Know Your Bacon: It’s on Trend
If you’re not already bringing home the bacon with a breakfast menu, now might be the time to start. According to the NPD restaurant group, breakfast consumption is forecasted to increase by 5% by 2019 and global trends in dining are continuing to make waves in the breakfast category. As a restaurant operator, it’s important for your kitchen staff to find ways to save time while still appeasing and delighting diners during the morning rush.
One breakfast favorite that makes any menu item, from Breakfast Poutine to Huevos Rancheros, stand out is bacon. In the United States, bacon is still listed as one of the top menu items in breakfast foods and easily fits into your grab and go menus, from bowls to sandwiches. However, as any good chef knows, no two bacons are the same. So when reaching out in your supply chain, it’s important to make the best decision for your menu needs. One easy solution is to look towards ready to cook bacon options which help chefs minimize labor costs while making preparation convenient for your morning rush.
Do you know the different categories of bacon and which is the right fit for your menu applications? From center of plate applications to quick serve BLT’s, there are three tiers you should know. 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.
Gold bacon is considered such if the lean protein present extends to 60% or more of slice length. The slices come from the center of the belly and are often sold refrigerated and gas flushed. The typical use of this grade bacon would be for center of plate applications. In order to technically qualify as a “gold” bacon, the slice must be at least 9 inches long, have a 6-inch minimum secondary lean, and the primary lean must be 75% visible.
Silver bacon is considered such if the lean protein present extends 40% or more of the slice length. It can be refrigerated or frozen and is most commonly used for center of plate and sandwich applications. Typically, the length of these slices is a little longer than gold averaging between 9” to 9.75”.
Bronze bacon is the cheapest and also the most frequently seen application for high turn-over restaurants. These slices are almost always sold frozen and most commonly used for sandwich and buffet applications. Typically, these pieces vary in length from 8.5” to 11” and there’s a standard of a 1” secondary lean that must be at least 25% visible.
The Smithfield family of brands offers operators a full range of ready-to-cook bacon choices to meet your back-of-house needs. Our ready-to-cook sliced bacon options include single slices on parchment paper to make preparation convenient and quick, our shingled slices allow for convenient separation, and our sliced slabs are economical. Available in honey-cured, applewood-smoked and hickory-smoked flavors.