Bacon never seems to lose its smoky salty sway over dedicated foodies. For carnivores, nitrites or not, there is no substitute for a mouthwatering bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. But what is the best bacon to use for a BLT? Considering the number of salted, dried and smoked meat products that are readily available to consumers, there really is only one answer to that question: Thick cut.
For those bacon aficionados who love their BLTs, including the fictitious Jack Brewster, thick cut slices are the only way to go. I recently discovered Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon Steak Cuts, which bumped everything up a notch, gastronomically speaking. For those not in the know, bacon steak cuts are a real thing. In fact, some of the top rated steak houses in and around the city now have thick sliced bacon on the menu. At Peter Luger’s, the slab bacon appetizer is grilled and served with a sweet horseradish sauce. It would be an understatement to say Peter Luger’s knows a thing or two about meat. But read on.
If you cannot make it to Peter Luger’s, try Burgers’ Bacon Steak cuts. The slices are easily 1/4˝thick before cooking. I used a stainless steel pan to fry four pieces of the bacon. You could also bake them in a 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes. That’s a lot of grease to have in the oven. Cooked slowly on top of the stove, over a low to medium flame, the amount of fat rendered was sizeable. But so was the remaining meat. After sizzling 5-7 minutes on each side, the bacon slices were still thick and toothsome but without the beef jerky quality and texture that often accompany competitor’s products. Not the Burgers’. What’s more, the company uses saw dust to smoke the meat, as opposed to liquid additives. No water has been added to the bacon either.
Burgers’ bacon is dried cured, like a country ham. The Missouri-based company, which offers a number of turkey products, pork, sausage and other specialties, does the smoking on a farm in the Ozarks that dates back to 1891. Burgers’ offers bacon steak cuts in original, Cajun, peppered and Applewood flavors. While the family-owned business began in 1952, Burgers’ has been preparing cured meats since the 1920s. Though they have a thriving mail order business, I found their bacon at the local supermarket. A one pound package cost $7.99. It was well worth the price. No, this is not a paid endorsement but merely some information based on personal experience.
Jack Brewster’s Favorite BLT Ingredients:
4 Slices Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon Steak Cuts (Fried in a skillet and then drained on paper towels)
2-3 Iceberg lettuce leaves (Washed, dried and chilled)
2 Slices Arnold’s Country White (Lightly toasted)
1 Small or medium tomato (Sliced)
Hellman’s® Real Mayonnaise (Spread inside top slice, nearest the bacon)
Dill pickle spears served on the side
Photos/Videos: Package of Burgers’ Smokehouse Bacon Steak Cuts – Own work; BLT sandwich – Ollylain, Creative Commons (CC), taken Oct. 14, 2006 and originally posted to Flickr as Lucky Boy BLT; Video featuring Burgers’ Bacon Steak Cuts – Burgers’ Smokehouse/YouTube; usage of photos and videos do not necessarily constitute endorsement by the original authors and sources.