoking goose The product is certainly remarkable, but it is the meat specialist’s bacon jowl that is definitely worth tracking down. Not for the faint of heart, cheek bacon is fatter, richer, and more delicate than its belly counterpart. Cured with a simple rub of black pepper and cilantro, this one is all about celebrating the unusual cut.
To cure: sea salt, brown sugar, maple sugar, cilantro, black pepper
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