Canned Bacon—A Review of the Best Brands
It’s hard to get excited about most things you eat from a can. There is nothing exciting about a can of beans or corn unless you are starving in the midst of a natural disaster. There are a few things that come in cans we can get excited about besides the obvious stuff like blueberry pie filling. If you want to get passionate about canned food, canned bacon is the food you are seeking.
That's right; you can get canned bacon in a variety of styles from crispy fried to regular smoked bacon. We're sure you are excited as we were at this point. In the spirit of sharing, we found the best brands of canned bacon for you. Honestly, choosing great canned bacon is harder than you think. The list needs to be fair and not just a list declaring all bacon is incredible.
How We Choose Our Products
We looked at all the things you need to make a tremendous canned product from bacon and maintain the bacon in a way that remains familiar to most people. The problems arose when we asked people how they liked their bacon.
Some people like their bacon crispy while some preferred their bacon softer. To combat this issue, we opted to include bacon in its crispy and not so crispy forms. However, most of the canned bacon that got good customer comments is crispy bacon.
Beyond the style, we chose each brand based on customer comments, availability, and shelf life. Shelf life is crucial for us because we need this bacon to last for a long time in storage. Canned bacon that isn't available to most people won't help you out in an emergency.
Customer comments help us find out how a more extensive range of people feels about the bacon. It also gives us some insight into whether or not the bacon holds up in storage and tastes good.
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Yoders tops our list because it meets all the requirements for great canned bacon. The bacon is canned ready to eat. It tastes like bacon is supposed to taste plus it comes in crispy strips. You get about fifty slices per can for $$ on Amazon. Preparing the bacon is fast and straightforward, just open the can and warm it up.
Canning fatty foods and a long shelf life do not go hand in hand. Yoders somehow defeated this principle and created canned bacon with a ten-year shelf life. The bacon they use is pre-cooked and heat pasteurized, and it's 100% bacon. Honestly, we’re big fans of anything bacon related and getting it in a can for emergencies is just fantastic.
Anything we store for use in a survival or emergency situation must last for years, even decades. It's essential that foods taste good also. What's the point in surviving is the food is terrible, right? Yoder's canned bacon tastes like bacon is supposed to taste. Some pre-cooked bacon products taste like bacon flavored grease, but this bacon tastes like you just fried fresh bacon.
As we mentioned above, preparing the bacon is simple and not messy like regular bacon prep. Remove the bacon from the can, place it on or near your heat source then eat it. You can microwave it, if the situation allows for microwave use, on a paper towel. Any heat source will work from a lighter to a homemade solar collector using tin foil.
Customer comments about Yoders are positive overall. Many customers claimed they bought a can to test it out and wound up ordering more because the bacon was delicious. The only complaint we found was about the sodium levels, but bacon should be salty in our opinion. You get those fifty slices of bacon and a ten-year shelf life in one can. That wins the top spot on our list of canned bacon.
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The second spot on our list goes to CMMG’s Tactical Bacon. You get nine ounces of ready to eat bacon with a ten-year shelf life. Just warm it up and enjoy; no apocalypse necessary. Nine ounces of bacon is about fifty slices of bacon, and you can order a can from Amazon for $$. There isn't much difference between these two canned kinds of bacon on our list except the price.
Like Yoders, CMMG found a way to make canned bacon last a long time sitting on a shelf. According to customers, the bacon held its flavor up to three years on a shelf. We couldn't find any customer comments about more extended periods of time on a shelf, but three years is a decent shelf life for canned meat. We still recommend rotating your stock every couple of years to be safe.
Customers like CMMG’s bacon overall. Like other canned bacon, the chief complaint was about sodium. We couldn’t find any negative comments about the flavor or shelf life. Customers that ate the bacon initially ordered it for long-term storage for emergency use but found it hard to leave it for long. We suggest ordering a case for long-term use and one for your kitchen.
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This product comes in a loaf like other SPAM products, but it’s made from pork with real ham, bacon, and bacon fat added in for flavor. SPAM bacon is ready to eat hot or cold, and it has a shelf life of two years. You can order it from Amazon for $ per twelve ounces. If you haven’t tried SPAM, this is the one to try.
Customers that tried SPAM bacon enjoyed the flavor. A few complained about the sodium content, but this seems to be a trend with canned bacon and pre-cooked bacon products. Most customers recommend adding it to scrambled eggs or fried potatoes, while some say it’s delicious straight from the can. Overall, customer comments about SPAM bacon are positive.
