How Much Does Bacon Cost Per Pound?
Bacon is a meat product prepared from a pig and is typically cured. It is first cured by using large amounts of salt, either in a dry packing or in a brine, with the result being fresh bacon (also called green bacon). The fresh bacon may be dried in cold air for weeks or months, or it may be smoked or boiled. Fresh and dried bacon is normally cooked before eating. On the other hand, boiled bacon is ready-to-eat, as is some smoked bacon, but it may be further cooked before eating.
How much is it?
- Like all commodities, the prices will greatly depend on the current market conditions. On average, bacon is going to cost about $5 to $7 per pound.
- According to BLS.gov, the average prices in the past were $5.33, $6.04 and $6.10 in early 2014.
- CNBC.com noted that in February of 2014, the average price was $5.46 per pound.
What is going to be included?
- Bacon is a type of cured meat that comes traditionally from the back, sides or belly of a pig. Curing the meat is not very challenging and all chefs who are trained in charcuterie, which is the art of curing and handling meats, understand how to make it.
- To make bacon, a big slab of the back, sides or the belly of the pig is cut off and then subjected to curing. After the curing process, the bacon is still in slab form. In case the meat is meant to be frozen, it’s left in slab form, even though the rind may be trimmed. It could also be sliced for immediate consumption. Depending on personal taste, individual slices could be cut thick or thin. Bacon is considered perishable following smoking, and therefore should be kept under refrigeration until eaten.
- Bacon is prepared from a number of different cuts of meat. It’s usually made from back and side cuts of pork, except in the USA, where bacon is almost always prepared from pork-belly (typically known as “American style,” “streaky’” or “fatty” outside of the U.S. and Canada). The side-cut has more meat and less fat compared to the belly.
- Bacon may either be prepared from two distinct back cuts: pork loin, which is very lean and fatback and is nearly pure fat. Bacon-cured pork loin is called back bacon.
What are the extra costs?
- You may need other ingredients to prepare bacon dishes, such as bacon and eggs, Cobb salad, BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato) sandwiches, and various bacon-wrapped foods (such as scallops, asparagus and shrimp).
- Local meat farms that don’t add steroids or any other preservatives may charge double the market rate.
Tips to know:
- The best bacon comes from fresh meat, so in case you are curing bacon at home, ask the butcher for pork that is younger than 48 hours old.
- When bacon is made from other animals, it’s usually differentiated from “true” bacon with a label indicating the species from where the meat came from, as is with turkey bacon. The main difference between cured and un-cured bacon is in the process of preservation. Cured varieties normally rely on chemicals and additives, while uncured bacon alternatives usually include extra nature salts and flavorings. Both bacon types are actually “cured,” which in the context of meat basically just means preserved.
- Bacon may either be eaten smoked, fried, baked, boiled or grilled.
How can I save money?
- At your local grocery store, be on the lookout for special promotions or sales. If you find a good deal, it doesn’t hurt to stock up and freeze for future use.
- As with most meats, the more you purchase at once, the more you’re going to be able to save.
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