What Is Arkansas Bacon? The Key Facts

Are you a bacon lover looking to try something new?

Have you heard of Arkansas bacon but aren’t quite sure what it is?

Look no further!

In this article, we’ll explore the unique characteristics of Arkansas bacon, including its omega-3 content and specific preparation methods.

We’ll also introduce you to some of the best Arkansas bacon producers, so you can taste this delicious and distinct variety for yourself.

Get ready to learn all about this mouth-watering pork product that’s sure to become a new favorite in your breakfast routine.

What Is Arkansas Bacon?

Arkansas bacon is a specific type of bacon that is made from the pork shoulder blade Boston roast. This cut of meat is prepared by removing the neck and rib bones, as well as the blade bone or scapula. The dorsal fat covering, including the skin or clear plate, is also removed, leaving no more than one-quarter inch of fat covering the roast.

Unlike conventional pork, Arkansas bacon is dry-cured with salt, sugar, nitrites, and spices, and smoked with natural smoke. It cannot be injected or soaked in curing brine, nor can any artificial or liquid smoke be applied to the meat.

One of the unique characteristics of Arkansas bacon is its omega-3 content. Omega-3 pork Arkansas bacon has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2.5:1 versus conventional pork at 20:1 on average. This means that it contains more omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good health.

The Unique Characteristics Of Arkansas Bacon

Apart from its omega-3 content, Arkansas bacon has several other unique characteristics that set it apart from other types of bacon. First and foremost, it is made from only the leanest cuts of pork, which means that it contains more meat and less fat than other bacon varieties.

Another characteristic of Arkansas bacon is that it is not cured with sugar. Instead, it is dry-cured with salt and spices, giving it a distinct savory flavor that is not overly sweet. Additionally, it is smoked with natural smoke, which imparts a rich, smoky flavor that is not artificial or overpowering.

Unlike some other types of bacon, Arkansas bacon is also cut thickly, which allows it to retain its shape and texture when cooked. This makes it ideal for pan-frying or grilling, as it does not shrink or curl up like thinner slices of bacon.

Finally, Arkansas bacon is often made in small batches by local producers who take pride in their craft. This means that each slice of bacon is carefully prepared and inspected for quality, ensuring that consumers get the best possible product. Overall, Arkansas bacon is a unique and flavorful variety of bacon that is well worth trying for anyone who loves this classic breakfast food.

The Health Benefits Of Arkansas Bacon

While it may seem counterintuitive, Arkansas bacon can actually offer several health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Here are some of the positive effects you can reap while enjoying this delicious meat:

1. Healthy Fats: While bacon does contain a significant amount of fat, around 50% of it is monounsaturated and mostly oleic acid. This is the same fatty acid found in olive oil, which is known for its heart-healthy properties. The remaining fat in bacon is saturated, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. However, studies have not consistently proved this link, and overall diet and lifestyle factors are more significant risks for heart disease.

2. High-Protein and Low-Carb: Bacon is a high-protein food source with almost no carbs, making it an excellent choice for low-carb and keto diets. It can help you feel full and satisfied while still supporting your weight loss goals.

3. Essential Micronutrients: Arkansas bacon contains several essential micronutrients, including potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. These nutrients support everything from bone health to energy levels and brain function.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: As mentioned earlier, Arkansas bacon has a higher omega-3 content than conventional pork. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good health and have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, improved brain function, and decreased inflammation.

While bacon should not be considered a cure-all for any health condition or used as a sole source of nutrition, it can be a delicious and healthy addition to your diet when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced meal plan. So go ahead and enjoy some omega-3 pork Arkansas bacon guilt-free!

How To Prepare And Cook Arkansas Bacon

Preparing and cooking Arkansas bacon is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps. Here’s how to do it:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. If you have a wire baking rack, place it inside a long pan. If not, just use a long shallow pan.

2. Lay out as many bacon pieces as will fit snugly without overlapping on the pan lined with foil or parchment paper.

3. Once the oven reaches 400 degrees F, add the pan to the oven and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon becomes crisp. Check after 10 minutes to ensure it doesn’t burn.

