Like most things in life, not all bacon is created equal. Some offer better flavors and others are easier to cook with. Extra Crispy's bacon critic, Scott Gold, took one for the team and sampled a plethora of bacon to decide the best bacon in America.
No "best bacon" list is complete without name dropping the worst. Gold's recipient for the worst bacon title is Aberdeen Farms Irregularly Sliced Value Bacon, which he describes as "stringy, gooey to the touch, and diaphanously thin."
The best bacon, on the other hand, goes to Vande Rose Farms Applewood-Smoked Artisan Dry-Cured Bacon.
"You can immediately sense all of this attention to detail upon taking a bite of this stuff," writes Gold. "Whether you fry it in a skillet or bake it in the oven, one taste will make your eyes reflexively close as you take a deep sigh of amazement and appreciation and think, 'Now THIS is bacon.' The applewood smoke rides nicely in the background as the cure and pork take over."
Honorable mentions for other variations and specific types of bacon include the following:
- Best Bacon for Crispy-Bacon Lovers: Niman Ranch Uncured, Applewood-Smoked Bacon
- Best All-Purpose, No-Frills Supermarket Bacon: Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
- Best Bacon for Smoke Lovers: North Country Smokehouse Maple Cured, Center-Cut Bacon
- Best Dinner Bacon: Burger's Smokehouse Cajun Bacon Steaks
- Best Fruity Bacon: Tender Belly Cherrywood-Smoked, Dry Cured Bacon
- Best Kurobuta Bacon: Snake River Farms
- Best "Wild" Bacon: Buffalo Gal Wild Boar Bacon
- Best Non-Belly Bacon: Uncured Loin Bacon from Mangalitsa by Møsefund