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So, I love turkey bacon, and have it a lot; however, I always feel that i'm eating a mush processed meat.

  • Are there any meat cut alternatives to pork bacon from other animals?
  • Has anyone tried to make "processed bacon" at home?
  • Now in England, I've had Beef bacon. In retrospect I should've asked what cut of meat it was
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edited to add "substitutions" tag –  stephennmcdonald Aug 13 '10 at 16:19
    
what's wrong with bacon? is it the coming-from-a-pig part? –  Ocaasi Aug 13 '10 at 16:49
    
@Ocaasi - The lovely GF is on a diet, so we both eat turkey bacon now. –  dassouki Aug 13 '10 at 17:26
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That's tough. Girlfriend. Bacon. Girlfriend. Bacon... Bacon! What about 'lean' pork bacon? On a personal and deceptive note, I've found that girls on a diet will be absolutely content eating food slathered in in butter so long as they don't know it's in there. Get her the real bacon. Tell her it's bison or somesuch. See how she feels the next day. Tell her it was real. Duck. Run. Ask her if she still wants to diet once you're no longer in striking distance. –  Ocaasi Aug 13 '10 at 18:23
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I helped my wife diet before our wedding, and we learned the key was moderation. Not to imply that I know what's best for you guys by any means, but as long as your lifestyle is healthy and you're tracking everything, there's no reason you can't have real bacon for Sunday breakfast, for example. That's why plans like Weight Watchers can allow you to "eat anything" and still work great - because you're tracking your overall eating plan, not just focusing on "this is good, this is bad". Too much water can kill you. It's about striking a balance. Just some ammo in case you need it :) –  stephennmcdonald Aug 13 '10 at 19:32

5 Answers 5

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The problem is, few animals have anywhere near the fat content of pork. Bacon is actually leaner than some other cuts from the pig (Mmmmmm, fatback...Had fried fatback once, true story.)

So to get a cut of meat with as much fat as bacon? Pretty much impossible. But bacon is also about smoky flavor, and delicious nitrates (and gas phase polycyclic aromatics, the best carcinogen on the planet). There is duck bacon, lamb bacon, beef bacon. There's probably veal bacon, but that'd be pretty expensive.

Most people recommend lamb bacon, if you can't handle pork, but the beef bacon is probably easier to find in the US.

Edit:

Behold fried fatback! Fatback Sammich

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fried fatback?! i...must...try...this... –  stephennmcdonald Aug 13 '10 at 15:24
    
my arteries are clogging just from looking at the picture. –  sdg Aug 13 '10 at 18:36
    
@sdg: yeah, but it looks awesome! –  Michael Itzoe Aug 14 '10 at 0:29

From what I understand, for beef bacon you want a belly cut of meat, close to the flank or the skirt, most often I've heard of skirt (aka plate) being used. Some people recommend brisket. Here is a chart of cuts of beef, you can see that pretty much anything from the underbelly is recommended.

The basic rule is, the fattier the cut of meat the better. Here is another chart showing the actual cuts, you can see that the brisket, skirt and flank are marbled with fat significantly compared to other cuts. You'll never reach the same level of fat as pork, but if you properly cure and smoke it, you should be able to get something suitable.

You may want to research Halal stores in your area and stop in one of them, they'll probably have some good info (and a nice selection) for you.

I have not made bacon at home, sadly, though this is something I hope to remedy in the near future.

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I don't know about bacon, but Cooking Light magazine published a recipe for Duck Proscuttio. I wonder if you could make bacon with duck, since it is much fattier than turkey or chicken.

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And the answer is yes! Duck bacon. And an interesting recipe from Gourmet. –  Martha F. Aug 13 '10 at 17:22

Could you just have my-bacon and your-bacon? Bacon freezes well, so if using it up before it goes bad is a problem that could be an option. We don't eat a lot of bacon, so we roll the pieces individually and then freeze them. I have tried turkey bacon as well, and decided that I'd rather just eat less bacon than try to substitute it out.

There is also Baconaise and Bacon Salt products that you can get online. The Baconaise is really good, I have not tried bacon salt but have heard a lot of good things about it.

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I own and have tried every flavor of bacon salt :) Flavors include hickory, jalapeno, cheddar...there's 9 total, I believe. It's vegetarian, kosher, the nutritional info only has sodium above 0. The ingredients list is a little long, and it has MSG, but it is a great thing to have on hand to add some smoky bacon flavor to a dish. A lot of my vegetarian friends swear by it. Definitely a cool way to add some depth, easily, to a dish such as scrambled eggs. I use it to crust my grilled cheese, too. It was definitely very helpful in helping my wife keep her pre-wedding diet interesting :) –  stephennmcdonald Aug 13 '10 at 22:12

There are also soy alternatives, but the flavor and texture is not as good. I enjoy both beef fry (as the beef alternative is called here) as well as turkey bacon, depending on the application as they have different flavors and textures.

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