You've spotted it at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and possibly even at your local butcher shop. Here's what you need to know about beef bacon.
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If you love to add bacon to just about everything you're eating, then it's time to give beef bacon a try. "If bacon is on the menu in the restaurant, it's coming from a cow," said Marc Zimmerman, who owns GOZU in San Francisco and is a co-founder of A-Five Meats. Made from beef belly, the navel, for you industry folks, beef bacon is salty, beefy goodness. It's the trend we've all been waiting for, and it'll upgrade everything from your morning bacon, egg, and toast cups and your lunch salad or sandwich to those Brussels sprouts everyone knows they should be eating.

uncooked beef bacon on a board with other breakfast foods
Credit: Courtesy of Rastelli's

What Exactly Is Beef Bacon?

Beef bacon is exactly what it sounds: It's bacon made from beef instead of pork. Pork bacon is simply cured, smoked, and sliced pork belly. Similarly, beef bacon is made by curing, drying, smoking, and then thinly slicing beef belly. "The wagyu bacon tastes great, is versatile, and utilizes fattier cuts closer to the belly of the cow," Zimmerman said. It's also Kosher and Halal when prepared as such.

"We started selling a beef bacon product because there was a large demand for it throughout the Middle East region and we wanted to be able to bring the taste of American quality bacon to households there," said Anthony Rastelli, vice president of Rastelli Foods Group's Global Division, a company that has been selling beef bacon throughout the Middle East since the early 2000s. "It was important that we could give customers a product that they were able to enjoy, while still following Islamic law and dietary restrictions."

What Does Beef Bacon Taste Like?

Depending on your age and what you ate as a kid, taking a bite of beef bacon might take you back to childhood. Up until 1990, McDonald's cooked its French fries in a mix of beef tallow and cottonseed oil. Beef bacon is salty, beefy, and a bit heavier than pork bacon.

How to Cook with Beef Bacon

You'll use your beef bacon in the exact same ways you would use pork bacon. It's an easy one-to-one swap. "The best part about beef bacon is that our recommended cooking method is the exact same as with traditional pork bacon. Simply pan fry until crispy and enjoy! You can also broil it if you'd prefer," said Rastelli.

Where to Find Beef Bacon

It's often available at major supermarkets and retail stores including Walmart (from $5.98, walmart.com), Whole Foods (from $6.99, wholefoods.com), Trader Joe's, and Fresh Direct (from $14.99, freshdirect.com) among others. If you're lucky enough to have a local butcher you can also ask if they carry beef bacon or if they can special order it.

And if you want to experiment even more with bacon, it's also possible to find lamb bacon and various plant-based bacons.

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