What are the Different Types of Bacon?

Those who have eaten bacon for the first time may immediately declare it as their favorite food right at the first or second bite. It’s safe to say that everybody loves bacon, and there are different kinds of bacon that suit each person’s eating preference. There’s bacon for those who don’t eat pork, there’s bacon for vegetarians, and there’s even bacon for people who are on a diet.

The various types and kinds of bacon are almost impossible to enumerate in one day, and there’s possibly a new variant of bacon being created right now that may only be available in one household. However, out of all the variations and ways that bacon can be cooked, there are only a few types that are considered the most popular and arguably the best-tasting. Here are some well-known types of bacon that you should try if you are on a quest to eat as many kinds of bacon as you can.

American Bacon

fried American bacon
When you think of bacon, the American bacon is most likely the one that comes to mind immediately. American bacon is a thin and strip of pork meat that has narrow lines of fat in it that can be too greasy for some. Sometimes, you won’t need to add oil to the pan when cooking American bacon as it will already cook on its own fat. This type of bacon is often cured using salt.

American bacon is also called side bacon, which refers to the part of the pork where it comes from. Side bacon usually has layers of muscle and fat found in its strip. Furthermore, the side bacon that is popular in the US is smoked with Applewood, hickory, and mesquite, which gives it a smoky spice flavor. 

Slab Bacon

Side bacon that is unsliced is called slab bacon, which you would have to cut yourself into strips if you prefer it to be sliced. There are some recipes in cookbook and online that require you to cook slab bacon as a whole, but most people would prefer it be sliced for better taste.

If you want to customize the thickness of your bacon strips, then it is probably best that you buy slab bacon instead of side bacon.

Canadian Bacon

Canadian bacon on a muffin with egg and cheese
Canadian bacon is not as famous as American bacon due to the fact that it doesn’t look like the typical bacon you would think of, as it just looks like a slice of ham rather than pork meat with strips of fat and muscle.

The reason why Canadian bacon looks so different from the standard bacon is that it is made from pork loin rather than the pork belly. Pork loin typically has more muscle and less fat than the pork belly, which makes the Canadian bacon appear like ham. Since it doesn’t have a lot of fat, a slice of Canadian bacon doesn’t have too much grease, making it a little bit healthier to eat than side bacon.

While this type of bacon can be sold as strips, most people like Canadian bacon to be round and thick to make it more distinct and different from the standard bacon.

Rashers

rashers British back bacon
Rasher is a kind of bacon that is usually found in Ireland and the UK, and it is different from both American and Canadian bacon as the slices of it comes from the back part of the pork. However, some slices of rashers may also be made from pork loin like Canadian bacon.

Because it comes from the back of the pork, a rasher normally has less fat and more muscle similar to Canadian bacon. Rashers are commonly found in traditional breakfast meals in the UK and Ireland, and this breakfast often includes sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, a slice of bread, black or white pudding, fried eggs, and of course, bacon.

Pancetta

pancetta on a thin slice of bread with asparagus
Another type of bacon that is round like the Canadian variant, pancetta is side bacon similar to American bacon, but the pieces are rolled into cylinders, making them appear like round slices rather than thin strips.

Pancetta is known to have very salty flavor, and as such, they are not typically eaten on their own as they have a strong taste. This type of bacon is often chopped into tiny pieces and is added to pasta like carbonara, and it is also used as an ingredient for soups. Moreover, pancetta is commonly eaten raw, unlike most types of bacon.

Turkey Bacon

bacon made from turkey meat
Most of us would associate the word “bacon” to pork meat, but in fact, the term can also be used in any kind of meat as long as it is cured with salt or it has a similar cutting process to the typical bacon.

One of the most popular non-pork bacon is the turkey bacon, which is, of course, made from turkey meat. Turkey bacon has even lesser fat compared to Canadian bacon and is commonly eaten by those who are trying to stay fit but wants to eat bacon every once in a while.

There are many more kinds of bacon out there, some can taste better than American bacon, and some can be more peculiar and uncommon than turkey bacon. If you are just starting to explore the different flavors and types of bacon, then trying the variants mentioned above can be a good start, as they all taste great and will definitely satisfy your cravings for bacon.