Unable to find a natural, dry-cured back bacon anywhere in the United States, chef Tony Baker, a British ex-pat, decided it was time to bring a taste of the U.K. across the pond.
As a professional chef and restaurateur for more than 20 years, Chef Baker desires the finest ingredients in every dish he prepares. Missing from that list was a small-batch, artisanal, sustainably sourced bacon made in the English style.
Americans love their bacon, but most of what they consume is mass produced, injected with water and artificial ingredients. Out of a desire for quality and freshness came Baker’s Dry-Cured British-Style Back Bacon. Baker’s Bacon is crafted by hand in Oakland, California, starting with a long, slow, dry cure, followed by a long and low smoke in a decades-old local smokehouse.
Chef Baker has announced that Baker’s Bacon is now available to chefs throughout California through several premium food distribution outlets, including: U.S. Foods, San Francisco; Del Monte Meat Company, San Francisco, Marina, Napa, Oakland, and Sacramento; Hamilton Meats and provisions, San Diego/Los Angeles; and most recently, Chef’s Warehouse, California.
Chef Baker begins his bacon process with sustainably raised hogs without growth hormones or antibiotics, and fed an all-vegetarian diet. The meat is hand-rubbed and dry-cured using raw Turbinado sugar, kosher salt, spices and nitrate.
At Baker’s Bacon, Chef Baker made a conscious decision to use nitrate in the cure, as opposed to using celery powder as a source of nitrate. “We didn’t want to be forced into adding water to our bacon,” says Chef Baker. “Much of the ‘natural, ‘no-added-nitrate’ bacon actually contains a lot of added water and higher levels of nitrite in the product. My bacon is dry-cured, and has no added water or sodium phosphate. The bacon then goes into a 60-year-old smokehouse, getting many hours of real apple wood smoke.”
Chef Baker now offers three styles of Baker’s Bacon available for restaurant use. Each bacon variety is distinct in its cut and flavor:
- Original English-Style Back Bacon. Back bacon is different than regular U.S. bacon in that it is made using meat from the back of the animal, not just the belly. This beautiful cut of meat is leaner and meatier, creating nothing but great tasting bacon!
- Dry-Cured Apple Wood Smoked Bacon. This is a true favorite for any bacon lover, long slow smoke with real apple hardwood chips.
- Dry-Cured Double Apple Wood Smoked Bacon. What makes it double smoked? Two passes through the smoker, using two woods. Starting with apple wood for the main smoke and cook, the bacon goes in to chill. The next day it gets a second smoke session, this time a cold smoke using maple. The result is rich, dark bacon with a sweet, well-balanced smoky flavor.
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