Bacon taste test / © Kerianne Hansen
Depending on its smokiness, saltiness, fattiness and flavor, bacon can range from basic breakfast staple to pure porcine perfection. Food & Wine editors sampled both nationally available and mail-order artisanal brands to find out which bacon is truly the best.
Top Pick: Vande Rose Farms Artisan Dry Cured Applewood Smoked
F&W loved this thick-cut mail-order bacon—made from well-marbled heritage breed Duroc pork belly—for its meaty texture and balanced flavor. The artisanal bacon is dry cured for six days with brown sugar, black pepper and salt, then slow smoked for 12 hours over applewood chips. vanderosefarms.com
“Very meaty, pleasant salt level.” “Good texture—more ham-like. Good flavor, too.” “Nice chew.” “Nice and hammy. Probably my fave.” “Crispy and smoky.”