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Home » Bacon Breakfast Recipes » Back Bacon: The Complete Guide [Recipe and Video]

Back Bacon: The Complete Guide [Recipe and Video]

Have you tried back bacon yet? Sometimes called English Bacon, British Bacon or Irish Bacon, this product is similar to American bacon but different (in some very tasty ways).

It is generally thicker, meatier and milder in flavor than traditional bacon, and is typically pan fried. The most important thing to know is that it’s jolly good for eating! If you love American bacon, I think you’ll like back bacon, too!

A dozen strips of cooked English back bacon on a white plate.

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The star of a traditional full English breakfast in the U.K., it’s typically accompanied by beans, sausages, tomatoes and eggs. You can also find back bacon used in bacon and cheese turnovers. Properly cooked British bacon is very delicious!

In this post, you’ll find detailed information about how to buy and cook the best back bacon, ways to use it, nutritional information, storage instructions, and pro cooking tips.

What is Back Bacon?

Seven slices of uncooked back bacon.

American bacon is cut from the pork belly, while back bacon is cut from a section of the pork loin, typically from the center of the cut. It is then seasoned, cured, and smoked to produce its signature flavor and texture.

Some say that English back bacon is like a cross between leaner Canadian bacon and regular bacon.

Back bacon is more commonly enjoyed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It can be found at butchers, specialty shops and some grocery stores in the United States, and a number of companies will also ship it to you(see list below.)

If you’re wondering about back bacon calories, an average cooked slice has 105 calories.

Back Bacon vs Streaky Bacon

English Bacon shares similarities to the traditional sliced bacon sold in the United States, but it’s different in several important ways.

British back bacon is cured, smoked and sliced, much like American bacon. However, it’s a different cut that includes mostly the loin and a bit of the pork belly, too.

When cooked, the slices may curl up in a shape some describe as an apostrophe. To prevent curling during cooking, check out our pro cooking tips below.

Why You’ll Love It

A pound of back bacon slices frying in a cast iron skillet.

Back bacon is leaner than traditional bacon, with a smoky, savory flavor you’ll love.

It’s versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes (see list below).

You can enjoy it for breakfast with eggs and potatoes, at lunchtime on a sandwich, or for dinner in soups, pastas, casseroles and more.

Ingredients Notes

15 slices of back bacon, a small dish of freshly ground black pepper and pork spice rub seasoning.

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare this easy recipe for cooking British bacon:

Sliced back bacon – For the best flavor, look for lean slices with bit of fat around the edges. The bacon above came pre-trimmed, but you may need to trim some of the fat to suit your tastes.

Freshly ground black pepper (optional)- You don’t need to add anything to the bacon, but I like to season it a bit before serving to bring out the flavor.

Pork seasoning or rub (optional) – I used Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub with Apple and Honey, which adds a little spicy sweetness to the bacon. Feel free to use your favorite mix!

Step by Step Cooking Directions

STEP ONE: Trim any excess fat if needed. Pat the bacon slices dry with paper towels.

STEP TWO: Heat the skillet over medium-low heat and add 3 or 4 of the bacon strips.

Three strips of back bacon in a black cast iron skillet.

STEP THREE: Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and check the underside with a heatproof spatula. When the strips are browned on the bottom, flip over and continue cooking.

Two strips of browned back bacon in a skillet.

STEP FOUR: When each bacon rasher is browned on both sides, use a spatula or tongs to remove from the pan.

STEP FIVE: Drain slices on paper towels. If you wish, you can sprinkle the tasty strips with freshly ground black pepper or your favorite pork rub seasoning.

Cooked, seasoned British back bacon piled on a white plate.

Pro Tip to Prevent Curling

Some people like the curly strips, but if you want your tips to be flatter you can make little cuts along the thin layer of fat around the edge of the bacon.

You can see from this photo how cutting little notches in the bacon strip allowed it to cook flatter:

3 strips of back bacon in a skillet that have been notched on the edge to prevent curling.

Air Fryer Cooking Directions

Set the temperature on the air fryer to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). (We like to preheat the fryer before cooking.) Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket.

The exact amount of time it will take your bacon to cook depends a bit on how hot your air fryer cooks and how thick the slices are, but the cooking time should be between about 6 and 10 minutes.

When the bacon is browned, use tongs to remove it to paper towels to drain. Repeat until all of your delicious bacon is cooked.

Storing and Reheating

Cooked bacon can be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat, arrange slices in a frying pan over medium heat and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until bacon is hot and heated through.

Make Your Own Back Bacon

Would you like to learn how to make homemade British bacon?

You can create your own dry cured back bacon with boneless pork loin and seasonings. The curing process takes about a week, which you can read more about at the British food blog Keef Cooks.

What is Peameal Bacon?

While it’s not quite the same thing as proper back bacon, peameal bacon could be considered a cousin. Peameal bacon is a popular breakfast food in Canada and some parts of the US. It is traditionally made from lean, boneless pork loin which is rolled in finely ground yellow cornmeal. 

