What Kind of Bacon is Best on the AIP?
When I first started AIP I was a little shocked my how many recipes seemed to call for bacon. While I’m a bacon lover, finding a fully AIP compliant bacon can be a little tricky, so I often get questions about recommended brands or what to look for on labels.
Tips For Buying AIP Compliant Bacon:
- Watch out for nightshades! Some bacon contains nightshades in the form of spices (like pepper and paprika).
- Watch out for preservatives and additives! Most brands contain sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate or sodium ascorbate which we avoid on the AIP.
- Nitrates/Nitrites are the reason we worry about our bacon ingredients. Most forms of nitrates/nitrites are basically preservatives and they can be artificial (cured) or natural (in the form of sea salt or celery juice (uncured)). Natural forms of nitrates/nitrites like celery juice are okay.
- Antibiotic Free & Humanely Raised! You are what your food eats … so this is important! Most pigs are raised in horrible conditions and eat lots of grain and soy and are injected frequently with growth hormones and antibiotics. Watch your labels for “free-from” and “humanely raised” designations.
- Dextrose – Many varieties of bacon add sugar in the form of dextrose – you don’t want that! Brands using honey or maple syrup are a-okay!
- What about sugar-cured bacon? It’s important to understand sugar’s role in the curing process so you don’t get confused when reading labels. Sugar’s role in the bacon curing process is to feed beneficial bacteria. In a quality sugar-free, sugar-cured bacon, there’s usually no sugar left by the time it hits your plate and the label will read 0 grams of sugar. So then, if the bacon was cured naturally using sugar, lists 0 grams of sugar and contains no artificial ingredients or spices beyond salt, you’re fine.
IDEALLY you want to find bacon that contains only: pork, water, salt, celery juice and possibly other AIP compliant seasonings (check your food lists if you need to verify ingredients).
Where to Buy AIP Complaint Bacon:
- USA Residents can order Pork OR Beef AIP compliant bacon from our affiliates US Wellness Meats. (Grab a coupon below)
- ButcherBox is another source for quality meats – watch for their FREE Bacon for life offer that pops up a couple of times a year. Shop here from the USA only at this time.
- Paleo On The Go carries AIP compliant pork bacon for those in the USA. Click here to shop. (Grab a coupon below)
- Amazon in the USA stocks Pederson’s brand and you can find it in my AIP Amazon Storefronts in the “Amazon Grocery” category
- For my fellow Canadians, I wish there was better news – it’s downright hard to find fully AIP compliant bacon here. I would start with your local WholeFoods – they typically carry quality products and you can find Pederson’s brand at some locations. Another option is to try your local butcher for their own bacon (but you’ll have to ask all of the hard questions about ingredients and processes. The following is a fully save option…
The Other Option – Make Your Own!
Yup – believe it or not, it’s quite easy to make your own bacon! There were a few different methods online but one of the AIP bloggers seems to have taken her site down (such a shame, she had so many great recipes), so now we’re down to just a couple at the moment. Feel free to email me if you have a great AIP compliant DIY Bacon Recipe – I’d love to share it!
- AIP Compliant Bacon Slices
- Preheat or Don't Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (it doesn't really matter - both methods work just fine)
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Place bacon slices side-by-side on the baking tray
- Cook for 18 to 20 minutes or until bacon reaches your desired level of crispness
- Remove the tray from the oven and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate
- Save the bacon fat in a glass storage container for future use