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Best bacon

By Hannah Fox

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Find out which delicious, expert-approved bacon rashers you should be reaching for on your next trip to the supermarket.

Which bacon should you choose for your sandwich or English breakfast? To find out, we asked our panel of food experts to taste, rate and rank 10 premium bacon brands for the November 2017 edition of Which? magazine.

All the bacon brands we tested are available from stores near you including Aldi, Asda, The Co-Operative, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as Denhay bacon, which is available nationwide in many supermarkets.

In this article:

Best bacon 

Only logged in Which? members can view the rest of our results and tasting notes in the table below, plus the best way to cook and store bacon.

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the best bacon on test. To get instant access, join Which?.

 
Aldi - Specially Selected Dry-cured Unsmoked Back Bacon
 Aldi-Unsmoked-bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£1.79 for 220g (6 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Aldi's British bacon is traditionally hand cured, with the affordable supermarket chain promising a 'smoky, meaty flavour' with every bite.

But how did the cheapest bacon fare in our expert taste test? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Asda - Extra Special Thick Cut Dry-cured Unsmoked Back Bacon
 Asda-bacon-table Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2.43 for 240g (6 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Asda's bacon is one of the more affordable options that we tasted. Made from British pork and dry cured for 'a rich, intense flavour', this bacon is cut into thick slices.

See how our expert tasting panel scored Asda's bacon. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Co-Operative - Irresistible Dry-cured Unsmoked Back Bacon
 CoOp-Dry-Cured-Unsmoked-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2.99 for 230g (6 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

This bacon has a somewhat salty taste to it, with Co-op claiming that an 'irresistible' flavour sets it apart from other supermarket own-brand bacon.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Denhay - Unsmoked Dry-cure Back Bacon
 Denhay-Dry-Cured-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£3.09 for 200g (8 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

You'll get 8 rashers of bacon inside this Denhay packet. The food brand is confident that its unsmoked back bacon has just the right amount of fat for the perfect cook, so we turned to our expert tasting panel for their thoughts.

Find out whether or not this bacon deserves a spot on your plate. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Lidl - Deluxe Unsmoked Dry-cured Back Bacon
 Lidl-Deluxe-Unsmoked-Dry-Cured-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£1.79 for 220g (6 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

These bacon rashers from Lidl are extra trimmed and might be on your radar if you're shopping on a tight budget.

Hear from our expert tasting panel before you reach for your wallet. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

M&S - Wiltshere Cured Unsmoked Back Bacon
 Marks-&-Spencer-Unsmoked-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£3.20 for 240g (8 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Soaked in brine, this M&S bacon is one of the priciest packets we tested. But as our expert tests continue to prove, higher prices don't always guarantee better flavour.

Find out how this M&S bacon ranks in our list. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Morrisons - The Best Old Fashioned Dry Cured Back Bacon
 Morrisons-Cure-Back-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2.48 for 200g (6 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

This dry-cured, hand-rubbed bacon gets its flavour from Hampshire pork chosen for its tenderness. But will you be treated to a succulent sandwich?

Which? members have full access to our taste test scores. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Sainsbury's - Taste the Difference Unsmoked Dry Cured Back Bacon
 Sainsburys-Cry-Cured-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£3 for 220g (6 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Hand cured with sea salt, this Taste the Difference bacon from Sainsbury's is battling for a place in your fridge.

Was this bacon one of our top scorers? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Tesco - Finest Unsmoked Drycure Back Bacon
 Tesco-Unsmoked-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£2.50 for 240g (8 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Tesco claims its unsmoked bacon, which comes from British outdoor bred pigs, offers up a 'tasty, succulent flavour'.

But do our experts agree? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Waitrose - Unsmoked Dry Cured British Bacon
 Waitrose-Bacon TABLE Price Tasting notes Overall score
£3.49 for 250g (8 rashers) Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Considering it's the priciest bacon in our shortlist, we were hoping these Waitrose rashers could deliver delicious, unique flavour.

Which? members can see how this bacon scored in front of our panel. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our full table of test results.

Stop bacon shrinking 

When we tested the different bacon brands, we discovered that some rashers shrunk a lot more than others. This depended on a range of factors including the cut and the cure.

Why does this matter? Many people don’t mind if their bacon shrinks as it can help it to crisp up. However, if you’re making a bacon sandwich and want to ensure your bread gets full coverage, you may find you need to cook up an extra slice of bacon if it shrinks. This could mean you get less bacon for your buck and you'll end up having to raid the (piggy) bank more frequently.

Take a look at the picture below to see how our Best Buy bacon cooked up compared to one that didn't do as well.

How we tested 

We asked a panel of four experts to rate and assess 10 premium bacon brands that you can buy from your local supermarket.

We fried them up and our experts blind tasted each bacon rasher, assessing their taste, aroma, appearance (both raw and cooked), and texture. We combined these scores to give an overall rating based on:

  • 50% taste
  • 25% aroma
  • 12.5% appearance
  • 12.5% texture

Our experts were:

Ryan Simpson head chef and owner of award-winning restaurant Orwells.

Keith Fisher fourth-generation master butcher and chief executive officer of The Institute of Meat.

Alan Hayward award-winning butcher, and managing director of meat and game suppliers Vicars Game Ltd.

Maxie Malcolm head butcher at The Ginger Pig.

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