Is Bacon Pork Or Beef? Sources, Types & Differences

Across cultures, religious beliefs, and dietary restrictions, some meats are acceptable and some aren’t. Seeing that meats have different labels, you may not always know the source unless you ask.

In this article, the source of bacon is the focus. Is bacon pork or beef? Pork is meat from pigs while beef is meat from cows. And pork is forbidden for some people.

Traditionally, bacon is made from pork and not beef. Bacon is mostly made from the belly, back, or sides of a pig. Some types of bacon are made from the meat of other animals.

If you want to learn more about bacon, you should read this article.

What is bacon?

Bacon is simply pork meat obtained from either the belly, back, or sides of a pig that has been cured. It is a popular choice in most American homes because it is delicious, easy to cook, and pairs easily with various dishes.

In the United States, most bacon is made from the belly of a pig. Whereas in the United Kingdom, bacon is made from the back of a pig and is often called Canadian bacon, Irish bacon, or rasher.

The taste of bacon is best described as salty, fatty, sweet, and sometimes smoky. But, the taste varies with the breed of pig, the pig feed, the curing process, and the preparation method.

Bacon can be eaten raw or can be cooked further into soups. It can also be incorporated into dishes such as; hamburgers, eggs, sandwiches, salads, and even maple bacon ice cream.

Is bacon made of pork or beef?

The variety of bacon in the United States is pork, not beef. That being said, you should also know that other types of bacon use meat from other animals and they are categorized by the cut or the animal used.

For example, if beef is used in making bacon, it is termed beef bacon. On the other hand, if a turkey is used for the bacon, then it is termed turkey bacon.

How is bacon made?

So, how and what exactly goes into making bacon? Well, bacon can be made in two ways, dry-curing or wet-curing.


In this method, the raw pork or bacon is seasoned with salt and other ingredients to add flavor. Then, the meat is cured for one or two weeks. In some cases, sugar is added before it is cured.

Afterward, the meat is rinsed and allowed to dry off before smoking. Smoking is done at low heat to preserve it while also enhancing the flavor used without cooking it.

The various types of wood chips used in the smoker are of different flavors. These flavors greatly contribute to the overall flavor of the bacon. These wood chips include hickory, cherry, applewood, etc.

However, you can make bacon without smoking the meat. The meat can be hung to dry for weeks or even months to reduce the cost of smoking.


The majority of bacon in the United States is wet-cured, and this is because it is less time-consuming than dry-curing.

The ingredients used for wet-curing include salt, water, sodium nitrate, and other seasonings mixed in the brine.

The bacon could either be soaked in the brine or brine could be injected into the bacon. The soaking is known as immersion, and the injection is known as the injection method.

After it is wet cured, it is also smoked for enhanced flavor and preservation, just like the dry-cured bacon. But wet-cured bacon is often preferred because it contains more moisture.

What are the various types of bacon?

Now, I guess you are wondering what differentiates the various varieties of bacon you see at the grocery store. Aside from being wet-cured or dry-cured, there are still different varieties of bacon.

Below are some of the different types of bacon you may find in grocery stores:

1. Slab bacon

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While we all know that bacon is mostly sliced thin, slab bacon comes in a thicker cut. People tend to go for this brand if they require larger cuts of bacon for their dishes.

2. Double-smoked bacon

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Imagine the rich taste or flavor you get from regular bacon, now think of it doubled. Double-smoked bacon is typically smoked twice in other to boost its flavor and make it last longer.

3. Uncured bacon

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Uncured bacon doesn’t mean it is not cured but rather follows a different process. It is cured using natural nitrates rather than synthetically sourced nitrites.

4. Canadian bacon

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Canadian bacon is mostly consumed because it contains less fat than regular bacon. It is likened to ham because it looks more like ham slices than bacon; however, it is made from a pork loin or back.

5. Turkey bacon

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Turkey bacon is made of turkey, and it is a ploy to make less fatty bacon. Mostly lean cuts like the turkey breast are used, making it one of the healthiest varieties of bacon you can find.

6. Beef bacon

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Beef bacon is bacon made from the meat of a cow, particularly the navel or the belly of the cow. This is because it has a large amount of fat which is needed for making bacon tasty.

Differences between pork and beef bacon

1. Cost

In terms of cost, regular bacon is considered more affordable than beef bacon. This is because beef bacon is lean meat and contains more nutrients than regular bacon.

Also, beef is generally more expensive than pork. It is only fair that it reflects on the price of the bacon as well.

2. Taste

Taste is another way of differentiating between these two varieties. While regular bacon has a sweet and smoky taste, beef bacon has a stronger taste that is likened to that of beef jerky.


Is regular bacon healthier than beef bacon?

No, it is not. Beef bacon is a healthier option than regular bacon because it contains less fat, calories, and sodium.

Are all bacon pork?

No, they are not. There is a variety of bacon that is made of beef or turkey. However, pork is the traditional meat used for bacon.

How many calories are in a slice of bacon?

According to the US Department of Agriculture, a slice of bacon contains 38.7 calories.

Is bacon healthy?

If taken in moderate proportion, bacon is a healthy dish to incorporate into your diet.

Why do you feel sick after eating bacon?

It may be because you are allergic or your bacon is overcooked. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that any individual may experience bacon allergies at any stage.


Most of the bacon in the United States is made of pork belly, sides, or back. However, there are brands of bacon made of beef or turkey, but they are denoted by their specific names.

Bacon made with beef is called beef bacon, while bacon made with turkey is called turkey bacon. You can see the ways to differentiate them in this article.

Heard of spam? Ever tried it? Explore its taste profile before you give it a try.

Thanks for reading.