An Updated List of the Best Bacon You Can Buy

The best bacon is meaty, smoky, and the perfect balance of sweet and salty. I know what you’re thinking and, yes, it’s true: All bacon is good. Even the worst bacon bottoms out in “good” territory. And people don’t just like bacon—they worship bacon. They buy bacon lip balm and bacon bandages. They turn love of bacon into a personality trait. We get it. It’s salty, porky, smoky, and, in the words of the great King Curtis, “Bacon is good for me.”

But what we set out to do over the course of two separate taste tests is to find the best bacon at the grocery store. In both taste tests, the first order of business was determining what separates the merely good bacon brands from the certifiably best bacon brands. We looked for strips with the correct balance of saltiness and sweetness (that means more saltiness than sweetness). Good, smoky flavor was a plus. And, ideally, the strips had more meat than fat. Bacon fat tastes amazing, but a single meal shouldn’t send you to the hospital with chest pain.

In the end, we found the eight best bacon brands that will take any BLT, breakfast plate, or bacon-wrapped scallop from good to great. Looking for the best turkey bacon or the best Canadian bacon? Don’t worry; we ranked those, too.


best bacon

Best Sweet

Trader Joe’s Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon

If you’re not into sweet bacon, this applewood-smoked offering from Trader Joe’s is going to be off-putting. But if you’re a person who likes to drizzle a little syrup on your strips when you’re having pancakes or french toast, this is the best bacon for you. Pair this one with a super savory breakfast like a cheese omelet or eggs florentine for a little sweetness on the side. One taste tester detected an almost cinnamon-y flavor in these strips. When the holidays roll around, this is the best bacon to buy for Christmas morning breakfast.

Credit: Liv Averett / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

kirkland bacon review

Best for Recipes

Kirkland Thick Sliced Center Cut Bacon

Costco makes a lot of excellent products, and they make some of the best bacon, too. Honestly, I’d probably eat clumps of sod if they were wrapped in this center-cut Costco bacon. This is the best bacon for wrapping—it’s thick enough and salty without overwhelming the food it is hugging—but it’s so much more than that. Cube it and put it in split pea soup. Slice it into matchsticks and use it as a lardon replacement. Or, hey, wrap it around clumps of sod! (Don’t really do that, please.)

Credit: Liv Averett / Costco

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best low sodium bacon

Best Lower Sodium

Farmer John Lower Sodium Premium Bacon

The best lower sodium bacon we found in our taste test was Great Value Lower Sodium Bacon, but it doesn’t appear that Walmart sells it anymore! Our runner up was Farmer John Lower Sodium Bacon, which we promise is very delicious. This is less smoky than other bacon, so more of that good pork flavor shines through. The texture is excellent and I firmly believe if you try low sodium bacon on its own (rather than alongside full sodium bacon), you won’t even know the difference. This is the best bacon that you can currently find at the grocery store if you’re cutting back on your salt intake.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best breakfast bacon

Best for Breakfast

Farmer John Premium Classic Bacon

If you live in Los Angeles, you know Farmer John as the former purveyor of the beloved extra-long hot dog that’s served at Dodger Stadium (the team has since gone with another supplier; long story). The brand also knows its way around a package of porky, smoky backfat. One taste tester referred to this as “utility bacon,” exactly the stuff you always have in the fridge for a fatty, satisfying weekend breakfast. Compared to some of the other brands we tried, this bacon leans fatty, but everyone who tried it agreed that the fat tasted really, really good. It’s the best bacon if you’re craving classic diner bacon.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

aldi bacon review

Best Surprise

Appleton Farms Gourmet Thick Sliced Applewood Smoked Bacon

Some days call for a fatty breakfast. Maybe you’re depleted from partying. Maybe you didn’t eat dinner the night before and need to make up for lost calories. Either way, this thick-sliced Aldi bacon is going to hit the spot. We loved how the fat just kind of dissolves in your mouth. This is the best bacon if you’re an Aldi shopper, for sure. 