4. Remove the bacon from the oven and place it on a paper towel-lined dish to drain.

Alternatively, you can pan fry Arkansas bacon by oil spraying a heavy iron skillet and heating it over medium heat. Rub/press peppercorns liberally into one side of the bacon slices, then add them to the skillet pepper-side down. Sprinkle the top side with additional pepper and let the bacon fry until nicely seared and browned, about 2 to 4 minutes. Flip over and sprinkle the browned side with brown sugar. When the second side has browned, flip again so that the sugared side is directly in contact with the skillet and let it sear very quickly for 10 to 20 seconds, sprinkling the second side with brown sugar. Flip again, repeat the quick sear and remove from the skillet to a hot plate.

Another way to enjoy Arkansas bacon is by making Arkansas Bacon Green Beans. In a casserole dish, mix together drained green beans, cooked bacon slices, brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or cook in a slow cooker for 5 to 6 hours on low.

Remember that Arkansas bacon is dry-cured and cannot be injected or soaked in curing brine. Enjoy its unique flavor and health benefits by preparing it using these simple methods.

Top Arkansas Bacon Producers To Try

If you’re looking for the best Arkansas bacon, here are some top producers to try:

1. Coursey’s Smoked Meats – This small roadside shop has been producing its “world famous” bacon for decades. Made with Arkansas-raised pork, their thick-sliced bacon is smoked but not cured, and contains no sugar. Injected with a sea salt solution and hickory smoked to 140 degrees internal temperature, it has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2.5:1 versus conventional pork at 20:1 on average.

2. Petit Jean Meats – Cured at Morrilton Packing Company, Petit Jean Meats is best known for its ham, bacon, and bright red weiners. Their bologna, hot dogs, bacon, and ham can be found in stores even across the borders of the state. Petit Jean Meats offers many varieties for its signature gift boxes, including a half spiral ham with regular smoked bacon and their peppered bacon.

3. Ham I Am – This company was founded by Sharon Meehan and her family after discovering delicious pork products being cured, smoked, and sold by a local, family-owned meat market while on summer holidays up in the area around Mt. Petit Jean. They began bringing ham and bacon back for themselves each time they’d drive home to Dallas.

4. La Quercia – La Quercia introduced Charcuterie Varietals to the United States – dry-cured heritage breed pork with distinctive breeding and diets based on the location of where the hogs are humanely raised. Their hand-crafted dry-cured pork relies entirely on the quality of its components and the skill of the producer.

5. Creekstone Farms – Creekstone Farms produces, sells, and exports Black Angus beef, antibiotic-free Duroc pork, and their value-added products. Their Duroc pork is known for its marbling and flavor.

These top Arkansas bacon producers offer unique flavors and characteristics that make them stand out from conventional bacon. Try them out to experience the delicious taste of Arkansas bacon!

Delicious Recipes Featuring Arkansas Bacon

If you’re looking for some delicious recipes featuring Arkansas bacon, you’re in luck! This unique type of bacon adds a smoky flavor to any dish and pairs perfectly with a variety of ingredients. Here are some mouth-watering recipes to try:

1. Arkansas Green Beans with Bacon: This classic Southern side dish is taken to the next level with the addition of Arkansas bacon. Tender green beans are cooked in a sweet and savory sauce made with butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, and crispy bacon. It’s the perfect side dish for any meal.

2. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin: This recipe is a match made in heaven! Arkansas bacon wrapped around pork tenderloin creates a juicy and flavorful main course that’s perfect for any occasion. The bacon adds a smoky flavor to the tenderloin, making it a crowd-pleaser.

3. Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: This recipe is simple yet delicious. Wrap fresh asparagus spears with thin slices of Arkansas bacon and bake until crispy. The combination of smoky bacon and tender asparagus creates a perfect appetizer or side dish.

4. Bacon-Wrapped Dates: This appetizer is sure to impress your guests! Stuff pitted dates with goat cheese and wrap them in Arkansas bacon before baking until crispy. The sweetness of the dates and the creaminess of the goat cheese pair perfectly with the smoky flavor of the bacon.

5. Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp: This recipe is perfect for seafood lovers! Wrap jumbo shrimp with Arkansas bacon and grill or bake until crispy. The combination of juicy shrimp and smoky bacon creates a mouth-watering dish that’s perfect for any occasion.