What Is Market Style Bacon? Everything You Need To Know

Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that has been enjoyed for centuries. From crispy and salty to sweet and smoky, there are countless varieties of bacon to choose from.

One type that has been gaining popularity in recent years is market style bacon. But what exactly is it?

In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics, flavor profile, and origins of this delicious cut of meat. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about market style bacon.

What Is Market Style Bacon?

Market style bacon is a type of bacon that is cut from the pork belly and has a higher meat-to-fat ratio than traditional streaky bacon. It is also known as “butcher’s cut” bacon because it is typically sold in specialty meat markets or butcher shops.

Unlike streaky bacon, which has distinct layers of fat and meat, market style bacon has a more uniform thickness and is often sliced thicker than traditional bacon. This gives it a meatier texture and a more robust flavor.

Characteristics Of Market Style Bacon

Market style bacon is typically made from high-quality pork belly that is cured with a blend of water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, and sodium nitrite. This curing process not only adds flavor but also helps to preserve the meat for a longer shelf life.

One of the defining characteristics of market style bacon is its natural hardwood smoking process. This imparts a rich, smoky flavor to the meat that cannot be replicated through other cooking methods.

In terms of appearance, market style bacon is distinguishable by its uniform thickness and darker color due to the smoking process. It also has a firmer texture than traditional bacon, making it ideal for use in sandwiches or as a standalone breakfast item.

Flavor Profile Of Market Style Bacon

Market style bacon has a rich and savory flavor profile that is distinct from other types of bacon. Due to its higher meat content, market style bacon has a meatier taste and a less pronounced smoky flavor compared to American-style bacon. It also has a more substantial texture that holds up well in dishes, making it a popular choice for recipes that require bacon as an ingredient.

The flavor of market style bacon can be enhanced by cooking it slowly over low heat, which allows the fat to render and the meat to caramelize. This results in a crispy exterior and a tender, juicy interior that is bursting with flavor.

Market style bacon pairs well with a variety of ingredients and flavors, making it a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. Its meaty flavor complements sweet and savory dishes alike, and it can be used to add depth and complexity to everything from breakfast dishes to burgers and sandwiches.

Origins Of Market Style Bacon

The origins of market style bacon can be traced back to the early days of pork production. Bacon has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years, with the Chinese being credited as the first to salt and cure pork belly around 1500 B.C. As the practice of curing pork spread throughout the world, different cultures developed their own unique styles of bacon.

Market style bacon, in particular, has its roots in specialty meat markets and butcher shops. These establishments would often receive whole pigs from local farmers and would then break them down into various cuts of meat, including bacon. The butchers would typically slice the bacon thicker than traditional streaky bacon and would aim for a higher meat-to-fat ratio.

In the early 20th century, as mass production methods became more prevalent in the food industry, bacon began to be produced on a larger scale. However, some specialty meat markets and butcher shops continued to produce their own market style bacon, catering to customers who preferred a meatier and less fatty product.

Today, market style bacon can still be found in specialty meat markets and butcher shops, as well as some grocery stores that cater to customers seeking high-quality meats. It remains a popular choice for those who prefer a more substantial and flavorful bacon experience.

How To Cook Market Style Bacon

Cooking market style bacon is similar to cooking traditional bacon, but there are a few key differences to keep in mind. Here are the steps to cook market style bacon:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

3. Place the market style bacon strips on the lined baking sheet, making sure they are not overlapping.

4. Bake the bacon for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.

5. Check the bacon frequently towards the end of cooking to prevent burning.

6. Once the bacon is cooked to your desired level of crispiness, remove it from the oven and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess grease.

Because market style bacon has a higher meat content, it may take slightly longer to cook than traditional bacon. However, the end result will be a deliciously meaty and flavorful breakfast staple that is sure to impress.

Recipes Using Market Style Bacon

Market style bacon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here are some delicious recipes that make use of this flavorful bacon:

1. Bacon-Wrapped Dates: Cut the market style bacon into small pieces and wrap them around pitted dates. Secure with toothpicks and bake in the oven until the bacon is crispy.

2. Bacon and Mushroom Quiche: Cook the market style bacon until crispy, then chop it into small pieces. Saute sliced mushrooms in the bacon fat until tender. Mix together eggs, milk, cheese, and the bacon and mushrooms, then pour into a pie crust and bake.

3. Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus: Cut the market style bacon into thin strips and wrap them around asparagus spears. Roast in the oven until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus is tender.

4. BLT Salad: Chop up the market style bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy. Toss together with chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, and croutons. Drizzle with your favorite dressing.

5. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin: Cut the market style bacon into long strips and wrap them around a pork tenderloin. Roast in the oven until the pork is cooked through and the bacon is crispy.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Market style bacon is a delicious addition to any recipe that calls for bacon, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things!