Credit: Liv Averett / Aldi

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

nueskes bacon review

Best Smoky

Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon

If a restaurant uses Nueske’s bacon in its BLT or club sandwich, you can bet the menu says so. This is high-quality bacon that doesn’t come cheap, but its smoky, woody flavor is totally worth it. If you like super smoky bacon—like, bacon that tastes like it was prepared at a BBQ joint—this is the best bacon you can buy. “I really like this because it tastes very authentic and homemade,” one taste tester said. And there’s lots of meat in every strip. This bacon put me in the mood to go camping, but even if you don’t cook it on a cast iron skillet over a campfire while you sip coffee from one of those cute speckled enamel mugs, it’ll taste like you did. Go ahead and eat your breakfast outside to set the mood.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

wright bacon review

Best Thick Cut

Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon

After our first best bacon taste test, commenters descended on the site to tell us we were remiss in not including Wright bacon on our list. They were right! This bacon is right up there with our number one pick. If you like thick bacon, this is very nice and thick. The slices are huge, but they shrink up really fast because they are super fatty, in a good way. The fat tastes amazing. We also tried their applewood smoked bacon—it’s quite good, but the hickory smoked bacon is perfect. Thanks for the rec, readers! You were right (Wright?). This is among the best bacon brands.

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best bacon

Best of the Best

Pederson’s Natural Farms No Sugar Added Hickory Smoked Uncured Bacon

Yes, the best tasting bacon at the grocery store just happens to be bacon with no added sugar. No sugar needed here! As one taste tester noted, Pederson’s hickory smoked bacon is “more complex” tasting than other bacon brands on the market. It packs so much rich, unique bacon flavor into every slice. Maybe it’s the hickory smoke. Or maybe it’s the humanely raised pigs. Either way, it’s really a feat. If you can find it, this is the best bacon you can buy. 

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • They should be looking at the Aldis black forest bacon. It’s only 3.99 here in NY, and it is some of the best tasting bacon that I’ve ever had.

    Reply
  • Hi it’s available in India if yes please share the details we need

    Reply
  • While wright is very good, the best is Bryan bacon I’m just saying.

    Reply
  • Benton’s Bacon from TN is the best bacon I’ve ever eaten.

    Reply
  • For Thick Cut, Cracker Barrel sells their bacon in 2lb packs. It’s fantastic!

    Reply
  • Seems like a great list, however I cannot get any of these locally to me.

    Reply
  • Was Wright Bros bacon included? I haven’t tried a couple of these, but it’s my top thick cut

    Reply
  • Trader Joe’s has a Black Forest bacon that is incredible. I prefer it over any other kind of bacon now.

    Reply
    • The Aldis black forest bacon is amazing as well.

      Reply
  • Can you do more widely available bacons? We don’t have any Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Costco where I live so Wright’s is like the fanciest bacon at my grocery stores.

    Reply
  • Better than Good It is a pecan smoked bacon sold at HEB. I have never had a bacon that delicious.

    Reply
  • I’m a huge fan of thick cut bacon, and I’ve found that the Appleton bacon from Aldi is super sweet. To the point where after I make only 3 slices, my kitchen smells of brown sugar hours later. I’ll echo the other commentor’s recommendation of Wright bacon. I’m in Chicagoland and can find it at every grocery store, and even Sam’s club.

    Reply
  • We sadly don’t have any of these brands in Canada lol, maybe Kirkland because we have Costcos but I don’t have a membership x)

    Reply
  • Wright Bacon, sold in most grocery stores in North Texas, is easily the best bacon money can buy. Order it, try it, love it.

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    • Agreed 100% – from southern Louisiana.

      Reply
    • I agree. I don’t think I can get almost any of these brands locally. Wright is usually my go to but I also like Wegmans uncured bacon.

      Reply
    • Only have wright in the house these days, and they sell it at Sam’s now. ❤️

      Reply
  • I don’t know who this Santi guy is, but he seems handsome.

    Reply
    • WE LOVE SANTI.

      Reply
  • The Kirkland bacon is incredibly cheap considering the quality. It’s our go-to at Costco every time we need bacon!

    Reply
    • It’s delicious!

      Reply