Trader Joe's Bacon
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I'd prefer to get a premium product with less chemicals and sugar, but, it's expensive and not generally offered in supermarkets. That's why I like TJ's bacon--one type, minimal chemicals. I can only by TJ's bacon in their stores. I have to travel a bit to get there, so, when I can't get their bacon, I don't bother buying bacon in the supermarkets. I think supermarket brand bacon, even Oscar Meyer, can be yucky, so no, my regular grocer does not stock the good stuff. If you're cooking strips of bacon on the stovetop in a pan, I say cook it on a very low heat. Once the pan warms up, the cooking goes quickly. Low heat prevents some of the splatter and allows you to control the crispness without burning those lovely bacon strips.
Uncured, dry rubbed, thick sliced. It's always available when I want to purchase it. Fried on the stove top. Cast iron or ceramic finish; flip 1/2 way, not too crisp. I like it tender! I do not buy it often, as I believe it is healthier AND less expensive to eat non-processed meats (i.e. a pork or wild boar chop instead of bacon). Bacon is a treat purchased maybe 6 times per year. Bacon has to have the quality & offer a robust smoky or peppered or apple wood taste & not taste too much like pig; otherwise, I'd just stick with an unprocessed pork chop or pork roast.
Too much marbling is a deal breaker, AND the BIGGEST deal breaker of all is ANY product that comes from a Chinese owned company. I'm keeping my eye on this since Smithfield Foods sold to a Chinese owned company. In fact, since Trader Joe's does not list source or origin, I may have to start purchasing elsewhere. I have a strong preference for purchasing foods grown or raised locally or at least within the U.S., with a few exceptions for some European, New Zealand, or Australian products.
My uncured turkey bacon simply tastes great and a single slice goes a long way. If need be I simply go to the customer service desk and put in a written request for a product replenishment and while waiting experiment with another of like kind [turkey only] and quality if available realizing that marketers must meet demand or the product may be discontinued. So having a backup is something I've learned to do. Using a non-stick or cast iron pan, I simply line up the strips after cutting them in half width-wise so that there is even cooking all over. I use a med. flame and no additional seasonings.
Applewood smoked, uncured - it's the best bacon on the planet. Since Trader Joe's brand is my favorite, they always have it... BUT I have a minimum drive of 3 hours to get to the closest Trader Joes. Microwave at lower than full power, turning bacon tray often and taking lid off and knocking the steam off every couple of minutes. More than anything, I would like organic, PASTURE RAISED, FREE RANGE, certified humanely raised bacon. It's almost impossible to find, and when I can it's over $16.00 a lb. I quit buying bacon at all until I found Trader Joe's... but it still doesn't meet those desired qualifications.
Smoked or peppered - I like the flavor. I have no problems with getting the bacon I like. It is regularly stocked at the stores that I go to. In fact they have a wide selection of choices.Preferably non stick pan. But if not I will lightly oil the bottom of the pan before putting in the oven at 350 degrees to bake.
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I like the smoked because I am an old guy and smoked is the way all bacon was back before WW II. That is how you cured and kept it without refrigeration. Trader Joe's is good that way if it is popular then they continue to carry it and if they run out by the next day they have it on the shelf again. Fried on the stove top. I prefer it not crispy unless I am using it crumbled on one recipe or another. If it is good bacon it does not need anything other than cooking. I like it leaner than most bacon is. If the brand I prefer gets too fatty then I would switch to another as long as it has the taste I prefer. Trader Joes cured with no nitrates has a great smokey taste obtained using natural ingredients. The cuts are always nice and lean off of the center loin. TJ's doesn't trick you like most bacon packaging where they will have a lean slice on the outside and fatty slices in the middle.
Peppered is the best, allows for a crispy finished product and to reduce my guilt for eating bacon I always buy nitrate free and 40% less fat. I've bought Trader Joe's bacon for years and never have not found it at their stores. It freezes very well if you want to buy more than one package. Baked in the oven. When baking bacon, use a rack to allow 90% of the fat to drip off. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes for crispy bacon. The 30 minutes gives you time to prepare the rest of the meal and you don't have to turn the pieces if it's on a rack.
I consider bacon a treat and don't eat it very often but will not buy it if it's too fatty. I love it so much, I probably wouldn't stop buying it until the price was the same as steak. The toppings that make bacon a special sandwich are one home grown over easy egg, homegrown sprouts, thin slices of onion, avocado with a tad of mayo and bakery bread or if you're totally a foodie, homemade dilly bread. You will not be hungry until the next meal. I usually put 6 slices on this sandwich. If the bacon finishes before you are ready, turn off the oven, roll the bacon in paper towels and put back in the oven. Because the oven is off, the paper will not catch fire and will be nice and hot when you put the entire sandwich together.
Hickory smoked that we add diced jalapeno peppers to skillet while cooking the bacon after caramelized red onions have been reduced. Always stocked since it's a store brand. Trader Joe's isn't always open so Randalls also has high quality store brand that's used occasionally. Fried on the stove top. But we only use home cured cast iron skillets for home cooking. Inconsistent quality has never been an issue but should that occur sure we'd use other brands. Natural Grocers, Whole Foods. We like Trader Joe's. It's a convenient location. They stock what's needed.
I like Trader Joe's turkey bacon, either plain or peppered style. Most importantly, it is nitrite free and tastes great! It really depends on the mood I'm in as to whether I choose either one. Trader Joe's regularly stocks their brand of turkey bacon and it is rarely, if ever out of stock when I shop there. They also carry other types of bacon but I'm only interested in turkey bacon. Use a flat, nonstick pan, turn frequently to prevent sticking. Drain well on paper towels and eat while piping hot! Delicious! It would have to be prohibitively expensive for me to forgo the treat. So far, Trader Joe's has kept the price increase minimal over the several years I've been purchasing their bacon.
When I discovered Trader Joe's had nitrite free turkey bacon at a very reasonable cost (less that in grocery stores for their nitrite laden brands) I was sold! And it tastes great, comes in 2 flavors, plain and peppered, and is probably way less than any kind of bacon sold in Whole Foods (which I will have to check out to compare). A definite win for TJ's!
Trader Joe's Bacon Company Information
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- Trader Joe's Bacon