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Fresh Bacon
updated: Feb 19, 2014, 4:26 PM

A subscriber wants to know who sells the best high quality, fresh bacon in town.


Places People Are Talking About:

Domingos CafeEuropean Deli MarketFresh Market
Gelson'sLazy AcresShalhoobs
Whole Foods

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 496179P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 04:41 PM

Shalhoobs

 

 COMMENT 496180P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 04:41 PM

Is that a euphemism for something else, or for real bacon?

 

 MESARATS agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 04:52 PM

It's a matter of taste, but my favorite is the Black Forrest at Whole Foods. That is assuming you are talking about real cured bacon and not fresh pork belly or side.

 

 COMMENT 496189 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 05:07 PM

Shalhoobs on Gray Ave..great prices and you can get any cut you want. Just ask!

 

 COMMENT 496197 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 05:29 PM

European Deli Market Modoc @ Hollister.

Outstanding selection of European and eastern European cured and incurred bacon (oink, oink) most of which is unavailable else in th greater Santa Barbara area.

 

 COMMENT 496204 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 05:49 PM

Domingos cafe!!!! In goleta.

 

 COMMENT 496207 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 05:56 PM

I thought Whole Foods bacon sucked!

 

 D8VANILLA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 05:59 PM

I love the Albertson's extra thick bacon that you buy by the pound at the counter. Then, dredge the bacon slices in Wondra Flour and fry. Careful not to overcook it.

 

 COMMENT 496223 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 07:07 PM

The Fresh Market

 

 COMMENT 496234 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 07:50 PM

Costco.

 

 4358ED agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:34 PM

I second the European Deli on Hollister (where Hollister becomes State). Nice meat selection. The very eclectic sausage and salami selection keeps us coming back.

 

 COMMENT 496249 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 08:55 PM

Whole Foods bacon does suck, I agree.. I like Beeler's pepper bacon . They used to sell it at Lazy Acres, now you can only get it at Lassen's. Its the kind where you know who the pig was first..small co. As if that justifies it. The grease sits on the counter in a ramekin and I sauté with it. Religion for us bacon lovers

 

 COMMENT 496270P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 11:39 PM

Anyone in town sell Nueske's bacon? From what I've heard, might be worth a mail order. Years ago, I ordered jowl and smoked pork scraps and/or bacon end cuts from Burgers. It was inexpensive (then) and VERY good. Probably had special Nov-Dec. shipping rates. (BTW, gunciale is made from jowl.)
http://www.smokehouse.com/burgers.nsf/mcategory/Bacon

 

 COMMENT 496271P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-19 11:42 PM

I'm sure you can find Niman Ranch bacon in many stores, from Trader Joe's to Whole Paycheck, and maybe some regular grocery stores. At least it's not Farmer John's or Oscar Meyer. Sorry to go off topic. I don't have a direct taste review.

 

 ABERMANT agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 06:33 AM

Nueske's bacon is sold at Gelson's. It is outstanding bacon. Also, try ordering Mahogany Smokehouse on the internet - awesome smoked bacon from Bishop, CA. Better yet, stop by their shop on your way to Mammoth. They have totally awesome homemade jerky's - best in the West. Meanwhile, my son and I (when he returns from college) will have to try the other suggestions. We love bacon!

 

 COMMENT 496282 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 06:40 AM

Nueske's applewood smoked bacon is available at Gelson's. Call meat dept first to make sure they have it in stock!

 

 COMMENT 496285 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 06:46 AM

D8VANILLA has it right--the Albertson's thick-slice bacon that you buy by the pound at the butcher case. Best bacon in the world!

 

 COMMENT 496290 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:22 AM

Shalhoob doesn't cut their own meat anymore, and hasnt for years. They're basically now just a middleman, not a butcher sadly.

 

 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:28 AM

Golly, I just figured bacon is bacon: Farmer John or Oscar Mayer. Guess I need enlightening.

 

 COMMENT 496297 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:37 AM

There is no doubt about it the best bacon available in Santa Barbara is Neuske's Applewood Smoked Bacon, typically available at Gelson's from the butcher counter and also available pre-packaged.

The best bacon in California though comes from Mahogany Smoked Meats aka Meadow Farms Smokehouse in Bishop, CA. You can also mail order from them for a reasonable price considering the excellent quality.

 

 COMMENT 496304 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:48 AM

All of the major supermarkets have "fresh" bacon at their meat counter. Always a much better quality than packaged bacon. But "fresh" is a misnomer when it comes to bacon. All bacon is cured in some fashion...some more natural than others. Unless you know a farmer who slaughters his own pigs and can cut you up a pork belly, you cannot buy truly "fresh" bacon.

 

 COMMENT 496306 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 07:53 AM

Farmers' market downtown on Saturdays. Several stands carry it off and on. This is the one of the few places I'll buy it.

Shalhoob's is good too.But I am seldom anywhere that sells it

If I'm lazy, I'll microwave it. A minute per slice plus an extra minute works for my microwave. Paper towels absorb the grease while its cooking. Or else slow cook it to crisp and carmalized in a saute pan. Use the grease to saute collard greens.

 

 COMMENT 496318 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 08:13 AM

Second for Fresh Market. Get it from their butcher case. Reasonable price per pound, incredible flavor.

