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What Is Halal Bacon?

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  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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In explaining what halal bacon is, the easiest approach is to start with what it is not. It is not pork, a meat generally synonymous with bacon. Anyone following halal dietary guidelines knows pork and all products derived from a pig are forbidden and cannot be eaten. In this case, bacon is not about the animal from which the meat came, but about the process used to cure the meat or another type of food. For this reason, halal bacon is really any type of halal food that has been cured in a way to make it into bacon. It also can refer to any halal food product that has been shaped or colored to look like a piece of bacon.

The process of making bacon begins with a piece of meat. For halal bacon, this must be a piece of meat from an animal that was slaughtered and butchered in accordance with Islamic guidelines. Once the meat is butchered, salt is poured over every surface of the meat and worked into the flesh. The salted meat is then put in a room or a refrigerator and left to cure for some time. The salt will draw out the moisture and preserve the meat.

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The next step in making bacon is to take the cured meat and suspend it in the air in a smoker. The smoke from the room will further cure and almost cook the meat while also imparting a distinctive bacon flavor. The type of wood used can have an effect on the final taste of the bacon.

There are many meat options for halal bacon. Turkey meat has become common because it is a very lean meat. Beef bacon also can be made and, in some areas, is what is specifically meant by halal bacon. Less common types of bacon can be made from salmon or other types of fish. Using a slightly modified process, bacon can even be made from a vegetarian pate.

One aspect of finding acceptable bacon that might be difficult is that the meat and the bacon must not have come into contact with any non-halal meats throughout the entire curing process. This excludes any meats that are cured in a smoke house where pork products also have been cured. For this reason, the only truly halal bacon must come from a butcher or company that has been certified as practicing the correct halal procedures.

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anon996539
Post 6

@anon990065: Bacon isn't pork. It's made from pork. Similarly wine is made from alcohol. If there's a halal wine (non-alcoholic wine), I'd sure love to have it.

anon990065
Post 5

Bacon is pork. Have they got halal alcohol too?

ZipLine
Post 3

@turquoise-- You are absolutely right. We Americans love our bacon. I'm a convert to Islam and I grew up eating pork bacon before becoming Muslim in my twenties. So when suddenly I could not have regular bacon, I looked for an alternative and was relieved to find halal bacon. It's not available everywhere and the quality and flavor does range from product to product. But it allows me to have my favorite breakfast. So I completely agree with you.

turquoise
Post 2

@stoneMason-- I'm Muslim and of course, I've never had pork bacon. I was curious about what bacon is though and did have halal turkey bacon once. I didn't find it particularly tasty so it's not a food that I buy regularly. But then again, I didn't grow up eating any kind of bacon and it's not a part of my family's culinary culture.

I have non-Muslim friends who love their bacon and eat it all the time. There is even a restaurant in our area that specializes in bacon dishes. I've heard that they sell everything from a basic bacon and eggs to chocolate dipped bacon. It sounds weird to me but I understand that bacon has come

to be an important and comforting food in American culture. I personally don't eat it but there are lots of people who do. And it's great that halal bacon is an option for those who want to enjoy bacon while staying true to their religious responsibilities.
stoneMason
Post 1

Halal bacon sounds a little silly to me. Although bacon can be made from other meats, like the article said, it is synonymous with pork. And the fat content in the pork used to make bacon is what makes bacon what it is. Those who cannot have pork due to dietary or religious reasons should probably skip bacon altogether.

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