Posted October 05, 2018
With the popularity of smoked bacon and backyard meat smokers on the rise, join us as we discuss how we create our deliciously smoky Tender Belly bacon. Our Tender Belly bacon is smoked to perfection over Hickory and Cherrywood. But, as you know by now, not all bacon is smoked the same.
Labels About Smoking
Once a pork belly has been cured, it’s typically smoked and heated to about 130 degrees. This adds the distinctive smoky flavor that we have all come to love. It also helps to hold the red, cured color, and sure makes it easier to slice the bacon. But today, big industrial bacon manufacturers seem to cut corners in the smoking stage by adding a concentrated smoke liquid and then they heat it. The pork belly is never put in an actual smoker.
Hardwood smoked or naturally smoked
How do you know if the bacon you’re buying was put in a smoker? If a bacon is labeled “hardwood smoked” or “naturally smoked,” it means it was put into a smoker, not just injected with liquid smoke.
You can smoke bacon using different types of wood chips or sawdust for different flavors — our Hickory and Cherrywood gives our bacon a full bodied and balanced smoke.
Cherrywood-smoked or mesquite-smoked
Most bacon labels specify the kind of wood used to generate the smoke. Whether it’s cherrywood for fruit notes or mesquite for a bold, bitter flavor, there can be a significant difference.
Most experts say the difference in bacon “smoke flavor” is like wine — there may be subtle flavors or notes between each option. And, for some people, they may not even be able to tell the difference. Traditionally, apple and mesquite are especially prized by experts who care about such “smoky” things.
That really depends on you. We’d like to think our Tender Belly signature bacon is the best money can buy. But, we’ll let you be the judge.