What is the Difference Between Cured & Uncured Bacon?
Is there anything that doesn’t taste better with bacon?
Whether you’re adding it to a casserole or pizza, mixing it into a batch of cookies, or enjoying a few solo strips, there’s no wrong way to enjoy bacon’s savory flavor and delightful crunch. Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s also a great source of high-quality protein that can be cooked in a number of ways.
Needless to say, bacon is incredibly popular! Coleman Natural Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon is always a bestseller, and we understand why. On top of tasting great, we’re proud to say our pork bacon is made with simple, natural ingredients. Plus, it’s uncured.
You might be wondering: What’s the difference between cured and uncured bacon, and why do we choose to make all of our bacon uncured? Let’s dive into how bacon is made and what the curing process entails.
Cured vs. Uncured Bacon
The main difference between cured and uncured bacon is in the ingredients used for curing. Yes, contrary to what these terms imply, both cured and uncured bacon are cured. They just use different curing agents.
More meat products are cured than you might think. Popular cured meats include hot dogs, ham, and smoked sausages like bratwursts and Polish kielbasa.
Cured bacon utilizes nitrates and nitrites, such as sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite. These chemical compounds and food preservatives help cure the meat as well as help it maintain its pink color.
Uncured bacon doesn’t contain added nitrates or nitrites. Instead, it relies on natural ingredients such as cultured celery powder and sea salt during the curing process. While these products are still technically cured, the USDA requires bacon without nitrate and nitrites to be labeled with the phrase “Uncured Bacon, No Nitrates or Nitrites Added.”
Now that you know the difference between cured and uncured bacon, let’s move on to why you should care.
Added nitrites and nitrates may be harmful to your health. Studies have shown that these chemical additives are not easily processed by your body, and may turn into nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are carcinogenic, meaning that they may lead to the development of cancer. They may also cause reproductive issues and birth defects.
However, another option is to forgo nitrates and nitrites and instead opt for bacon cured with cultured celery powder. This natural ingredient has no known adverse health effects, which is why it’s what Coleman Natural uses in our uncured bacon products.
What Does Curing Do?
Curing is a preserving process that aims to lengthen the shelf life of meat and prevent bacon from going bad. It also inhibits the formation of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses. It helps keep meat fresh, makes it safe to eat, and can also help preserve color and flavor.
As the meat absorbs curing agents, it loses some of its moisture and begins to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, including some pathogens. Clostridium botulinum, the toxin responsible for botulism, is just one harmful bacteria that can be stopped in its tracks by curing.
The curing process can also change the properties of meat. Cured meats often become more tender as they become resistant to bacterial growth and spoilage. That means cured meat is often juicy and full of flavor!
At Coleman Natural, we only use natural curing ingredients to make our bacon and other meats delicious and healthy for your family and friends to enjoy.
How Is Uncured Bacon Made?
Uncured bacon is made by naturally curing and smoking meat. First, pork belly is injected with a brine of salt, sugar, and curing agents like cultured celery powder. This brine can include flavorings such as herbs and spices.
The pork sits in this solution between 12 and 24 hours, absorbing the brine’s flavors and developing bacterial resistance.
After curing in this solution, the pork is slow-smoked over real wood or given a smokey flavor via liquid smoke. Different bacon products contain different types and levels of smoke, which can affect the flavor greatly. Coleman Natural bacon is smoked over natural hickory or applewood, which imparts a homey, smokey flavor. The pork belly is then chilled, pressed, and cut into uniform slices. Finally, the bacon is packaged and shipped to stores.
When you pick up a package of bacon at the store, it has been partially cooked during smoking, but it must be fully cooked before eating. You can cook bacon in a skillet on the stove, on a baking sheet in the oven, on the grill, in a microwave, or even in an air fryer!
If you’re looking for a way to enjoy your bacon, you have a wide variety of options. These Pork and Bacon Burgers are perfect during the grilling season. Just pick up a package of Coleman Natural ground pork and your favorite variety of our uncured bacon, and you’ll end up with a juicy burger that takes just ten minutes to prepare.
If you don’t want to fire up the grill, you can always count on this Sun-Dried Tomato and Bacon Pasta Salad to serve up the smoky bacon flavor you’re craving. And don’t forget about these Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies for when you’re looking to make something that’s both sweet and savory.
Choose Uncured Bacon from Coleman Natural
When purchasing bacon for your family, read product labels and keep an eye out for added nitrates, nitrites, and artificial ingredients. And if you’re looking for high-quality uncured bacon, choose the Coleman Natural label.
Our all-natural bacon is made with pork raised in the USA, sourced from independent American family farms that treat their livestock responsibly and humanely. Hogs are raised crate-free, given space to roam, and never treated with added hormones or antibiotics. Plus, our bacon is Parent Tested Parent Approved!
So the next time you’re looking to cook up some bacon for yourself or your family, look for Coleman Natural uncured bacon.
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