Our Best Smoky, Sizzling Bacon Recipes
Most bacon results from a mix of brining, wet- or dry-curing and some form of smoking. Different twists on this process alter the taste.
Pancetta This Italian bacon (left), used to flavor sauces and pasta dishes, is cured but not smoked.
Dry-cured bacon Because it contains less water, this type shrinks less during cooking and produces less popping grease in the skillet.
Flavored bacon Maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, pepper and more complement bacon's saltiness. Smoking with woods such as apple or hickory creates subtle distinctions, too. But take note of labels promising things such as "hickory flavor." This isn't true smoked bacon.
Canadian bacon A smoked meat more like ham than American bacon, it also produces less cooking shrinkage, resulting in more servings per pound.
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® January/February 2009.)