Peameal bacon is typically leaner and less salty than traditional bacon, and it is usually sold in large rounds or loaves that are sliced to the desired thickness. Here’s how to make your own peameal bacon.

It is usually sliced and pan fried or grilled, but it can also be roasted in the oven. While typically served for breakfast, it can also be used in sandwiches, salads and other dishes. 

Where to Buy English Bacon

If you’re in the U.S. looking for this delicious British style bacon and can’t find it in a local store or butcher shop, here are some sources.

Most of these suppliers will ship via 2nd day air so you can be enjoying it in no time!

Beeler’s Pure Pork

The British Depot

Goodwoods British Market

Jolly Posh Foods

Scottish Gourmet USA

10 Ways to Use Back Bacon

A fried back bacon sandwich on a sesame seed bun.
  1. Make the best sandwich, such as our tasty B.L.A.T. Sandwich.
  2. Use it to top Irish Burgers.
  3. Enjoy it in bacon soup recipes.
  4. Use it in our delicious recipe for Bacon Onion Jam.
  5. Enjoy it with Southern style green beans.
  6. Add it as a topping on pizza.
  7. Enjoy it with pan-fried Brussel sprouts.
  8. Use it in a warm German potato salad recipe.
  9. Enjoy it in breakfast casserole recipes.
  10. Add it to smoked baked beans.

Let’s get cooking, shall we? You might also enjoy our Back Bacon web story.

If you enjoy this recipe, we would be thrilled if you’d click on the stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below and leave a rating! We love reading your comments, too!

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15 slices of pan fried back bacon sprinkled with seasonings on a white plate.

Cooking Back Bacon

Eliza Cross
How to pan fry back bacon (also known as British bacon) in a skillet on the stovetop, with helpful cooking tips and seasoning options.
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Bacon Basics
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 210 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 10 ounces sliced back bacon
  • ground black pepper (optional)
  • seasoned pork rub (optional)

Instructions
 

  • If you wish to reduce curling, use the kitchen scissors to make small cuts along the fatty edges of the bacon.
  • Arrange several slices in a skillet. Heat over medium-low heat until browned.
  • Turn the bacon slices over and continue cooking until browned, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Remove from the pan with tongs or a spatula and drain slices on paper towels. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper or your favorite pork rub seasoning if you wish.

Video

Notes

Cooked bacon can be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, arrange slices in a frying pan over medium heat and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until bacon is hot and heated through.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes!

Nutrition

Serving: 2stripsCalories: 210kcalProtein: 21gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 680mg
Nutritional Information Disclosure
Keyword back bacon, British bacon, English bacon
Did you make this recipe? We love seeing what you made! Be sure to leave a review, and show us your bacon creations on Instagram! Tag us at @BensaBaconLovers!
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

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eliza cross

About Eliza & BENSA

BENSA was founded by bacon expert Eliza Cross, author of more than a dozen cookbooks. She has written three bacon cookbooks including the award-winning Bacon Beans and Beer, the bestselling 101 Things to Do With Bacon, and the popular sequel 101 More Things to Do With Bacon. Learn more about BENSA...

10 thoughts on “Back Bacon: The Complete Guide [Recipe and Video]”

  1. 5 stars
    This entire post was a good learning for me. I never knew so much about back bacon to date. Such an insightful post.

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Really good tips about how to cook bacon. My family really loves bacon and is a new way to prepare it. Thank you for the recipe :)

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    I didn’t know there was so much to learn about back bacon! This post is definitely making me reconsider my usual breakfast choices.

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    My sister in law loves ham/bacon and adds it to almost everything. I cannot wait to share this guide with her. Thank you!

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Eliza…thanks for all of the helpful tips for the Back Bacon!
    I had just recently purchased some from @jollyposhfoods and after reading your recipe on how to cook, decided to give it a try!
    I used Bacon Up to oil my pan…cooked for 3 mins of each side
    After cooking, I dressed a couple of pieces with Japanese 7 Spice, & a couple of pieces with @Mike’sHotHoney…both came out amazing! These will make a great breakfast addition when I serve them in my Baps!

    Reply
    • Mike, your rendition of back bacon sounds SO delicious! I am so glad to hear that the directions were helpful, and appreciate you stopping by to share your results. ~Eliza

      Reply
  6. 5 stars
    I’ve been making my own Canadian Bacon for a few years now. When pork loin is on sale, I cure it in a brine using Prague Powder #2 for a week, drain and wash, then dry it overnight it the fridge rolled in cornmeal ( can’t get ground peameal around me, there is a difference in taste). The cornmeal draws water out of the loin. Think I slice it and vacuum seal it. Easy to make. The formula for the brine and is by weight of water and pork. Prague Powder #2 has to be used properly, as it is a chemical.

    Reply
    • Michael, your Canadian Bacon sounds amazing! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your technique. I bet it tastes SO good!! ~Eliza

      Reply

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