The Best Bacon Brands, According to Our Readers

You voted for your favorite bacon to buy and we put the top 8 to the test to see which ones came out on top!

Three packages of bacon arranged on a pink background
Photo: Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

There is only one thing that gets me out of bed quicker than coffee and that's the smell of bacon. That distinct smoky aroma is simply mouthwatering. It's a classic pairing with eggs as a staple for breakfast but it's also the basis of a lot of other dishes, like these 9 Ultimate Bacon Recipes. At the store, there are so many options to choose from, but are they all the same? You voted on your favorites in our 2023 Community Choice Awards and we took the top 8 brands and tested them side by side to see which ones were the absolute best.

How We Tested

To start, we need to clarify that there are many types of bacon. The bacon most people think of immediately is smoked bacon, which is sliced strips of pork belly that are smoked, but there is also turkey bacon, slab bacon, pancetta (Italian bacon), and Canadian bacon (which is more like ham). For this tasting, we're sticking to smoked bacon.

Bacon from 8 different brands was cooked on a wire rack set in a sheet pan in a 400 degree F oven until crispy, about 20 minutes. Each bacon was tried blind, i.e. without the tasters knowing which bacon was associated with which brand. Testers judged on flavor, texture, and saltiness. While many were very similar, here were the best bacon brands that stood out among the meaty crowd.

Best Thick-Cut Bacon: McKenzie Country Classics

A package of McKenzie bacon on a pink background
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

For those that like a hefty piece of bacon, thick-cut bacon is twice as thick as regular sliced bacon. Because of the thickness, it tends to be a bit chewier but it also delivers a smokier bite since there is more surface area for the smoke to absorb. Tasters loved the flavor of the McKenzie Country Classics Thick Cut Bacon better than other options because of its hint of maple syrup. Grab this bacon for a BLT.

Best Sugar-Free Bacon: Applegate Naturals No Sugar Bacon

A package of Applegate bacon on a pink background
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

Made with just pork, water, salt, and celery powder, this bacon took top marks for having the best flavor without any added sugar. Applegate is known for humanely-raised meat and never using antibiotics, and they didn't disappoint with this bacon. Another bonus: this bacon had the least amount of sodium, though I wouldn't exactly call bacon a low-sodium food.

Best Natural Bacon: Hormel Natural Choice Original Uncured Bacon

A package of Hormel Natural Choice bacon on a pink background
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

Made without any preservatives, nitrates, or nitrites, this bacon from Hormel is a great option for those looking to skip artificial ingredients. Tasters really liked the generous meat to fat ratio and the slight but not overpowering sweetness.

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