 

 COMMENT 496342 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 09:01 AM

Great thread. Can't wait to try some of these suggestions. But MICROWAVING bacon?!!! Sacrilege!

 

 COMMENT 496395 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 10:34 AM

I second 6297... Mahogany Smoked Meats in Bishop!!!! Friendly folks, and amazing products. Get on their mailing list. They often have specials. Mail order is fast and reasonably priced.

 

 COMMENT 496426P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 11:29 AM

In Santa Maria on West Main kitty corner from Von's, The Butcher Block sells bacon, not sure what brand but it looks mighty nice. Owned by a fellow who was a meat wholesaler for decades. He can get you almost anything specialty that you want. I'm getting a brisket and corning it myself. (Almost that time, you corned beef lovers!)

 

 COMMENT 496507 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 01:53 PM

342 - I like my bacon barely cooked (I only consume it this way in private out of respect for others) and the microwave is the way to go. TJ's Applewood Bacon is good as is Farmer John's thick cut. I only buy it in vacuum sealed packages on account of the way I like it - gots to be safe with the piggy candy.

 

 COMMENT 496512 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 01:59 PM

Bacon lover here. The BEST (and I've tried them all) way to cook bacon is on a sheet pan in the oven. Evenly, perfectly cooked and less curl. You can get that ultimate crisp yet chewy texture that us true bacon lovers enjoy. An extra crisp or extra chewy lover? Just adjust your cooking time. Bonus is you can cook a lot more a time if you are feeding a crowd or if you view a pack of bacon as a single serving!

 

 COMMENT 496527 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 02:27 PM

Nitrite Free Bacon at Lazy Acres has alway been our choice, we try others and keep going back, it's very nice, you pick what you want.

 

 SHORELINER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 03:36 PM

512....Do you use a rack as well or just place the bacon directly on the sheet pan?

 

 COMMENT 496553 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 03:38 PM

Vons in Santa Maria is on East Main Never heard of butcher block store--google says 700 East Main.

 

 COMMENT 496567P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 04:07 PM

Yes to the baked bacon!! I use a rack.

-Cooking Fido

 

 COMMENT 496595 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 04:56 PM

Baked bacon will never taste as good as pan fried. You might as well microwave it if you are too lazy to cook it the right way. And if you insist on baking your bacon you get the added fun of having to clean your oven 10 times as often.

 

 COMMENT 496597 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 04:57 PM

Directly on a foiled or parchment covered sheet pan, no need for a rack. Flip half way through, if you forget still not a big deal.

 

 COMMENT 496603 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 05:06 PM

Bacon lover and bacon expert here. As far as the naysayers on the oven method I have used this for years and was a naysayer at first as well: in a blind taste test the oven method was found to be superior as far as flavor and texture. Mess wise is a myth too, as long as you don't have you oven cranking at broil the splatter is minimal to non existent, you want to go with 325-400 temps. Bacon in a pan splatters all over your stove and counter tops most often so you end up with more clean up and less perfectly cooked bacon. Sure there is always some clean up, but oven method is cleaner.

 

 COMMENT 496609P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-20 05:17 PM

Thick sliced bacon, cooked in an old pan in the oven (no rack), grease saved for later use. Perfectly cooked. You can cook lots. I love nitrate free bacon, but can't afford the price, so settle for whatever reasonable quality thick sliced is on sale at the grocery store...

 

 COMMENT 496682P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 03:40 AM

My pork & pork fat love musings -

I don't cook bacon at home anymore, don't want to clean the splatter and I'm not crazed about it like I was long ago. I have a hard time eating all 4 slices at breakfast with eggs & hash browns. But I like it a lot and want to try Nueske's. Years ago I loved those cheap boxes of bacon ends and scraps! And I remember my first personal experience cooking it, it was not in my family's house (mom was clean and objected to heavy cooking smells unless she made them) but at my boyfriend's. A friend and I did fry up an entire package and promptly consumed it. so frigging good.

Keeping bacon in the freezer is great; you can chop cubes for small servings or an ingredient. It takes very little warm up time to peel the slices off. Best way, I think better than splatter guard for containment, is to render it in a deep pot, like a stock pot, before starting a bean or pea soup or greens.

I often cook pork low & slow (not bbq/wood or smoke), sometimes in an oven bag (no clean up, I'm really lazy), keep the juices of course then brown the roast or individual slices. Cut off skin/rind cap and bake that separately to crispy delight. Fatty cuts, picnic, butt, no loin. bake potatoes and roast carrots, onions, parsnips, whatever with the pork. (I do them on the side or on a base of foil or something; can always baste) reheat meat with jus. If you have any leftover add it and the pork bone to a stock/soup.

Authentic, meaty, fatty, crunchy chicharrones? crazy about them! Mayo's on upper De la Vina near Alamar sells them fresh every day; they keep them in a hot box. Guess that's taken bacon's place in my heart.

 

 COMMENT 496683P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-21 03:49 AM

About the "right way" to cook and eat anything? About people's sensory and sensual pleasures?

De gustibus non est disputandum

It's a guiding light of my life.

(translation for the lazy: "In matters of taste, there can be no disputes")

 

 

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