Canned bacon is a type of prepared meat that has been popular over different periods of time in different countries and regions of the world. In general, canned bacon is an instance of the use of traditional canning, or preservation by restriction of oxygen, that has been a favorite for storing all sorts of foods, especially in regions of North America and other places where temperate climates require appropriate seasonal food preservation. Canned bacon involves cooking bacon and then sealing it for longer storage.
The process of canning bacon is often done using the method of pressure cooking. Pressure is applied to create artificially high temperatures to kill bacteria. The meat is then sealed in a jar or can.
Some food manufacturers have started to produce canned bacon as a popular canned food for public consumption. These companies often include specific preservatives in the can, such as sodium phosphate and sodium nitrite. Some companies may also add artificial smoke flavoring or other flavor agents.
In many cases, the cooked bacon is separated into slices, drained, and then wrapped in wax paper or a related type of covering. It is inserted into the jar or can in a tight roll. In these types of canning, the meat is not kept in a brine or broth, as is the case with many other kinds of canned meat products.
The bacon product that comes canned can differ according to the manufacturer or individual canner. Some use thicker cut slabs of bacon, while others offer thinner strips. Texture can vary as a result of different cooking methods.
Although manufacturers point to the appeal of canned bacon, which involves easy use and long term storage, some critics respond to what they considered the egregious health risks of this kind of food. One criticism is that adding the sodium-based preservatives to an already rich food can create a lot of negative nutritional value. Bacon is inherently a less healthy food than many others, and efforts to process it will lead many nutritionists, food scientists, and others to argue for alternatives that may be more heart-healthy or nutritious overall. Regardless, canning bacon has been shown to be an effective way of preparing this food for market, especially for those with a need to store it for extended periods of time.