Cured vs Uncut Bacon: What’s the Difference?
There are two types of bacon available in stores today; cured and uncut. Both types have their pros and cons. Which one you choose depends on your personal preference, taste preferences, health concerns, cost considerations, and many other factors. The main difference between these two kinds of bacon is that the latter is dried out before it gets to store shelves (usually overnight) while the former is not dried at all. The curing process removes water from the meat prior to packaging.
The benefits of cured meats include higher quality, less expensive meats with fewer additives and preservatives than those made from fresh cuts of meat. These advantages include better flavor, color, texture and shelf life. However, there are some drawbacks associated with cured meats such as increased fat content and saltiness.
Some people do not like the salty taste or believe they may become sensitive to them later in life.
Uncured meats, on the other hand, are typically made from fresh cuts of meat. They tend to be lower in fat and contain no added salt or preservatives. There are several reasons why people prefer uncured meats over cured ones.
One reason is that uncured meats don’t require any additional processing after they’re packaged so there’s less chance of cross contamination. They also tend to be more appealing to those who are health conscious and are trying to avoid excess salt and fat in their diet. There can be some drawbacks however, such as a shorter shelf life, a higher price point, and a less developed flavor profile.
It’s important to remember that not all uncured meats are good for you, some of the ones you find in the supermarket are still loaded with fat and sodium even if they aren’t cured. It’s important to always read the nutrition facts when buying uncured meats.
What Does Cured Meat Taste Like?
Cured meat has a much stronger taste than uncured meats. The curing process causes the meat to retain more of its original texture and fat content which results in a stronger flavor. Cured meat also tends to be much saltier than uncured, but this is not always the case. The level of fat and salt in any given piece of cured meat can vary as the process has no direct correlation to these factors. More fat in the meat will result in a saltier flavor, but it’s more dependent on the producer than the process.
What Does Uncured Meat Taste Like?
Uncured meats tend to have a milder taste than their cured counterparts. The lack of additional processing and additives leave the meat with a more natural flavor. It also tends to be lower in fat and sodium, but this not always the case as some uncured meat may be just as unhealthy as their cured cousins.
Which Type Should You Buy?
It really depends on your personal taste preferences and nutritional needs. There is no “better” option than the other as it’s mainly a matter of opinion. If you like the taste of uncured meat better and you’re watching your sodium intake then it’s probably a better choice for you. However, if you like the taste of cured meats better and aren’t as concerned about fat and sodium then cured meat is probably a better option for you.
Have you ever tried uncured meats? Do you have a preference between cured and uncured meats?
Let us know below!
Sources & references used in this article:
A comparison of the volatile fractions from cured and uncured meat by CK Cross, P Ziegler – Journal of Food Science, 1965 – Wiley Online Library
Volatile components of cured and uncured pork: the role of nitrite and the formation of nitrogen compounds by DS Mottram, SE Croft… – … of the Science of Food and …, 1984 – Wiley Online Library
Effects of feed treatment and gender on the flavour and texture profiles of cured and uncured pork cuts. I. Ractopamine treatment and dietary protein level by LE Jeremiah, RO Ball, JK Merrill, P Dick, L Stobbs… – Meat science, 1994 – Elsevier
Carbonyls in Oxidizing Fat. 11. The Effect of the Pro‐oxidant Activity of Sodium Chloride on Pork Tissue by R Ellis, GT Currie, FE Thornton… – Journal of Food …, 1968 – Wiley Online Library
Role of nitrite in cured meat flavor: a review by JI Gray, B MacDonald, AM Pearson… – Journal of Food …, 1981 – meridian.allenpress.com