Supermarket standoff: Best bacon

Bacon taste testWhich bacon scored best? (Photo: iStockphoto)We have embarked on a taste test tour of supermarket foods. We nibble (or sip), we score, and we share the results to help you avoid the paralysis of Brand Choice Overload.

Today's topic: bacon.

Carnivores, rejoice. This edition of Supermarket Standoff puts front and center the meat that claims unabashed adoration from food writers, chefs, and dudes 'round the world. Bacon has inspired large-scale festivals, questionable hygiene products, and an international holiday. People love bacon.

A lot of it is produced in the U.S.--more than 2 billion pounds each year--which became quite clear when we were researching for this taste test. We whittled down the large volume of brands by choosing classic hickory- or applewood-smoked versions. We included both cured and uncured bacon; the latter is rising in popularity due to health-conscious baconnoisseurs. (Not-so-fun-but-at-least-educational-fact: the term "uncured" is a little misleading, since it's meant to indicate that the bacon is free of pork-preserving sodium nitrite. But uncured bacon generally uses celery juice, which releases natural sodium nitrate and nitrite anyway.)

Some of our tasters prefer their bacon crispy and charred, while others wanted it chewy and ham-like. Whichever camp you're in, you can be guided by both our top picks and nutritionist Marissa Lippert's favorites.


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