Pork Belly vs Bacon: The Major Differences Explained

There is often confusion about the difference between pork belly and bacon. Some people think that they are the same thing, while others believe that pork belly is just a more premium cut of bacon.

The two types of meat are both pork, but the main difference is in the curing process.

Pork belly is uncured meat, while bacon is a cured meat that undergoes preservation with salt and nitrates. This helps to extend its shelf life and prevent spoilage. Keep reading for a closer look at these two types of pork!

What is Bacon?

Bacon is pork that has been cured and smoked. The curing process involves adding salt and nitrates to the pork, which helps to preserve the meat, extend its shelf life, and prevent spoilage.

Bacon is typically made from pork belly, but it can also be made from other cuts of pork. It is typically sold in strips and can be used in a variety of dishes, such as BLTs or eggs Benedict.

Below is a picture of bacon: you can see how it has a much thinner cut compared to pork belly

raw bacon

 

What is Pork Belly?

Pork belly is a cut of pork that comes from the belly of the pig. It is often used in Asian cuisine, as it has a high-fat content that gives it a lot of flavor.

Pork belly is not typically cured or smoked like bacon, but it can be. It is often braised or roasted and can be used in dishes such as pork belly ramen or pork belly buns.

Below is a picture of pork belly: you can see how it has a much thicker cut type of meat compared to bacon

pork belly pan fried

 

Taste Difference Pork Belly vs Bacon:

Pork belly is also a bit fattier than bacon and has a higher fat content. This gives it a richer flavor that some people prefer.

Both pork belly and bacon are delicious and can be used in a variety of dishes. The best way to decide which one to use is to think about the flavor you want to achieve in your dish. If you’re looking for a richer flavor, pork belly is the way to go. If you want something that is more savory and salty, bacon is your best bet. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Which one should I use Bacon or Pork Belly?

Examples of food recipes that bacon is a great match for include :

Pork belly is a great match for recipes that call for a richer flavor. Some examples include:

  • Braised pork shoulder
  • Roasted pork tenderloin
  • Pork belly ramen
  • Pork belly buns

Nutritional Difference Between Pork Belly vs Bacon:

When it comes to nutrition, pork belly and bacon are not the best choices. However, they can be part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation.

Bacon is high in fat and sodium, which is why it’s often considered to be an unhealthy food. Pork belly is also high in fat, but it does contain a good amount of protein and iron.

Pork belly and bacon are both high in fat and calories. Pork belly has slightly more fat than bacon, with about 17 grams of fat per serving.

Bacon has about 12 grams of fat per serving. Pork belly also has a higher calorie count than bacon, with about 190 calories per serving compared to bacon, which has about 150 calories per serving.

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to pork belly and bacon, consider leaner cuts of pork like pork tenderloin or pork loin. These cuts of pork are lower in fat and calories and can be just as delicious when prepared properly.

Price Difference Between Pork Belly vs Bacon:

Pork belly is typically more expensive than bacon, but not by too much. This is because pork belly is a more premium cut of pork.

The price difference between pork belly and bacon can vary depending on where you purchase them. On average, pork belly can be found for around $12 per pound, while bacon can be found for around $11 per pound.

If you are looking for the best value, look for pork belly that has been smoked or cured. These varieties will typically be more expensive than uncured pork belly, but they will also have a more intense flavor.

Best Way To Cook Pork Belly:

Pork belly can be cooked in a variety of ways, but one of the best ways to cook it is to braise it.

Braising pork belly involves cooking it in a mixture of water, fat, and seasonings. This method helps to tenderize the pork and give it a lot of flavor.

Alternatively, roasting pork belly is similar to braising, but it doesn’t require as much liquid. This method also helps to tenderize the pork and gives it a lot of flavor.

Best Way To Cook Bacon:

Frying bacon helps to render out the fat and gives it a crispy texture. It also allows you to control the level of crispiness that you want.

A more ‘hands off’ method is to bake bacon in the oven. This method is easier than frying and produces less mess. However, it doesn’t allow you to control the level of crispiness as much as frying does.

 

Pork Belly vs Bacon
Pork Belly vs Bacon

 

So, what’s the verdict? Bacon vs Pork Belly

Is pork belly better than bacon or vice versa? The answer is that it all depends on your personal preferences! If you want a richer flavor, go for pork belly. If you prefer something saltier, bacon is your best bet. Either way, you can’t go wrong! Try both and see for yourself!

Happy Cooking!

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