Bacon - Do you know how it is made?

Sep 07, 2017

The bacon craze took the world by storm. Almost overnight bacon went from being a breakfast food and topping to a hamburger to an ice cream ingredient, flavor of lip balm and a star in hundreds of different products. People love the taste and smell of bacon, here is a look into how America’s favorite food is made.

Bacon comes from pigs. After the animal is harvested the carcass is broken down into several different sections. One of those sections includes the loin, ribs and belly. After the loin, ribs and skin have been removed there is a flat rectangular section, called the belly. Bellies need to be trimmed so they are straight on all sides; this provides the uniformity to the bacon. The bellies could be sold at this point in the process and would be marketed as pork belly or fresh pork belly.

Next the bellis are prepared to be cured. Who would have guessed that curing, a process our ancestors came up with all those years ago would still be used as a common practice in the industry? Curing is no longer required to keep meat from spoiling, because we now have refrigeration, instead products are cured for the unique flavor it provides. A curing mixture is prepared and injected into the pork belly; the base of this mixture is water along with products like sodium nitrite, salt, and sugar.  After the brine has been injected, the bellies they are hung on a large rack and given around a week for the cured flavor to develop. Once the time has elapsed the bellies are put into a large smoker, the smoking process helps to enhance the bacon flavor. The smokers run at very hot temperatures, after the bellies come out they are given time to cool down. After the product has cooled down it is pressed into a rectangular mold that makes it easier to slice the product. The product is then sent through a slicer that can slice the bacon at a variety of different dimensions to meet the customer’s order. The last step the bacon goes through is packaging and distribution.

The next time you hear the sizzle of bacon or smell the unique bacon aroma, you will have insight into how the product is made.

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