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Similar to the SPAM Bacon, this comes in a loaf also. It’s made from real pork and bacon, so it qualifies as canned bacon. You can order six cans from Amazon for $$. The instructions on the can recommend frying, grilling, or eat it straight from the can. You can store it for up to two years in a cool, dark storage area.
This product got the same negative reviews the other canned bacon products got, it is salty. Other than the saltiness, customers enjoyed the meat. Customers recommend frying it or using it in a sandwich, but they also say it’s tasty right out of the can. Except for the salty taste, customers didn’t have any negative things to say about this product.
Buyer’s Guide and How to Make Your Own Canned Bacon
If you have the room or your survival camp is a bunker or otherwise stationary, there's no reason not to keep comfort food like bacon on hand. Electricity isn't guaranteed, and generators eat up precious fuel reserves, so canning your food is the best option for reliable stores. Let's look at the easiest method to can bacon at home and skip the middleman.
Prepping and Canning the Bacon
Cut two strips of parchment paper into pieces that are about two feet long and a foot tall. Some methods recommend using wax paper or butcher paper, but parchment works better than waxed papers for storing meat in jars. Temperature fluctuations cause the butcher and wax papers to break down or release their coating into the mix. However, butcher or wax paper will work in a pinch.
Place the paper flat on a clean surface and line it with bacon. Keep the bacon pieces close to each other, but don’t pack them on very tight. It’s ok if the edges touch slightly. If the bacon is too thick or lumping together, it won’t cook well, and you run the risk of spoiling the entire jar. Leave an inch on each end of the paper along the long ends. It’s ok if the bacon is about an eighth of an inch taller than the paper.
Once the paper is lined with bacon, place the second piece of parchment paper over the bacon. Carefully fold the bacon and paper in half from top to bottom. Be careful and avoid letting the bacon slide or fold over the bacon next to it while you're folding it up.
If you have a yardstick or straight edge handy, place it across the center of the paper before you try to fold it. It will help hold the bacon in place and ensure you fold the paper correctly.
Remove the yardstick or straight edge, if you used one, and roll the paper and bacon from right to left. Roll the bacon and paper tightly, so it fits into your container. Your goal is getting about a pound of uncooked bacon in each canning jar. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it rolled up and packed into the jar correctly. It won't hurt the bacon to unroll and reroll it a few times.
Clean the rims of the jars and put the lids and bands on them. Pay close attention to the edge of each jar. They must be free of any grease or other contaminants. We mentioned using new jars to can your bacon but inspect the rims for cracks or chips anyway. Don’t add anything to the jars like water or oil before sealing them. The bacon fat will take care of the bacon.
Place the sealed jars in your canner and let it vent for about ten minutes while it heats up. Once the venting is done, your canner is ready to be sealed and left to do its job. Let it all process in the sealed canner for an hour and a half at about 10 PSI. When your ninety minutes are up, carefully vent the canner and remove the lid.
Leave your newly canned bacon on a counter or table to cool. Let them cool and settle for at least twelve hours before you handle them anymore. After the jars cool off, check them for damage and ensure they sealed adequately during processing. If you find any problems, you can change the jar, lids, or bands and reprocess any canned bacon you are worried about or think might be poorly sealed.
You can expect about a year on the shelf for your canned bacon. It will probably last longer, but we recommend rotating canned bacon jars once a year.
Fatty meat doesn't preserve well. If you find yourself eating canned bacon that's more than a year old, you'll get the protein from the bacon, but it's going to taste like bacon flavored lard. Rotating the jars is just a better option in the long run. You get to can more bacon and eat the old bacon, that's a win in our book.
Label each jar with a permanent marker. You’ll know when the bacon was canned, and you won’t accidentally rotate the wrong jars out a year from canning time. When you get ready to eat the bacon, just remove it from the jar and heat it up or fry it.
Like any canned product, pay attention to the seal and the contents of each jar when you open them. Don’t eat it if you have any doubts about the seal or the contents. Suffering through food poisoning is going to complicate any survival situation.
Our vote is for Yoder's canned bacon. Since the market is limited, there's no reason not to buy a can of both products and test them for yourself. If they don't appeal to your taste buds, make your own canned bacon using our simple guide.
Whether you buy a commercial product or create your own canned bacon, we think you'll appreciate this excellent comfort food. A little of it is a significant improvement to a diet of beans and protein bars.