Bacon Decoded

Bacon Decoded: Maximize Your Breakfast Potential

Know Your Bacon: It’s on Trend

If you’re not already capitalizing on the breakfast boom, it’s high time to seize the opportunity. According to Circana, there was a 4% increase in restaurant visits for breakfast in 2023. Interestingly, the majority of those visits occurred on weekdays, particularly Tuesday through Thursday, the peak commuting period for individuals making their way into the office.

As a restaurant operator, optimizing your breakfast offerings to save time while satisfying and delighting diners during the morning rush is paramount!

One breakfast staple that can instantly elevate any dish, whether it’s Breakfast Poutine or Huevos Rancheros, is bacon. In the United States, bacon remains a top favorite among breakfast items and seamlessly integrates into grab-and-go menus, from hearty bowls to savory sandwiches.

However, not all bacons are created equal. When sourcing your bacon, it’s crucial to make informed decisions that align with your menu’s needs. One solution gaining popularity is ready-to-cook bacon options, streamlining preparation for busy kitchens while minimizing labor costs.

Through this blog, we’ll walk you through the different gradings of bacon and what each type pairs well with on a plate. Come along:

Bacon Grading

Understanding the different grades of bacon and their suitability for different menu uses is essential. Whether for center-of-plate dishes or speedy BLT assembly, recognizing the distinctions among Gold, Silver, and Bronze bacon types is important.

Gold, silver and bronze bacon types are not only differentiated in price, but in menu applications. Knowing which type makes the most sense for your menu can aid in cost and labor savings that over time will impact your bottom line.

Consider the below when purchasing bacon for your kitchen:

Bacon Ranking


GOLD Grade Bacon:Gold Bacon

Gold-grade bacon is designated as such when the lean protein content comprises 60% or more of the slice length. These slices are sourced from the center of the belly and are commonly available refrigerated and gas flushed.

Primarily utilized for center-of-plate applications, gold-grade bacon must meet specific criteria to qualify as such. This includes a minimum slice length of 9 inches, a secondary lean of at least 6 inches, and ensuring that the primary lean is visible to at least 75%.

SILVER Grade Bacon:
Silver Bacon

Silver-grade bacon contains a lean protein content of 40% or more throughout the slice length. Available in refrigerated or frozen options, silver-grade bacon is commonly used for center-of-plate and sandwich applications.

With slightly longer slices compared to Gold-grade, ranging from 9 to 9.75 inches, it strikes a balance between quality and affordability.

BRONZE Grade Bacon:Bronze Bacon

Bronze-grade bacon is the most economical choice, frequently used in high-turnover restaurants. These slices, typically sold frozen, are best suited for sandwich and buffet applications.

Ranging in length from 8.5 to 11 inches, bronze-grade bacon offers a cost-effective option with a visible secondary lean of at least 25%.


Unlock the Flavor Potential

The Smithfield family of brands offers a wide variety of ready-to-cook bacon options to meet your kitchen’s needs. From single slices for convenient preparation to shingled slices allowing easy separation, they’ve got you covered.

Explore a diverse range of flavors, including honey-cured, applewood-smoked, and hickory-smoked, to delight taste buds and enhance your breakfast menu offerings.


Click to learn how you can save time and money, and stay up to date with today’s trends using Smithfield products as a Dining Alliance member!